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Celebrity

55 articles
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The Eternal Paternal

On Bill Cosby’s complicated family life.

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Playboy Interview: Robin Williams

“If you take the chance, sometimes you’ll find something so magnificent that it was worth dying for, and sometimes you’ll find nothing and have a horrible night. To go deeper with it, that’s the most interesting challenge.”

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Richard Branson Turns 50

Partying with a lost tycoon on his birthday.

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The Down and Dirty History of TMZ

How a lawyer from the Valley created a gossip empire.

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Roy Spivey

A chance encounter with a movie star on an airplane.

"Roy Spivey shifted in his seat, waking. I quickly shut my own eyes, and then slowly opened them, as if I, too, had been sleeping. Oh, but he hadn’t quite opened his yet. I shut mine again and right away opened them, slowly, and he opened his, slowly, and our eyes met, and it seemed as if we had woken from a single sleep, from the dream of our entire lives. Me, a tall but otherwise undistinguished woman; he a distinguished spy, but not really, just an actor, but not really, just a man, maybe even just a boy."

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Get Rich or Die Shilling

The business of being Pitbull.

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Her House of Cards

How a 26-year-old cocktail waitress ended up running a private weekly poker game for some of Hollywood’s highest rollers.

Excerpted from Molly's Game.

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Angelina Jolie’s Perfect Game

How the actress masterfully shapes her public image.

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Planet Pam

A profile of Pamela Anderson.

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Willing

A disillusioned actress, retiring from show business, moves to the Midwest.

"And so she left Hollywood. Phoned her agent and apologized. Went home to Chicago, rented a room by the week at the Days Inn, drank sherry, and grew a little plump. She let her life get dull—dull, but with Hostess cakes. There were moments bristling with deadness, when she looked out at her life and went 'What?' Or worse, feeling interrupted and tired, 'Wha--?' It had taken on the shape of a terrible mistake. She hadn't been given the proper tools to make a real life with, she decided, that was it. She'd been given a can of gravy and a hairbrush and told, "There you go." She'd stood there for years, blinking and befuddled, brushing the can with the brush.

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The Master Conjurer

A media firestorm circles around a lucky amateur magician.

"By now, the actual doing of the spell—the Clean Casting—felt like a weird dream that Peter had concocted after too many drinks. The more people made a fuss about it, the more he felt like he’d made the whole thing up. But he could still picture it. He’d gotten one of the stone spellcasting bowls they sold on late-night cable TV, and little baggies of all the ingredients, with rejected prog rock band names like Prudenceroot or Womanheart, and sprinkled pinches of them in, while chanting the nonsense syllables and thinking of his desired aim."

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Understudies [Excerpt]

A celebrity moves into the neighborhood, subtly disrupting the habits of the other residents.

"We watched the actress command and coordinate the movers like a veteran general. She was dressed in clothes geared for comfort: charity t-shirt, pink sweatpants. She wasn't wearing any makeup and her hair was tied in a loose braid. Chudley was panting heavily."

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I Am Large, I Contain Multitudes

A profile of Roseanne Barr and her multiple personalities.

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Mr. Hannah Montana’s Achy Broken Heart

A melancholic Billy Ray Cyrus on the trauma of being the father of a famous 18-year-old girl, his friendship with Kurt Cobain, and his favorite mullet nicknames (Kentucky Waterfall and Missouri Compromise).

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The Killing of Gus Hasford

He came home from Vietnam, wrote the novel that became Full Metal Jacket, was nominated for an Oscar and riding high. Then he got thrown in jail for stockpiling stolen library books, started drinking, cut off his friends and fled to a remote Greek island. He never made it back.

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The Tragedy of Britney Spears

A profile of Spears at her nadir.

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In Cold Type

The backstory of “The Duke in His Domain,” Truman Capote’s 1957 New Yorker profile of Marlon Brando.

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The Heather Graham Story

A self-conscious celebrity profile.

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‘I Just Want to Feel Everything’

A profile of Fiona Apple.

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Blond on Blond on Blond

A profile of the Hollywood star-maker behind Vanna White, Pamela Anderson and Jenny McCarthy.

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Man Up Bieber

“Being Justin Bieber means having an endless number of T-shirts to destroy.” A profile of the pop star just after his 18th birthday.

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Leading Mannequins

The life of an A-list Hollywood stylist.

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Leaving Reality

Life after a stint on The Real World.

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Some Like Her Hot

A profile of Michelle Williams.

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Scandals of Classic Hollywood: Cary Grant's Intimate Bromance

The phrase “knew how to wear clothes” is a loaded one. To “know how to wear clothes” is another way of saying that Cary Grant embodied class, which is to say high class: Grant wore well-tailored clothes, and he knew how to hold himself in them. But he came from nothing, and the way he wore clothes was just as much of a performance as his refined trans-Atlantic accent, his acrobatic slapstick routines, and his masterful flirtation skills.
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Interview: Eddie Murphy

It's a glorious thing, hearing Eddie Murphy say "fuck" again. Few people ever said it better – and down here in the basement of the stone-and-marble mansion he built on a Beverly Hills cliff, it's coming from his lips often enough to make Shrek blush. "Come on, motherfucker," Murphy shouts, over the throb of James Brown's "Hot Pants" on a formidable sound system.
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And… Scene.

