WHO DID TRUMAN CAPOTE BASE HOLLY GOLIGHTLY ON?
*CAUTION: If you don’t feel like reading this post: the answer is we will never know. And if you don’t like this book/movie definitely don’t read this.
Truman Capote wrote Breakfast at Tiffany’s in.. I dunno. the late 50s, 58 I think. And the movie is totally different from the book. well not totally but whatevs. Anyway, Holly Golightly was such an interesting character ppl have been trying to figure out who his inspiration ever since it was written. Obvi Mr. Capote was probably too much of a narcissist that he would never tell anyone 1) bc that might be bad author etiquette and 2) it brought him loads and loads of attention and he was a total attention whore. (so i have read). Since he hung around a crowd of rich socialites there are tons of intertesting ppl who might have been his influence.
No one will ever know but I didn’t have anything else to write about so deal w/ it.
Here’s a little quote from Playboy w/ Mr. Capote about this very same question:
Was the characterisation of Holly based on a real person?
bullshit. Okay.. lets observe:
But first, lets give Holly some attention:
In case you live in another universe and don’t know much abt this movie/ book here is your eliz cliffsnotes version:
In my opinion Holly has it going on- kinda. While she is in New York, Holly is a charming socialite with an array of lovers, most of whom she refers to as rats or in some cases super rats. I think i know some super rats myself. The ones that she works the hardest for are ones that are rich. (Bravo) And when I say “works for” I mean she escorts them. Shes sort of a high class prostitute.
Holly is a traveler, and can never really call anywhere home which is why her apartment looks like she moved into it yesterday. and travels around with her cat named cat bc she decides she can’t name him until the two of them find a permanent place to live.
She is totally fun and unpredictable and she has an odd mixture of child-like innocence and street smart sexuality. I love when she goes to the bar w/ Fred to get drunk and there is a stripper/dancer and shes totally interested and asks “do you think shes beautiful.. like deeply and importantly beautiful.” Or something like that. The lady was totally hein and the striptease was like nothing I had ever seen before. eek. anyway, Holly is rad.
So, she steals if she wants to, she breaks into handome neighbors apartments at night, she throws lavish parties and books it out the fire escape when the cops come and basically she cares little for other people’s feelings. This girl does what she wants when she wants and doesn’t give a shit what other ppl think. God, sometimes I wish I was more like that.
Holly also has some serious opinions on love and vulnerability quoting: ” If you end let yourself love a wild thing. You’ll just end up looking at the sky.”I’m not going to pretend I know exactly what that means but it kinda seems like she thinks shes too wild too ever be tamed. like shell never be happy w a man just for love- she needs money. Plus anyone who falls for her will prob be miserable anyway bc shes the best kind of crazy bitch. This is also he also says: “I told you: you can make yourself love anybody.” True. I think. unless they seriously suck ass.
My favorite part about her is how she goes to Tiffany’s when she has the “mean reds” which aren’t like the blues (eg. you’re getting fat or are moping around… best description ever) Mean reds are far worse and the only thing that can cure them is going to Tiffany’s. even if its 5am and shes just going home.. w/ a coffee and a croissant. I’ve totally felt that way. More about Bendel’s but same thing.
Okay, so lets get to it. Who did Truman base this crazy awesome chick based on? I picked out four possibilities
#1 Maeve Brennan
Maeve Brennan was mentioned in one of my earlier posts about un appreciated historical socialites. Both Brennan and Capote worked at Harper’s Bazaar, which is probably where they met. They also worked at The New Yorker (where Brennan wrote a column called The Long-Winded Lady) at the same time. She was an extreme eccentric (coming to work at all hours of the day and night, drunk, forgetting her keys, unpredictable, etc.) She was like holly bc she spent far beyond her means was totally erratic and often had a case of the “mean reds” (which btw is one of my favorite terms.)Sadly this soon turned into obsessive behaviour and she became an alcoholic. Towards the end of her life, she was committed to a hospital, where she died in 1993.
#2 Dorris Lilly
After Capote published “, he became very good friends with Doris Lilly, a blonde starlet who famously dated Gene Kelly and Ronald Reagan and with whom he’d eat dinner and talk for hours. She was like Holly in that she always wanted to be a Hollywood actress and was always in the know abt important white lady social matters. 🙂 She also was not a huge fan of men, or at least she was pragmatic abt them and actually wrote “how to marry a millionaire” which is one of my fave moves. RAD. Lilly said “Truman used to come over all the time and watch me put make-up on before I went out…, there’s a lot of me in Holly Golightly”. Another sad story: Lilly died in 1991 with no money. Her mountain of costume jewellery, given to her by her many admirers over the years, had to be sold off to cover funeral costs. Damn, now that IS sad.
#3 Suzy Parker and Dorian Leigh
#4 Gloria Vanderbilt
Gloria portrayed total blue blood confidence which is what Holly was kinda going for- or pretending to be since in reality her life was a mess, in my opinion. She was def a bg spender and some say the first “poor little rich girl” (altho I say that was EDIE) she canoodled with the likes of Howard Hughes, Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra but was always elusive abt her personal life. In an interview she quoted
‘Everything in life is elusive,’ she says. ‘So that’s the way it came out. It’s something you can’t quite catch.’ What have you left out? ‘Hundreds, millions, trillions of things.’ What’s the most significant one? ‘Oh, I’m not going to tell you,’ she says, and laughs. ‘The heart of another is a dark forest. You know that. I’m never going to know you and you’re never going to know me – so what I’ve left out is the same thing in you, which nobody else is ever going to know. Do you understand that?’
Instead of being chaperoned to tea dances with nice boys at the Plaza as was appropriate for her upbringing, she spent her nights at Ciro’s and Mocambo, squired by Hollywood stars like Van Heflin, Bruce Cabot and Errol Flynn. Sounds good to me. There is obvi a lot more but its not really relevant.
Holly was prob a combination of all these awesome ladies. Plus this post was a little pointless since well never really know. Holly Golightly is so original shes prob a mixture of everyone.
And here’s a little more info abt the mean reds you might need. I know I get them far too often.
okay thats all. xoxo
P.S. I was going to involve the song “Moon River” since this is supposed to be a music blog.. but weve all heard it a million times and.. I just can’t bring myself to make everyone have it in thier head all day. You can thank me later.