WORLD-OBITS-L ArchivesArchiver > WORLD-OBITS > 2005-11 > 1132694323
From: "Peter_McCrae" <>
Subject: LAMBERT: Gavin Lambert-19/7/2005>usa\ca
Date: Tue, 22 Nov 2005 21:18:43 -0000
7/19/05 - Gavin Lambert, the British-born author and screenwriter whose
novels such as Inside Daisy Clover" and nonfiction works, including
biographies of screenstars Norma Shearer and Natalie Wood, earned him a
reputation as one of Hollywood's finest chroniclers, has died. He was 80.
Lambert, who lived in Los Angeles,CA off and on for the last five decades
most recently a resident of West Hollywood, died of pulmonary fibrosis
Barlow Respiratory Hospital in Los Angeles, CA said his longtime friend Mart
Crowley, who wrote the landmark play "The Boys in the Band."
A former editor of the prestigious British film magazine Sight & Sound,
arrived in Hollywood in the mid 1950s as director Nicholas Ray's assistant.
then on, he devoted much of his life crafting what one book reviewer called
"elegant, elegiac, arch fictions about his adopted home, Hollywood."
Among his novels are "The Slide Area: Scenes of Hollywood Life," "Inside
Clover," "A Case for the Angels," "The Goodbye People" and "Running Time."
In her review of "The Ivan Moffat File," a 2004 book about screenwriter
that Lambert edited, critic Carolyn See said of Lambert: "Both his 'Inside
Clover,' an artful study of creativity, longing and heedless love, and 'The
Slide Area,' written in the sophisticated, elegiac style of Christopher
Isherwood's 'The Berlin Stories,' remain as terrific today as when they were
"One has to see - quite apart from his talent - that Lambert is a gentleman
well as a writer entirely committed to recording the history of this magic
As a screenwriter, Lambert's credits include his adaptation of Tennessee
Williams' "The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone," his adaptation of "Inside Daisy
Clover," and his two shared Oscar-nominated adaptations, "Sons and Lovers"
"I Never Promised You a Rose Garden."
As a biographer, he wrote "Norma Shearer: A Life," "Nazimova: A Biography,"
"Mainly About Lindsay Anderson," a combination biography-memoir about the
acclaimed British director and his lifelong friend; and "Natalie Wood: A
Lambert also wrote "On Cukor," a full-length interview with director George
Cukor; and "GWTW: The Making of Gone With the Wind."
Writer Dominick Dunne said he considered Lambert to be "a major Hollywood
historian," whose "The Slide Area" is one of the best books on Los Angeles
the movie business he has ever read.
"He was the guy at the party who observed more than participated," Dunne, a
longtime friend of Lambert's, told The Times on Monday. "He could be very
- funny in a quiet way. His observations on Hollywood life and Hollywood
were just incredible."
Kevin Thomas, The Times' veteran film writer, said Lambert "was tremendously
knowledgeable about Hollywood people and history, and very perceptive, very
insightful and very comprehensive. I consider him a big loss as someone who
think had a real understanding of Hollywood's legacy and how Hollywood has
Director Nicolas Roeg, for whom Lambert adapted Tennessee Williams' "Sweet
of Youth" for a 1989 TV production starring Elizabeth Taylor and Mark
said Lambert was "a terrific writer," who, despite having some of his
successes in the 1960s, "didn't stay rooted in the past."
"He moved on in style and attitude," Roeg said. "He was quite an exciting
thought he was extraordinary."
Born in East Grinstead, England, on July 23, 1924, Lambert attended
College , where he first met Anderson. He also attended Magdalen College,
but left after a year, he said later, after discovering he had to learn
English to earn a degree.
Lambert later wrote that he "never made any secret" of the fact that he was
"but was never militant - unless it was 'militant' to inform the tribunal
summoned" and rejected him for military service in 1942 that he was a
His first job was writing scripts for two-minute commercial films shown in
theaters. He also wrote short stories that were published in literary
In 1948, he collaborated with Anderson as an editor of an iconoclastic film
magazine, Sequence. As a film critic, he became known for championing
films such as Ray's "They Live By Night" and Max Ophuls' "Letter from an
Two years later, he became editor of Sight & Sound, a position he held until
Taking a sabbatical in the winter of 1955-56, he wrote and directed an
independently financed movie, "Another Sky," a low-budget film shot on
in Morocco. It drew the admiration of Luis Bunuel and Ray.
After becoming Ray's personal assistant in Hollywood, Lambert did uncredited
writing on Ray's films "Bigger Than Life" and "The True Story of Jesse
and he collaborated on the script for "Bitter Victory."
In what may have been his last public appearance, Lambert joined author Gore
Vidal and others at a motion picture academy salute to Greta Garbo in April.
Like Vidal, Lambert had known the film legend.
"Everybody adored him," said Crowley on Monday, describing his friend of 40
years as "very droll" and "terribly fun to be with."
"He liked to go to every party and be out almost every night," said Crowley.
"But he was an intense worker every day. His work habits were extraordinary.
worked every morning and played every night."
Lambert, who became an American citizen in 1964, is survived by his brother,
Denys M. Lambert.
At Lambert's request, no funeral service will be held.
|LAMBERT: Gavin Lambert-19/7/2005>usa\ca by "Peter_McCrae" <>|