John Paul Dunphy was born in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and raised in a working class neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He trained in ballet under Catherine Littlefield, danced at the 1939 New York World's Fair, and toured with the George Balanchine company in South America in 1941.
He married another Philadelphia dancer, Joan McCracken. They later appeared in the original Broadway production of Oklahoma! in 1943, in which McCracken played Elvie and Dunphy danced as one of the cowboys. Dunphy also danced in The Prodigal Son, a ballet performed on Broadway in conjunction with The Pirates of Penzance in 1942.
Dunphy enlisted in the U.S. Army in January 1944 during World War II. During his service, he published his first work, "The Life of a Carrot," in Short Story magazine.
When he met Truman Capote in 1948, Dunphy had written a well-received novel, John Fury, and was just getting over a painful divorce from McCracken. In 1950 the two writers settled in Taormina, Sicily, in a house where the author D. H. Lawrence had once lived. Ten years older than Capote, Dunphy was in many ways Capote’s opposite, as solitary as Truman was exuberantly social. Though they drifted more and more apart in the later years, the couple stayed together until Capote's death.
Jack Dunphy and Truman Capote by Jared French
Truman Capote was an American author, many of whose short stories, novels, plays, and nonfiction are recognized literary classics, including the novella Breakfast at Tiffany's (1958) and the true crime novel In Cold Blood (1966), which he labeled a "nonfiction novel." Jack Dunphy was an American novelist and playwright, well known today for his long-term relationship with American author Truman Capote. When he met Capote in 1948, Dunphy had written a well-received novel, John Fury.
Jack Dunphy & Truman Capote's stone at Crooked Pond in the Long Pond Greenbelt in Southampton (town), New York. Truman Capote was cremated and buried in Westwood Memorial Park, Los Angeles, California, leaving behind Jack Dunphy. When Dunphy died in 1992, some of their ashes were mixed together and scattered at Crooked Pond, Long Island, New York, where they had maintained property together. Another portion of his cremated remains was given to his friend, Joanne Carson.
When Capote died in 1984, his will named Dunphy as the chief beneficiary. Eight years later, Dunphy died of cancer in New York, at age 77.
Dunphy was portrayed in the film Infamous (2006) by John Benjamin Hickey and in the film Capote (2005) by Bruce Greenwood.
John Fury (Harper and Brothers, 1946), is the story of an Irish working-class man who moves from a happy marriage to an unpleasant one in a life of poverty, hard work, and frustration, where his only reprisal is anger. According to the website of Ayer Company Publishers, a reprint publisher of rare and hard to find titles, Mary McGrory praised the book in the New York Times at the time of publication: "It adds up to a remarkable first novel, warm and strong, its unflinching realism saved from brutality by the author's compassion and restraint... What Betty Smith did tenderly for Brooklyn, James T. Farrell harshly for Chicago and, most recently, Edward McSorley in his moving Our Own Kind for Providence, Dunphy does for Philadelphia." Calmann-Lévy published a French translation in 1949, which is available at the Library of Congress. Arno Press reprinted the English version in 1976.
Other Dunphy novels are Friends and Vague Lovers (Farrar, Straus and Young, 1952), Nightmovers (William Morrow, 1967), An Honest Woman (Random House, 1971), First Wine (Louisiana State University Press, 1982) and its sequel, The Murderous McLaughlins, (McGraw-Hill, 1988). In this book, set again in Philadelphia, c. 1917, the same narrator, at age eight, tries to get his errant father Jim to return home to his family.
Dunphy also wrote Dear Genius: A Memoir of My Life with Truman Capote, published by McGraw-Hill in 1987. According to the review at Amazon.com, the book is actually a novel, with the subtitle provided by the publisher; Dunphy had subtitled the manuscript more accurately A Tribute to Truman Capote.
Dunphy's plays include: Light a Penny Candle; Saturday Night Kid, a play for two men and one woman which opened at the Provincetown Playhouse on May 15, 1958, for a ten-day run; The Gay Apprentice, a play for four men and five women; Café Moon, a one-act fantasy for seven men and two women about an aging and disillusioned clerk who drinks his nights away; Too Close for Comfort, a full-length comedy/drama for three men and one woman about a suicide-prone young man. It played for one performance at the Lucille Lortel Theatre, at the time known as the Theatre de Lys Theatre on Christopher Street in New York on February 19, 1960, in a double-bill as part of the American National Theater and Academy (ANTA) Matinee Series, along with Dunphy's The Gay Apprentice; Squirrel a one-act sketch for two men and one woman about a shy office clerk who likes squirrels so much he almost believes he is one. It played at the same theater as part of the ANTA series on April 10, 1962.
