Farewell to Those Who Left

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"He gets laughter wherever he goes, from men who need laughter."

JOHN STEINBECK, novelist, in a 1943 newspaper column praising the comedian's contribution in entertaining U.S. troops overseas during World War II


"The whole idea the diet doesn't work when you go off of it--that's the whole point. Why would you go off of it? Here is a diet that's fun to eat... We've got real human beings who have been on this diet, and they'll tell you exactly what happens. They've never felt better in their life."

Popularizer of the high-protein, low-carb diet, in an interview on CNN's Crossfire, 1999


"I have become a familiar. I am very aware of that now. I'm like the Statue of Liberty to a lot of people."

The Hollywood star, in her 1991 autobiography Me: Stories of My Life


Pat Moynihan is up there in my pantheon of great characters, along with Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon, two of the four Presidents for whom he worked. I encountered him inside the mournful White House the night of John Kennedy's assassination. He stood mute, tears coursing down his cheeks. Then he filched a picture of J.F.K. and joyfully told the world of his loving larceny. He held that picture to his heart the rest of his life. Once in Nixon's White House I listened to Moynihan expound on Schumpeterian economics while the snout of an opened champagne bottle peeked out of a desk drawer. "Pat's great," Nixon once told me, "as long as you get to him before noon." For my dime, he was great after noon or any other time, following the Churchillian example of being able for a few crucial years to get more out of alcohol than it got out of him. I once ran into him at the palatial Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach, Fla., working on one of his many books. He was dressed in grungy Nikes, rumpled chinos and a fashionable Turnbull & Asser shirt. The complete Moynihan: casual elegance, mindfully engaged in explaining the difficult world beyond. --By Hugh Sidey


"The wonderful thing about him," Elia Kazan once said of his greatest actor, Marlon Brando, "is the ambivalence--between a soft, yearning, girlish side and a dissatisfaction that is violent and can be dangerous." Danger was the business of the tireless and insinuating Kazan in the 1940s and '50s, when he was something no one before or since has been: simultaneously America's leading theatrical (A Streetcar Named Desire, Death of a Salesman) and movie (On the Waterfront) director. He was not so much a great imagist as a great listener to, manipulator and appreciator of, the sometimes dissonant music of volatile personalities. What he sought was not so much acting, the way it had been conventionally understood, as it was heartbreaking, sometimes heart-stopping, moments of emotional reality that transcended the dramatic conventions of whatever we were watching. Kazan permanently changed the standards by which performances are made and judged. Actors were no longer expected merely to pose prettily or speak resonantly; they were supposed to expose the secrets of the human soul. That, rather than his controversial congressional testimony against former communists, is his enduring legacy. --By Richard Schickel

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