Dropped Names

  • by Frank Langella
  • Narrated by Frank Langella
  • 9 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Rita Hayworth dancing by candlelight in a small Mexican village; Elizabeth Taylor devouring homemade pasta and tenderly wrapping him in her pashmina scarf; streaking for Sir Laurence Olivier in a drafty English castle; terrifying a dozing Jackie Onassis; carrying an unconscious Montgomery Clift to safety on a dark New York City street.
Captured forever in a unique memoir, Frank Langella's myriad encounters with some of the past century's most famous human beings are profoundly affecting, funny, wicked, sometimes shocking, and utterly irresistible. With sharp wit and a perceptive eye, Mr. Langella takes us with him into the private worlds and privileged lives of movie stars, presidents, royalty, literary lions, the social elite, and the greats of the Broadway stage.
What, for instance, was Jack Kennedy doing on that coffee table? Why did the Queen Mother need Mr. Langella's help? When was Paul Mellon going to pay him money owed? How did Brooke Astor lose her virginity? Why was Robert Mitchum singing Gilbert & Sullivan patter songs at top volume, and what did Marilyn Monroe say to him that helped change the course of his life? Through these shared experiences, we learn something, too, of Mr. Langella's personal journey from the age of 15 to the present.
Dropped Names is, like its subjects, riveting and unforgettable.


What the Critics Say

"Engaging.... Not just Langella’s "famous people I have known," but a heartfelt love letter to the theater and to the days when stars were stars, not merely celebrities." (Kirkus Reviews)
"Rarely have I read a book about celebrities that is as insightful, candid, revealing, and as well-written as this one. Frank Langella’s memoir is not the usual author's ego trip, but rather his remembrances of the many accomplished men and women that he has come to know." (Gay Talese)
"A delightfully unabashed page-turner about people we wish we had known in the throes of work, love, and growing old." (A. R. Gurney, award-winning playwright)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


I thought this book would be a little like listening to a grocery store tabloid but it wasn???t. Langella gives a well written, insightful and sensitive voice to some great stories he shared with other famous people. That is not to say he takes the warts off,,, not even for himself. Not only are his memories told in almost elegant prose but his narration is splendid

I must admit that I???ve been in love with Mr. Langella since I saw The Twelve Chairs and again when I saw the Sphinx (he says it was a stinker but I loved it) I gave up dreams of marrying Capt. Von Trapp for him. I turned away from John Lennon and oh so many others for him. Yet odd as it might seem, he seems to have had close if not intimate relationships with everyone on the planet except me! How could that be? :::sigh:::
Cruel. Downright brutal

Still, it???s a delightful memoir of a fascinating and fortunate life
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- Kathy

Very Enjoyable

Not as "sexy" as its billing--or, rather, it was more discreet than I expected. Which I actually appreciated. Made it seem much classier.

I felt the author was being honest and sincere, no more and no less. He evaluated everyone for their good and bad traits alike. As a professional (technical and business) writer I am sensitive to bias and loaded language. Mr. Langella seemed quite straightforward.

I was never a fan, although the latest movie I saw him in gave him a very full-blooded part that caught my interest. His voice, of course, is among the finest speaking voices recorded.

His subjects are just about all dead. Besides avoiding libel problems, this allows for stories that are complete with endings. Beyond that, there are moments of poignant memory that are very touching. A couple of passages made me catch my breath.

A good read, and not especially scandalous. Told with considerable dry humor. What more could you want?
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- PT

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-27-2012
  • Publisher: HarperAudio