Quentin Crisp: The Profession of Being

Acknowledgments

When I think about how many people have helped me with this book I realize just how much of a collaborative effort it has been. Without them all it would be so much less and I know how much I owe to them.

Penny Arcade

Penny and Quentin in Vienna
Penny and Quentin in Vienna

Performance artist Penny Arcade knew Quentin for the last eighteen years of his life and was a constant support to him, especially during the last years. In 1992 he named her his “Anima figure”. Penny created The Last Will and Testament of Quentin Crisp which they performed together for many years until his death. They also appeared together in An Evening with Quentin Crisp and Penny Arcade. Penny is a significant figure in the new biographical film about Quentin An Englishman in New York.

Guy Kettelhack

John Hurt Quentin Crisp Guy Kettlehack on the sets of Resident Alien
John Hurt Quentin Crisp Guy Kettlehack on the sets of Resident Alien

Guy Kettelhack was a friend of Quentin’s throughout his time in America. Guy’s book The Wit and Wisdom of Quentin Crisp is a wonderful compendium of all things Crispian and he became known as a “Crisp expert”. Guy was an influential figure during Quentin’s years in America both professionally and as a friend. He was also Quentin’s executor for many years. I also owe him a huge thank-you for his wonderful Foreword.

Phillip Ward

Quentin Crisp and Phillip Ward
Quentin Crisp and Phillip Ward

Phillip Ward knew Quentin during the last fourteen years of his life and particularly during the last years was a constant practical and emotional support. I also owe him a big thank-you for allowing me to use extracts from Quentin’s last as yet unpublished book The Dusty Answers and material from the Quentin Crisp Archives and for giving me his permission to use the many quotes from Quentin which appear throughout the book. Phillip is Quentin’s executor and runs the Quentin Crisp Archives which you can read about at www.crisperanto.org.

Tom Steele

Quentin Crisp and Tom Steele doing their Rat Face
Quentin Crisp and Tom Steele doing their Rat Face

Tom Steele first met Quentin shortly after his move to America and the two remained close friends until Quentin’s death. Tom was associate publisher and editor of Theatre Week, Christopher Street (for which Quentin wrote film reviews), Opera Monthly, and the New York Native (for which Quentin wrote a weekly diary). Tom was also one of Quentin’s most frequent cinema companions during his years in America. Tom is a major figure in the new film An Englishman In New York in which for dramatic reasons his character is amalgamated with Phillip Ward (Quentin’s executor). Tom gave me some invaluable advice about publishing. He is also a keen and enthusiastic cook and has written books on cooking. He has a website www.hugeflavors.com.

Richard Gollner

Richard Gollner knew Quentin for thirty years, from the late 1960s until his death. Richard was Quentin’s agent and later manager and accompanied Quentin on his first visits to the United States and elsewhere. Richard worked with Quentin on creating his one-man-show An Evening with Quentin Crisp in 1975, which he produced and directed. Richard still works as a literary agent in London.

David Leddick

David Leddick on stage in Quentin & I
David Leddick on stage in Quentin & I

David Leddick, whom during an amazing life, has not only been a Naval Officer but a dancer at the New York Metropolitan Opera, Worldwide Creative Director for Revlon and International Creative Director for L’Oreal, a novelist and biographer, actor and cabaret entertainer. He knew Quentin for the last twenty years of Quentin’s life and has created Quentin & I: a Mini-Musical as a tribute to his late friend.

Professor Louis Colaianni

Louis Colaianni knew Quentin for many years and he ran a web site called the Quentin Crisp Museum. He is a prominent voice and text coach in the professional theatre. He is an adjunct associate professor at Vassar College; teaches at The Actors Studio; and was associate professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He has published several books including The Joy of Phonetics and Accents and How to Speak Shakespeare.

June Lang

A special posthumous thank-you to film producer June Lang. June was one of the first of Quentin’s friends to make contact with me after I launched the site. She was so supportive and encouraging. We remained in regular contact after that talking about Quentin and her latest projects. She produced the short film My Lunch with Quentin Crisp as her tribute to her friend. Quentin also featured in her documentary Farewell to the Deuce. Sadly she passed away in August 2008 from cancer. I am sorry that she did not get to see the book in print she would have been so pleased.

John W Mills

John W Mills  sculpting Quentin Crisp
John W Mills sculpting Quentin Crisp
John W Mills Scupture of Quentin Crisp
John W Mills Scupture of Quentin Crisp
John W Mills Quentin Crisp Medal
John W Mills Quentin Crisp Medal Art medal which he did in 2003 for the British Art Medal Society

Sculpter and artist John W Mills first met Quentin in 1947 and formed a friendship with him which would last for decades.

Denise Pratt-Renner, Elaine Pratt-Goycoolea and Francis Ramsay

Quentin Crisp's Three Nieces Denise Pratt-Renner, Elaine Pratt-Goycoolea and Francis Ramsay
Quentin Crisp’s Three Nieces Denise Pratt-Renner, Elaine Pratt-Goycoolea and Francis Ramsay. At the memorial service for their uncle.

My thanks to Quentin’s nieces, Denise Pratt-Renner, Elaine Pratt-Goycoolea and Francis Ramsay, his great niece Michèle Elaine Goycoolea Crawford and his great nephew film-maker Adrian Goycoolea for helping me fill out their family tree. Thanks also to Adrian for giving me a copy of his film about Quentin Uncle Denis, more on this at the end of the book. Adrian is currently lecturing at Sussex University in England. You can learn more about Adrian’s films at www.sussex.ac.uk or at the International Movie Database www.imdb.com.

