The Ballad of Willie Nelson

By Ron Rosenbaum Vanity Fair November 1991 The night before I left for South Texas to join Willie Nelson as he went back on the road again to sing for the I.R.S., I had dinner with a woman from L.A. who’d known him. She told me a fascinating story about Willie Nelson,...

“The Rest is Silence”

By Brad Darrach People July 24, 1989 An old man died in his sleep one day last week, and it was as if a continent had sunk into the sea. A wave of feeling rose and moved outward, and when it was gone the world seemed different and smaller than it had been before....

Yogi

By Alex Belth SI.com September 23, 2015 Yogi. It’s hard not to smile when you hear his name. You might think of his goofy mug, with the crooked smile that looked as if it had been ripped from the funny pages. Then there’s the oddly-shaped wrestler’s body—squat torso,...

The Story of T

By Nicholas Pileggi The New York Times Magazine March 29, 1970 “A street guy like T is a different kind of person. Everything for a guy like that, for, a member, is different. They’re in that private world of their own and that’s all they want to know. They’re in it...

The Father, The Director, and the Holy Terror

By Brad Darrach Life September 1990 Fifty-three. For the average successful American male, it’s definitely not the prime of life. Your body has launched a paunch, your children are taller than you are, you’re dabbling furtively in your wile’s wrinkle cream and...

The Search for Lily Tomlin

By James Kaplan Us Weekly January 22, 2001 Lily Tomlin is frazzled. Normally, she lives quietly in Hollywood with her partner of three decades, Jane Wagner, and their dog Princess, a 7‑year‑old cattle dog—corgi mixed‑breed, cataloging her archive of taped...

The Connoisseur of Scoundrels

By Ron Rosenbaum Manhattan Inc. May, 1987 The scene: an informal dinner party on the rooftop of a brownstone in the East Seventies. The people (with one exception): congenial, civilized, charming. The conversation: charming, civilized, congenial. Until … until someone...

The Last Celluloid Desperado

By Grover Lewis Rolling Stone March 15, 1973 After 20 years of playing a comic strip character called Superstud, Mitchum at last is being recognized as the gifted actor he has always been. He is a master of stillness. Other actors act. Mitchum is. He has true delicacy...

Jeff Bridges: Class Act

By Fred Schruers Us Weekly April, 1998 The scene is billed on today’s call sheet as “Wal­ter threatens Smokey at gunpoint.” On paper, it doesn’t feature Jeff Bridges. In fact, coming early in Joel and Ethan Coen’s seventh feature, The Big Lebowski, the sequence...

In the Bloom of Life

By Marilyn Johnson Life April, 1995 If you take her out of history and plant her in the wilderness, it’s easy to see the person she is. During a dry spell in 1984, she was driving around the Texas hill country with a friend, hunting for fields of wildflowers in bloom....

Melancholy Baby

By Ron Rosenbaum Esquire October 1985 Let’s get sad. Let’s get very, very sad. Let’s get profoundly sad. Let’s talk about the saddest songs ever sung. In fact, let’s not just talk about them. Let’s get inside them. Let’s crawl inside the very chord structure of...

The Cop Who Came in From the Heat

By Nicholas Pileggi New York Magazine August 26, 1985 Shortly before nine in the morning last March 5, Detective Richard “Bo” Dietl walked into the shield room at Police Headquarters and turned his gold badge over to a young policewoman. She casually tossed it into a...