The Making of “The Godfather”—Sort of a Home Movie

By Nicholas Pileggi The New York Times Magazine August 15, 1971 As was his custom before the drive home from work with his son, the old man walked across the narrow, tenement‐lined street in Manhattan’s Little Italy to buy some fresh fruit. The grocer, who had known...

Richard Pryor: Teetering on Jest, Living by His Wit

By Frederick D. Murphy Encore American & World News November 24, 1975 Richard Pryor may be the funniest, if not the most obscene, comedian in the world. On stage, he exploits all the social norms and taboos. The most intimate moments of human behavior are laid...

Jerry Lewis, Birthday Boy

By O’Connell Driscoll Playboy January 1974 “And then they say, ‘Now, ladies and gentlemen, here’s the star of our show,’ and we both come out and go for the microphone, and you grab it and start right in, ‘Good evening, folks, it’s so great to be here in Miami,’ and I...

A-Hunting We Will Go

By Donald Hall From The Country of Baseball 1976 Dock Ellis is moderately famous for throwing at batters. On May 1, 1974, he tied a major league record by hitting three batters in a row. They were the first three batters up, in the first inning. They were Cincinnati...

Diana Ross: An Encounter in Three Scenes

By O’Connell Driscoll Rolling Stone August 11, 1977 One: A Backstage Party September 1976: The Performer’s Lounge, Backstage at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles. A windowless basement room with concrete-block walls. The furniture consists of several couches, some...

24 Hours on 42nd Street: Staying Alive on the Strip

By Nik Cohn New York March 6, 1978 “I have a problem,” I said. “How’s that?” Tu Sweet asked. “I’m about to be dead.” It was early in the morning. Tu Sweet, the self-styled “Black Fred Astaire and Nureyev of the Hustle,” was relaxing in my neighborhood bar, fresh from...

J. D. Salinger in Retreat…

By Helen Dudar Writers Bloc June 1979 In this age of hard sell, when even the most reticent author can be coaxed into a half-hour on camera with Dick Cavett, J. D. Salinger obdurately remains publishing’s invisible man. This is, of course, hard on his admirers, who...

Growing up Stevie Wonder

By O’Connell Driscoll Rolling Stone January 19, 1975 There were four old ladies sitting in the lobby of the Fifth Avenue Hotel. They were four of the oldest ladies to be found anywhere. They sat facing one another in a quartet of lackluster wing chairs, holding...

And Don’t Call Her Bogie’s Baby

By Tom Burke The New York Times March 22, 1970 Detroit She isn’t even mildly fatigued. For eight nerve‐shredding weeks, Lauren Bacall has been trying out her first musical, Applause, nightly belting a dozen songs in her big applejack‐brandy alto And swooping through...

Nick Nolte Hangs Tough

By O’Connell Driscoll Playboy September 1979 “It’s One-Fifteen,” the man in the green-corduroy jacket said. “He was supposed to be here at one. My appointment was for one o’clock.” The man said this to a middle-aged woman who was sitting at a desk on the other side of...

Ex Drops In

By Paul Hemphill From Too Old to Cry San Francisco It is probable that Frederick Exley was the best-known unknown novelist working in America during the seventies. Ever since the publication in the late sixties of A Fan’s Notes he has symbolized the enigmatic position...

… The Joy of Boredom …

By Helen Dudar Newsweek May 1, 1978 I am a connoisseur of the boring, a secret indulgence that, over the years, has proved to be more sustaining than praise and less fattening than chocolate. If I choose to go public now, it is out of a sincere feeling that boredom is...