Helen—An Introduction

By Nora Ephron from The Attentive Eve May 2002 The first time I heard about Helen Dudar, I was working at Newsweek magazine as a fact-checker in the National Affairs department. A new writer named Peter Goldman had just arrived at the magazine from St. Louis, and he...

Who the Devil Is Fred Rogers?

By John Sedgwick WigWag November, 1989 Up close, the set for Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood seems to belong to a high school stage production, not to a television show beamed out to 290 stations across the United States. Erected in spacious Studio A of Pittsburgh’s...

Oh, You Beautiful Doll

By Jennifer Allen Life December 1981   At rush hour on this dusky autumn afternoon taxis and buses clog the streets of lower Manhattan; the sidewalks are jammed with weary workers heading home. But it’s business as usual here in the executive offices of LJN Toys....

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...

The Hollow Clown

By Alfred Bester Show January, 1964 Every show reflects the character and quality of its star. When you enter the Perry Como studio, the atmosphere is warm and friendly, and total strangers will come up and tell you about their kids. The Sid Caesars were kicky and...

Holed Up With Nolte

By Fred Schruers The Movies November 1983 “Come on in.” Nick Nolte is planted on the overstuffed couch that is one of three surviving pieces of furniture in the sitting room of his hotel suite. Wisps of acrylic batting, thousands of them, dot the blue rug and cling to...

To The Beat

By Will Blythe The New York Times July 8, 2010 If you’re like me, you tend to regard plot summaries as a necessary boredom at best. They’re the flyover country between a reviewer’s landing strips of judgment, revealing almost nothing about the way a book actually...

James Earl Jones At Bat

By Helen Dudar The New York Times March 22, 1987 Just before the opening night curtain rises on Fences on Thursday, a voice in the corridor will call “five minutes,” and James Earl Jones will make his way to the darkest corner of the stage. There, he will stand, rapt,...

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...

Will the Next Lenny Bruce Please Speak Up?

By Robert Ward GQ August, 1984 I remember everything about the first time I heard Lenny Bruce. I was filing records in the Modern Music House in Baltimore, Maryland. They were Miles Davis records, and I was putting yet another copy of his masterpiece, Kind of Blue, in...

Hot Chicago

By Bill Zehme Vanity Fair November 1984 This year Chicago delivered to Broadway the two most important new American plays of the season, David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross, which won a Pulitzer Prize, and David Rabe’s star-studded Hurlyburly. Both plays originated in...