Thank you for helping me celebrate my brand-new website (www.jamesspadashollywood.com) and my first-ever blog! I’m excited to let everyone know that many of my out-of-print books are being re-issued as eBooks, beginning with Peter Lawford: The Man Who Kept the Secrets.
Many people have asked me why I chose Peter Lawford to write a biography of. After all, he wasn’t as big a movie star as my other subjects. I explain that for me as a Marilyn Monroe fan, Peter’s name kept coming up. I also have followed the Kennedy family, and there was Peter again. Sinatra’s Rat Pack—Peter again! So I thought, Who is this guy, and why was he close to so many powerful people? I started researching his life, and to my delight I found that his life was a great story, above and beyond his associations.
This is one of my books that I’m most proud of. It was the first full-length, exhaustively researched book on Lawford (and remains so to this day). It was such a joy to research and do interviews for, especially since there had not been any books on Lawford previously, so I was uncovering new information wherever I went. I spent a month in
London researching his childhood, then Palm Beach for his teen years and then, of course, for the bulk of his life. I did hundreds of interviews, most notably with Peter’s long-time manager and best friend, Milt Ebbins. Ebbins was there for everything in Peter’s life after 1954, and Peter told him many stories about the years prior. Los Angeles
Milt generously gave me hours of his time to be interviewed, and he opened many doors to me. Milt has passed now, but I will always be indebted to him and I will always remember his gentlemanly demeanor and warmth.
Lawford’s life story is fascinating—“more Dickensian than Dickens,” as the Los Angeles Times put it in reviewing the book. He inhabited so many worlds—
London in the twenties, in the late thirties (where he parked old Joe Kennedy’s car!), the MGM factory in the forties, television in its early years, life as a Kennedy in-law and Sinatra confidante in the fifties, and close friend of Marilyn Monroe in the early sixties. Palm Beach Las Vegas, France and also figure prominently in Peter’s life. Much of it couldn’t have been invented by the most imaginative novelist or screenwriter—truth is indeed stranger than fiction. Hawaii
In the next year my Grace Kelly, Barbra Streisand and Marilyn Monroe books will be available as eBooks, and I’ll be doing blogs about them as well. I’ll also be writing occasionally about people and events in show business, beginning with the Oscars next week.
I hope you’ll continue checking out my blogs, and I welcome hearing from you with your thoughts and reactions.