Features - Los Angeles magazine  
 
 

Snow Job

On the occasion of this month’s big event, a look back at the 1989 Academy Awards—the cheesiest, campiest show on earth (so far, at least)

Illustration by Sean McCabe

When the opening number of the 61st Academy Awards popped up on YouTube, it made a splash—even though it was almost 20 years old. For those of you who don’t remember the 1989 telecast, it was a surreal spectacle indeed, marked by an earsplitting duet by a tone-deaf Rob Lowe and a no-name actress dressed as Snow White. The 12-minute performance was so deliciously, remarkably bad that 1 million people watched it online in a single day. It was just more proof that the show was, and remains, the worst Oscars ever. This is the behind-the-scenes story of that rudderless evening—and of the flamboyant producer whose life it ruined.

In the ’70s and ’80s, Allan Carr had earned his reputation as the last of L.A.’s red-hot party givers. An openly gay, caftan-wearing manager turned producer, Carr reigned over Hollywood’s social scene, hosting outrageous bashes in a Benedict Canyon mansion, dubbed Hilhaven Lodge, that was once home to Ingrid Bergman. This was an era before the stars and the press had declared war on each other, and the two sides could party together without fear of unwanted exposure. Carr knew how to mix it up—movie stars and rockers, gays and straights, Old and New Hollywood.

In 1978, Carr made a bundle by producing one of the top-grossing movie musicals of all time, Grease. But by 1989, he was in need of a job. Though great at spotting musical talent, he had a checkered record: For every hit (he produced the stage version of La Cage aux Folles), there was a flop (his Can’t Stop the Music, a pseudobiography of the Village People, took in $2 million at the box office—and had cost ten times that to make). Carr decided that producing ABC’s Oscar telecast, while it didn’t pay anything, would be his best route back into Hollywood’s good graces. He won the job and threw himself into creating an evening that melded Las Vegas glitz, Broadway showmanship, and a sort of San Francisco camp that he’d borrowed from Steve Silver’s Beach Blanket Babylon, an enormously popular musical revue that years earlier had featured Snow White’s search for her Prince Charming (it’s still running in North Beach). This Oscars, Carr predicted, would be a night to remember.

He was right, in ways both good and bad. For years afterward (and in some instances, even now), touches that Carr introduced in 1989 lived on: the fashion show, the extended red carpet coverage, the separate presentations of the Best Picture nominees, and the line “The Oscar goes to…” But those flourishes were far outweighed by Carr’s disastrous decision to do away with a host and rely on famous “couples, companions, costars, and compadres,” as he put it, to present awards. Carr approved several other over-the-top production numbers as well, including a medley featuring young Hollywood comers (Ricki Lake, Corey Feldman, and the like). But all of them were dwarfed by the Brat Packer and the Fairest of Them All. 

On Wednesday, March 29, 1989, the stars showed up early outside the Shrine Auditorium, and Carr made sure that every minute was recorded for posterity. Never had the red carpet procession been treated with such regard. “Before Allan, the red carpet had been just a frill, a minute of montage,” says comedy writer Bruce Vilanch, who worked with Carr on the 1989 show. “There wasn’t the frenzy of now. Allan made that happen.”

Sylvester Stallone was the first, at 4 p.m., a half hour before the official call time. Then at 4:30, Army Archerd, the late Variety columnist, kicked things off—“Good evening, movie fans!”—and began to catalog the arrivals: Kevin Kline, John Cleese, Billy Crystal, Meryl Streep (who by that point had already been nominated for eight Oscars and won two, and yet insisted, “I’m still not used to all this”).

While speculation had swirled that Rob Lowe might attend with his new girlfriend, Fawn Hall, fresh from helping her boss, Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North, shred confidential Iran-Contra documents, the actor arrived instead with his mom, Barbara. But another scandal-plagued Washingtonian strutted the red carpet: Donna Rice, who’d derailed the presidential campaign of Gary Hart on a boat called Monkey Business. So did uninvited guests: four men in Mae West wigs and gold lamé gowns who called themselves the Sisters of Perpetual Indignity. They said they had come “to show our support for Allan Carr,” in case anyone had forgotten that this was the first “gay Oscars.”

