Marlene Dietrich, Marlene Dietrich’s ABC
“[Albert Einstein's] theory of relativity, as worded by him for laymen: ‘When does Zurich stop at this train?’”
Marlene Dietrich, Marlene Dietrich’s ABC
Image Credit: The Films of Marlene Dietrich
"There is nothing quite so generous as sharing a treasured recipe—of whispering that long-held secret ingredient. It’s quite a gift. I know of people who have jealously guarded recipes all the way to the grave! A friend told me the story of two women she knew who were close in every way but one—sharing recipes. There was a dish in particular that one women had been trying to coax out of her friend for forty years, to no avail. She tried to prepare it on her own, but it never quite worked and she couldn’t find the missing ingredient.
It so happens that her friend became ill and knew she was dying. As she lay in bed, almost too weak to speak, she motioned for the woman to lean close, and whispered with what was practically her dying breath, ‘Cinnamon.’”
Betsy Bloomingdale, Entertaining with Betsy Bloomingdale
In February 1968, Cecil Beaton wrote in his diary that he had attended the ballet with a female friend. In his account of the evening, he noted that the strain of the last five years had aged his friend, but it did not show “in photographs and she is still the most photogenic person in the world, infinitely more so than her infinitely more beautiful sister.”
Who were the sisters to whom he referred?
HINT: The two sisters had shared one special summer but seemed to have grown apart by middle age.
The answer is after the JUMP.
“High style photographers tend to take the same portrait over and over again. It is essentially the same picture, only the face has been changed to protect the innocent.”
Duane Michals, Album, The Portraits of Duane Michals, 1958-1988
Image Credit: Album, The Portraits of Duane Michals, 1958-1988
“She’s a genius but she’s the kind of genius that very few people will ever recognize because you have to have genius yourself to recognize it. Otherwise you just think she’s a rather foolish woman.”
Truman Capote, Empress of Fashion, A Life of Diana Vreeland
Image Credit: Diana Vreeland: Immoderate Style
"He’s got the shortest attention span of anyone I know in the business. That’s what makes him so right for fashion."
Patrick McCarthy, on Karl Lagerfeld, The Beautiful Fall, Lagerfeld, Saint Laurent, and Glorious Excess in 1970s Paris
“The first time we ever met, me in awe, I said to her, ‘The other night I saw one of your [early] movies in which your face was more beautiful than anyone’s I’ve ever seen other than Garbo’s.’ ‘Alice Adams,’ she said, and she was right.”
Robert Gottlieb, Avid Reader: A Life
Brought together by their mutual friend Irene Mayer Selznick, Knopf editor-in-chief Robert Gottlieb edited Katharine Hepburn's memoir, The Making of the African Queen. An excerpt from Avid Reader in which Gottlieb recalls about his experiences with not only Hepburn but also Irene Selznick and Lauren Bacall is available at Vanity Fair.
A copy of The Making of the African Queen signed by Katharine Hepburn is available via the Nick Harvill Libraries kiosk at the Sunset Tower Hotel in West Hollywood.
“The crowd outside the church screamed … ‘Andy!’ There was the biggest mob I’ve ever seen around a church. We went in and they had folding chairs near the door. Oprah Winfrey gave a speech. … And at the car rental we’d seen all these glamorous names like ‘Clint Eastwood’ and ‘Barbara Walters’ .... And watching this storybook wedding, you just wonder about what it’ll be like when the divorce comes.”
Andy Warhol, The Andy Warhol Diaries, April 26, 1986, Hyannis, Massachusetts, Wedding of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver
Maria Shriver was the second generation of the Kennedy family to marry a professional actor. Her aunt Patricia Kennedy famously wed Peter Lawford (he was JFK's link to Frank Sinatra's Rat Pack). Her daughter Katherine became the third such generation earlier this summer when she wed Chris Pratt.
The Schwarzenegger/Shriver marriage produced four children and proved more enduring than Andy Warhol himself. He died within a year. Over thirty years later, Arnold and Maria have separated but remain legally married. How fascinated Warhol would have been by the tabloid scandal that prompted their separation. For that matter, Andy Warhol would love so much about 21st Century popular culture. His prediction that in the future everyone would be famous (infamous?) for fifteen minutes has come to pass.
Image Credit: Andy Warhol's Exposures
“Conscience isn’t like a liver, you can get on without it.”
Tallulah Bankhead, Performing This Marriage by Eliot C. Williams
Tallulah Bankhead was reciting a line from a play in which she was performing when she joked that a person could get by without a conscience. Given her outlandish lifestyle (which put stress on her own liver), the quip might have been something she came up with all on her own. In a less-talented actress, the scandalous behavior would have outshone the career (and eventually it did).
From her heyday in the twenties through her death in the late sixties, Bankhead's hijinks practically kept the tabloids in business. Yet, no Real Housewife was she. Instead, Tallulah could channel the wit and deadpan delivery of Oscar Wilde. Consider the time she walked into a restaurant and discovered her then-lover, Lord "Naps" Alington, dining with his wife, and he pretended not to know her. Without missing a beat, she walked over to his table and inquired, "What’s the matter dahling, don’t you recognize with my clothes on?”
Image Credit: People on Parade
“Since we live in an age of corruption, almost like the declining days of ancient Rome, with the ‘interests’ digging in deeper all the time, I ought not to be surprised at a campaign to build another Las Vegas right in the heart of our community. The plan was to incorporate a separate little city made up of the Sunset Strip, with its night clubs like Dino’s and Jerry Lewis’s new place, and stretching from Santa Monica Boulevard up into the hills. Like Beverly Hills, which is a town unto itself, and an extremely well-conducted one, this new Sunset City, or whatever it was to be christened, would have written its own rules and controlled its own life.”
Hedda Hopper, The Whole Truth and Nothing But
Hedda Hopper waged an all-out war against proposed cityhood for a densely populated, unincorporated region of Los Angeles now known as West Hollywood (home of Nick Harvill Libraries). During her lifetime, she won. It was not until Los Angeles County abolished rent control in 1984, by which time Hopper had been dead twenty years, that the disparate groups of renters in the city—mostly gays (then reeling from an out-of-control AIDS epidemic) and (then) gay-unfriendly Russian immigrants—set aside their differences and formally incorporated, enabling the new city to pass a municipal rent control law.