Classic Dish on Classic Stars
Liz Smith Reviews Charles Higham's latest book 'In and Out of Hollywood'
"MARLENE'S RULES were clear. No woman present must be younger than she, but all the men must be younger and attractive. No woman must wear a dress that might threaten to upstage her
Such were the dinner-party dictates of
Mr. Higham is a well-known chronicler of the famous and infamous. Although he is a noted poet and has written a number of reasonably received plays, his biographies are the meat of his career.
Higham's greatest notoriety came with his biography of
His new book tells many dishy tales. It's shocking on
So we relive Higham's melodramatic childhood, replete with a wicked, sexually abusive stepmother, an early failed marriage, his belief in ghosts and his long-burgeoning homosexuality. We get a lot on that. (Higham refers to his frequent metaphysical experiences as "crossing the borderline.")
Everybody's entitled to tell their own story, as they like it. It's just that Mr. Higham doesn't come off as, well . . . likable. Maybe it's just his attempt at a healthy ego. But he does seem to feel he has been "done wrong" a lot. Maybe so. Show biz reporting is a thankless endeavor; one rarely gets credit from those raved about.
So, while I wasn't swept away reading about Mr. Higham's lovers and peccadilloes, he includes enough classic down and dirty dish on real stars to satisfy those of us who are amused by same. (His section on interviewing
Maybe my favorite story is about the unabashedly autocratic director,
DeMille shouted, "You DARE To Ask?!!!" And so of course, DeMille played God. It makes
BACK TO 21st century show biz realities: Our girl
WHERE DOES one go after garnering the reviews of one's life in Shakespeare's "King Lear?" Ask
L.A. and, but of course,
Also on hand for one of Keach's last performances was filmmaker
But right now
Available at Amazon.com: In and Out of Hollywood: A Biographer?s Memoir
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