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Dropped Names: Famous Men and Women As I Knew Them | [Frank Langella]

Dropped Names: Famous Men and Women As I Knew Them

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.
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Publisher's Summary

Rita Hayworth dancing by candlelight in a small Mexican village; Elizabeth Taylor devouring homemade pasta and 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 City 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.

What, for instance, was Jack Kennedy doing on that coffee table? Why did the Queen Mother need Mr. Langella's help? When was Paul Mellon going to pay him money owed? How did Brooke Astor lose her virginity? Why was Robert Mitchum singing Gilbert & Sullivan patter songs at top volume, and what did Marilyn Monroe say to him that helped change the course of his life? Through these shared experiences, we learn something, too, of Mr. Langella's personal journey from the age of 15 to the present.

Dropped Names is, like its subjects, riveting and unforgettable.

©2012 Frank Langella (P)2012 HarperCollinsPublishers

What the Critics Say

"Engaging.... Not just Langella’s "famous people I have known," but a heartfelt love letter to the theater and to the days when stars were stars, not merely celebrities." (Kirkus Reviews)

"Rarely have I read a book about celebrities that is as insightful, candid, revealing, and as well-written as this one. Frank Langella’s memoir is not the usual author's ego trip, but rather his remembrances of the many accomplished men and women that he has come to know." (Gay Talese)

"A delightfully unabashed page-turner about people we wish we had known in the throes of work, love, and growing old." (A. R. Gurney, award-winning playwright)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (209 )
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4.5 (185 )
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Hillary MORRIS, CT, United States 07-09-13
    Hillary MORRIS, CT, United States 07-09-13 Member Since 2015

    avoiding road rage one book at a time...

    HELPFUL VOTES
    96
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    7
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    "Frank! Where have you been all my life?!"

    If you care even a little bit about Old Hollywood, you need to read this luxuriously written book. If you want to hear the best narration ever committed to an audio file, please hear this. Hollywood's best kept secret, Frank Langella, has been there and done everything(one) and tells his stories with tactful abandon. My favorite story is his on-set dalliance with the beauty of mythological proportions, Rita Hayworth (at the time 20 years his senior). He shed light on her secret (even to her) struggle with Alzheimer's starting at age 53, for which she was chalked up as a crazy, paranoid alcoholic. Exceptional purchase.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    GEL COLLINSVILLE, OK, United States 04-29-15
    GEL COLLINSVILLE, OK, United States 04-29-15 Member Since 2011

    Book & History Enthusiast

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Loved it!"

    This glimpse into Mr. Langella only makes me admire him more. I truly loved hearing about his experiences with all these people...and his voice! Well really...it just melts me. I wasn't sure what to expect but I am so glad I downloaded this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Harrell Rentz NC 04-28-15
    J. Harrell Rentz NC 04-28-15 Member Since 2015
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    14
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    "True to its title"

    Fun and interesting. Fun and interesting. Fun and interesting. Fun and interesting. Fun and interesting. Fun and interesting. Fun and interesting. Four unique words remaining.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jo Maeder 01-08-15
    Jo Maeder 01-08-15
    ratings
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    1
    1
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    "Luscious and lascivious"

    The combination of funny and poignant stories of the rich and famous with Mr. Langella's soothing voice adds up to an audio book you don't want to end and will never forget...If you like it bawdy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    B Rose Ivins, UT USA 11-17-14
    B Rose Ivins, UT USA 11-17-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fantastic look at old Hollywood!"
    What made the experience of listening to Dropped Names the most enjoyable?

    It's was not Hollywood fodder, but true experiences by the author. So many stories about famous people that brought them to the same level as the average person. It's funny at times and very touching just as many times.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Dropped Names?

    There were so many moments that it's impossible to name one.


    What about Frank Langella’s performance did you like?

    He was a pleasure to listen to giving life to everything he talks about.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Should not and could not possibly be be put on screen.


    Any additional comments?

    I had this in my wish list for months. Thinking it would be tabloid in nature, I wasn't really interested. I have no use for Hollywood gossip and despise all the mags that produce it. This is so far from that! I'm thrilled I finally gave it a try and enjoyed every moment of it. Its a must read especially if you've enjoyed old Hollywood.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda 08-04-14
    Linda 08-04-14

    buffalogirlofwy

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A WONDERFUL BOOK FOR TEARS"
    Any additional comments?

    As I listened to this book, I welled up with tears many times. I guess I really needed to feel some emotion because once completed, I felt rejuvenated, like I had revisited every wonderful moment I have ever seen on screen. I was very surprised by my reaction. I highly recommend this book. Frank Langella's writing is so humble, as is his soft voice. I could hear the emotion in some of the recollections. I loved this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katie GLASTONBURY, CT, United States 12-12-13
    Katie GLASTONBURY, CT, United States 12-12-13
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    2
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    "Enchanting, Lots of unexpected bursts of laughter."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This was a wonderful account of Mr. Langella's life in movies & theater. Laced with stories of his celebrity friendships. It was truly a great read.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Dropped Names?

    I enjoyed his account of Jackie Kennedy & Bunny Mellon.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Its hard to say which scene was my favorite. I can say that I laughed out loud...a lot.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes this is a book I wanted to listen to in one sitting. I tried but...daily life pulled me away.


    Any additional comments?

    I have a friend who is an actress (Broadway/off Broadway) who has done a few things with Mr. Langella. I adored her stories and impersonations she did of him. I have long since been curious of who he really is and what is life is like.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    laconfidential Beverly Hills, CA 01-23-13
    laconfidential Beverly Hills, CA 01-23-13 Member Since 2012

    Sharply Opinionated Know-it-all. Gallows Humor. Hollywood Insider.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Love Letter to Life"

    What a joy to hear the author read his extraordinary book. If you are even thinking about reading or purchasing the audio version, do not wait another moment.

    The best autobiography or biography I have ever "heard" . . . Truly remarkable.

    The author does not make the mistake of painting himself as the hero of his own narrative - bravo to him and even better for us.

    Honest, profound, intriguing . . . a Love Letter to Life

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diane Seattle, WA, United States 01-21-13
    Diane Seattle, WA, United States 01-21-13 Member Since 2014
    ratings
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    22
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    "Like listening to an old friend reminisce...."
    Where does Dropped Names rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It's hard to rank them because they all have been different, but I have loved them all. I have recommended this book to my friends love the entertainment industry.


    What did you like best about this story?

    He seems to be quite honest about the good and bad in the people he has met, and most importantly is very honest about his own shortcomings and failures.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    My most memorable scenes were the ones with Jackie Kennedy, especially the ones where he immediately regretted his actions, and she as always was a lady.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I smiled through most of the book, really enjoyed his memories, observations & opinions.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Monica Cory Portland, OR USA 01-18-13
    Monica Cory Portland, OR USA 01-18-13
    ratings
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    1
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    Story
    "Fun Behind the Scenes"
    Would you listen to Dropped Names again? Why?

    Great read, well written and a fun behind the scenes look at an actor's life and the myriad of personalities he encountered on an interesting life''s journey.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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