 “The doors will be closing in ten minutes!” announced Archerd. “Please enter the theater!” With that, Bob Hope walked a little faster. Dustin Hoffman, Michael Douglas, Willem Dafoe, and Lucille Ball gave a final wave. Cybill Shepherd flexed her biceps for the paparazzi, and then she, too, disappeared inside. The red carpet was empty for a good five minutes before Cher, showing lots of leg in a Bob Mackie black fringe mini and Joan Crawford pumps, materialized with boyfriend Rob Camilletti. Her outfit, set off by black dangling earrings and a mass of black curls, was more subdued than in previous years but did not disappoint the bleacher crowd, who gave the star the longest, most undivided applause of the evening.

Moments later, inside the auditorium, the night officially got under way when a disembodied voice boomed this warning: “The star of all time will be here soon.” Legendary publicist Warren Cowan wondered who it could be. Katharine Hepburn? Greta Garbo? Then the telecast began—with viewers at home seeing Snow White as she walked into the Shrine’s lobby. “Can you tell me how to get into the theater?” she asked Archerd in a high-pitched squeak.

“That’s easy, Snow,” replied Archerd, nodding at a gaggle of showgirls who were headed into the theater and down the center aisle. Their upper bodies, including their heads, were encased in huge glittering gold stars. “Just follow the Hollywood stars!”

You’ve got to hand it to 22-year-old Eileen Bowman. Dressed as Snow White in a yellow skirt, lace-up blue bodice, puffy white sleeves, and red bow-tie headband, she did her best to sell the conceit—Disney character as Oscar mascot—to a room full of A-listers. But as she reached out to shake the hands of the actors in the crowd, as she’d been told to do by Carr, she noticed something was wrong. Michelle Pfeiffer, nominated for her featured performance as an ex-virgin in Dangerous Liaisons, “was so embarrassed, she could not even give me her hand,” Bowman recalls. For the first time in many years at the Oscar telecast, there was a curtain—one that production designer Ray Klausen claimed could cover half the Empire State Building—and when it parted, Bowman still believed everything would be fine. “I saw all my friends onstage—all the dancers—I felt really great,” she says.

That feeling would not last. From the moment Bowman joined those dancers, things got progressively more bizarre. There was a pudgy Merv Griffin, the TV talk-show host, singing his 1950 hit, “I’ve Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts,” amid a re-creation of the Ambassador Hotel’s Cocoanut Grove nightclub. Among the “Grove patrons” was a clutch of aging stars—Roy Rogers, Dale Evans, Dorothy Lamour, Alice Faye, and Vincent Price. All but the ever-graceful Cyd Charisse seemed unsure where they were. That was just the beginning of the weirdness. Next Griffin told Snow White, “Meet your blind date: Rob Lowe,” and from the wings came the 25-year-old actor, who promptly launched into an atonal duet with her. The song was “Proud Mary,” but the words were changed: “Rollin’, rollin’, keep the cameras rollin’. ”

Carr watched from offstage, resplendent in a black sequined dinner jacket by Luis Estevez. In his eyes the opening number was just killing. Even if the TV cameras diminished the spectacle of Klausen’s homage to the Cocoanut Grove, the duet seemed to be playing well to the live audience.

Ten miles to the north, in Studio City, Lorna Luft lounged on a friend’s couch, watching the show on TV. A month earlier Carr had asked Luft to be Snow White, but she’d refused. As the telecast began, Luft was having second thoughts. The sight of Candice Bergen and Jodie Foster and Sean Connery on the red carpet made her wonder, “Gee, it might have been fun to do the number. Maybe I made a terrible mistake.” Then, as Bowman gamely tried to engage the audience, Luft knew she’d dodged a bullet. “There was such a look on Michelle Pfeiffer’s face of ‘If you don’t get away from me now, I’ll kill you.’ It was shock and dismay,” Luft says. The actress exhaled in relief when a friend predicted that, had she played Snow White, “we would be taking you to Cedars-Sinai right now, because you would have tried to jump off the top of the Shrine.”

In the parking lot behind the auditorium, the telecast’s director, Jeff Margolis, sat in the large “remote truck” that functioned as the control room for the show. He’d attended rehearsals for the Snow White opener and found its logistics daunting. If this were a movie, he would have worked five to ten weeks to plan every camera shot and angle. The Oscars was live television, and there’d been less than a week to rehearse. Where most shows use half a dozen cameras, Margolis ordered 14 for the first number, just to be safe. He clocked it: During the 12-minute segment, there would be at least 100 cues for sets, lighting, music, and actors’ entrances and exits. “It required 100 percent concentration,” Margolis says. “Something like this had never been attempted before on TV.”

