Truman Capote was born Truman Strekfus Persons in New Orleans on September 24, 1924, the son of Archulus Persons and Lillie Mae Faulk but came to live in Monroeville, Alabama in 1928 when his mother divorced.
It was this location and the family and friends he knew there that would live on in Capote's later work. The "double-trunked chinatree" in his neighbors back yard became the refuge for the band of
outcasts in The Grass Harp. His adventures with his beloved Sook became the basis of A Christmas Memory and The Thanksgiving Visitor. His first book in 1948, Other Voices, Other Rooms was also set in the Deep South and gained wide success.
In 1935, Truman was adopted by his mother's second husband, Joseph Garcia Capote and was sent to a series of boarding schools. He graduated from Franklin High School in New York and, after a short stint at The New Yorker; he turned to writing full time. While living in Alabama with relatives and later in New Orleans, Capote published several short stories and worked on his first novel, Other Voices, Other Rooms, which was published by Random House in 1948.
Over the next ten years Capote continued to write short stories. He also published travel pieces, journalistic articles, and interviews in various magazines. In 1958 His second novel, Breakfast at
Tiffany's was published; in 1959 he began research on the Clutter family murders in Kansas. This research, conducted with the assistance of his childhood friend Nelle Harper Lee, formed the basis for In Cold Blood, which was published in 1965.
Truman Capote¹s work was never confined to novels and magazine articles. From almost the beginning of his career he wrote or adapted for the screen and stage. The Grass Harp became a play in 1952, The House of Flowers in 1954 and a string of movie scripts: Beat the Devil, Breakfast at Tiffany¹s, The Innocents, In Cold Blood, Among the Paths to Eden, Laura, Trilogy, Behind Prison Walls, Crimewatch and The Glass House.
Truman Capote died in Los Angeles, California in August 1984, shortly before his sixtieth birthday.
"Crystalline" is the word most often used to describe her voice. Rebecca Luker, currently starring as "Marian Paroo" in Meredith Willson's The Music Man on Broadway, grew up in the small town of Helena, Alabama.
In 1984, after she graduated from the University of Montevallo with a Bachelor of Music degree, she found herself in Detroit performing at Michigan Opera Theatre as "Johanna" in Sweeney Todd and as "Anne" in A Little Night Music with seasoned veterans Cleo Laine, Judy Kaye and Ron Raines.
Those roles catapulted her to New York. In 1985, after only two weeks in the city, she landed a concert at the New Amsterdam Theatre and soon after was cast in The Phantom of the Opera as Sarah Brightman's understudy in the role of "Christine." Ultimately, she made the role her own.
She created her own first Broadway role in The Secret Garden as the ethereal "Lily" opposite Mandy Patinkin and received a Drama Desk nomination for her efforts. A Tony Award nomination next came her way for her performance as "Magnolia" in Hal Prince¹s acclaimed production of Showboat. For her appearanceas "Maria" in the 1998 revival of The Sound of Music she received the Outer Critic Circle Award nomination. For her performance in The Music Man she has been nominated for a Tony Award, a Drama Desk Award and an Outer Critic Circle Award.
Along the way, Rebecca has been heard on nearly twenty recordings including her own solo recording Anything Goes: Rebecca Luker Sings Cole Porter. Other recordings include Aria I and II, Placido Domingo: The Broadway I Love, The Boys From Syracuse, Strike up the Band, Annie Get Your Gun, Broadway Showstoppers, and the original cast recordings of The Music Man, The Secret Garden, The Sound of Music and Showboat.
On television she has been seen in the NBC movie Cupid and Cate, she¹s guest starred on Matlock and was a featured soloist on An Evening with the Pops, An Oscar Hammerstein Celebration, A Rogers and Hart Celebration, My Favorite Broadway: The Leading Ladies and My Favorite Broadway: The Love Songs all on PBS.
To Kill A Mocking Bird
The plot of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD has become so well known that even grade-school children can provide a brief summary. Atticus Fitch and his two children, Scout and Jem, live in a small rural Alabama town in 1930s. As the two children explore their world and learn lessons that we must all eventually learn, their father is appointed to defend a black man accused of raping a white woman. His grace and strength through the trial, teach the children volumes about growing up and right and wrong.
Virtually from the moment of publication in 1960, Harper Lee's novel TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD was destined to become a film. That it did so in less than two years and went on to win three Academy Awards, is a testament to the universal appeal of the story.
The motion picture rights to the novel were sold to Alan Pakula and Robert Mulligan in February 1961, less than two months before the novel was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. By the first week of January 1962, pre-production was well under way and Gregory Peck, who was to star in the film, traveled to Monroeville to observe the locals and visit with Lee. Two Alabama children had won key roles in the film, Phillip Alford was cast as "Jem" and Mary Badham was to play "Scout" the narrator of the story.
An exclusive pre-release showing of the movie was held in Hollywood on Christmas Day 1962 to qualify the picture for the 1962 Academy Awards. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD was nominated for eight Academy Awards and won three: Best Actor (Peck), Best Screenplay (Horton Foote) and Best Art Direction-Set Direction (Alexander Golitzen and Henry Bumstead). The film was also nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography (Russell Harlan), Best Supporting Actress (Badham), and Best Music Score. (An interesting side note is that Mary Badham lost out to another youngster, Patty Duke, for her portrayal of an Alabamian, the young Helen Keller.)