Romano Kristoff (Bamboo Gods site) was a Spaniard with a colorful life. He served in the Legion Estranger or French Foreign Legion, in numerous actions and reaching the Elite Honor guards. Romano and I worked on many films together and actually shared an apartment for three years. He was the Spanish ‘Alain Delon’, lady killer extraordinaire, one of my best friends, natural action star.
Sometimes they changed our names like Romano became Ron in some films to make him ‘sound’ more American. When we first met I recognized that he could easily do lead roles but his Spanish accent was very strong. We worked on his speech until he was cussing like a US Marine or beach bum from California. Many times our voices were ‘Dubbed’ in by voice talents in Italy or other countries so it did not matter.
Romano and I also studied UeChi-Ryu under Sensei Robert Campbell. When we had time between film work we would helpteach at the Manila Polo Club. Many of the former students are now in their late 30’s and early 40’s some 24 years later. I had a chance to meet two of them last month when I made a quick visit to Manila. (See my Facebook page under Don Gordon Bell for my Philippine album, or under Picaso albums on left column).
Romano would be the one to keep the KWB calm, when he would frequently flare up. The KWB was a very touchy and quickly went into a rage if someone tried anything. Romano was the Cool guy- but anyone looking into his friendly face would see a flash of confidence and his steely eyes showed his experience and warned them not to even pass gas. Most often they backed away but several times we had to fight back to back, but walked away with the fools rolling in pain on the ground.
The KWB is not that sort of fellow anymore…but don’t push him too much.
“Crazy Don” was my nickname back in the days of my wayward youth.