As he belted out “Proud Mary,” Lowe found himself fixating on one person in the audience: Barry Levinson, whom most observers had picked as a shoo-in to win the Oscar for directing Rain Man. Bumping and grinding away, with a microphone to his mouth, Lowe should have been gazing lovingly at his Snow White, but instead he noticed Levinson turn to his date to say something. Even from several yards away, Lowe could read the director’s lips: “What the fuck is that?”

No wonder that, as Lowe continued singing Tina Turner’s recrafted anthem, his mind was elsewhere. “Please, God,” he remembers thinking. “Let me get out of here alive!”

*****

The opening number lumbered on as Prince Charming and Snow White exited and were replaced by a replica of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and a phalanx of high-kicking ushers. Vilanch, the writer, watched on several monitors in the greenroom, where the presenters had gathered. It wasn’t going well. “They looked at Snow White like she was a plague,” he says of Pfeiffer, Tom Hanks, and Glenn Close. The auditorium seemed overlit, he thought—too bright for “the waxworks” of older actors “who had to be led around by a bunch of chorus boys so they wouldn’t topple over.” No one in the audience seemed to understand why Merv Griffin had been booked for the evening (he had once sung “I’ve Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts” at the real Cocoanut Grove umpteen years before). Even the number’s coda—some patter Vilanch wrote for Lily Tomlin (“I told them I’d be thrilled to do the Oscars if they could only come up with an entrance”)—met with stunned silence.

Down in the Shrine’s orchestra pit, Marvin Hamlisch, baton in hand, felt a cold wave of rejection push at the back of his tuxedo. Despite the enthusiastic applause that capped the Snow White opener, “You knew you’d hit a wall,” he says. “This thing that Allan was so wild about, this Las Vegas-San Francisco thing, didn’t translate either to the stage or to TV. It just wasn’t classy enough. And the rest of the evening was putting a Band-Aid on something that was hemorrhaging. It was obviously a disaster.”

Sitting in Row L center, Jo Schuman Silver heard the applause and turned to her husband, Steve, the Beach Blanket Babylon revue creator whom Carr had brought in to direct the Snow White-Rob Lowe number. Jo had never been to the Oscars before, and to her it seemed the audience loved it. “It’s a big hit,” she whispered to her husband, who replied with a long sigh, then closed his eyes. “It’s a piece of shit!” he whispered back.

*****

Weary from his duet and the foreboding feeling that was building within him, Lowe wandered into the greenroom, where a Club Oscar sign beamed overhead. In the corner he saw an old woman in a dowdy red wig sitting alone. She motioned for him to take the seat beside her. It was Lucille Ball. “Young man!” she said, her voice gravelly. “I had no idea you were such a good singer. Be a love and get me some aspirin.” Lowe obeyed, and the two of them spent the next hour holding hands as he attempted to assess the damage to his career.

Carr, meanwhile, was feeling no pain. “Fabulous!” he kept telling himself and anyone else who would listen. As Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson took the stage in matching poodle dog hairdos to give out the Best Supporting Actress award, Carr mouthed the lines they read right along with them. “I’ve supported one or two actresses,” Johnson said. “And a few have supported you,” said Griffith.

Carr turned to his publicist, Linda Dozoretz, and said, “Let’s check out the pressroom.” He didn’t have to look far to find a friend among the journalists. Seated in the front row was USA Today columnist Jeannie Williams, who had often written enthusiastically about his projects. But Williams was nonplussed, asking Carr, “Don’t you think the Snow White opening was a bit…over the top?”

Dozoretz could feel Carr’s fingers burrow into her right arm. “Are you kidding?” he replied. “It was magical.”

Williams bore down. What, exactly, was Snow White’s connection to the Cocoanut Grove? “It’s called theatrical!” Carr said. He was no longer smiling. When he let go of Dozoretz, she checked her arm. A dark purple bruise was already forming there. “Protect me,” he begged.

By the time the show was over, Carr had sweated through his black sequined dinner jacket. He had no choice but to face the jury at the Governors Ball, held in the Shrine’s adjoining Expo Hall.

*****

The ball was in full swing, and Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president Richard Kahn and his wife, Marianne, were accepting kudos with polished restraint. They couldn’t determine whether the congratulations being offered were sincere or forced—a familiar dilemma in Hollywood. At an after-party, Jeff Berg, chairman and CEO of the powerhouse talent agency International Creative Management, ran into Thom Mount, the former president of Universal Pictures, who was riding high on the hit Bull Durham. Both of them needed a strong drink. “We just looked at each other,” says Mount. “What on earth was that?!” He told Berg that the Snow White debacle had caused him to undergo a “Martian out-of-body experience.”

