Michael Jackson on Top of World: Summer of 1984

"He had to flirt with me," said Ray. "He had to play with me, touch me, and flirt with me. So that was great. ... I got to fall in love. And I'd never been in love before."

Michael Jackson and Ola Ray

After a screen kiss, their relationship would deepen in Jackson's trailer.

"We would just sit in his dressing room, we talked about food, you know. We talked about, you know, religion," Ray said. "We would talk about why he couldn't date me, you know, why we couldn't be as intimate as I wanted us to be.

"He told me that ... there was someone else that really liked me on the set. He's like, 'I can't. I can't cross that line.'"

But some lines were crossed all the same.

"I think things got pretty sexy between Ola and Michael," said Griffin.

Griffin said she didn't think, in any case, that it was the peak of the star's experience with women.

"I wouldn't say that," Griffin said. "I don't think he's that innocent. He definitely knew what he was doing, in his own little way."

Michael Jackson: Visiting Stars

Jackson's lengthy sessions with makeup artist Rick Baker were captured by renowned photographer Douglas Kirkland, whose photo book "Michael Jackson: The Making of Thriller" will be released in November.

Kirkland also captured actor Rock Hudson's visit to the set.

"Michael ... sees Rock Hudson and he just goes limp," said Kirkland, laughing. "[He] goes over to him and he's looking up to him ... as this great giant."

None of the visitors loomed larger than the celebrity Landis was to meet inside Jackson's trailer late-late one night in L.A.'s gritty meatpacking district.

"I opened the door ... and Michael goes, 'John, do you know Mrs. Onassis?' And it was like..." Landis broke off, laughing. "It was Jackie Kennedy, with the pearls."

Jehovah's Witnesses

Jackson's famous friends hardly could have imagined that this most reclusive of entertainers spent his time off the set proselytizing for his faith.

"During the time 'Thriller' was filmed, Michael was still going door-to-door with copies of the Watchtower booklet," said Griffin. "He was spreading the message of Jehovah's Witness. And he would put on like a Groucho wig and glasses and mustache."

"Thriller" became a stupendous success for Jackson, becoming one of the best-loved music videos ever, imitated around the world. Yet both Landis and Ray later would sue for royalties they felt they were owed. Even in late '83, there were signs of the issues that would overtake the star.

"I had the feeling then, and I expressed it to John, of real concern about him," said costume designer Deborah Nadoolman Landis, the director's wife. "I thought he was very lonely. I knew he was lonely."

"He was in a strange domestic situation," said John Landis. "The kid who grew up on stage, he was living at home in his parents' house."

Ray described what she saw in Jackson's eyes.

"I saw a child," she said. "I saw a child who needed love, you know? It'd make me cry, just thinking about him. His personality was just so pure to me, you know?"

Michael Jackson: Trouble With 'Victory'

In January 1984, Jackson was burned severely while taping a Pepsi ad. Then came the "Victory" tour: not a Michael Jackson solo tour, but a reunion of the grown-up Jacksons.

"Unfortunately, he could not withstand the family pressure, and he agreed to do a tour which he did not want to do," said Griffin. "The Victory Tour was very poorly organized from the beginning."

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