Who were your heroes growing up?
The cats that influenced me were guys like Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, James Brown, Michael Jackson— all of these performers who could dance. Gene Kelly was the man, him and Douglas Fairbanks. I remember growing up in the Bronx, watching them whenever there was a chance. I would jump around the house, trying to be a swashbuckler.
How should a man handle getting older?
You have to realize that things are going to slow down; that even if your mind is fast, the body, the machine, will rust. And as the machine begins to rust, the ability for it to generate kinetic power begins to diminish. So the trick is to be aging gracefully and healthfully and keep the rust out of the body. If you can keep the rust out of the body, then getting old is not a problem at all.
What human quality do you most admire?
The ability to survive.
And what trait do you most deplore?
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