It was at Pinewood Studios in London when
I first laid eyes on this wild, talented, and mad, mad man. Dear Anton
was the production designer for the first of Tim Burton's two BATMAN films.
After the outrageous success of BATMAN, Mr. Furst and his wife Penny moved
to Hollywood from their native England and rented a house in the Hollywood
Hills. I remember a birthday party Anton threw for Tim where I arrived,
said hello, got a drink and was promptly thrown into the pool by my host.
I, of course, grabbed Anton and pulled him in with me. I still have
the Polaroid's Tim took of us drenched, fully clothed in Furst's pool.
This was after Anton won the Oscar for Production design on BATMAN because
I vividly remember the gold statuette adorning the toilet top in the guest
bathroom. There were many, many parties and Anton was always going full
tilt boogie -- socially and at the studios. Columbia essentially "bought"
him and he was working in the "Industry." Much different from his experiences
in England, I am sure. Anton and Penny separated. Anton sank deeper into
substance abuse and as he was about to check into a rehab in 1992, told
his friends he was going to the car to fetch his cigarettes and jumped
off an eighth story parking deck. The well known permanent solution to
a temporary problem. God rest his soul. He was always wonderful and playful
and kind to me. He had a great laugh and a charming irreverence. When he
arrived at Ten Bungalows for his clock portrait, he was smoking the longest,
fattest joint of marijuana I can ever remember sharing. This was
November 17th, 1990 and the song playing was Randy Newman's "Naked Man".
Another brilliant Hollywood disaster.
Please click here to visit Anton Furst's Dark Beauty Gallery