Jonathan Demme’s Offbeat America

By James Kaplan The New York Times Magazine March 27, 1988 In a dim room high above the controlled chaos of Times Square, Jonathan Demme is watching a movie. To be more precise, the director is looking over the shoulder of his film editor, Craig McKay, at an editing...

Tales from the Cancer Cure Underground

By Ron Rosenbaum New West November, 1980 …terrible apprehensions were among the people. —Daniel Defoe A Journal of the Plague Year The captain rapped on the door of my hotel room promptly at 6 a.m. He was eager to get this expedition under way. He had a decision to...

Damn Black Sox

By Bruce Buschel GQ June 1988 It is World Series weather in Indianapolis. Thirty-five degrees. Charlie Sheen is dancing around center field, trying to warm up. He is worried about his arm tightening up before the big throw. He worries whenever he can. He worries about...

All Power, No Lunch

By Ron Rosenbaum Manhattan Inc. November, 1984 “That’s Barbara Walters over there,” Roy Cohn tells me, pointing helpfully to the other corner table along the front wall of Le Cirque. The second-best corner table. Roy’s got the best, the one with the wide-angle view of...

Catherine the Great

By Joan Juliet Buck Vanity Fair April, 1989 “Do you blow your money? I mean, just blow it?” she asked. “There’s a vertigo in going too far—the thrill that produces—especially if it’s likely to put you in an impossible situation. And then, cash worries are easier to...

Cher And Altman on Broadway

By Jennifer Allen New York Magazine February 1, 1982 Cher had been careful to chew two of the quarter-size vitamin pills before swallowing them, she says, but they tasted so bitter that she decided to down the third one whole. It jammed, horizontally, in her windpipe,...

On Revision

By Nora Ephron From Nora Ephron Collected November, 1986 I have been asked to write something for a textbook that is meant to teach college students something about writing and revision. I am happy to do this because I believe in revision. I have also been asked to...

Swifty Lazar Is a Big Deal

By Jennifer Allen New York Magazine July 18, 1983 The beautiful lady and the reporter sit facing each other on wicker sofas in the lady’s small but elegant Los Angeles office. They are silent, sheepish, like schoolgirls who have been collared in the hall by a teacher...

A Last Good Place to Live

By Chip Brown Harper’s February 1992 From the outset the deaths had come in flurries, often at night when the house was hushed, and so it was no surprise last May that when Bill died Hector followed on his heels, and then Harvey, and then Jack. The news was posted in...

The First Church of Rednecks, White Socks and Blue Ribbon Beer

By Lawrence Wright Rolling Stone December 13th-27th, 1990 “I had meant to time the closing of the door with a subtle emission of a fart,” my guru said as he pulled shut the door to his room at the Holiday Inn in Oxford, Mississippi. “Evidently my timing was off.” 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....