by Liz Williams
British Alias Smith & Jones Fan Club Newsletter
Superstar, August or September 1973

A lot of people seem to think that superstars lead magnificently pampered lives, idling away the long, lazy summers. Such people should be introduced to Ben Murphy! They'd soon have their illusions shattered!

Ben admitted that his summer had been just as long as anyone else's, this year. But, as for 'lazy' no such luck! In fact, Ben has packed so much into the summer months that his summer of '73 has flown past without so much as a how d'ee do! Right in the middle of all this activity, he did manage to squeeze in a short skiing holiday.

When I spoke to him on the 'phone, he had only been back a few days. That ten day spell in the Colorado mountains had evidently done him the world of good, because his soft, silky voice sounded even more relaxed than usual: "There's nothing like skiing to make you feel really toned up", he told me. "Well, you know how I feel about the sun. . . But, if I had to make a choice, I'd take the snow every time so long as I'd got a pair of skis with me!" Luckily, Ben didn't have to make the choice this time round, because the Colorado climate thoughtfully provided him with the best of both worlds! So he's now back in L.A. looking bronzed and feeling really ready to go.

Which is lucky. Because, a couple of days after his return to California, he started work on his new series, "Griff." He explained that he'd be having a pretty tough schedule from now on, through till the end of the year. This is because the scriptwriters' strike held back the starting date, so they will be pulling all the stops out to make up for lost time. Also, as Ben pointed out to me, he'll be working hard to establish a new character. So it'll be very different from Smith and Jones, where he found it so easy to slip back into the role of Kid Curry each new season. But Ben's always been the Sort of guy who likes to meet a challenge, so I reckon that his new schedule is going to suit him down to the ground.

As if he didn't have enough to do, he's taken up house-hunting as a side-line! For years now he's lived in the same tiny, two-roomed apartment close to Universal City. And for quite a while, he's been dreaming of finding somewhere further out of town with a bit more space so that he could, turn around without tripping over the furniture. He's always hankered after having some animals too, but he's held back till he could find some place with enough room for them to be free and happy.

Well, Ben finally came to the decision that he'd been dreaming about this place for long enough. The time had come to make his dream come true. Hence the house-hunting! But, so far, he's still 'just looking'. He's been concentrating mainly on the Topanga Canyon area, 'cos he loves the countryside around there and he wants to be out towards the ocean. He's quite happy to wait until the perfect place turns up, rather than make do with second-best. And lie assured me that he'll know as soon as he drives up when he's found the 'right' property.

With all these plans for tracking down a bigger home, I couldn't help wondering whether Ben might have somebody special in mind to keep him company in it! So--half jokingly--I put the question to him... Was he, maybe, thinking of getting married in the near future? Well, joke or not, Ben certainly laughed that idea right out of court...

So you can all relax again, girls! Ben assured me that lie loves girls just as much as ever. But, so far, there's no one special person in the picture. Still, who knows what that next visit to Britain may lead to?... After all, Ben has always said how much British girls turn him on. So it's over to you, girls!

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