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UCLA

Old School

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Published Jan 1, 2006 12:00 AM


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Some things in life, you care about. Other things, you let go. Stanley Rubin is 88 and learning that one of the things he didn't care about is very important after all - 68 years later.

That's how the winner of the first Emmy ever awarded, producer of critically acclaimed feature films, and all-around entertainment industry veteran, came to enroll - for the second time - in undergraduate film courses at UCLA in the fall of 2005, sporting a manila file folder with the handwritten sticker label, "UCLA - On To A Degree."

Rubin was a lover of story ever since he came to Westwood the first time, as an undergrad in the 1930s. He joined the Daily Bruin as a cub reporter and eventually rose to be editor in chief of the college daily. But he never finished his degree, opting instead to go to work for a Beverly Hills newspaper.

From that first job, Rubin segued to Paramount Pictures, rising from mailroom boy to story reader and eventually producer and screenwriter. Over the course of his career he's produced or written more than 50 films, including The Narrow Margin, which still receives honors as an early film noir, and River of No Return.

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He says he didn't necessarily plan to go into the field of entertainment, nor marry an actress (1950s B-movie star Kathleen Hughes), nor become a producer, when he was a young journalist at UCLA. But he did. Now his big project is a sequel, old school-style.

The once and future Bruin alum drives to campus three times a week from his home in the West Hollywood Hills. He's working to complete his B.A. at the School of Theater, Film and Television. Currently taking one class - History of the American Motion Picture - Rubin is aiming for a June graduation.

It's strange to walk into a classroom filled with people young enough to be his grand-children, and Rubin admits, "I was nervous about how they would react to me. Mostly, they ignore me but when we do talk, they're very friendly."

From the time he first came to UCLA seven decades ago (via a Greyhound bus from the Bronx), to producing the first filmed weekly television series - which won him that Emmy - to working with Howard Hughes on The Whip Hand and Warren Beatty on Promise Her Anything, and now commuting to Westwood thrice weekly on his current campus tour of duty, Rubin has also learned what he really cares about.

"I'm a devout Bruin, I had a lot of fun when I was here," he says. "Frankly, I fell in love with UCLA, and I've been in love all the years since."

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