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Truman Capote

Truman Capote

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Also Known As: Truman Streckfus Persons Died: August 25, 1984
Born: September 30, 1924 Cause of Death: liver disease complicated by multiple drug intoxication
Birth Place: New Orleans, Louisiana, USA Profession: author, screenwriter, actor, librettist, copy boy

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A literary genius who crafted tight, flawless prose and displayed keen insight into human nature, author Truman Capote belied his level-headed approach to writing by adopting a flamboyant and often strange public persona. Capote was the toast of high society and one of literature's most promising young authors when he emerged with two of his most revered novels, Other Voices, Other Room (1948) and The Grass Harp (1951). His literary prowess grew with arguably his best work of fiction, Breakfast at Tiffany's (1958), which introduced the world to the independent and social-climbing Holly Golightly. But Capote reached his greatest achievement with In Cold Blood (1966), a non-fictional look at the gruesome murder of the Clutter family in Holcomb, KS, which was hailed as a groundbreaking work in the true crime genre. But by the time of his premature death in 1984, Capote had lost his social and literary appeal, thanks in large part to crippling drug and alcohol addiction. Sadly, the largest contributor to his low public estimation was Capote himself. Several public feuds with literary contemporaries - notably Gore Vidal and Norman Mailer - as well as becoming an exaggerated self-caricature and a penchant...

A literary genius who crafted tight, flawless prose and displayed keen insight into human nature, author Truman Capote belied his level-headed approach to writing by adopting a flamboyant and often strange public persona. Capote was the toast of high society and one of literature's most promising young authors when he emerged with two of his most revered novels, Other Voices, Other Room (1948) and The Grass Harp (1951). His literary prowess grew with arguably his best work of fiction, Breakfast at Tiffany's (1958), which introduced the world to the independent and social-climbing Holly Golightly. But Capote reached his greatest achievement with In Cold Blood (1966), a non-fictional look at the gruesome murder of the Clutter family in Holcomb, KS, which was hailed as a groundbreaking work in the true crime genre. But by the time of his premature death in 1984, Capote had lost his social and literary appeal, thanks in large part to crippling drug and alcohol addiction. Sadly, the largest contributor to his low public estimation was Capote himself. Several public feuds with literary contemporaries - notably Gore Vidal and Norman Mailer - as well as becoming an exaggerated self-caricature and a penchant for giving television interviews drunk did nothing to amend the negative perception. Capote attributed much of his personal decline to being snubbed by his jet set friends after he wrote several damning stories for Esquire magazine. But some believe his slide into personal destruction was traced to writing In Cold Blood, which nonetheless turned Capote into an international star and enhanced his reputation as one of the 20th century's finest literary talents.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Murder By Death (1976) Lionel Twain
2.
 Cocksucker Blues (1972)
3.
 Trilogy (1969) Narrator
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Raised in Monroeville, AL by maternal relatives from age four to age 10
:
Moved to NYC to live with mother and stepfather (stepfather legally adopted him)
1943:
Worked as a copy boy at THE NEW YORKER
1945:
Had first short story published in MADEMOISELLE
1947:
Featured in LIFE magazine profile of up and coming writers
1948:
Published first book of short stories, "Other Voices, Other Rooms"; book became noted as much for its cover photograph that featured Capote lying prone and looking seductively at the camera
1953:
Provided dialogue for the Vittorio DeSica-directed feature, "Indiscretion of an American Wife", starring Jennifer Jones and Montgomery Clift
1953:
Co-wrote screenplay with director John Huston, "Beat the Devil"
1961:
Filmization based on his story, "Breakfast at Tiffany's
1965:
Published first serialized part of "In Cold Blood" in THE NEW YORKER
1966:
Non-fiction novel "In Cold Blood" published in January
1966:
Hosted his famous Black and White Ball, honoring Katherine Graham
1969:
Richard Brooks' film version of "In Cold Blood" released
1969:
Wrote screenplay based on own short stories, "Trilogy"
1975:
Published "La Cote Basque 1965" in ESQUIRE, the first installment of his unfinished "Answered Prayers"
1976:
Arrested for drunk driving
1976:
Feature acting debut, "Murder By Death"
1978:
Caused a scandal when he appeared in a drug or alcohol induced stupor on the locally-produced "The Stan Siegel Show" in NYC
1989:
Was the subject of the posthumously produced one-man Broadway play "Tru", written by Jay Presson Allen and starring Robert Morse
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Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Jack Dunphy. Writer. Born c. 1914; met Capote in 1948; together until Capote's death in 1984.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Archulus Persons. Lawyer. Abandoned wife and son c. 1928; did not practice law.
mother:
Lilly Mae Faulk. Divorced Capote's father c. 1929; left child with relatives and moved to NYC; later married Joe Capote; committed suicide.
step-father:
Joe Capote. Businessman. Cuban; adopted Capote c. 1934.

Bibliography close complete biography

"Other Voices, Other Rooms"
"A Tree of Night"
"The Grass Harp"
"Breakfast at Tiffany's"
"In Cold Blood"
"Truman Capote"
"Conversations with Capote"
"Answered Prayers: The Unfinished Novel"
"Dear Genius: A Memoir of My Life With Truman Capote"
"Capote: A Biography"
"Footnotes to a Friendship: A Memoir of Truman Capote & Others"
"Truman Capote's Southern Years: Stories From a Monroeville Cousin"
"Truman Capote: In Which Various Friends, Enemies, Acquaintances, and Detractors Recall His Turbulent Career" Doubleday
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