The Sixties: Diaries:1960-1969, Page 89Christopher Isherwood
Lazar, Irving (Swifty) (1907–1993). Agent and deal-maker for movie stars and authors such as Lauren Bacall, Humphrey Bogart, Truman Capote, Noël Coward, Ernest Hemingway, Vladimir Nabokov, Cole Porter, Diana Ross, Irwin Shaw, and Tennessee Williams. He practiced bankruptcy law in New York during the Depression, then relocated to Hollywood in 1936. His wife was called Mary.
lectures 1960. Isherwood gave eight lectures at UCSB that year. The first two were “Influences” and “Why Write at All.” “What Is the Nerve of the Interest of the Novel,” which he mentions in his entry for September 17, became the third and fourth lectures. The next four were “A Writer and the Theater,” “A Writer and the Films,” “A Writer and Religion,” “A Last Lecture.” The series was titled “A Writer and His World,” and it was broadcast the following year by KPFK. Much later, the lectures were published in Isherwood on Writing (2007), edited by James J. Berg.
Ledebur, Christian (Boon) and Henrietta. Iris Tree’s second son (by Austrian actor Friedrich Ledebur) and his wife. They lived in Santa Monica intermittently, in a corner apartment in the merry-go-round building on Santa Monica Pier where, until 1954, Iris also lived. Boon was a psychologist. The Ledeburs had a son, Marius, before divorcing, and Boon later remarried and had another family in Switzerland.
Lederer, Charles (1910–1976). American screenwriter and director, born in New York and educated at Berkeley. His mother was a sister of Marion Davies, the actress and second wife of William Randolph Hearst; his father was a theatrical producer. He briefly worked as a journalist but was writing films by the time he was twenty-one, often collaborating with Ben Hecht. His screenplays include His Girl Friday (1940), I Love You Again (1940), Kiss of Death (1947), I Was a Male War Bride (1949), Monkey Business (1952), Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), CanCan (1960), Ocean’s 11 (1960), and Mutiny on the Bounty (1962). He also co-wrote and produced Kismet on Broadway (1953–1954), later adapting it for film. During the 1940s he was married to Virginia Nicholson (once married to Orson Welles); in 1949 he married the actress Anne Shirley. Isherwood knew Lederer through studio writing jobs, possibly they met at MGM; he mentions Lederer in D.1.
Lee, Robert (Bob) (d. 1994). American writer. During World War II, he co-founded Armed Forces Radio with Jerry Lawrence, and together they produced the official military radio programs for D-Day, V-E Day, and V-J Day; afterwards they became longtime collaborators on radio, stage, T.V. and film projects. In addition to their plays and films, they wrote numerous radio plays for CBS and the series “Columbia Workshop.” They also co-founded the American Playwrights Theater, The Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee Theater Research Institute at Ohio State, and the Margo Jones Award, in honor of the producer-director who produced their prize-winning play, Inherit the Wind, and who died young.
Lehmann, Beatrix (Peggy) (1903–1979). English actress; youngest of John Lehmann’s three elder sisters. She met Isherwood in Berlin in 1932, and they remained close friends. She had a London triumph in O’Neill’s Mourning Becomes Electra in 1938 when Isherwood was in China, and he returned in time to see her in the Group Theatre’s performance of Cocteau’s La Voix Humaine in July. During 1938 she had an affair with Berthold Viertel.
Lehmann, Helen (1899–1985). Eldest of the talented, beautiful siblings who made their mark on English literary life from the 1930s through the 1970s; educated at Cambridge. She had no public reputation, although she was the model for “Kate” in Rosamond’s novel Invitation to the Waltz. Soon after leaving Cambridge, Helen married a soldier, Montague Bradish-Ellames, and devoted herself to family life. During World War II, she was a driver for the U.S. Army, and when her husband divorced her for another woman, she moved to London and worked for the Society of Authors until 1960.
Lehmann, John (1907–1988). English author, publisher, editor, autobiographer; educated at Cambridge. Youngest child and only son of a close family; his mother was an American from New England; his father trained as a barrister and wrote for Punch. Isherwood met him in 1932 at the Hogarth Press where Lehmann was assistant (later partner) to Leonard and Virginia Woolf. Lehmann persuaded the Woolfs to publish The Memorial after it had been rejected by Jonathan Cape, publisher of Isherwood’s first novel All the Conspirators. Isherwood helped Lehmann with his plans to found the magazine New Writing and obtained early contributions from friends like Auden. He tells about this in Christopher and His Kind and also writes about Lehmann in D.1 and Lost Years. When Lehmann left the Hogarth Press, he founded his own publishing firm and later edited The London Magazine. He wrote three volumes of autobiography, The Whispering Gallery (1955), I Am My Brother (1960), and The Ample Proposition (1966). For many years he shared his house with the dancer Alexis Rassine.
