Thursday, June 26, 2008
Play Misty For Me is one of the most iconic films of the Monterey County area, known for its native scenery, local flavor (including shots at the Jazz Festival), and Clint Eastwood’s directorial debut.
Now, the original painted portrait of lead character David Garver (played by Eastwood), a key prop in the 1971 film, is for sale. Not only that, the stand-in portrait that actually was slashed in the movie by “Annabel” (Jessica Walter) is part of the deal.
Artist Don Heitkotter was commissioned by Eastwood to paint the portrait, which hangs in his shop in San Juan Bautista. On the floor below the painting sits the slashed version, its back facing gallery visitors, who are invited to turn it around. For fans of the flick, a chilling precursor to Fatal Attraction, seeing the two portraits in person is an unexpected treat in this small town about 35 miles northeast of Monterey.
A black-and-white photo of Heitkotter with the cast hangs near the portrait.
Heitkotter, 77, who has works at Zantman Art Galleries in Carmel-by-the-Sea, among other places, says he has no formal art training. He was in the sign business, but wanted to be an artist, and gradually attracted a following. A friend knew Eastwood and hooked them up.
“We had dinner in Carmel and Clint asked me if I would to it,” Heitkotter says, noting he took the job for the publicity. He says Eastwood sent him photos from which he made sketches, and the actor “left it up to me how big to make it.”
Heitkotter says he’s not sure how much the two portraits might fetch, but hopes for enough money to close his shop, travel and see friends.
“I figure it is worth anywhere from $200,000 to $2 million,” he says with a laugh.