Sunday, April 10, 2016


So in spite of an uncommemorated (spelling wrong but at my bend of the road, who cares) ordeal, I am still alive, and ready to do what I have to do, a privilege really.  I would mark what it is, but have to maintain confidentiality as there are some crazy people in the world besides Donald Trump, though he does know how to attract attention and seem nuttier than most.
   But I have come across some old REPORTS and am planning on collecting them, as they seem truly lively, when the people in them were also still here.  On the current scene, however, I have just had coffee (and part of a croissant) with arguably the most great-hearted person in Beverly Hills, Ellen Feder, the current head of Share who is pulling it all together, with no thought of Self, in the capital of Self Itself.
    So in her honor, I am including this old Report.
     Here 'tis.

"LAURUSCHKA, LAURUSCHKA!" John Ireland called out at Laurence Harvey's funeral, as he spoke his very loving memorial speech.  Larry, which you were allowed to and probably supposed to call him if you were friends, which we were, and close, had not lived that long, especially if you were as lively and bright as he had been, causing everyone around to have imagined it was closer to his beginning than his end.  His funeral was star-studded, when such events were truly that, since there had still been so many stars.  
The church was in Westwood, Episcopal as I remember, which likely would have made Larry laugh, or at least snicker, --what he was was a Lithuanian Jew.
      We had become real friends, even though it was Hollywood, starting with everyone's going to Las Vegas for Liza Minnelli's opening, --at the Riviera, as I remember.  And Larry was the wittiest one, handsome and articulate and dashing, and we had become true friends, no kidding, even though it was Hollywood.  Also in the close crowd was Cass Elliott, as bright as she could sing great, and not so secretly hoping for love underneath the enormity.  Though she was not part of the excursion on the plane, private as I remember.  Or at least totally booked to carry invitees, who included Peter Bogdonavich and his then seemingly great love, Cybill Shepherd. It was truly a star-studded adventure, or at least star-speckled.  And when it was all over, the Vegas part, we, Larry and Don and I had remained true... as I remember,  Glorious friends.
         Larry had a home atop a beautiful  street off Coldwater Canyon-- the computer just tried to change that to Goldwater, so either it is Jewish or from Arizona-- where we would go and wine and cheese, and where we first met Cass.  She was not so close to Larry as we became, and I cannot remember if she was at his funeral.  But I do remember John Ireland, crying out from the Episcopal altar: "Lauruschka, Lauruschka."
      Most of all I remember Elizabeth Taylor, who stood at the back of the church handing out tiny memorial bouquets to the women as they left, violets the color of her eyes.  It was the first time I had seen her up close in person, the only other time in Las Vegas when she had whisked by me, shorter than I had imagined, on her way back to Richard Burton, who was, apparently, more than tall enough for her, in addition to whatever else he had been.
Now she was alone, and violet-eyed, at the back of the church, colorful albeit inappropriate for what and who Larry really was. 
      Elizabeth and I became really good friends, or at least how 'really' you could be in Hollywood when someone wants to work with you, which, to my great joy she did, having fallen in love with my then new novel THE MOTHERLAND, about my mother, apparently a greater character on the page than Elizabeth was in person.  Elizabeth wanted very much to play her, which almost made my mother forgive my having written it.  But Elizabeth's enthusiasm no longer coincided with her fundability, so it never materialized.  But our friendship did, or seemed to, and much of my time was spent in her house, rented from another actor who couldn't decorate either.
     She told me many tales of her visions, dreams she had starring other major players, ghostly summonses from dead other stars.  Apparently she trusted me, or maybe she was just lonely, and disappointed that even though she'd read and loved my novel, there was no getting it going as a movie.  I think my mother sorrowed over that non-happening as well, although she'd told the columnist Liz Smith that its publication had made her regret not having committed infanticide.
      So the months went by with my spending a lot of my time in that house, with its aluminum-foiled walls in the bedroom, where Elizabeth spent much of her time reflecting on herself, being in one of her bedridden periods.  She was loved by Max Lerner, the very smart New York Post columnist, who she said was in love with her, but then, as she also said "Who wasn't?"  Well, certainly who wasn't was Richard Burton, with whom she was often on the phone, and to whom she was apparently sending money so he could court Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia.  No relation.
       A sad woman.  Empty.  But then of course she had never had to be full of anything, the outside was so impressive.  That she is still so beauteous and bejeweled in some of the windows of Beverly Hills makes me less than sorrowful that she is dead, as the reality was no longer dazzling enough for her, and as we know she was taking on apprentice-lovers, and Michael Jackson event attendees.
      But I am grateful for having known her, and fond of her including me in those evenings, one of which resulted in my having gone to Mexico, the wrong side, for the making of Lucky Lady.  That's a real story.