Lehmann, Rosamond (1901–1990). English novelist, educated at Cambridge, second-eldest sister of John Lehmann. She made a reputation with the sexual and emotional frankness of her first novel Dusty Answer (1927), and her later works—including Invitation to the Waltz (1932), The Weather in the Streets (1936), The Echoing Grove (1953)—also shocked. Her first marriage, in 1923, was to Leslie Runciman, son of a Liberal Member of Parliament, and from 1928 to 1944, she was the first wife of the painter Wogan Philipps, with whom she had a son and a daughter. Afterwards, she had a nine-year affair with Cecil Day-Lewis. Her daughter with Philipps, Sally, died suddenly of polio in 1958 when she was twenty-four; Rosamond described her continuing spiritual relationship with Sally in The Swan in the Evening: Fragments of an Inner Life (1967). She appears in D.1 and Lost Years.
Leigh, Vivien (1913–1967). English stage and film star; born Vivian Hartley in India, and educated in convents and finishing schools in England and Europe. She trained at RADA and in 1932 married a barrister, Leigh Holman, with whom she had a daughter. She made her first film, Things Are Looking Up, in 1934 and became a theatrical sensation the following year in The Mask of Virtue. When she starred opposite Laurence Olivier in Fire Over England (1937), they fell in love, divorced their respective spouses and, in 1940 married each other. Her stage roles, frequently opposite Olivier, included many from Shakespeare, as well as Shaw, Thornton Wilder, Tennessee Williams, Rattigan, Coward, Dumas ( fils), Chekhov, and a musical comedy adaptation of Sherwood’s Tovarich in 1963. She won an Academy Award as Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind (1939) and another as Blanche Du Bois in A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), already played to acclaim on the stage. Other films include Waterloo Bridge (1940), That Hamilton Woman (1941), Caesar and Cleopatra (1945), Anna Karenina (1948), The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone (1961), and Ship of Fools (1965). She suffered from tuberculosis and exhaustion, had two miscarriages during her marriage to Olivier, and became incurably manic-depressive. Olivier divorced her in 1961. Isherwood met her in Los Angeles in the summer of 1960, when she was touring with Mary Ure in Jean Giraudoux’s Duel of Angels. She appears in D.1.
Leighton, Margaret (Maggie) (1922–1976). English actress. She made her London debut as a teenager and established her reputation in the Old Vic Company in the late 1940s. From the mid-1950s until the late 1960s, she also played on Broadway, where she won Tony Awards for Separate Tables (1956) and The Night of the Iguana (1962). Her films include The Winslow Boy (1948), The Sound and the Fury (1959), The Loved One (1965), and The Go-Between (1971). Her second marriage was to Laurence Harvey, from 1957 to 1961, and her third, in 1964, to actor Michael Wilding. She had a small role in Bachardy and Isherwood’s “Frankenstein: The True Story.”
Len. See Worton, Len.
Lenya, Lotte (1900–1981). Austrian actress and singer. She became famous in pre-war Berlin for her roles in The Threepenny Opera and other musicals created by Bertolt Brecht and the composer, Kurt Weill, whom she married. With Weill, she fled the Nazis, settled in the U.S., and for a time gave up her career. After Weill died in 1950, she starred in a long-running off-Broadway revival of The Threepenny Opera—which Isherwood and Bachardy saw in 1960 when it toured to Los Angeles—in Brecht on Brecht, and, later, in Cabaret. She also made a few movies, including Die Dre
igroschenoper (The Beggar’s Opera, 1931), The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone (1961), From Russia with Love (1963), and Semi-Tough (1977). Her second marriage was to the writer and editor George Davis. Bachardy drew her portrait in 1961 and 1962.
Leopold, Michael. Aspiring writer, from Texas; he was about eighteen when Isherwood met him at the apartment of a friend, Doug Ebersole, in December 1949. They began a minor affair soon afterwards. Leopold was interested in literature, admired Isherwood’s work, and later wrote some stories of his own. During the 1960s, he lived with Henry Guerriero in Venice, California. He appears in D.1 and Lost Years.