Performance dates can be found on the webpage for the Lortel Foundation's Internet Off-Broadway Database. The last three plays are available as photocopied manuscripts from Dramatists Play Service.
Burial: Cremated, Ashes scattered.
Jack Dunphy and Truman Capote by Jared French
Truman Capote (September 30, 1924 – August 25, 1984) was an American author, many of whose short stories, novels, plays, and nonfiction are recognized literary classics, including the novella Breakfast at Tiffany's (1958) and true crime novel In Cold Blood (1966), which he labeled a "nonfiction novel." At least 20 films and television dramas have been produced from Capote novels, stories and screenplays.
Capote rose above a childhood troubled by divorce, a long absence from his mother and multiple migrations. He discovered his calling by the age of 11, and for the rest of his childhood he honed his writing ability. Capote began his professional career writing short stories. The critical success of one story, "Miriam" (1945), attracted the attention of Random House publisher Bennett Cerf, resulting in a contract to write Other Voices, Other Rooms (1948). Capote earned the most fame with In Cold Blood (1966), a journalistic work about the murder of a Kansas farm family in their home, a book Capote spent four years writing, with much help from Harper Lee, who wrote the famous To Kill a Mockingbird. A milestone in popular culture, it was the peak of his career, although it was not his final book. In the 1970s, he maintained his celebrity status by appearing on television talk shows.
Born Truman Streckfus Persons in New Orleans, Louisiana, the son of 17-year-old Lillie Mae Faulk and salesman Archulus Persons. His parents divorced when he was four, and he was sent to Monroeville, Alabama, where, for the following four to five years, he was raised by his mother's relatives. He formed a fast bond with his mother's distant relative, Nanny Rumbley Faulk, whom Truman called "Sook". "Her face is remarkable — not unlike Lincoln's, craggy like that, and tinted by sun and wind," is how Capote described Sook in "A Christmas Memory". In Monroeville, he was a neighbor and friend of author Harper Lee, who wrote the 1960 novel To Kill a Mockingbird, with the character Dill being based on Capote.
Donald Windham was an American novelist and memoirist. He is perhaps best known for his friendships with Truman Capote and Tennessee Williams. Windham became estranged from Williams in the Seventies after Williams published his Memoirs. Windham later published a volume of their correspondence, which Williams claimed was done without permission. Windham remained a friend of Capote until Capote's death. Lost Friendships, a memoir of his friendship with Capote and Williams, was published in 1987.
Truman Capote by Carl Van Vechten
As a lonely child, Capote taught himself to read and write before he entered his first year of schooling. Capote was often seen at age five carrying his dictionary and notepad, and he began writing fiction at the age of 11. He was given the nickname Bulldog around this age, possibly a phonetic reference and pun of "Bulldog Truman" to the fictional detective Bulldog Drummond popular in films of the mid-1930s.
On Saturdays, he made trips from Monroeville to the nearby city of Mobile on the Gulf Coast, and at one point he submitted a short story, "Old Mrs. Busybody", to a children's writing contest sponsored by the Mobile Press Register. Capote received recognition for his early work from The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards in 1936.
In 1933, he moved to New York City to live with his mother and her second husband, Joseph Capote, a Cuban-born textile broker, who adopted him as his stepson and renamed him Truman García Capote. However, Joseph was convicted of embezzlement and shortly afterwards, when his income crashed, the family was forced to leave Park Avenue.
Of his early days, Capote related, "I began writing really sort of seriously when I was about 11. I say seriously in the sense that like other kids go home and practice the violin or the piano or whatever, I used to go home from school every day, and I would write for about three hours. I was obsessed by it." In 1935, he attended the Trinity School in New York City. He then attended St. Joseph Military Academy. In 1939, the Capote family moved to Greenwich, Connecticut, and Truman attended Greenwich High School, where he wrote for both the school's literary journal, The Green Witch, and the school newspaper. When they returned to New York City in 1942 he attended the Franklin School, an Upper West Side private school, graduating in 1943. That was the end of his formal education.
