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...

Dennis Hopper Bikes Back

By Ron Rosenbaum Vanity Fair April 1987 Among the keepers of the collective memory of Hollywood, the story goes that some kind of curse has haunted the lives of the people who appeared in Rebel Without a Cause. There was James Dean, of course, dead in a car crash...

Dangerous Jane

By Ron Rosenbaum Vanity Fair November 1988 She can’t stop talking about that gun. The anti-aircraft gun, the one in Hanoi, the one she posed with in 1972, the one she seemed to flirt with in a ten-second stretch of silent newsreel that has become her most famous...

Troy Donahue Was Always Just Like He Is

By Ron Rosenbaum The Village Voice July 29 1971 Why interview Troy Donahue anyway? “Believe me, you won’t believe Toy when you see him,” the press agent tells me. “He’s a bearded hippie! And believe me he is fantastic in this picture. He plays Charles Manson! Actually...

Ron Rosenbaum Champions “Pale Fire”

By Alex Belth Esquire Classic May 25, 2021 At the end of the last century there were plenty of “Best of the Century” lists and one that was most entertaining was Ron Rosenbaum’s 1999 column for The New York Observer in which he argued that Pale Fire by Vladimir...

Al Pacino: Out of the Shadows

By Ron Rosenbaum Vanity Fair October 1989 “I think maybe I’ve leaned too much on the clandestine thing,” Al Pacino concedes, a bit ruefully. “It was a phase I was going through.” It’s a phase he’s not entirely out of yet, at least stylistically. Tonight, for instance,...

The Essential Ron Rosenbaum: Part Two

By Alex Belth The Stacks Reader March 2, 2020 Picking up where we left off with The Essential Ron Rosenbaum: Part One, here’s another (baker’s) dozen from Rosenbaum—from lunches with power brokers in the 1980s, to literary appreciations of Shakespeare, Catch-22, and...

Seeing Catch-22 Twice

By Ron Rosenbaum Slate August 2, 2011 Now, my father wasn’t a big reader and rarely wrote letters, much less to authors. But when I went through a phase in high school of constantly carrying Catch-22 around and quoting from it and writing things like, “There was only...

The Strange Death of Danny Casolaro

By Ron Rosenbaum Vanity Fair December 1991 One of the first stories I heard about Danny Casolaro’s funeral was the five blondes at the grave site. Five stunners ranging in age from twenty to forty, all dressed in black, all weeping copiously. I was feeling pretty bad...

The Passions of Mario Cuomo

By Ron Rosenbaum Manhattan Inc. September, 1985 Who is that tall, spectral figure haunting the gloomy halls of the state capitol building today? Who is that silver-haired, patrician wraith with the lines of a shattered past engraved on his face? Could it be—yes—it’s...

Do You Know Vegas?

By Ron Rosenbaum Esquire August 1982 The way Wayne Newton explained it to me, it all started with a post-midnight punch-out in a private suite at the Frontier hotel. Wayne is knocking them dead in the Frontier’s showroom when these two wise guys swagger onto the...

The Most Hated Lawyer in America

By Ron Rosenbaum Vanity Fair March 1992 It’s a quiet Sunday morning in the nearly deserted Greenwich Village town house of attorney William Kunstler. In the stillness, the answering machine clicks on and there’s a quiet woman’s voice speaking, calmly, patiently...