Carr spun through the ball in a daze, then headed to Spago, where superagent Swifty Lazar was hosting his famous Oscar party. Shirley MacLaine, Art Buchwald, Jackie Collins, and Jack Nicholson were there, as were Tom Cruise and his wife, Mimi Rogers, Amy Irving (sans Steven Spielberg, who’d stayed home), Richard Dreyfuss and his wife, Jeramie, and Alana Stewart (Rod Stewart’s ex) with her first former husband, George Hamilton.

Robin Williams quipped of Carr: “I hear he’s doing the Nobel Prize next. Lots of singing and dancing.” But Vilanch remembers the reception at Lazar’s bash being “very warm, actually. People told Allan how much they had loved it.” Too often, however, they asked Carr, “Will you produce it again?” Carr could only smile and reply, “Ask me tomorrow.” Tired of repeating himself, Carr left Spago early and made his way home alone to his beloved Hilhaven mansion. What should have been the greatest day of his life had just ended, and he wasn’t feeling so great.

*****

A few hours later Steve and Jo Silver rose early in their room at the Beverly Hills Hotel. They were eager to see the reviews of Silver’s Disney-inspired number, and clutching a raft of newspapers, they headed for a poolside cabana. Armed with coffee and croissants, they began to read. No surprise, their hometown paper, the San Francisco Examiner, gave the show a rave: “After a decade-plus of dull, dull, dull telecasts, a shot of good old San Francisco camp restored Oscar to his rightful place as king of TV awards shows.”

Variety’s TV reviewer, Tony Scott, was withering: “The 61st Annual Academy Awards extravaganza—seen in 91 countries including, for the first time, the Soviet Union—turned out to be a TV nyet.” Howard Rosenberg, the Los Angeles Times’s TV critic, said the show “wasn’t Hollywood Burning. It was Hollywood Lukewarm.” The New York Times went further: “The 61st Academy Awards ceremony began by creating the impression that there would never be a 62nd,” wrote Janet Maslin. “The evening’s opening number, which deserves a permanent place in the annals of Oscar embarrassments, was indeed as bad as that…. Snow White, played as a simpering ninny, performed a duet of ‘Proud Mary’ with Rob Lowe, who would be well-advised to confine all future musical activities to the shower.”

Steve Silver was still absorbing that assault when Gael Love, the editor of Andy Warhol’s Interview, stuck her head in his cabana. “You directed the Oscars last night, right?” she asked. Silver mumbled something about the opening act. “Were you happy with how it turned out?” Love asked. Silver took a breath. He thought a moment, still holding The New York Times in his hand. “Janet Maslin says it is the worst production number in the history of the Oscars. I guess you can’t top that. The publicity for Beach Blanket Babylon ought to be wonderful.”

A few blocks east toward the hills, Carr had once imagined that on the morning after he would get a grateful call from Academy president Richard Kahn, begging him to produce the 1990 Oscars. Instead Carr sat in a white tent by his pool, the tattered Los Angeles Times and New York Times at his feet and blowing in the wind. The phone wasn’t ringing with people calling to congratulate him, so he picked it up to dial Dozoretz, his publicist.

“No one has called,” Carr told her when she said hello. She tried to soothe him by noting that the TV ratings looked very good. “It’s still early,” she added. But it was clear: “Allan didn’t know what hit him,” she says.

The ratings for the 1989 Oscars weren’t just very good; they were spectacular. What’s more, they had reversed a five-year slide. The telecast was viewed by no fewer than 42.7 million people in 26.9 million homes in the United States, earning a 29.8 rating (which network executives would die for today). “There was a feeling we owned the town,” Kahn recalls.

But Kahn’s glee would be cut short that morning by a phone call from Frank Wells, president of the Walt Disney Company. “Frank, how are you?” asked Kahn, expecting him to say something nice about the previous night’s show.

“Dick,” Wells said, “we got a problem.” He went on to explain that the appearance of Snow White had not been approved by Disney. In fact, no one from the Academy had even asked for permission. “We’re very unhappy, we at Disney,” Wells said.

