(a memoir of an enduring but unlikely friendship) “Who was that?” I asked when, after chatting for over an hour, Joe finally replaced the receiver. I was 19, newly arrived in New York, and had just moved into a studio above Carnegie Hall with a man 25 years my senior, Joseph X Dever, the very … Continue reading IT’S ONLY RITA BEING RITA
My new home in New York was a studio above Carnegie Hall I shared with my boyfriend, society columnist Joseph X Dever. Our neighbours in some of the other studios included the jazz pianist and cabaret singer Bobby Short, the Italian impresario Gian Carlo Menotti, the famous milliner and NY street photographer Bill Cunningham, the … Continue reading CARNEGIE HALL DAYS
Someone else who was about to make the “big time” in 1965 was actress, Sharon Tate. Following her success in the much-hyped TV version of Jacqueline Suzann’s explosive novel, “Valley of the Dolls”, Sharon had just completed filming, “Eye of the Devil” with David Niven and Deborah Kerr.
Prior to the film’s release, Joe and I were invited to meet Sharon at the home of publicist Earl “Mr. Celebrity” Blackwell. Earl was known as the undisputed king of New York society. For the past two decades he had defined who was and who was not a true American celebrity. Since 1939 he had been printing a “Contact” book, available by subscription, containing the names and contact addresses of everyone who was anyone in the U.S. He also co-edited the Celebrity Register, in which every society-conscious New Yorker wanted to be included.
Earl lived on our…
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