And here I was thinking that Katharine Hepburn was the great love of Spencer Tracy’s life and the reason they could never marry was because he was Catholic and couldn’t divorce. Not so, says the controversial new memoir Full Service by Scott Bowers who worked as a sexual fixer in Hollywood’s hey day.
Salon.com has extracted the section of the book where Bowers first sleeps with Tracy. He also reveals that he and Hepburn actually loathed each other and the stories about their grand love affair was nothing more than an elaborate lie perpetuated by the studios. It’s a fascinating read, and if you love this kind of thing move on to this New York Times review of the book which reveals that Bowers set up Hepburn with more than 150 women.
Now 88, Bowers says he’s stayed silent all these years because he didn’t want to hurt any of the people he’s written about. “I don’t need the money,” he says. “I finally said yes because I’m not getting any younger and all of my famous tricks are dead by now. The truth can’t hurt them anymore.”
“For someone who has been as famous as Sophia Loren for six decades, there still remains an aura of mystery about her. One wonders, for example, how she was able to resist Cary Grant’s proposal of marriage, when the two starred in The Pride and the Passion in 1957, and instead choose her mentor and protector, the producer Carlo Ponti, 22 years her senior, four inches shorter than she, and still married to his first wife. One also wonders why Sophia, long revered by many as the patroness, if not the face, of Italy, has lived mainly in Geneva, Switzerland, for the past 43 years, like a queen in exile.”
Vanity Fair delves into the life of the 77-year-old Italian screen goddess in this rare interview. She talks to writer Sam Kashner about growing up illegitimate, choosing between Grant and Ponti, and her difficulties in creating a family and home. Photographs by Annie Leibovitz. The total Vanity Fair package.
From Lit Reactor, this is one for all the grammar and word nerds out there.
Do you know when to use who instead of whom? Which or that? Personally, I’d like to see a section on apostrophes; that’s what drives me seriously crazy. And, by the way, if you’re nauseous it’s not you who’s sick – it means you have the ability to produce nausea in others. A good one to get right.
Still on the written word, Lists of Note (a website about lists!) has published a list of 11 commandments written by Henry Miller as he was working on what would become his first great novel Tropic of Cancer.
It applies to writing but there are some gems that apply to life in general. Point 1 is particularly relevant for those who juggle – and don’t we all? I love commandment number 7: “Keep human! See people, go places, drink if you feel like it” Cheers.
Can the French do no wrong? The women don’t get fat, they always look chic and, now, they are the best parents too. Don’t let the headline put you off though, it’s an interesting look at parenting … as in why do Americans fret over modern parenthood while the French are raising happy, well-behaved children without all the anxiety. Pamela Druckerman, an American living in Paris, has written a book on the subject Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting and this extract is published in the Wall Street Journal. She finds the secret is all in delayed gratification and saying non with authority. Sounds like my childhood.
Why does India’s caste system – “a pre-feudalistic division of labor that assigns one’s line of work at birth” – still persist in the 21st Century, asks the author Shikha Dalmia in The Daily.
“I typically answer: the need of the privileged upper castes for cheap labor. But there is an even more tragic explanation, as I discovered during a recent visit to New Delhi while talking to Maya, the dalit or untouchable — the lowest of the four castes — who has serviced my family for 35 years. Maya herself clings to her caste because it still offers her the best possible life in India.”
Dalmia goes on to tell Maya’s story, who believes that opportunities are bigger within the caste system than outside it. And she could be right – the adoption of Western practices threaten everything she has worked for.
It’s the perennial question. What makes people happy? This article in The Economist goes into all that – relationships, income, health etc – but it also explores why, beyond middle age, people get happier as they get older.
This is good news (especially for us Hooplarians beyond 40): “When people start out on adult life, they are, on average, pretty cheerful. Things go downhill from youth to middle age until they reach a nadir commonly known as the mid-life crisis. So far, so familiar. The surprising part happens after that. Although as people move towards old age they lose things they treasure—vitality, mental sharpness and looks—they also gain what people spend their lives pursuing: happiness.”