Valentines & Vitriolby Rex Reed
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For over two decades, the art of the interview was very nearly the sole province of Rex Reed, the Master of the Celebrity Profile. While still in his twenties Rex Reed became the widely-syndicated film critic for a succession of high-profile magazines and newspapers and from that vantage point began to interview everyone in the film and theater worlds who mattered. In Valentines & Vitriol Rex Reed reports on Elizabeth Taylor on the set of the disastrous Russian-American collaboration The Bluebird, captures Roy Scheider and Louise Fletcher just as the public is becoming aware of their talents, a late-in-life meeting with legend Bette Davis, William Holden coming to grips with aging and wanderlust, and a surprisingly revealing look at David Bowie who is a much more sensible person than his image suggested. Writer Tom Wolfe has said about Reed: “Rex Reed…raised the celebrity interview to a new level through his frankness and his eye for social detail. He has also been a master at capturing a story line in the interview situation itself.”
Along with Wolfe, Truman Capote, Kenneth Tynan, and Harry Crews, Rex Reed achieved a literary reputation for a genre, the celebrity profile, once relegated to gossip journalists who as often as not wrote studio-approved fantasies of the lives of the stars.
Devault-Graves Digital Editions has reissued Rex Reed’s quartet of best-selling profile anthologies: Do You Sleep In the Nude?, Conversations in the Raw, Valentines & Vitriol, and People Are Crazy Here. Virtually anyone who was anyone during the 1960s, ’70s, and early ’80s in the movie and theater world are captured for the ages in these books. When asked why he no longer writes celebrity profiles, Mr. Reed answered simply: “The movie stars of today are no longer interesting.”
But when they were, Rex Reed was there to file them away for history. It is to the reader’s pleasure to rediscover them.
Included in Valentines & Vitriol are profiles of: Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn, Sophia Loren, Lillian Hellman, Bette Davis, William Holden, David Bowie, Robert Redford, and over twenty more.
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