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
"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)
I wouldn't listen again because it's a book and there are so many other books to read and listen to!
Perhaps the chapter on Rex Harrison.
I have not.
"Be careful what you say to Frank Langella."
I found the book fascinating, but, then, I am in the business and recognized pertty much all of the "characters." So I gave it five stars across the board. I can see, though, how some listeners/readers might find Langella as pompous and arrogant as some of the people about whom he writes. Still, I enjoyed listening very much.
Am a huge LOTR & STAR WARS fan that love to listen to very good books that are literary in nature. I especially enjoy medical thrillers.
I like how Langella shared his thoughts of the people he'd met if a few he'd only known for a short time and his first impressions of them. That and for some of them, how they've impacted his own influence and personal opinion.
Hard to say on that subject...the closest might be to having heard Barbara Walter's memoir when she'd mentioned some folks that were a part of her life...but from her, this was only a small part of her world compared to Langella's DROPPED NAMES.
I wished he'd sounded better than he did...otherwise he'd told his story very well and with a lot of meaning to those stories he'd shared in his book.
Perhaps a follow up might come in the form of a Volume 2. Could be more folks he'd had more recently had come by since they'd passed since the first publication like perhaps he'd come across Phyllis (sp?) Diller or Neil Armstrong...or his thought of Tony Scott?? Who knows??
Thank you Mr. Langella for writing this book and reading this for us. It's much appreciated!! Yours Truly a fan of yours!! :)
Frank Langella reads his own work expertly. I doubt I would have enjoyed this as much if I read it myself.
There are funny, interesting, absorbing chapters in this well written series of observations of famous people Langella has met or known over his long career. This may be too gossipy for some but it is well written, thoughtful and expertly performed. Some very funny and very sad recollections.
70 year old grandmother of 2 teenagers. Still working in real estate appraisal field, live in OH and SC - spend time listening & traveling.
Doubtful. I don't think I could tolerate Frank Langella's monotone droning on and on for another 10+ hours. He has some good stuff to say about people who are well known but dead (so he's safe that they won't dispute what he says about them). He is tough on alot of people and outs more than a few. Remarkably, he always comes out as being the one everyone turns to - from Elizabeth Taylor to Bunny Mellon - for comfort. He's always "Frankie" or "Baby" and it wears thin after a while.
No. I think he's said all he has to say that's interesting.
His ever present droning monotone. He's an actor, for Heaven's sake! The only time his tone changed was when he was portraying a female.
From "Dropping Names" to throwing names in the gutter.
I've heard worse.
I actually stopped listening and didn't finish the book
It was just not as funny or interesting as I expected
I am a big fan, so I loved listening to his voice, but not enough to listen to the whole thing.
at some point in the future I may give it another try.
A great book. That is all I can really say. I did not expect to bump into a voice so similar my own. He thinks like me. I was so glad to hear his voice. The real deal. Straight from the heart. How can that be discounted? Impossible.
Not the standard autobiography, but a series of remembrances by a man who has been a very successful Broadway and movie actor. Beginning in the 1960's and continuing on he has chapters on individuals such as Anthony Perkins, Paul Newman, Elizabeth Taylor, Robert MItchem and on and on. They are funny, sad , touching, and always entertaining.
“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies…The man who never reads lives only one.” (George R. R. Martin)
I can't sum it up well in three words.
Doesn't really apply here. I thought the stories regarding Raul Julia were probably the most interesting.
He didn't really perform the characters; he's mainly just relating the stories.
No, not really. And no to both.
I’m a big fan of actor, director, screenwriter, or pretty much anyone involved in film –bios. Some are better than others but most are interesting. I thought ‘Dropped Names’ was excellent. Frank Langella also narrates and he gently guides the listener through the times in his life that involve famous people (as the title suggests) in an unusual but highly entertaining way. It’s equal parts funny, harsh, interesting, and sad.
I am 74 and, despite health problems, am an active participant in life. I play the flute, draw in pastels, crochet, and write.
the narrative was stilted. frank is obviously stuck on himself.
I got sick of the descriptions of gay personalities. Some were out and out gross.
Difficult to understand, tone is stuffy.
The description of the swimming pool scene
I want to trade this one in.
Well written, spoken and thoroughly entertaining. Among one of the best I have listened to so far
Mr. Langella's storytelling make the famous seem like they have been your friends forever. The people are real, with highs and lows like the listener. Also, the narrator includes his own "lows" among the stories, which adds to the realism of this book
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