Publisher description for The Ivan Moffat file : life among the beautiful and damned in London, Paris, New York, and Hollywood / edited and with a foreword and afterword by Gavin Lambert.


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Moffat’s grandfather, Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree, was one of the most celebrated actors of his day, producing and starring in everything from Richard II to Pygmalion on the London stage and founding the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. His mother, Iris Tree, was a well-known poet-actress-adventuress whose circle included British bluebloods Nancy Cunard and Diana Cooper, and Bloomsburyites Carrington, Lytton Strachey, and Augustus John. Ivan’s photographer father, Curtis Moffat, came from a well-connected New York family, studied with Man Ray, and had an audacious showroom that focused on Moderne furniture and lighting, some of which he designed himself. But Ivan Moffat’s extraordinary pedigree was only the foundation upon which he built his own equally extraordinary and surprisingly active personal life, populated by the leading artists and personalities of his day—from Aldous Huxley and Dylan Thomas to Preston Sturges, Charlie Chaplin, Billy Wilder, and David Selznick.

In 1943 Moffat enlisted in the army and was assigned to Stevens’s unit, started by Eisenhower, which covered the last stage of World War II, from D-day to the fall of Berlin and the liberation of the concentration camps. After the war, Stevens invited Moffat to become an associate producer for his new Hollywood company. Moffat’s unofficial credits on the screenplays for A Place in the Sun and Shane and his co-writing credit on Giant led to a successful screenwriting career, and at the same time he became a leading social figure in Hollywood. Moffat had affairs with many women—from a waitress to a duchess, from a stripper to a movie star. The most serious affair of his life was probably with the
novelist Caroline Blackwood.

At the center of The Ivan Moffat File is the elegantly written autobiography that Moffat was working on at the time of his death in 2002, to which Gavin Lambert adds never-before-seen letters, interviews, and screenplays, as well as many anecdotes and his own memories of Moffat. The result is a re-creation of the life of this unique figure, flamboyant and mysterious.

Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: Moffat, Ivan, Screenwriters United States Biography, London (England) Social life and customs 20th century, Hollywood (Los Angeles, Calif, ) Social life and customs, New York (N, Y, ) Social life and customs 20th century, Paris (France) Social life and customs 20th century, Moffat, Ivan Homes and haunts England