- Aug 30, 2009
What I said was, had it NOT been for the movie...he would never have gained a PUBLIC persona...ever. He would have only been known and appreciated in pool lore, by pool players, for many years after he was gone.
Fat's was well past his prime in 1961..the movie gave him a new lease on life...Just like the senior tour did for Arnie and Jack...the difference being... EVERYBODY allready knew their names.
For Fat's, there would have been NO "Celebrity Billiards",.. NO TV appearances,.. and very probably NO Billiard product endorsment's, had it not been for the movie.
again if TV would have been around in his younger years many more would have known him, he was a born showman it was players and hustlers like the Fat Man that made the story of the Hustler possible. The Movie helped the mainstream public to realize these undground professional hustlers were walking amoung them. The players gave the inspiration for the movie to give them a chance at an new open door, and Fatty capitalized on that like it was meant to be...no other man could do it, for they all tried and could not hold a candle to the fat man. They could have called Minessota Fats, Couch potato willie and he still would have been the same and acheived the same...it was never about the name only the person behind it.