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Dropped Names Audiobook

Dropped Names: Famous Men and Women As I Knew Them

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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 (266 )
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4.5 (239 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Lori A. Mello Ferndale, MI United States 09-25-12
    Lori A. Mello Ferndale, MI United States 09-25-12
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    "Dropping Names...and so much more!!!!"
    If you could sum up Dropped Names in three words, what would they be?

    Edgy, intelligent, and fun!


    What other book might you compare Dropped Names to and why?

    That's hard to say. I gues any other biography or autobiography. There is a lot to like in this book.


    Have you listened to any of Frank Langella’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have never heard any of Frank Langella's other "reads" for Audible but I am a huge fan and I've seen him on Broadway. This is a phenomenal actor!


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

    Absolutely! If I had time to do so, I would have taken the entire day to get through it in one sitting. I have very little time and as it was I got through it in three days. I couldn't put it down.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a great book about famous people Frank Langella met and knew well. This was a forthright telling of famous people and their good and not-so-good qualities. It just goes to show you that it doesn't matter how much money you make or how famous you are, we are all only human.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Michael Yonkers, NY, United States 09-10-12
    Michael Yonkers, NY, United States 09-10-12
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    "Perfectly Frank"
    Would you listen to Dropped Names again? Why?

    I already have, and shared it with friends who I knew would feel as I had. Hilarious, touching, pompous and deliciously written, this memoir touches on the lives of the rich and famous as few before have. Everyone from Jackie O to Elia Kazan gets the full treatment, and while none of the subjects are alive to confirm or dispel the stories, you have to applaud the author, who reads with alarming stillness and wit, for sharing them the way "he remembers them".


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The chapter on Oliver Reed is the most fun, Marilyn Monroe the most unbelievable, Rita Hayworth, the saddest, Anthony Quinn the most revealing, Lee Strasberg the dishiest. The Cape Cod story of luncheon with the president and Mrs. Kennedy at the Mellons with Noel Coward and "Dellie" is alone worth the price.


    What does Frank Langella bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    His impersonations, vitriol, sarcasm, wit, and matter of fact presentation.


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

    "You'd have to live it to believe it".


    Any additional comments?

    Ideal for anyone who has ever had a connection to the world of entertainment, for anyone who has ever been a fan or idolized a celebrity, for anyone who has seen a play or a movie.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Lowell, MA, United States 09-10-12
    John Lowell, MA, United States 09-10-12 Member Since 2016
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    "If you can believe everything in this book..."
    Would you listen to Dropped Names again? Why?

    I wouldn't listen again because it's a book and there are so many other books to read and listen to!


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

    Perhaps the chapter on Rex Harrison.


    Have you listened to any of Frank Langella’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have not.


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

    "Be careful what you say to Frank Langella."


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Edyanne Sioux Falls, SD, United States 08-27-12
    Edyanne Sioux Falls, SD, United States 08-27-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Good overall thoughts on people he's met"
    What did you like best about Dropped Names? What did you like least?

    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.


    What other book might you compare Dropped Names to and why?

    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.


    What didn’t you like about Frank Langella’s performance?

    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.


    Do you think Dropped Names needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    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??


    Any additional comments?

    Thank you Mr. Langella for writing this book and reading this for us. It's much appreciated!! Yours Truly a fan of yours!! :)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Garret 08-14-12
    Garret 08-14-12 Member Since 2016
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    "Wonderful"
    What about Frank Langella’s performance did you like?

    Frank Langella reads his own work expertly. I doubt I would have enjoyed this as much if I read it myself.


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

    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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carolyn Proctorville, OH, United States 08-10-12
    Carolyn Proctorville, OH, United States 08-10-12 Member Since 2009
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    "Good dish, bad delivery"
    Would you listen to Dropped Names again? Why?

    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.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Frank Langella? Why or why not?

    No. I think he's said all he has to say that's interesting.


    What didn’t you like about Frank Langella’s performance?

    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.


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

    From "Dropping Names" to throwing names in the gutter.


    Any additional comments?

    I've heard worse.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Noreen Jamesburg, NJ, USA 08-02-12
    Noreen Jamesburg, NJ, USA 08-02-12 Member Since 2016
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    "Disappointing"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I actually stopped listening and didn't finish the book


    Would you recommend Dropped Names to your friends? Why or why not?

    It was just not as funny or interesting as I expected


    What three words best describe Frank Langella’s performance?

    I am a big fan, so I loved listening to his voice, but not enough to listen to the whole thing.


    Any additional comments?

    at some point in the future I may give it another try.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nurture Learners and Able Observers 07-17-12 Member Since 2017
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    "Unexpected pleasure."

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Morgentern Houston, TX, United States 06-23-12
    Morgentern Houston, TX, United States 06-23-12 Member Since 2017
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    "Great stories narrated by a great actor"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott USA 06-20-12
    Scott USA 06-20-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Exactly What the Title Promises"
    If you could sum up Dropped Names in three words, what would they be?

    I can't sum it up well in three words.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Doesn't really apply here. I thought the stories regarding Raul Julia were probably the most interesting.


    Which character – as performed by Frank Langella – was your favorite?

    He didn't really perform the characters; he's mainly just relating the stories.


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

    No, not really. And no to both.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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