False Messiah

By Lawrence Wright Rolling Stone July 14-28, 1988 To understand clearly that Jimmy Swaggart plotted his own destruction, you must stand here in the courtyard of the Travel Inn, that squalid rendezvous on Airline Highway in Metairie, Louisiana, just across the parish...

Come Out Swinging

By Vic Ziegel Playboy June 1995 For three years, Mike Tyson stayed in the same Indiana zip code, behind the same walls, while we followed the bouncing heavyweight crown from the man with the heart problem to the man who wanted to put a kitchen in his bedroom to the...

The Troubling Truth About Joan Crawford

By Helen Lawrenson Viva August 1978 When Joan Crawford invited me to visit her in California, I should have had sense enough to refuse. However, curiosity led me to accept, although if I had known what I was letting myself in for, I wouldn’t have done so.  This was in...

The Leader of the Lost Boys: A Success Story

By E. Graydon Carter Smart January/February 1990 The show was over, Saturday Night Live had just celebrated a milestone on television with an awards ceremony for itself—a live, clip-heavy, two-and-a-half-hour prime-time special. NBC’s Studio 8H in Rockefeller Center,...

Frank Lebowitz, Tenderfoot

By E. Jean Carroll Outside July/August 1983 “Uh, Jean?” “Yes?” “Are you awake?” “Yes.” “What the hell is that?” “What?” “That funny glare outside.” (Pause.) “The moon, Fran.” We are in a tent. Fran Lebowitz is lying on my right; George Butler on my left. Fran lights...

Unanswered Prayers

By Julie Baumgold New York Magazine October 28, 1984 Inside Mortimer’s on the day of Truman Capote’s New York memorial service, two small segments of society were in tumult. In the side room, C.Z. Guest was holding a luncheon for twenty-four of Truman’s good...

Warren Beatty Has Been Wronged!

By Helen Lawrenson Cosmopolitan February, 1970 Ever since his first film (Splendor in the Grass) ten years ago, Warren Beatty has been one of the most talked about figures in Hollywood—and the least understood. It is an open secret that the reason Bonnie and Clyde...

Bad Vibes in Tune Town

By Stephen Fried Vanity Fair February 1995 In the fall of 1993, the ominous letters and phone calls began to come in to Gerald Levin’s office on the top floor of the Time Warner Building in Rockefeller Center. There weren’t hundreds of them, but each was from somebody...

The Heidi Chronicle

By Stephen Fried Vanity Fair May 1993 Buck Henry takes a bite of chicken hash and leans forward to speak above the restaurant din. “It’s like we’re part of a secret society, or a club of some kind,” he says. “People come out to that house for these parties, and a lot...

The Brady Offensive

By Ron Rosenbaum Vanity Fair January 1991 “A hostage situation”—that’s what the cops are calling it—has James Brady rolling rapidly in his wheelchair through the dimly lit third-floor corridor of the Capitol building. At his side—tight-lipped, nervous about being late...

Damn Good Fella

By Stephen Fried GQ November 1991 The scene is like something out of a colorized Citizen Kane or some surreal awards ceremony. Actor Ray Liotta stands in front of a microphone and podium, shadowy from the light of a pin-point bulb, while, on the other side of the...

Back in the High Life

By Ron Rosenbaum Vanity Fair April 1988 One thing you can say about Dr. Timothy Leary: the man has always had a talent for convincing himself that wherever he is is where it’s at. Tonight, for instance. Friday night at Helena’s, the private L.A. supper club backed by...