An oral history of the Upright Citizens Brigade.

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The Writearound: Vanessa Grigoriadis

An interview with Vanity Fair and Rolling Stone writer Vanessa Grigoriadis on the finer points of celebrity profiling.

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The Pinup of Williamsburg

A profile of Zooey Deschanel.

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The Thin Man

A profile of Steve Buscemi.

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Dada’s Boy

On the life and career of Chris Farley.

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When Reality-TV Fame Runs Dry

Less than half a decade after The Hills brought them massive celebrity, Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt are broke and his living in his parent’s vacation house. Their onscreen relationship was mostly fake, but the reality, as their current situation attests, was far worse:

By the end of 2009 (and the show’s fifth season), their lives seemed insane. Instead of riding bikes, Spencer was holding guns. Heidi’s plastic surgeries gave her a distorted quality, but she vowed to have more. Spencer grew a thick beard, became obsessed with crystals, and was eventually told to leave the series. There were daily updates on gossip sites about them “living in squalor,” publicly feuding with their families, and attacking The Hills producers (or claiming The Hills producers attacked them). By the time they announced they were (fake) splitting, followed by Spencer threatening to release various sex tapes, and Heidi (fake) filing for divorce, it seemed like they had ventured into, at best,Joaquin Phoenix-like, life-as-performance-art notoriety and, at worst, truly bleakStar 80 territory that could end with one or both of them dead.

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The King of the Deal

A profile of Hollywood agent Irving “Swifty” Lazar.

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The Celebrity Rehab of Dr. Drew

Dr. Drew has turned addiction television into a mini-empire, offering treatment and cameras to celebrities who have fallen far enough to take the bait.  His motivations, he insists, are pure:

Whether the doctor purposefully cultivates his celebrity stature for noble means or wittingly invites it because he himself likes being in the spotlight, he is operating on the assumption that his empathetic brand of TV will breed empathy instead of the more likely outcome, that it will just breed more TV.

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American Marvel

A profile of Chris Evans, star of the upcoming Captain America:

At this point, which was a…number of drinks in, it was easy to forget that it really was an interview, and I'd be lying if I said it didn't cross my mind that something might happen (and that we'd go to the Oscars and get married and have babies forever until we died?). But there was always the question of how much of it was truly Chris Evans, and whom I should pretend to be in response.

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Kiki Kannibal: The Girl Who Played With Fire

The rise, fall and stubborn survival of a teenage Internet celebrity who discovered that the real world can be a very scary place.

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Jeff Bridges Makes a Decision

On what you do when you can do whatever what you want.

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The Queen and I

On Elizabeth Taylor at the height of her fame.

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Hitting Bottom

Is Dr. Drew’s “Celebrity Rehab” therapy or tabloid voyeurism?

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Interview: David Wain

The comedian and veteran of MTV’s The State on a peculiar brand of stardom. “Often people would be like, I’m such a big fan of your work. I think you’re amazing. I want to have a career like yours. And I’m like, great, can you buy me a slice of pizza?”

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Playboy Interview: Bob Dylan

Six months after playing an electric guitar at the Newport Folk Festival, a rambling Dylan holds forth on style, songwriting, and fame. “People have one great blessing—obscurity—and not really too many people are thankful for it.”

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Confessions of a Juggler

On the dilemmas facing a (very famous) working mother in New York City. “It is less dangerous to draw a cartoon of Allah French-kissing Uncle Sam—which, let me make it very clear, I have not done—than it is to speak honestly about this topic.”

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Chateau Scientology

Reporting from inside the Church’s Celebrity Centre in Los Angeles.

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A Different Drummer

A profile of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, written at the midpoint of his career.

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Lost at the Chateau Marmont

A profile of director Sofia Coppola.

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Winona Forever

A profile of Winona Ryder.

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The Next Golden Child

A profile of 12-year-old actress Elle Fanning, Dakota’s sister.

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David Lynch Keeps His Head

A “fanatical Lynch fan from way back,” David Foster Wallace visits the set of Lost Highway, never actually talks to the director, and writes a profile.

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Why Me?

A profile of the perpetually disappointed Alec Baldwin.

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A Visit to Val Kilmer’s New Mexico Ranch

Where crazy things seem normal and normal things seem crazy.

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Emperor du Fromage

Christian Audigier is the man behind Von Dutch and Ed Hardy. The massive succes of his garish and expensive creations may say more about the power of celebrity than about fashion.

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The Silent Season of a Hero

The complicated post-retirement life of Joe DiMaggio.

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I Was Russell Crowe’s Stooge

An awkward journalist-Russell Crowe friendship turns even more awkward.

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Interview: Mike Tyson

The champ is now a vegan, claims to be broke, and says he feels freer than ever before. “I have this uncanny ability to look at myself in the mirror and say, ‘This is a pig. You are a fucking piece of shit.’”