What Book Has Most Influenced Your Thinking And/Or Your Life?
July 12, 1994
Soap Opera Weekly
There are a number of books that have affected my thinking and philosophy. Politically, one was God and Man At Yale, by William F. Buckley (Regnery). I find him very intelligent and astute in many things, and he affected me in some ways. I don't think he'd appreciate this, but he made me a socially liberal, fiscally conservative, Jacob Javits-type Republican.
As far as a sense of who I sometimes think I am is Scaramouche by Rafael Sabatini (Houghton Mifflin). It gave me a sense of romance and high drama and also an appreciation for historical novels that led me to read more and more of Dumas père (Alexandre). The many novels he wrote are not only interesting and wonderfully written, but carefully researched so you get a vivid sense of the era they're portraying. It helped me a lot when I played a bad guy in Zorro series. It made me appreciate that you could be a bad guy and yet have a great romantic flair; being a bad guy doesn't necessarily mean only huffing and puffing, grinding your teeth and clenching your jaw.