Monumental scissors-and-paste production on the lives of Elizabeth Taylor, Natalie Wood, James Dean, Rock Hudson, and Montgomery Clift. The five lives retold here intertwined with one another; four came to hard ends. Taylor, the survivor, arrived in Hollywood first, as a child star (Lassie Come Home), followed soon after by fellow child star Wood. Taylor found herself falling for brilliant Broadway actor Monty Clift, now her costar in A Place in the Sun. When Clift was revealed to be gay, she told him she'd always be there when he needed her—and he needed her often. Clift had unresolved mother problems he acts out with a fellow drunk/pothead/pillhead, aging singer-actress Libby Holman. When Holman read the Sunset Boulevard script (Clift had signed for the male lead as a failed scriptwriter studding for an aging Hollywood siren), she felt vast discomfort at the story's closeness to home and persuaded him to get out of the role. Meanwhile, young Roy Scherer, Jr., later known as Roy Fitzgerald, then as Rock Hudson, all milk-faced good looks and toothiness, signed up with voracious homosexual agent Henry Willson, who led him from bed to bed through the lower levels of B-pix to eventual stardom with Taylor and young genius James Dean in Giant. Dean, meanwhile, himself a bisexual, had been romancing Wood, his costar in Rebel Without a Cause—and then stir in Warren Beatty, Mike Todd, Richard Burton, Dean's car crash, Monty's drugs, Natalie's big dip, Rock's AIDS, and so on, if you're still awake. Parker offers not a single fact not already ground to pulp by earlier bios and the scandal sheets.
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