LAWRENCE OF ARABIA stars Omar Sharif and Peter O'Toole once kept outrageous comic Lenny Bruce out of jail by refusing to leave a Los Angeles police station without him.

The trio were arrested as part of a police drugs raid on Bruce's Hollywood home, where the comic had been shooting up just minutes earlier - after a night out with his new pals.

A sober Sharif decided to use his phone call to call legendary Tinseltown producer Sam Spiegel and ask for help.

He recalls, "He (Lenny) had a record and Peter was drunk and he was drunk and stoned, so at three in the morning I called the Beverly Hills Hotel, where Spiegel was staying, and he was sleeping.

"They woke him up and I said, 'Sam, it's Omar,' and he said, 'Omar who?' I told him we were in jail with Lenny Bruce, and he said, 'You're nuts, you kids are going to ruin me.'

"They sent some lawyers to the precinct and they got us out, but Peter was in love with Lenny Bruce by now and he didn't want to go without him.

"Sam was going out of his mind and finally we got Lenny Bruce released with us."

14/11/2003 19:03