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)
“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.
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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