13 July 2012 4:18 PM, PDT | Cinemaretro.com | See recent CinemaRetro news »

By Harvey Chartrand

Frank Langella played an aging writer in Starting Out in the Evening (2007). Who would have figured this for typecasting?

In his superb memoir, Dropped Names: Famous Men and Women As I Knew Them (HarperCollins), Langella reveals that he is an incomparable memoirist and storyteller, recalling his encounters with scores of luminaries from the world of entertainment in a career spanning half a century. All of these luminaries are deceased and the cast of characters is listed “by order of disappearance”. Just as well, as many of the revelations are quite shocking.

Langella must be the most sociable and congenial actor on the planet, as the busyness of his social and professional lives and the breadth and depth of his friendships, romantic liaisons and acquaintances are very impressive indeed. He met Marilyn Monroe in 1953. She stepped out of a limousine and said “hi” to the adolescent from Bayonne, »

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