- NAME: Truman Capote
- OCCUPATION: Author
- BIRTH DATE: September 30, 1924
- DEATH DATE: August 25, 1984
- EDUCATION: Trinity School, St. Joseph Military Academy, Greenwich High School, Dwight School
- PLACE OF BIRTH: New Orleans, Louisiana
- PLACE OF DEATH: Los Angeles, California
- Originally: Truman Streckfus Persons
- Full Name: Truman Garcia Capote
- AKA: Truman Capote
- AKA: Truman Persons
Best Known For
Truman Capote was a trailblazing writer of Southern descent known for the works Breakfast at Tiffany’s and In Cold Blood, among others.
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Known as the originator of the true-crime novel, Truman Capote was both a renowned author as well as a controversial celebrity. His non-fiction novel, "In Cold Blood," became an international best-seller.
Montromery Clift won stardom in "From Here to Eternity" and became a 1950s movie icon. A car accident in 1957 changed his looks, and from then on his off-screen days were filled with pills, alcohol, and a complicated sexual identity.
Born in Brussels, she studied dance at a young age before starring on Broadway in "Gigi" at the age of 22. Her performance caught the attention of Hollywood, and two years later she starred in "Roman Holiday."
In 1884 Mark Twain published The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and furthered his rebellious nature as one of America's premiere authors.
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He loved gossip—both hearing and sharing it. In the late 1950s, Capote began discussing a novel based on this jet-set world, calling it Answered Prayers.
In 1958, Capote scored another success with Breakfast at Tiffany's. He explored the life of a New York City party girl, Holly Golightly—who was a woman who depended on men to get by. With his usual style and panache,
Capote had created a fascinating character within a well-crafted story. Three years later, the film version was released, starring Audrey Hepburn as Holly. Capote had wanted Marilyn Monroe in the lead role, and was disappointed with this adaptation.
Capote's next big project started out as an article for The New Yorker. He set out with friend Harper Lee to write about the impact of the murder of four members of the Clutter family on their small Kansas farming community. The two traveled to Kansas to interview townspeople, friends and family of the deceased, and the investigators working to solve the crime. Truman, with his flamboyant personality and style, had a hard time initially getting himself into his subjects' good graces. Without using tape recorders, the two would write up their notes and observations at the end of each day and compare their findings.
During their time in Kansas, the Clutters' suspected killers, Richard Hickock and Perry Smith, were caught in Las Vegas and brought back to Kansas. Lee and Capote got a chance to interview the suspects not long after their return in January 1960. Soon after, Lee and Capote went back to New York. Capote started working on his article, which would evolve into the non-fiction masterpiece, In Cold Blood. He also corresponded with the accused killers, trying them to reveal more about themselves and the crime. In March 1960, Capote and Lee returned to Kansas for the murder trial.
While the two convicted and sentenced to death, their execution was staved off by a series of appeals. Hickock and Smith hoped that Capote would help them escape the hangman's noose and were upset to hear that the book's title was In Cold Blood, which indicated that the murders had been premeditated.
Writing this non-fiction masterwork took a lot out of Capote. For years, he labored on it and still had to wait for the story to find its ending in the legal system. Hickock and Smith were finally executed on April 14, 1965, at the Kansas State Penitentiary. At their request, Capote traveled to Kansas to witness their deaths. He refused to see them the day before, but he visited with both Hickock and Smith shortly before their hangings.
In Cold Blood became a huge hit, both critically and commercially. Capote used a number of techniques usually found in fiction to bring this true story to life for his readers. It was first serialized in The New Yorker in four issues with readers anxiously awaiting each gripping installment. When it was published as a book, In Cold Blood was an instant best-seller.
While In Cold Blood brought him acclaim and wealth, Capote was never the same after the project.
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Truth is often more fascinating than fiction. Since the beginning of movies, actors have been portraying figures from history and bringing them to life on screen. Mastering the well-known mannerisms and characteristics of real world figures can be more challenging than portraying a fictional character. Enormous amounts of research and drastic physical transformations are not uncommon for actors wanting to properly inhabit their role on film. Whether playing a scheming Queen, a country singer, a temperamental boxer, or a pioneering writer, those performers who can accurately play the part often find Oscar gold as their reward. Here are the Academy Award-winning actors, and the larger-than-life people they portrayed.
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