No sooner had Kahn put down the phone with Wells than he received a messenger-delivered letter of complaint about the telecast from a former Academy president—and Oscar-winning actor—named Gregory Peck. “The show reminds me of those Photoplay Awards!” Peck told Kahn later, referring to a now-defunct celebrity magazine that published puff pieces on Hollywood stars and annually congratulated itself with a meaningless awards show. Peck said he’d found this year’s Oscars tacky, unsophisticated, and beneath the Academy’s dignity.

Carr would soon sink into his own swamp of humiliation. Rather than cancel his lunch plans, he kept his appointment at Mortons restaurant. Robert Osborne, the Hollywood Reporter columnist, was lunching at Mortons, too, and was surprised to see Carr walk in. “It was foolish. Allan must have known that these powerful Hollywood figures would be there,” Osborne says. “Maybe it was his way of showing defiance.”

Throughout Carr’s meal many diners turned away from the Oscar producer’s table and extended their lunch hour, waiting for Carr to leave first. “When they got up finally, they took the most indirect route to get by Allan,” says Osborne, who remembers thinking it was as if they feared “they’d catch something”—as if failure were a disease. “You could tell that he became aware of that.”

A few hours later Steve and Jo Silver made what they felt was an unavoidable trip to Carr’s house. Days earlier they had ordered a crystal-star sculpture from Tiffany and had it engraved with the words You Are the Star! But when Steve and his wife knocked on the front door of Hilhaven Lodge, an assistant answered and told them Carr was not home. The Silvers didn’t believe it and headed for the basement disco, where they found their friend alone, drunk and depressed. The three of them hugged. “I just want to give you this gift,” said Steve. “It has been a very special experience for me.” Carr began to sob.

*****

There would be more phone calls from Disney executives to Richard Kahn. Before the end of business Thursday, the Walt Disney Company slapped the Academy with a federal lawsuit charging that the Oscar telecast of March 29, 1989, had abused and irreparably damaged the studio’s 52-year-old Snow White character. It asked for unspecified damages for “copyright infringement, unfair competition, and dilution of business reputation.”

Together with Kahn, ABC vice president John Hamlin found himself astonished by Disney’s legal broadside. As he told The Wall Street Journal when asked about his network’s show, “I had always surmised Disney would be very pleased. Disney loves promotion of Disney characters.”

Some believed Disney’s reaction was fueled by the campiness of the show—what Carr and others called “the gay thing.” “I always thought it was that,” says Dozoretz. Still, even those who agreed worried that Carr had been naive. “I felt there was a surge of homophobia,” says Craig Zadan, a producer who knew Carr. “But Allan played into that. He never attempted to tone it down. He embraced all of that extravagance. Everything was flamboyant, and he liked to shock people.”

Vilanch says there was something else behind the schadenfreude: old-fashioned jealousy and ego. “Allan had said it was going to be the biggest and best for so long,” he says. “Everyone who’d produced the show before, or knew someone who had done it before, took umbrage.” David Geffen concurs that sexual politics were irrelevant in determining the aftermath. “People didn’t hate it because Allan was gay,” he says. “It was a terrible show.”

One week after the Oscars, on April 6, Kahn issued a statement that read “The Academy sincerely apologizes to Disney for the unauthorized use of Disney’s copyrighted Snow White character and for unintentionally creating the impression that Disney had participated in or sanctioned the opening production number on the Academy Awards telecast.”

But April 7 brought new trouble in the form of a letter, delivered to the Academy and signed by 17 of Hollywood’s most prominent figures: Julie Andrews, David Brown, Stanley Donen, Blake Edwards, John Foreman, William Friedkin, Larry Gelbart, Sidney Lumet, Joseph L. Mankiewicz, Paul Newman, Alan J. Pakula, Gregory Peck, Martin Ritt, Mark Rydell, Peter Stone, Billy Wilder, and Fred Zinnemann. It began: “The 61st Academy Awards show was an embarrassment to both the Academy and the entire motion picture industry. It is neither fitting nor acceptable that the best work in motion pictures be acknowledged in such a demeaning fashion. We urge the president and governors of the Academy to ensure that future award presentations reflect the same standard of excellence as that set by the films and filmmakers they honor.”

More than anything else, some believe the Hollywood 17’s missive destroyed Carr. “People who were friends of Allan showed up on that letter,” says Kahn, “and those comments really hurt him. I really think that Allan’s declining health in the years following that show are in part attributable to the hurt he felt.”

