Acting as a profession came to me by chance: in 1946, after the war, I was having lunch with my cousin, who was the Italian ambassador, and he asked, 'What are you going to do now you're out of uniform?' I said, 'I'm pretty inventive, and I can imitate people,' and he said, 'Have you thought about being an actor?'
I was a top-notch cartoon model for Hanna Barbera, and they made me into a cartoon series called 'Devlin,' which ran for seven years, and I was on lunch pails and coloring books and all of that. It's really interesting being a coloring book when you're young - most kids colored in coloring books, but I made money off coloring books.
I've always had an idealistic streak about storytelling in that I believe we owe more to audiences than repeatedly bludgeoning them over the head while stealing their lunch money. We owe them inspiration. That's why I'm more interested now in creating new heroes than hooking up jumper cables to old ones.
Mom still has a huge, beautifully decorated Christmas tree. The whole family comes together after midnight mass and has the traditional plum cake and wine. We spend the night at mom's home, and in the morning we wake up and open the presents. In the afternoon, we sit down to have a traditional Christmas lunch.
My grandmother used to cook for eight every day - sitting down lunches and dinner, the way you do it in Italy, you sit down. And when my parents could afford their own place, I went with them but still my mother used to work but used to come back from work to cook lunch for my father, come back from work, cook dinner for my father and me.