David Nahmod

Writer, actor and producer David-Elijah Nahmod produced the film Red Ribbons which starred Quentin and wrote and starred in the short film Aunt Fannie, in which Quentin played the titled character.

Neil Ira Needleman

Writer and director Neil Ira Needleman produced the films Aunt Fannie, Red Ribbons and wrote and directed the film Famous Again in which Quentin also appeared.

Georgina Spelvin

Georgina Spelvin with Quentin Crisp on the set of Red Ribbons
Georgina Spelvin with Quentin Crisp on the set of Red Ribbons

Georgina Spelvin starred with Quentin in the films Red Ribbons and Famous Again. Georgina has written the first volume of her autobiography The Devil Made me do It, and is currently working on volume two.

Sara Moore

Sara Moore wrote and directed Homo Heights in which Quentin gave his last feature-length acting performance.

David Hartnell MNZM

David Hartnell doing Quentin Crisps hair during his New Zealand tour in 1978
David Hartnell doing Quentin Crisps hair during his New Zealand tour in 1978

David Hartnell MNZM has had a highly successful career as a makeup artist and has worked with many legends of the film world from Mae West to Joan Collins. In 1978 he was in New Zealand and did Quentin’s makeup for his tour there as well as helping out during the stage performances. David has written seven books on makeup. He is now a Hollywood gossip columnist with a paper column, radio and TV slot and internet site and has also just written his second book on Hollywood David Hartnell’s Hollywood Trivia. I owe David a big thank-you for doing some advance publicity for my book. David has written his autobiography David Hartnell: Memoir of a Gossip Columnist published in April 2011 by Penguin.

Stephen Sorrentino

Film actor and stage performer Stephen Sorrentino who co-starred with Quentin in the film Homo aka Happy Heights for giving me permission to retell his story of how Quentin got his name.

Morgan Fisher

Morgan Fisher for telling me about his experiences interviewing Quentin in London in 1980. Morgan is a composer who began his career in 1968 playing with the bands The Love Affair which had a no1 hit with Everlasting Love and in the 1970s played with the band Mott the Hoople. In 1982 he played keyboards on Queen’s tour of Europe. He now lives in Japan and has continued composing and recording.

Connie Clauusen on Quentin Crisps 75 birthday
Connie Clauusen on Quentin Crisps 75 birthday
Michael Andersen-Andrade
Michael Andersen-Andrade

Michael Andersen-Andrade (Connie Clausen’s son) for allowing me to use the photos of his mother.

Richard Louis James

Richard Louis James in Tea N Crisp
Richard Louis James in Tea N Crisp

Character actor Richard Louis James for allowing me to use a photo from his own one-man show Tea ‘N’ Crisp in which he brings Quentin back to life in the format of An Evening with Quentin Crisp, updated for the twenty-first century.

Leon Acord

Leon Acord as Quentin Crisp in Carved In Stone
Leon Acord as Quentin Crisp in Carved In Stone

Screen and stage actor Leon Acord for allowing me to use the photo of him as Quentin in Jeffrey Hartgraves’s play Carved In Stone. Leon reprised his role in Los Angeles in the spring of 2009. You can catch up with Leon at www.leonacord.com. My thanks also to the photographer Peter Solari for giving me permission to use it.

John Watson

John Watson as Quentin Crisp in Resident Alien
John Watson as Quentin Crisp in Resident Alien

Actor John Watson for allowing me to use the photo of him as Quentin in the New Zealand production of Resident Alien. I would also like to thank John for putting me in touch with David Hartnell. Also my thanks to the photographer Maxwell John Osborne.

David Whitworth

Quentin Crisp photographed by David Whitworth in New York in 1997
Quentin Crisp photographed by David Whitworth in New York in 1997

Photographer David Whitworth for sharing with me his experience of meeting Quentin in New York on New Years day 1997 and for allowing me to use his photographs.

Sir John Hurt and Richard Lexton

John Hurt as Quentin Crisp in An Englishman In New York
John Hurt as Quentin Crisp in An Englishman In New York

I also owe a thank-yous to Richard Laxton (director of An Englishman in New York), to James Burstall, who is CEO of Leopard Films and to actor John Hurt for giving me their permission to use a photograph from the film. Thanks to Joanna Nicholas, James Burstall’s Personal Assistant and to Jessica Sykes and Jennie Miller – assistants to Mr Laxton.

Maurice Heerdink

Maurice Heerdink
Maurice Heerdink

Maurice Heerdink for allowing me to use his beautiful portrait of Quentin on the front cover of the book. Maurice is a dedicated admirer of Quentin and has amassed a wealth of knowledge and material about him which he has shared with me.

L Brandon Krall

L Brandon Quentin with Quentin Crisp in 1999
L Brandon Quentin with Quentin Crisp in 1999

To L Brandon Krall, my thanks for sharing with me her experiences of meeting and filming Quentin during his 90th birthday run of An Evening With Quentin Crisp at the Intar Theatre.

My thanks to Victory Van Dyke Chase for all her time and effort getting me material for the book.

Tommy Barr

Tommy Barr
Tommy Barr

I would also like to thank painter Tommy Barr for putting the idea of writing a book in my mind, though neither he nor I realised it at the time. He was also my first “public” reader. You can catch up with Tommy and see his work at www.tbarr.com.

Quentin Crisp

Lastly but by no means least there is of course Quentin Crisp himself. So many times I found myself floundering not knowing how to proceed, how to phrase something. At these times I would remind myself of Quentin’s advice about writing “All you have to ask yourself is have you said what you meant to say.” It always got me moving again.