Dropped Names

Dropped Names

Famous Men and Women as I Knew Them

Book - 2012
Average Rating:
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Rita Hayworth dancing by candlelight; Elizabeth Taylor tenderly wrapping him in her Pashmina scarf; streaking for Sir Laurence Olivier in a drafty English castle; terrifying a dozing Jackie Onassis; carrying an unconscious Montgomery Clift to safety on a dark New York street...

Captured forever in a unique memoir, Frank Langella's myriad encounters with some of the past century's most famous human beings are profoundly affecting, funny, wicked, sometimes shocking, and utterly irresistible. With sharp wit and a perceptive eye, Mr. Langella takes us with him into the private worlds and privileged lives of movie stars, presidents, royalty, literary lions, the social elite, and the greats of the Broadway stage. We learn something, too, of Mr. Langella's personal journey from the age of fifteen to the present day. Dropped Names is, like its subjects, riveting and unforgettable.

Publisher: New York : Harper, c2012
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780062094476
Characteristics: xii, 356 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.

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mswrite
Apr 27, 2016

Witty, dishy, and insightful Hollywood memoir told in entertaining vignettes. I liked Mr. Langella well enough as an actor; after reading his book I think I like him even more as a man. He comes across in these pages as direct, even unsparing (Paul Newman--? Boring??? Nooooooooooooo!!!!), but never gratuitously mean-spirited.
His poetic musings--about a conflicted, deeply closeted "Psycho" star Anthony Perkins; the charming, slyly competitive (and closeted) Sir Laurence Olivier; a doomed romance with a frightened and fading Rita Hayworth; hilarious evenings with Mel Brooks and his temperamental actress-wife Anne Bancroft; a comically sad and star-struck moment with a wizened, bitter Bette Davis; a relaxed and happy JFK and Jackie in Cape Cod in the early sixties; and especially Jackie's close friend and confidante, Bunny Mellon, fabulously wealthy wife of Scrabble-loving banking scion Paul Mellon--all ring with poignancy. Recommended.

rufus_red4 May 01, 2014

Frank Langella lovingly writes about the mostly classic Hollywood stars he worked with when he was up and coming, and they were on their way down, some had already hit rock bottom. He's very sensitive and poetic, especially when describing JFK, I got a little misty eyed on the subway when I was reading it.

The dirt is also dished, though I'd of preferred more details. Some of the stories he sort of hints at sexual liasons, without quite confirming it, such as Anthony Perkins, did they or didn't they do it?

My only wish is that there's a part 2.

Info_Junkie Mar 11, 2013

Wow...what an egotistical and bitter old man. I couldn't even finish the book.

h
HopeButterfly
Nov 17, 2012

Enjoyed some stories, found others tedious and boring. Found I skipped over some of the stories of people I really didn' t know or hear of. Was expecting something different.

LaBeteNoir Oct 12, 2012

If you're looking for titillating gossip, skip. These short chapters tell you sad or illuminating truths, revealing weakness and strengths of people who happen to be famous and/or rich. Just like the rest of us.

e
ErnieK
Jul 02, 2012

Langella points out in his introduction that this is nothing more than a game of dropping names much like dropping silverware (nice story on that). It's his take on people he has met, some bits more interesting than others. But some...ahh, now that's wonderful!

fairboy May 30, 2012

Very entertaining narrative about the famous people who crossed paths with Mr. Langella.

figmoe Apr 01, 2012

Euc

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