AS Jonesy, the reluctant gunslinger in BBC TV's top Western series, Alias Smith and Jones, Ben Murphy never loses his cool.
In private life, he's much the same. There's no heat when he describes the money he makes from the series as "peanuts".
Thirty-year-old Ben, in London last week for a short holiday, told me: "I signed a seven-year-contract three years ago for the kind of salary that most stars would describe as a joke. And that's the way it will have to stay for the next four years.
"But what the hell...I don't drink, smoke or gamble. I live on health foods and run only a small two-room apartment in Los Angeles."
I said that apart from the price of polish for his halo, the only other probable outlay seemed to be on loving.
"Now, that's where the halo bit gets a little offcentre," he said. "I like girls, girls and girls. But I sure don't aim on paying for 'em.
"Nor do I figure on marrying for a long while yet unless they alter the Californian alimony laws. It's one thing working for peanuts...it's another having to split 'em fifty-fifty."
The next series of Alias Smith and Jones
to be shown in Britain in September, will feature a newcomer to
the role of Smith. Roger Davis has replaced Pete Duel, who committed
suicide last December.
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