While still attending Franklin in 1943, Capote began working as copyboy in the art department at The New Yorker, a job he held for two years, before being fired for angering poet Robert Frost. Years later, he reminisced, "Not a very grand job, for all it really involved was sorting cartoons and clipping newspapers. Still, I was fortunate to have it, especially since I was determined never to set a studious foot inside a college classroom. I felt that either one was or wasn't a writer, and no combination of professors could influence the outcome. I still think I was correct, at least in my own case." He left his job to live with relatives in Alabama and begin a first novel, Summer Crossing.
Capote and his Monroeville neighbor, Harper Lee, remained lifelong friends. He based the character of Idabel in Other Voices, Other Rooms on her, and was in turn the inspiration for the character Dill Harris in Lee's 1960 bestselling, Pulitzer Prize-winning novel To Kill a Mockingbird. Capote once acknowledged this: "Mr. and Mrs. Lee, Harper Lee's mother and father, lived very near. Harper Lee was my best friend. Did you ever read her book, To Kill a Mockingbird? I'm a character in that book, which takes place in the same small town in Alabama where we lived. Her father was a lawyer, and she and I used to go to trials all the time as children. We went to the trials instead of going to the movies." Like Capote, Dill is creative, bold, and comes from a troubled family. Later, Lee was his crucial research partner for In Cold Blood.
Capote was 5 feet 3 inches (160 cm) tall and openly homosexual. One of his first serious lovers was Smith College literature professor Newton Arvin, who won the National Book Award for his Herman Melville biography in 1951. It was to Arvin that Capote dedicated Other Voices, Other Rooms.
Capote was well known for his distinctive, high-pitched voice and odd vocal mannerisms, his offbeat manner of dress and his fabrications. He often claimed to know intimately people whom he had in fact never met, such as Greta Garbo. He professed to have had numerous liaisons with men thought to be heterosexual, including, he claimed, Errol Flynn. He traveled in an eclectic array of social circles, hobnobbing with authors, critics, business tycoons, philanthropists, Hollywood and theatrical celebrities, royalty, and members of high society, both in the U.S. and abroad. Part of his public persona was a longstanding rivalry with writer Gore Vidal. Their rivalry prompted Tennessee Williams to complain: "You would think they were running neck-and-neck for some fabulous gold prize." Apart from his favorite authors (Willa Cather, Isak Dinesen, Marcel Proust), Capote had faint praise for other writers. However, one who did get his favorable endorsement was journalist Lacey Fosburgh, author of Closing Time: The True Story of the Goodbar Murder (1977). He also claimed an admiration for Andy Warhol's The Philosophy of Andy Warhol: From A to B & Back Again.
Despite the assertion earlier in life that one "lost an IQ point for every year spent on the West Coast," he purchased a home in Palm Springs and began to indulge in a more aimless lifestyle and heavy drinking. This resulted in bitter quarreling with his life partner, Jack Dunphy, with whom he had shared a nonexclusive relationship since the 1950s. Their partnership changed form and continued as a nonsexual one, and they were separated during much of the 1970s. Dunphy was irritated by the unwavering substance abuse and even went so far as to allege that Capote had slept with Radziwill. However, others have alleged that Dunphy, a writer and playwright of far less renown, was unappreciative of money and gifts bestowed on him by Capote (including a Swiss condominium that Capote had little use for).
In July 1973 Capote met John O'Shea, the middle-aged vice president of Marine Midland Bank on Long Island, while visiting a bathhouse. The married father of three did not identify as homosexual or bisexual, perceiving his visits as being a "kind of masturbation." However, O'Shea found Capote's fortune alluring and harbored aspirations to become a professional writer. After consummating their relationship in Palm Springs, the two engaged in an ongoing war of jealousy and manipulation for the remainder of the decade. Longtime friends were appalled when O'Shea, who was officially employed as Capote's manager, attempted to take total control of the author's literary and business interests.
