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Dropped Names: Famous Men and Women As I Knew Them (edition 2012)

by Frank Langella

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11511104,954 (3.54)5
Member:hsanger
Title:Dropped Names: Famous Men and Women As I Knew Them
Authors:Frank Langella
Info:Harper (2012), Edition: 1St Edition, Hardcover, 368 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:**1/2
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Dropped Names: Famous Men and Women As I Knew Them by Frank Langella

  1. 00
    With Nails: The Film Diaries of Richard E. Grant by Richard E. Grant (FemmeNoiresque)
    FemmeNoiresque: Grant's excellence as a character actor brought him work with modern cinema's finest on whom he slyly gossips as an "innocent abroad". His frankness probably lost him a role or two in the wake of this memoir. Langella is somewhat wiser in commenting only on his dead friends, lovers, co-workers and acquaintances. So no dish on Whoopi Goldberg, but indexed commentary on stars of Hollywood's Golden Age (*gold* to a movie buff like me), Broadway legends and the odd polician and Royal abound. Both are recommended for being pithy, a tad self-concious and quietly sensitive about the highs and lows of their profession.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
The more I read of this, the less I enjoyed it. I liked the occasional juicy detail but Langella comes off as an arrogant starfucker. ( )
  laurenbufferd | Nov 14, 2016 |
Judging by Frank Langella's addictive collection of reminisces, three constants to be found in the acting world of Broadway and Hollywood are sex, ego, and sadness. No great reveal there, but as penned by Langella the sometimes gossipy, sometimes poignant passages make for a diverting summer read. His prose is just as enrapturing as his voice, making it easy to imagine you are hearing it straight from him. With an appreciation for the delivery, I have to admit I didn't particularly enjoy hearing all of the sordid details the book holds. Some of the eye-openers here include innuendo between the author and Raul Julia, some incestuous fun between 'mother' Yvonne De Carlo and 'son' Langella on his turn as Zorro, and a particularly poignant affair with an aging Rita Hayworth in 1972's The Wrath of God. In fact many of the stories are quite melancholy; of stars past their prime like Richard Burton, actors who never lived up to their full potential like Oliver Reed. Other stories take on a harsh edge, with Langella making some cruel assessments of the likes of Paul Newman and Charlton Heston. But who am I to criticize, after all, I wasn't there and he was. But after all the stories are done, I admit to seeing Skeletor in a different light ( )
  Humberto.Ferre | Sep 28, 2016 |
Interesting insider's thoughts on various actors and others in the theater world. Entertaining and well-written. ( )
  snoopypete | Oct 22, 2015 |
A pretty long book: often it seemed to be endlessly dishing the dirt on actors I haven't particularly liked, but then just as often finding the humanity lurking beneath the pancake. And sometimes, in a believe-it-or-not passage, showing Langella as a nice guy.

I chose to read the book because of Langella's entry on JFK--my goal being to read at least one book, biography or memoir, of each of our Presidents. ( )
  kaulsu | Mar 13, 2014 |
Well-written, easy-to-read, entertaining, and insightful look at some of the folks actor Frank Langella has known or worked with through the years. Each portrait lasted just a few pages but each was fascinating – even the people I had never heard of before. Langella seemed to have a way of meeting some extraordinary people like Jackie Kennedy and JFK, among others. Many famous names are discussed including Marilyn Monroe, Robert Mitchum, Rita Hayworth, Richard Burton, Raul Julia, Paul Newman, and so many more. A fun read and hard to put down. ( )
  knahs | Jan 27, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0062094475, Hardcover)

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 fifteen to the present day.

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

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:23 -0400)

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 fifteen to the present day. Dropped Names is, like its subjects, riveting and unforgettable.… (more)

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