Warren Skaaren, Movie Mogul

Here's the man who's selling Texas to Hollywood. If you think that's easy, then you don't know Hollywood or Texas.

HERE’S THIS GUY, AND HE’S been drafted and it’s what you might call a bad scene. He’s standing
at a boarding gate in the Dallas airport with his family, waiting to be shipped off to God knows
where—Germany or something—and his family is standing around him weeping.

He looks up and in one of these gee, small-world numbers, coming across the Dallas
airport—really zipping across it—is an old college buddy of this guy. Name of Warren
Skaaren. They went to school back at Rice, five or six years ago, and Warren was a sculpture major. He hadn’t laid eyes on Warren in three or four years.

One of the reasons Warren’s zipping right along, with this kind of concerned look on his face,
is because he’s being trailed by a couple of dozen women, all with that pinched, reckless look some women get when they’re after something.

So this guy, who was about to call out to his old buddy, Warren, starts staring. His brain is
not ready to start wondering why his old buddy Warren, who hasn’t seen him yet, is zipping along
across Dallas airport in the middle of these women. Then he sees that the women’s object is not
really Warren but a man walking beside him. This guy can’t quite see the fellow’s face, but…

No, wait, positions are changed, and our friend recognizes the fellow beside Warren. It’s…well, it’s Steve McQueen, and he, Warren, obviously is with Steve McQueen. I mean, it wasn’t Warren Skaaren and Steve McQueen walking across the Dallas airport and at this moment they happened to be walking beside each other, the women actually zipping along after McQueen, with Warren basically in their way. In fact it looked as though Warren were actually hustling McQueen along.

Explanations, as they say, were in order, but this guy continued to stand there, inoperative,
his mouth still open, as Warren and Steve McQueen zipped along toward the airport restaurant,
dozens of women in pursuit.

And just about then, Warren looked up and saw ol’ buddy over there, saw that he was dressed in
Army green and that there was a real kind of John Garfield scene going on there with the family and all. Saw that ol’ buddy has seen him. Saw that ol’ buddy had seen McQueen, and that ol’ buddy had realized that Warren seemed to be kind of in charge of McQueen. Realized that he really should
explain all this.

But these women…

So this guy, on his way to God-knows-where-in-Germany, gets this look and smile from his buddy
Warren that says: “Look, well, I’m sorry, but I’ve got Steve McQueen here and…” and
then Warren is gone into the restaurant with Steve McQueen, and the women right along behind. Then
this guy himself is gone, to God knows where in Germany.

Listen, we can straighten all this out. In that three-and-a-half years since you last saw Warren
the Sculpture Major at Rice, some amazing things have hapened. Warren, as you might guess, did not
go into sculpture. He is now executive director of the Texas Film Commission, and Steve McQueen is
not the only international celebrity he might be seen with in the Dallas or Houston or San Antonio
airports these days. Goldie Hawn he calls Goldie. Ryan O’Neal knows him

More Texas Monthly

Loading, please wait...