Levant, Oscar (1906–1972). American composer, pianist, and actor. He was a close friend of George Gershwin and became famous as an interpreter of his music. His film appearances include: Kiss the Boys Goodbye (1941), Rhapsody in Blue (1945), Humoresque (1946), You Were Meant for Me (1948), and An American in Paris (1951). Levant wrote the music for several popular musicals and had a live talk show in Hollywood, “The Oscar Levant Show,” broadcast out of a shed on a minor network. His show was shut down by the sponsors in the early 1960s despite its popularity, because he insulted their products for laughs and encouraged his guests to do the same. Isherwood appeared on the show in the mid-1950s, sometimes reading poetry; this led to his occasionally being recognized in the street. In 1958, he argued with Levant about Churchill and then refused to return to the show for a time because Levant attacked him for remaining in Hollywood during the war. He appears in D.1.
Levy, Miranda Speranza (Mirandi). Sister-in-law of the Italian-American jewelry designer, Frank Patania (d. 1964) whose Native American-influenced work in silver, turquoise, and coral was bought by Mabel Dodge Luhan and Georgia O’Keeffe and can be seen in museums. She ran Patania’s Thunderbird shop in Santa Fe and married Ralph Levy, a Hollywood film director. She appears in D.1 under her maiden mame, Mirandi Masocco.
Lewis, Jack. Los Angeles doctor. A colleague of the endocrinologist Jessie Marmorston; he began to treat Isherwood in about 1957 and became his main doctor for some years.
Lincoln. See Kirstein, Lincoln.
List, Herbert. German photographer. Probably introduced to Isherwood by Stephen Spender who, in 1929, became friends with List in Hamburg, where List was working as a coffee merchant in his family’s firm. List appears as “Joachim” in Spender’s World Within World and as “Joachim Lenz” in Spender’s The Temple. Isherwood writes about him in D.1.
Locke, Charles O. (1896–1977). American journalist, novelist, screenwriter. He wrote for his family’s newspaper in Toledo, Ohio, while still in college, then had a career in New York working for several major papers and in advertising and publicity. He wrote poetry and song lyrics as well as five novels. In 1957, he wrote the screenplay from his most famous novel, The Hell-Bent Kid, in the office next door to Isherwood’s at Twentieth Century-Fox. Isherwood describes their friendship in D.1, where Locke’s wife and his daughter, Mary Schmidt, are also mentioned.
Lodge, Carter (d. 1995). American business manager of English playwright and novelist John van Druten. Lodge was van Druten’s lover in the late 1930s and early 1940s; afterwards he began a long-term relationship with another man, Dick Foote, but remained close to van Druten. Isherwood first met Lodge in November 1939. He lived mostly in the Coachella Valley at the AJC Ranch, which he and van Druten purchased in the early 1940s with Auriol Lee, a British actress. Lodge managed the ranch, where they grew corn and tomatoes, and handled his own and van Druten’s financial affairs very successfully. When van Druten died in 1957, Lodge inherited his property and rights in his work, including I Am a Camera, which later entitled him to a percentage in Cabaret. He appears in D.1 and Lost Years.
Lord, Bart. Amateur actor, avid movie and show-business fan. He was a boyfriend of Ted Bachardy, with whom Ted lived for a few years during the 1950s. They eventually fell out of touch because of Ted’s mental breakdowns. He appears in D.1.
Loy, Myrna (1905–1993). Hollywood star; born in Montana, raised there and in Los Angeles, where she became a chorus girl at eighteen. She was an exotic screen vamp in over sixty films until the mid-1930s, when she began to appear as Nora Charles in movies based on Dashiell Hammett’s The Thin Man, and became Hollywood’s number one woman star. Her later films include The Best Years of Our Lives (1946), The Red Pony (1949), and Midnight Lace (1960). During World War II, she worked for the Red Cross and, later, for UNESCO. She was also active in the Democratic party.
Luce, Henry R. (1898–1967) and Clare Booth (1903–1987). He was born in China and educated at Hotchkiss, Yale, and Oxford. He worked as a journalist before he co-founded Time Magazine in 1923. In the 1930s, he launched Fortune and Life, and then House and Home and Sports Illustrated in the 1950s. She was the illegitimate, peripatetically educated daughter of a dancer mother and a violinist father who deserted them. She worked as an actress briefly, was editor of Vogue and Vanity Fair, a successful Broadway playwright—Abide with Me (1935), The Women (1936), Kiss the Boys Goodbye (1938)—a Republican congresswoman and U.S. Ambassador to Italy (1953–1957). Each was married once before. She converted to Roman Catholicism in 1946 after her daughter, an only child by her first husband, was killed in a car accident. The Luces were both vehement anticommunists.
Luckenbill, Dan (b. 1945). American writer and librarian. From 1970, he worked at the UCLA library in the manuscripts division. Later he curated exhibitions and wrote catalogs on gay and lesbian studies. He published short stories from the 1970s onwards.
