Posted: March 12th, 2019
DONALD ZEC, OBE, the Daily Mirror’s incomparable showbiz and feature writer – and a member of the AMP – is 100 years old today. Don specialised in writing about film, and set the bar for the big interview.
With thanks to Roy Greenslade for the nudge, we’d like to join with all Don Zec’s friends and colleagues in wishing him a very happy 100th birthday. Roy’s tweet: https://twitter.com/GreensladeR/status/1105425615761666048
Don is pictured here in 1955 in a study by another Mirror doyen – Zola. Pic: Mirrorpix.
An edit from Wikipedia: Donald Zec’s career in journalism began in 1938 with a three-day trial at the Daily Mirror. In 2009 he recalled: “I was so embarrassingly bad that no one had the courage to tell me, so I stayed for 40 years.”
After war service, he returned to the Daily Mirror as a crime reporter and later became the paper’s Royal correspondent. He also wrote about many megastars of the day, including Humphrey Bogart, Brigitte Bardot, David Niven, Ingrid Bergman, The Beatles, and Marilyn Monroe.
In later years he interviewed major political figures such as Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson, the (then) leader of the opposition Margaret Thatcher, Lord Mountbatten of Burma, and the former Californian Governor Ronald Reagan.
In 1970 Donald was awarded an OBE for services to journalism.
Donald Zec has written many biographies, including that of his brother, the political cartoonist Philip Zec. In 2012 Don won The Oldie magazine’s inaugural British Artists Award for artists over the age of 60. A year later his portrait of his late paternal grandfather – entitled “My Grandfather, the Pious Patriarch”) was presented at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, jointly winning the Hugh Casson Prize for Drawing.
By PETER THOMPSON
© Peter Thompson 2021. Extracted from Cudlipp’s Circus by Peter Thompson, Kindle Edition.
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