Carr had made a fatal error common in Hollywood. He had looked out over the parties he’d thrown at Hilhaven and considered the revelers—those who’d shown up to drink his Cristal and to eat his crab legs and to snort his cocaine—his true friends. What he forgot is that those same people who overindulged on his dime had reason to fear him. “They were afraid of his outrageousness,” says Gary Pudney, then an ABC vice president. In the wake of the Oscar debacle they shunned him—“like a pack of hyenas…. The great thing he wanted in his life was that job, and he got the job and then would spend the rest of his life trying to recover from it.”

On April 9 the Los Angeles Times devoted its entire letters section—ten out of ten letters—to Oscar hate mail and titled it “For Some, the Oscar Show Was One Big Carr Crash.” Then on April 26, almost one month to the day after the 61st Academy Awards, Lucille Ball passed away. The prevailing joke in Hollywood was that the Oscar telecast had done her in.

By the end of April, though most people had already forgotten that Rain Man had won the top prize, the public indignities continued unabated for Carr. On April 27 Kahn announced that the Academy would form an Oscar telecast committee to “figure out why and what we should do in the future…. Certain factors this year did involve a lot of comment pro and con.” Meanwhile Carr continued to protest, weakly. “Jennifer Jones loved it! Janet Leigh loved it! Candice Bergen loved it!” he repeated again and again. But nothing could mask his devastation.

Things were hardly better for Lowe. At first the young heartthrob adopted an I-was-only-following-orders defense: “The Academy asked me to take that role. So I was a good soldier and did it. You can’t be your own manager and agent and soothsayer—you have to take risks. And on that one I got shot in the foot,” he said. In early May Lowe was revealed to have shot himself in the foot again: The actor was served with a personal-injury lawsuit regarding allegations filed by a teenage girl’s mother. The investigation involved criminal sexual activity with a minor during Lowe’s attendance at the Democratic National Convention in Atlanta the previous summer. A videotape had been discovered that showed Lowe and another man as they took turns having sexual intercourse with a young woman. Just when the Oscar fiasco began to make its way off the radar, it resurfaced as part of the Rob Lowe sex scandal.

Later the Academy’s newly minted Awards Presentation Review Committee refused to make its recommendations public. But eventually Gil Cates, the committee chairman, did speak about the matter. “Allan did a good job,” Cates surmised nearly 20 years later, “but he made one tragic mistake. He put a questionable number at the beginning of the show, and he let it run for 12 minutes. If the number had been only 3 minutes, Allan would be alive today.”

For the first time in his professional life, Carr gave up talking to the press, becoming perpetually and uncharacteristically “unavailable for comment.” Variety reported that he was traveling in Mexico. “He was such an easy target,” says Marvin Hamlisch. “He was bigger than life. He felt wherever he would walk, they were whispering, ‘He’s the guy who screwed it up.’ ” Carr became a hermit, retreating to Hilhaven Lodge. When he did leave the house, he also made sure to leave the country. When Mexico proved not far enough away, he planned a trip to Fiji.

In December 1989, Carr ran into James T. Ballard, an attorney, in the first-class cabin of a flight leaving LAX for Tahiti. Ballard remembers that Carr—wearing a beige caftan and carrying a small suitcase—was distracted and “had a look of panicked depression.” Even before their flight took off, Carr began rummaging through his bag, says Ballard, revealing a pharmacy’s worth of drugs. “I’d never seen so many pills outside of a doctor’s office,” says Ballard, who watched Carr take “two or three of everything,” washing them down with cheap complimentary champagne.

Carr eventually dozed off but not before he finished a 15-minute conversation with himself, Ballard recalls. “Those bastards in Hollywood,” he mumbled. “Those ungrateful SOBs! I gave them everything. I did everything for them. And then those assholes treat me like this. Those bastards!”

Allan Carr never produced another movie or stage show. He died of liver cancer on June 29, 1999. He was 62.   


Copyright © 2010 by Robert Hofler. Adapted from Party Animals: A Hollywood Tale of Sex, Drugs, and Rock 'n' Roll Starring the Fabulous Allan Carr, published by Da Capo Press.

Robert Hofler is a senior editor at Variety. He is also the author of The Man Who Invented Rock Hudson.

Leave a comment:

· Subscribe to comments
Be the first to comment here.
Road Trip
 
more promotions

Advertisement

Subscribe to Los Angeles magazine
 

 






    •    
Loading
*required field
Close

Advertisement