I’d like to take this moment and introduce you all to Frannie Laughner, this summer’s intern extraordinaire. She and I were discussing William Todd Schultz’s Tiny Terror: Why Truman Capote (Almost) Wrote Answered Prayers, and the conversation somehow collided with The Oracle of Bacon. An idea was born. Frannie seemed up to the challenge, so I told her I would pick three public figures at random and she had to connect them to Truman Capote in seven degrees or less.
First, stop scrolling. Try to take the challenge yourself. The three public figures are: actor Jack Nicholson, former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II.
1. Jack Nicholson portrayed playwright Eugene O’Neill in the movie Reds à Eugene was the father of Oona O’Neill –> Oona is a possible inspiration for the character “Holly Golightly” –>“Holly” was a character played by film icon Audrey Hepburn in the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s –> the movie was based on the book, which was written by Truman Capote
2. FDR appointed 3-time Olympic gold-medalist Jack Kelly U.S. National Director of Physical Fitness during WWII –> Jack was the father of actress and Princess of Monaco Grace Kelly –> Grace starred opposite actor Jimmy Stewart in the Alfred Hitchcock film Rear Window –> Jimmy was in the same WWII bombardment group, the 445th, as actor Walter Matthau –> Walter’s wife, Carol Matthau, was roasted in the unfinished manuscript of the roman –> clef Answered Prayers à Answered Prayers was written by Truman Capote
3. Queen of England, Elizabeth II was friends with PM Winston Churchill, who had known her since she was a child –> Churchill cooperated closely with the United States during WWII, though he did not get on especially well with Dwight D. Eisenhower –> General Eisenhower was the head of the Office of War Information during the war, and future CBS CEO William S. Paley served under Eisenhower in the psychological warfare branch –> Paley was a lifetime womanizer, but his last and longest marriage was to Barbara “Babe” Cushing Mortimer –> Babe Paley was a very close friend of Truman Capote, who is quoted as saying of her, “Babe Paley had only one fault. She was perfect. Otherwise, she was perfect.”