Fred Willard: The Dakota is Kind of Creepy

February 02, 2012 at 4:06 pm

The entrance to The Dakota, the iconic apartment building where "Rosemary's Baby"was filmed. John Lennon was assassinated outside the building in 1980. Flickr/exakta

In the 1970s I left Los Angeles for New York for a one-month role in an off-Broadway show. The party after our opening night was at the producer’s apartment in The Dakota on Central Park West and 72nd Street in Manhattan and my wife and I were living nearby. I remembered that this was the building where the very scary “Rosemary’s Baby” was filmed. There are these imposing wrought iron gargoyles on the gate outside and once we got inside I remember turning to my wife and saying: “Wow, this place is really strange.”

This was all way before John Lennon was shot outside that building.

If you’re looking to tap into some creepy — but important — New York City history, The Dakota is the place to go.

Fred Willard is an actor, comedian and voice over actor known for his roles in Christopher Guest “mockumentaries.” He is also the author of a book of movie trivia. He will appear in a staged reading of Hamlet organized by the Frog and Peach Theatre Company on Feb. 21, 2012.

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