Ludington, Wright (1900–1992). Art collector and philanthropist; raised in Pennsylvania, educated at the Thacher School in Ojai, at Yale, at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and at the Art Students League in New York. In 1927, he inherited a fortune from his father, a lawyer and investment banker who worked with the Curtis Publishing Company. He also inherited an estate in Montecito—Val Verde—which he spent decades improving with the help of a school friend, the landscape architect Lockwood de Forest. Val Verde included an art gallery for Ludington’s collection of modern paintings and outdoor settings for his ancient sculpture. In 1955, he sold Val Verde and built a new house off Bella Vista Drive—Hesperides—which was designed by Lutah Maria Riggs especially to display his art collection. De Forest’s widow landscaped Hesperides. Ludington was a founder and board member of the Santa Barbara Museum of Art and gave the museum many pieces from his collection.
Lynes, George Platt (1907–1955). American photographer; educated at the Berkshire School, where he met Lincoln Kirstein, and, briefly, at Yale. Lynes photographed Auden and Isherwood during their brief visit to New York in 1938. In the spring of 1946, he photographed Isherwood again and encouraged Bill Caskey in his efforts to become a professional photographer. Later, in 1953, Lynes befriended and photographed Don Bachardy. He made his living from advertising and fashion photography for magazines like Town and Country, Harper’s Bazaar, and Vogue, but he is also known for his photographs of the ballet, male nudes, and surrealistic still lifes. He did many portraits of film stars and writers. He appears in D.1 and Lost Years.
M. Isherwood’s mother. He called her “Mummy” and began letters to her with “My Darling Mummy,” and later, “Dearest Mummy,” but he invariably wrote “M.” in his diaries. See Isherwood, Kathleen.
Isherwood sometimes uses “M.” for Mahendranath Gupta, the schoolmaster who became Ramakrishna’s disciple and recorded Ramakrishna’s conversations and sayings in his diaries, later compiling them in Sri Ramakrishna Kathamrita or The Gospel of Ramakrishna.
MacDonald, Madge. Nurse. She worked at UCLA hospital and lived in Isherwood’s neighborhood. She appears in D.1.
Macklem, Francesca ( Jill). Secretary to Fred Shroyer, who was responsible for Isherwood’s appointment to teach in the English Department at Los Angeles State College. Isherwood became friendly with her in 1959 when he began the teaching job, and she appears in D.1. She had a life-threatening heart condition. She was married three times, the third time to her first husband, Les Macklem, a
gain; they had two children.
Macy, Gertrude. New York stage manager and producer; secretary and biographer of actress Katherine Cornell. She co-produced the 1951 stage version of I Am a Camera with Walter Starcke and thereby had a substantial financial stake in Cabaret, which reduced Isherwood’s earnings and which he several times refers to in his diaries. She is mentioned in D.1.
Madhavananda, Swami (1888–1965). Hindu monk of the Ramakrishna Order and scholar; a disciple of Sarada Devi. He translated a number of Vedanta texts, and his versions are still widely used, notably Shankara’s commentary on the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad. He was General Secretary and President of the Ramakrishna Math for many years and an influential supporter of the women’s Math, Sarada Math, founded in 1954.
Maharaj. See Brahmananda, Swami.
mahasamadhi. Great samadhi, usually referring to the moment of death, when the illuminated soul leaves the body and is absorbed into the divine. See samadhi. Mailer, Norman (1923–2007). American writer, raised in Brooklyn and educated at Harvard. He fought in the Pacific during World War II and became famous with the publication of his first novel, The Naked and the Dead (1948), about an American infantry platoon invading a Japanese-held island. He twice won the Pulitzer Prize: for The Armies of the Night (1968) and The Executioner’s Song (1979). Other novels and works blending fiction with non-fiction and personal commentary include The Deer Park (1955), An American Dream (1965), Why Are We in Vietnam? (1967), Of a Fire on the Moon (1970), The Prisoner of Sex (1971), Ancient Evenings (1983), Tough Guys Don’t Dance (1984), Harlot’s Ghost (1991), Oswald’s Tale: An American Mystery (1995), The Gospel According to the Son (1997), and The Castle in the Forest (2007). He also wrote screenplays and directed films. He co-founded The Village Voice in 1955, and in 1969 he ran for mayor of New York. He married six times. In 1960, he stabbed his second wife, Adele Morales, with a penknife, leaving her in critical condition. They had been married for six years and had two daughters together; she did not press charges. In Lost Years, Isherwood tells of his first meeting with Mailer in 1950.