Herald-Whig

Festival organizer Marx plans book on career in Hollywood

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Mar. 16, 2019 12:01 am Updated: Mar. 16, 2019 11:50 pm

HANNIBAL, Mo. -- Mike Marx already knows what his next undertaking will be.

"My friends have always told me I should write a book," Marx said.

So that's exactly what he's going to do -- once the Great River Film Festival from Oct. 3 to 5 has concluded.

The festival is scheduled for Quincy's Quality Inn and Suites, 201 S. Third.

Admittedly, Marx will not have much spare time between now and the festival to put pen to paper. Once that endeavor is in the rear-view mirror, he is looking forward to organizing a lifetime of stories.

Come late October, Marx is hoping to tie together a lifetime of notes into what he feels will be an entertaining and informative read.

"I already have a name for the book -- ‘From Hannibal to Hollywood (Dreams of a Smalltown Boy),'" Marx said.

The 75-year-old Marx worked for 30 years in Hollywood from 1969 to 1999 as a talent agent and developed close relationships with many of the entertainment world's biggest names, including Paul Newman, Steve McQueen and Dean Martin.

Marx is not certain how long the book will take to write, but is anxious to get started.

"Nothing ventured, nothing gained," he said.

The Great River Film Festival will tentatively feature about 20 former movie and TV stars and musicians for the three-day event. Fifteen names are already confirmed, with another five or six coming on board at some point this spring.

"We're already getting calls from as far away as St. Louis about the festival," Marx said.

Among the scheduled guests will be Lana Wood from the James Bond film "Diamonds Are Forever" and Fred "The Hammer" Williamson, former NFL all-pro defensive back turned action movie star.

The Great River Film Festival will be open to the public. Ticket prices are $20 for a daily pass and $45 for a weekend ticket.

The festival was originally scheduled for Hannibal in late 2018 but ran into scheduling difficulties that forced postponement and opened the door for relocating to Quincy.

Marx, who is working in cooperation with the Quincy Visitors and Convention Bureau, helped coordinate a similar event for 38 years in Winston-Salem, N.C., before deciding to move it closer to his hometown.

Other artists who have committed to the Quincy festival are Kim Lankford ("Knots Landing"), Lynda Day George ("Mission: Impossible"), Lisa Loring ("The Addams Family"), Patrick Wayne ("The Green Berets"), Clu Gulager ("The Virginian"), Terry Moore ("Come Back, Little Sheba"), Spencer Garrett ("Public Enemies"), the cast of "Time Travel" (James Darren, Lee Meriweather and Robert Colbert) and singer Roy Head ("Treat Her Right").

One scheduling change this week finds actress Tonja Walker replacing fellow actress Patsy Pease ("Days of Our Lives"). Pease will have to miss the festival due to back surgery.

Walker is best known for playing Olivia St. John on "General Hospital," and also appeared on "One Life to live," "As the World Turns," "Ryan's Hope" and "Days of Our Lives."

Details on times, sites, activities and the schedule of nostalgic films to be shown will be released in the near future. Films will be shown from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 3 to 4 and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 5.

For more information about the festival, contact Marx at 217-242-2505 or email HannibalEntertainmentGroup@gmail.com.