Capote died in Los Angeles on August 25, 1984, aged 59 from liver cancer. According to the coroner's report the cause of death was "liver disease complicated by phlebitis and multiple drug intoxication". He died at the home of his old friend Joanne Carson, ex-wife of late-night TV host Johnny Carson, on whose program Capote had been a frequent guest. He was interred in the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles, leaving behind his longtime companion, author Jack Dunphy. Dunphy died in 1992, and in 1994 both his and Capote's ashes were scattered at Crooked Pond, between Bridgehampton, New York and Sag Harbor, New York on Long Island, close to where the two had maintained a property with individual houses for many years. Capote also maintained the property in Palm Springs, a condominium in Switzerland that was mostly occupied by Dunphy seasonally, and a primary residence at the United Nations Plaza in New York City. Capote's will provided that after Dunphy's death a literary trust would be established, sustained by revenues from Capote's works, to fund various literary prizes and grants including the Truman Capote Award for Literary Criticism in Memory of Newton Arvin, commemorating not only Capote but also his friend Newton Arvin, the Smith College professor and critic, who lost his job after his homosexuality was exposed.
After his death, fellow writer Gore Vidal described Capote's demise as "a good career move".
Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote (1955). Or “Answered Prayers” or “Music For Chameleons.” Pretty much anything by the tiny, fame-crazed Southern-Belle in Brooks Brothers clothing will do. His writing is never less than wonderful and everything he wrote is so imbued with his unstoppably queer sensibility that it doesn’t make any difference what the character’s gender preference happens to be. “Tiffany’s” happens to be a perfect piece of fiction; and the way that Capote hides/reveals his gay narrator is a masterly example of how deft closeted, Pre-Stonewall writers could “play the game.” --Felice Picano
I was honored when I discovered Truman and his lover (Jack Dunphy) read “Gaywyck” aloud to one another at Christmas. True, there is a long Christmas-shopping sequence in it, but I think what amused them most was the echoes (more like shouts!) in it of Truman's first novel, which I add to my list here because when I read it in my youth I was blissed out by Joel Harrison Knox, its 13-year-old hero, and his great spiritual awakening of self-acceptance at the end: "I am me," he exclaims. "I am Joel, we are the same people." For me this is a stunning (and “Gaywyc” inspiring) reference to Emily Bronte's Catherine Earnshaw exclaiming in “Wuthering Heights” --another of my favorite books! --"Heathcliffe and I are the same person," which is the great rallying cry for dementia in romantic literature and novels by obsessives like M. Proust and in all those popular love songs I adore. Then add a vast Southern gothic mansion, a cousin Randolph in Mardi Gras drag waving as a "queer lady" in a window, and see just how much I love "homages" (as opposed to stealing?) from books I revere. And, oh, how that Truman could write! When was the last time you read “Breakfast at Tiffany's”? I recently lent a copy of “In Cold Blood” to a young friend who passed it on to SIX others in a state of shock over its (and Truman's) greatness. Yes, indeed, a genius talent for our side.... --Vincent VirgaDays of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time by Elisa Rolle
Paperback: 760 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (July 1, 2014)
CreateSpace Store: https://www.createspace.com/4910282
Amazon (Paperback): http://www.amazon.com/dp/1500563323/?tag=e
Amazon (Kindle): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MZG0VHY/?tag=e
Days of Love chronicles more than 700 LGBT couples throughout history, spanning 2000 years from Alexander the Great to the most recent winner of a Lambda Literary Award. Many of the contemporary couples share their stories on how they met and fell in love, as well as photos from when they married or of their families. Included are professional portraits by Robert Giard and Stathis Orphanos, paintings by John Singer Sargent and Giovanni Boldini, and photographs by Frances Benjamin Johnson, Arnold Genthe, and Carl Van Vechten among others. “It's wonderful. Laying it out chronologically is inspired, offering a solid GLBT history. I kept learning things. I love the decision to include couples broken by death. It makes clear how important love is, as well as showing what people have been through. The layout and photos look terrific.” Christopher Bram “I couldn’t resist clicking through every page. I never realized the scope of the book would cover centuries! I know that it will be hugely validating to young, newly-emerging LGBT kids and be reassured that they really can have a secure, respected place in the world as their futures unfold.” Howard Cruse “This international history-and-photo book, featuring 100s of detailed bios of some of the most forward-moving gay persons in history, is sure to be one of those bestsellers that gay folk will enjoy for years to come as reference and research that is filled with facts and fun.” Jack Fritscher
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