|Gloria Swanson with reporter Larry Quirk|
Larry Quirk was my best friend and longtime companion for 35 years. Larry had been an Army sergeant during the Korean War, a Hearst reporter covering the crime beat, a Hollywood columnist and publicity man, and the author of numerous books on movies and celebrities, such as the bestselling Fasten Your Seat Belts: The Passionate Life of Bette Davis and The Kennedys in Hollywood, to name just two. Larry and I collaborated on a few books as well.
It's fitting that of the two pictures I've chosen for this post -- one when Larry was relatively young, decades before I'd met him, and another when he was older -- the first features Gloria Swanson a year or two before she did Sunset Boulevard, a still from which graces this blog. After a solid body of books behind him, Larry began tendering "Quirk Awards" named for his uncle, James. R. Quirk, who edited and published Photoplay magazine back in the golden age. Therefore the second photo shows Larry giving Claudette Colbert an award in her dressing room when she was appearing on Broadway. Originally the awards were for films and actors, but when I began tendering them along with Larry we made them full-fledged performing arts awards, with venues ranging from the Roosevelt Townhouse to the 5 Oaks bar and Rose's Turn in the village, to St. Clement's Theatre on 46th street.
|Larry with Claudette Colbert|
He was a true original, and I and others will miss him very much.
Rest easy, Larry.