By Frank Langella
Rita Hayworth dancing via candlelight; Elizabeth Taylor tenderly wrapping him in her Pashmina shawl; streaking for Sir Laurence Olivier in a drafty English fortress; terrifying a sleeping Jackie Onassis; wearing an subconscious Montgomery Clift to defense on a depressing manhattan street...
Captured ceaselessly in a distinct memoir, Frank Langella’s myriad encounters with a number of the previous century’s most famed humans are profoundly affecting, humorous, depraved, occasionally stunning, and completely impossible to resist. With sharp wit and a perceptive eye, Mr. Langella takes us with him into the non-public worlds and privileged lives of motion picture stars, presidents, royalty, literary lions, the social elite, and the greats of the Broadway level. We examine whatever, too, of Mr. Langella’s own trip from the age of fifteen to the current day. Dropped Names is, like its topics, riveting and unforgettable.
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Additional info for Dropped Names: Famous Men and Women As I Knew Them
And Annie stated she felt inextricably attracted to this girl, eager to move round the counter to embody and kiss her passionately, till she learned she was once having a look right into a replicate. yet in the summertime of 1966, none of her narcissism used to be as but irritating, or maybe obvious to my twenty-eight-year-old adoring eyes. She, Mel, my female friend, and that i grew to become almost inseparable acquaintances. “Hey Mibby [Annie’s nickname for Mel], those are the 2 youngsters I informed you approximately from my convey. ” The 4 folks spent virtually each waking hour jointly, starting that summer season in Stockbridge, then in long island, hearth Island, and vacation trips for the subsequent 5 years.
We needs to depart. ” In numerous huge Bentleys we joined the queue making its method to the race. Bunny had obvious to baskets of scrumptious foods—deviled eggs, chook and cucumber sandwiches, and so forth. —and buckets of champagne. once we arrived, well crammed and fortunately excessive, we have been taken to the paddock to go to Mill Reef after which ushered to our seats. It used to be an impressive day, as I keep in mind, with hundreds of thousands of girls out of their finery. a unprecedented mixture of ill-fitting garish clothes and hats of huge dimension in completely lousy style; sexless parade floats on excessive heels.
Both the younger, incredible violinist (me) or an getting older former secretary of nation (Melvyn Douglas). I received the center, and Mel, i believe, bought an Emmy. Mel’s spouse used to be to be performed via the nice English actress Celia Johnson. we might rehearse our tearjerker in ny and shoot in Toronto. The show’s minor declare to popularity was once in its depicting, for the 1st time on tv, a precise middle transplant played by means of a pioneer within the box, Dr. Michael DeBakey. So fragile did the television community think the yank public’s belly to be, that purely thirty seconds of it have been allowed to be aired.
That's to assert he seemed extra sincere. His functionality in domestic, contrary Ralph Richardson, was once fantastic in its minimalism and quiet intelligence. And, in fact, he gained an Oscar for taking part in Dudley Moore’s butler in Arthur, a component that should have taken him all of thirty seconds to nail. After fifty years of enjoying all of the nice Shakespeares and different classics, he should have discovered that win hilarious, including to the Brits’ typical disdain for the americans’ erroneous worship of a complicated accessory. we might pass paths repeatedly through the years and he regularly greeted me as though we have been assembly for the 1st time.
We have been seated unobtrusively in a single nook. The eating place was once darkish and close to empty. a guy sitting on my own around the manner acquired as much as depart and observed her. He got here as much as the desk and started an obsequious tribute; no longer pushy, rude, or maybe gushing. yet he used to be vociferous in his compliment and relatively loquacious. Elizabeth was once captivating to him, smiling and hot, yet in the interim he’d long past round and handed pass as soon as too usually, she slowly moved her surrender to mine and, placing her thumb into its heart, gripped it with huge, immense energy.