Tuesday, March 27, 2012

DROPPING NAMES: DRACULA DISHES THE DIRT

  Some years ago I interviewed Frank Langella just before the release of the movie Dracula in which he was starring. I remember him as being somewhat reticent but quite pleasant and friendly.
Langella
  Either I was totally wrong in my assessment of him or the years have changed and embittered him beyond all recognition.   
  Now aged 74, he has just published Dropping Names, a bombshell of a tell-all memoir in which
he lifts the lid on his dealings with Hollywood greats including Elizabeth Taylor, Rita Hayworth, Paul Newman, Rex Harrison, Richard Burton and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
 Tellingly, all but one of  66 celebrities he mentions are dead.
  In his book, the Oscar-nominated actor brands Richard Burton, Cary Grant and Paul Newman as huge bores, while Yul Brynner, Anne Bancroft and Charlton Heston, he says, had enormous egos.
Taylor: lonely
  He also recalls affairs with Rita Hayworth and a desperately lonely Elizabeth Taylor who, only after one date, begged him,  "Come on, baby, and put me to sleep."
  He claims to have turned down passes from Noel Coward and Tony Perkins.           Here's what Langella has to say about a few of Hollywood's dearly departed:  
  Yul Brynner
Burton: A bore
  "Never far from a full-length mirror." Apparently no actor ever talked about himself so much or had such little time for his fans. Brynner once explained how he'd had a special lift " big enough to fit a car" installed in the Broadway theatre where he was starring in The King and I to avoid contact with fans.
  Richard Burton
  A "crashing bore" who liked to recite poetry in a drunken stupor. "There sat a man approximately 52 years of age, looking 10 years older, dressed in black mink, with heavily applied pancake, under a tortured, balding helmet of jet black hair, grandly reciting tiresome poetry."
  Anne Bancroft
  "Consumed with a narcissism that often undermined her talents."
Newman: Dull
  Paul Newman
  "A pretty dull companion after the dirty-sexy jokes, shop talk, cars or politics were exhausted, never rude or unkind, just dull. In awe of his good looks, companions would instinctively think it their fault when he suddenly went quiet,"
  He was like the statue of David--- "physically perfect but emotionally vacant".
  Laurence Olivier
A "silly old English gent who loved to play camp and gossip".
  Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
Harrison: son of a bitch
  Onassis was the first woman he met who found "money was an aphrodisiac". He says that despite her image as shy and fragile, she relished her fame and knew exactly how to market it.
  Rex Harrison
  A "real son of a bitch" who was terrified that people would think he was homosexual.
  Elizabeth Taylor
 "A small, sweet woman who wanted a man to be with her, protect her and fill a void as deep as the deepest ocean."  He recalls a desperately lonely Taylor who, after a second date in 2001, told him "Come on, baby, and put me to sleep." After helping the then 69-year-old actress upstairs by pushing her from behind he said he was shocked by the clutter in her room: pictures of dead ex-husbands, "dozens and dozens of bottles of witch hazel that she used to remove her makeup and a huge box of chocolates on her bed."
 Rita Hayworth 
 He had an affair with her when he was 34 and she was 20 years his senior while they were playing a mother and son in the 1972 Western The Wrath of God. She was drinking and suffering from the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. She couldn't remember her lines unless they were written in huge block letters and placed next to the camera, but they spent days together drinking while she reminisced.

2 comments:

  1. What do you mean "embittered?" Finally a Hollywood insider truthfully gives his opinion, and he is labelled as embittered? It's a shame there isn't more honesty from the celebrity world instead of the same old, dull platitudes vomitted out during interviews and in so called "expose" biographies. One of you journalists should write a book about your experiences. Now, that would be an interesting read which I'm sure would be talked about by the other media and make you a TON of money!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hmmmmm. Thanks for the idea. Food for thought there.

    ReplyDelete

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