Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Anjelica Huston Chronicles First Part of a Fabulous Life

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Anjelica Huston Chronicles First Part of a Fabulous Life

Article excerpt


By Anjelica Huston.

Scribner ($25).

For women of a certain age, many can fondly recall a youthful obsession with all things "mod" -- thanks to the Beatles and Twiggy.

That's why it was so much fun to read actress Anjelica Huston's new memoir. She was right there, living in London at the height of this fashion/culture trend. Spotting icons on the street was a daily occurrence: models, actors, rockers.

Riding the wave of the British invasion on its home turf, Anjelica and her best girlfriend Emily were young teens when they saw early performances by the Yardbirds, the Kinks, Traffic, Cream, Eric Burdon and the Animals, and many more.

One day she passed model Jean Shrimpton and actor Terence Stamp walking in Piccadilly, and "literally gasped at their collective radiance," she tells us.

Later as a budding actress, she would get the chance to understudy the part of Ophelia in "Hamlet" for Marianne Faithfull, Mick Jagger's girlfriend. Once, when invited to the actress- singer's flat, Jagger walked in. "I thought he was amazing -- rail thin, and sexy, insolent eyes and full lips. Having admired him as a schoolgirl, I found meeting him in person quite surreal."

The daughter of legendary film director John Huston, a teenage Angelica was about to audition for Franco Zeffirelli's "Romeo and Juliet" (1968) when her father announced he had other plans for her - - to star in his own film, the forgettable "A Walk With Love and Death."

So unpleasant was the experience that she temporarily swore off acting and became an accomplished fashion model, working for a time with some of the greatest fashion photographers in the world.

London of the 1960s only takes up about one-fourth of her book, but it is my favorite part. With this passage I felt like a school chum exploring the city with her: "... Brut and Old Spice for boys; lavender, sandalwood, and Fracas for the girls; unwashed hair, cigarettes . …

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