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...

The Double Life of Peter O’Toole

By O’Connell Driscoll Playboy August 1982 The House on Stradella Road in Bel Air had tall iron security gates, which were standing open. Sitting in the center of the driveway—and blocking the entrance—was a black Cadillac limousine with darkened windows. A chauffeur...

Mr. Mike’s America

By Paul Slansky Playboy March 1983 It was a time when people walked the nation’s streets with orange-foam pads clamped to their ears and antennae bouncing above their heads. The newspapers of the day told of several thousand men and women who had allowed themselves to...

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...

The Post-Celluloid Tristesse of Raquel Welch

By O’Connell Driscoll Playboy February 1977 It is the day before the Academy Awards. There is a small crowd of people standing in a light rain outside the stage door entrance to the Music Center, in downtown Los Angeles. The rain has been falling all day, and now, at...

Controlling Force

By Tom Boswell Playboy August 1996 Greg Maddux, the best pitcher since Sandy Koufax, is warming up in the Atlanta Braves’ bullpen. Danny Bowden, 11, and Matt Korpi, 10, think they’ve gone to someplace better than heaven. They haven’t died. But they do have front-row...

The Bustling Days and Rum-and-Coke Nights of Barney Rosset

By John Marchese 7 Days September 6, 1989 Barney Rosset is being kissed. He leans forward toward her lips, which are delicately painted. His old hands clasp her young hands—right in left, left in right. She is small and slender. So is he. Later, after she smiles...

Smart Tartt

By James Kaplan Vanity Fair September 1992 Donna Tartt, who is going to be very famous very soon—conceivably the moment you read this—also happens to be exceedingly small. Teeny, even. “I’m the exact same size as Lolita,” she says. “Do you remember that poem from the...

Jacqueline Susann: The Writing Machine

By Sara Davidson Harper’s October, 1968 White lightning slams across the sky as the Eastern Airlines 8:00 A.M. shuttle takes off from New York to Washington. In a front aisle seat, a tall, slender woman stares straight ahead through a mask of makeup-black penciled...

John Mellencamp, Daddy’s Boy

By E. Jean Carroll Playboy February 1986 “Check this out.” He pulls back the cover. “Oh, my God!” I say. His hair flops down like a veal cutlet. “You gotta look at it from this side.” “Oh, my Lord!” I shout. “Is this cool, or what?” says John. We are standing in the...

The Lady in the Dark

By Phillip Lopate New York Woman November 1989 Pauline Kael has just turned seventy. An important birthday; her house in the Berkshires is filled with flowers from well-wishers. “I don’t want you to get the wrong idea that there are always this many flowers around,”...