Death Valley Superstars: Occasionally Fatal Adventures in Filmland

Death Valley Superstars: Occasionally Fatal Adventures in Filmland

by Duke Haney


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“If it goes by, I’ve always known it was fickle,” Marilyn Monroe once said of fame, an overriding theme in this collection of essays, profiles, and memoir by showbiz survivor Duke Haney. Fame proved faithful, of course, to Monroe, the book’s most iconic subject, while others, like Steve Cochran, a villain in movies and a “hard-drinking, bed-hopping cop magnet” in reality, were widely forgotten before their untimely, often mysterious deaths. Taking an experimental tack in some instances, Haney employs a psychic medium to conduct a séance at Jim Morrison’s former residence and an astrologer to interpret the birth chart of an astrology-crazed film star-turned-bank robber. He attends the funeral of the “next James Dean” who became a raggedy street person, performs a cringeworthy nude scene in a movie produced by “King of the Bs” Roger Corman, and searches for the camper van where funk trailblazer Sly Stone has been reduced to living. Painstakingly researched and compulsively readable, Death Valley Superstars offers a kind of midnight tour of Los Angeles past and present, highlighting hidden corridors and seldom-heard anecdotes about a few of the many who, fooled by Hollywood’s mirages, found themselves caught in its quicksand.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780692172391
Publisher: Delancey Street Press
Publication date: 12/07/2018
Pages: 306
Sales rank: 1,180,142
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.69(d)

About the Author

Born and raised in Virginia, Duke Haney, aka Daryl Haney, has spent most of his adult life working in the movie business as an actor and screenwriter, with twenty feature-film credits as the former and twenty-two as the latter. He used pseudonyms for some of the screenplays and went by "D. R. Haney" as the author of "Banned for Life," a novel, and "Subversia," an essay collection. After he was struck by a car in a crosswalk in Hollywood, a friend claimed he walked like John "Duke" Wayne and gave him the nickname by which most people know him and he has adopted belatedly as his pen name. He plans to follow his latest essay collection, "Death Valley Superstars," with a novel tentatively titled "XXX."

Table of Contents

Introduction by Zara Potts

When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth

Golden State Girl

Nowhere Men

Room 32

Life in Elizabethan Virginia

Oswald Has Been Shot

You Will Become Short of Breath

I Want to Take You Higher

Playboy in the Dark

The Phantom of the Public Theater

The Purple Lady Sends Her Regards

Pluto in the Twelfth House

William Desmond Taylor Died for Your Sins

Catch Me

Hello Stranger

The End of Cock Run

Afterword & Acknowledgments

Monster Bisque: Hawkins and Haney Talk Frankenstein

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