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Austin Chronicle The Dishy Details on Susann

FEBRUARY 16, 1998: 

THE DISHY DETAILS

  • Jacqueline Susann's assessment of her new friend, Joan Crawford: "Ethel Merman is a lady and a philanthropist compared to Joan. If I had known Joan when I was writing Valley of the Dolls, Helen Lawson would have been a monster!"
  • Jackie claims to have been one of the (apparently) thousands of people who were invited to Sharon Tate's house the night of the murders by the Manson Family.
  • Journalist Betty Rollin quoting Sharon Tate (VD's Jennifer North): "I'm trying to develop myself as a person. Well, like, sometimes on weekends I don't wear makeup."
  • In a bit of surreal casting - Judy Garland (on whom the Neely O'Hara character is based) was originally cast as Helen Lawson, but unable to climb out of her personal Valley of the Pills, Garland was fired.
  • Jackie allegedly had a brief affair with Coco Chanel (I am in denial about this episode - How could Coco sink so low?) She returned from Paris with some lovely Chanel couture to show for it.
  • Jackie had a son, Guy, who was so profoundly retarded that he was institutionalized and never mentioned to even her closest friends - many did not even know she had a child! Guy spent at least 10 years of his institutionalization in Austin.
  • Mysteriously considered to be beautiful, Jackie had a torrid affair with the lovely and suicidal Carole Landis during a forgotten Broadway show called "A Lady Says Yes." The critics said "No."
  • Jackie appears as a reporter in the movie Valley of the Dolls - look for her as the vultures descend after Jennifer's death.
  • See "<>a href="austin_screens_scanlines.html">Scanlines" for a gushy review of VD.

- Stephen M. Moser


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