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Extended Audio Sample Dropped Names: Famous Men and Women As I Knew Them, by Frank Langella Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (545 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Frank Langella Narrator: Frank Langella Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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 fifteen to the present day. Dropped Names is, like its subjects, riveting and unforgettable.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Splendid…As much a memoir as a primer on the vicissitudes of an actor’s life, the book is a collage based on real-life situations that offer touching insights into stars like Rita Hayworth, and into the practical magic that informs Langella’s signature sensibility.” 

    New Yorker

  • “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 

  • “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, author of A Writer's Life 

  • “Frank Langella’s Dropped Names is a different kind of memoir. Not many of his peers could write such an eloquently dishy book.” 

    Los Angeles Times

  • Dropped Names is a sizzling platter of stellar vignettes—pungent, for sure, but poignant too…Mr. Langella is surgically precise, and eloquent…The human condition in most of its vagaries is beautifully rendered between these pages.” 

    Liz Smith

  • “If Frank Langella’s memoir simply did what its title promises, it would be deep-dish gossip. But his memories of the stars he’s encountered during a lengthy career on Broadway and in film shed perceptive light on the costs of pursuing and maintaining fame.”  

    Detroit Free Press

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Terence | 2/19/2014

    " Just an okay celebrity memoir. Very light summer reading "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Jaynez | 2/11/2014

    " I appreciate a man who loves & respects women and that's exactly what Frank Langella is. He dishes a lot on old movie stars, writers, directors he's known - maybe sometimes a little bit TMI. At least he waited until they were all dead... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Leslie | 2/11/2014

    " Frank Langella is a great story teller and knew, worked with, or slept with almost everyone in Hollywood or on Broadway. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Mark Ellis | 2/7/2014

    " I zipped through this jolly read featuring vignettes of the author's famous friends or acquaintances from films, theatre, and elsewhere. From Arthur Miller to Elizabeth Taylor, from the Queen Mother to Paul Newman. Well written and engaging. "

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About the Author

Frank Langella has been a professional actor for over five decades and hopes to carry on for several more. He began performing as a boy in his hometown of Bayonne, New Jersey, and currently resides in New York City. This is his first book.