Christopher Isherwood, Prater Violet
“You see, the film studio of today is really the palace of the sixteenth century. There one sees what Shakespeare saw: the absolute power of the tyrant, the courtiers, the flatterers, the jests, the cunningly ambitious intriguers.”
Christopher Isherwood, Prater Violet
Christopher Isherwood, in addition to writing novels, worked as a screenwriter for Louis B. Mayer at MGM. The copy of Prater Violet Isherwood signed to Dr. Oscar Janiger, the Los Angeles psychiatrist that famously administered LSD therapy to Isherwood and A-List Hollywood stars like Cary Grant, is available via the Nick Harvill Libraries store.
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons
“Fame is a commercial thing. Like money, it is necessary so that you can do what you want to do.”
Orson Welles, The Seven Deadly Sins of Hollywood
Image Credit: The World in Vogue
“New York is governed by finances. You move to New York to have a career. You move to L.A. to live out a fantasy.”
Michael H. Miller, Observer
From Veronica, The Autobiography of Veronica Lake:
If some of the stars spent as much time in bed as the gossip columnists would have you believe, they would have ended up in a wheelchair at thirty, exhausted but with a happy grin on their faces. There were some who lived up to their reputations. The only one I really knew was Errol Flynn. Errol did try to get me into his infamous bed but her never succeeded.
It was the only party I ever attended at Errol’s home. There was the usual evening swim with a few of the guests nude. Errol had stocked the house with an assortment of young and luscious starlets and they were available for any of his male guests who felt a sudden urge. It was all typical of Errol Flynn; his clippings were not exaggerated.
I declined the swim and sat nursing a drink at the poolside, enjoying the occasional screech of feigned delight from one of the girls in the pool as a fellow grabbed and gave chase. Frankly, I was bored with it and decided to go home.
Errol showed me to the door. He was handsome, that devil. He looked in my eyes and slipped his arm around my waist. His hand slipped down and clamped tightly on my rear end.
“I think we should go and make use of a special bedroom I have, Ronni,” he said.
“I have a special bedroom I’m going to make use of, Errol,” I replied. “It’s my own and I’m going to sleep in it.”
He took his hand away, kissed me on the cheek and smiled.
“As you wish, Miss Lake.”
“I don't know anything about it. I never went out. I never went out anywhere ever except to George Cukor's house.”
--Katharine Hepburn, The New York Times, "Style, If the Hills Were Alive," Nov. 19, 2000
Contra: Martin Scorsese's 2004 Academy Award-winning film, The Aviator, places Katharine Hepburn (played by Cate Blanchett) at the dazzling Cocoanut Grove on a date with Howard Hughes (Leonardo DiCaprio).
For more on George Cukor's art-filled, Billy Haines-decorated home, check out Architectural Digest's "Visit George Cukor's Mediterranean-Style Home in California." [Note: The article identifies Cukor's home as being within the limits of Beverly Hills. That is incorrect. It is in the city limits of Los Angles, several blocks east of the Trousdale Estates section of Beverly Hills.]
See also: Dinner at George Cukor's.
“[My husband’s] theory of economic survival would make many an economist turn in his fiscal grave. With him, the less you had, the more you should spend. And that’s how we got our first airplane.”
--Veronica Lake, Veronica, The Autobiography of Veronica Lake
Image Credit: Horst Portraits
“Usually people move in cliques—it’s easier for them—but I find it stimulating to bring the unexpected together, which requires a knack for stage-management.”
--George Cukor, via Nobs & Nosh, Eating with the Beautiful People
George Cukor did exactly he as he proposed. For a May 1968 dinner he hosted at his Sunset Strip home, the star guests were two quite opposite screen legends: Mae West and Greta Garbo. They had somehow never met. Surprised that Garbo made an appearance? Don’t be. She detested the paparazzi and could be unreliable, but she circulated within the international set. Gore Vidal dryly noted that she was a "recluse about town" (via Nicky Haslam).
What did Cukor serve? Perhaps a dish from his copy of Elsie de Wolfe’s cookbook, Recipes for Successful Dining? Or, maybe something from the copy of Fashions in Foods in Beverly Hills that was in his library?
Image Credit: Nobs & Nosh, Eating with the Beautiful People
“You see, I have this theory about ‘star’ quality. I think great actors tend to cover themselves up (characterization and stuff), where the great star literally strips himself naked. For a few pennies they allow us the privilege of gawking at their insides. A lot of them do it without meaning to. They seem to have no defense mechanism at all. Marilyn Monroe, for example.”
-- Anthony Newley, Double Exposure, A Gallery of the Celebrated by the Equally Celebrated
Image Credit: Allure
“Like all life, a hotel has the inborn capacity to replenish itself. So, goodbye, beautiful people! Hello, beautiful people!”
—Edna Ruby, Shorthand with Champagne
“I sometimes think that ... actors are like children--grown-up children playing with the most dangerous and fascinating toys in the world--charm and money.”
--Louella Parsons, The Gay Illiterate
Image Credit: The Garden of Allah