elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

Alan K. Campbell (February 21, 1904 – June 14, 1963)

Buried: Hebrew Cemetery, Richmond, Richmond City, Virginia, USA
Find A Grave Memorial# 6993415

In 1988, the NAACP claimed Dorothy Parker's remains and designed a memorial garden for them outside their Baltimore headquarters. The plaque reads: “Here lie the ashes of Dorothy Parker (1893–1967) humorist, writer, critic. Defender of human and civil rights. For her epitaph she suggested, “Excuse my dust.” This memorial garden is dedicated to her noble spirit which celebrated the oneness of humankind and to the bonds of everlasting friendship between black and Jewish people. Dedicated by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. October 28, 1988.”
Address: 4805 Mt Hope Dr, Baltimore, MD 21215, USA (39.34429, -76.70936)
Type: Public Park (open to public)
Phone: +1 410-580-5777
Who: Dorothy Parker (August 22, 1893 – June 7, 1967) and Alan K. Campbell (February 21, 1904 – June 14, 1963)
Dorothy Parker was an American poet, short story writer, critic, and satirist, best known for her wit, wisecracks and eye for XX-century urban foibles. From a conflicted and unhappy childhood, Parker rose to acclaim, both for her literary output in publications such as The New Yorker and as a founding member of the Algonquin Round Table. Following the breakup of the circle, Parker traveled to Hollywood to pursue screenwriting. Her successes there, including two Academy Award nominations, were curtailed when her involvement in left-wing politics led to a place on the Hollywood blacklist. Dismissive of her own talents, she deplored her reputation as a "wisecracker." Nevertheless, her literary output and reputation for sharp wit have endured. Parker was born Dorothy Rothschild to Jacob Henry and Eliza Annie Rothschild (née Marston) at 732 Ocean Avenue in Long Branch, New Jersey, where her parents had a summer beach cottage. Dorothy's mother was of Scottish descent, and her father was of German Jewish descent. Parker wrote in her essay "My Hometown" that her parents got her back to their Manhattan apartment shortly after Labor Day so she could be called a true New Yorker. Her mother died in West End in July 1898, when Parker was a month shy of turning five. Her father remarried in 1900 to a woman named Eleanor Francis Lewis. Parker hated her father, whom she accused of physical abuse; and likewise despised her stepmother, whom she refused to call "mother", "stepmother", or even "Eleanor", instead referring to her as "the housekeeper". She grew up on the Upper West Side and attended a Roman Catholic elementary school at the Convent of the Blessed Sacrament on West 79th Street with sister Helen, despite having a Jewish father and Protestant stepmother. Mercedes de Acosta was a classmate. Parker later went to Miss Dana's School, a finishing school in Morristown, New Jersey. She graduated from Miss Dana's School in 1911, at the age of 18. Following her father's death in 1913, she played piano at a dancing school to earn a living while she worked on her verse. She sold her first poem to Vanity Fair magazine in 1914 and some months later was hired as an editorial assistant for another Condé Nast magazine, Vogue. She moved to Vanity Fair as a staff writer after two years at Vogue. In 1917, she met and married a Wall Street stockbroker, Edwin Pond Parker II (1893–1933), but they were separated by his army service in WWI. Her career took off while she was writing theatre criticism for Vanity Fair, which she began to do in 1918 as a stand-in for the vacationing P. G. Wodehouse. At the magazine, she met Robert Benchley, who became a close friend, and Robert E. Sherwood. The trio began lunching at the Algonquin Hotel on a near-daily basis and became founding members of the Algonquin Round Table. The Round Table numbered among its members the newspaper columnists Franklin Pierce Adams and Alexander Woollcott. When Harold Ross founded The New Yorker in 1925, Parker and Benchley were part of a "board of editors" established by Ross to allay concerns of his investors. She eventually separated from her husband, divorcing in 1928, and had a number of affairs. Her lovers included reporter-turned-playwright Charles MacArthur and the publisher Seward Collins. Her relationship with MacArthur resulted in a pregnancy, about which Parker is alleged to have remarked, "how like me, to put all my eggs into one bastard." She had an abortion, and fell into a depression that culminated in her first attempt at suicide. In 1934, she married Alan Campbell, an actor with aspirations to become a screenwriter. Like Parker, he was half-Jewish and half-Scottish. He was reputed to be bisexual—indeed, Parker claimed in public that he was "queer as a billy goat". The pair moved to Hollywood and signed ten-week contracts with Paramount Pictures, with Campbell (who was also expected to act) earning $250 per week and Parker earning $1,000 per week. They would eventually earn $2,000 and in some instances upwards of $5,000 per week as freelancers for various studios. She and Campbell worked on more than 15 films. With Robert Carson and Campbell, she wrote the script for the 1937 film “A Star is Born,” for which they were nominated for an Academy Award for Best Writing—Screenplay. She received another Oscar nomination, with Frank Cavett, for 1947's “Smash-Up, the Story of a Woman,” starring Susan Hayward. Parker met S. J. Perelman at a party in 1932, and despite a rocky start (Perelman called it "a scarifying ordeal") - they remained friends for the next 35 years, even becoming neighbors when the Perelmans helped Parker and Campbell buy a run-down farm in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Her marriage to Campbell was tempestuous, with tensions exacerbated by Parker's increasing alcohol consumption and Campbell's long-term affair with a married woman while he was in Europe during WWII. They divorced in 1947, then remarried in 1950. Parker moved back to New York in 1952, living at the Volney residential hotel at 23 East 74th Street on the Upper East Side. She returned to Hollywood in 1961 and reconciled with Campbell. In the next two years, they worked together on a number of unproduced projects. Campbell died of an apparent suicide on June 14, 1963 in West Hollywood, California. While Parker insisted that he would never have intentionally killed himself, and reported his death as "accidental", he had been drinking all day; capsules of the barbiturate Seconal were found around his bed, and a plastic bag was draped over his neck and shoulders. The coroner's report listed the cause of death as "acute barbiturate poisoning due to an ingestion of overdose". His remains were returned to Richmond for burial at the Hebrew Cemetery (N 4th St & Hospital St, Richmond, VA 23219). Following Campbell's death, Parker returned to New York City and the Volney residential hotel. Parker died on June 7, 1967, of a heart attack at the age of 73. In her will, she bequeathed her estate to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Following King's death, her estate was passed on to the NAACP. Her executor, Lillian Hellman, bitterly but unsuccessfully contested this disposition. Her ashes remained unclaimed in various places, including her attorney Paul O'Dwyer's filing cabinet, for approximately 17 years.

Queer Places, Vol. 1 edited by Elisa Rolle
ISBN-13: 978-1532901904
ISBN-10: 1532901909
Release Date: July 24, 2016
CreateSpace Store: https://www.createspace.com/6228297
Amazon (print): http://www.amazon.com/dp/1532901909/?tag=elimyrevandra-20
Amazon (kindle): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01IZ1BU9K/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

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