Friday, 2 December 2016

Andrew Sachs dies aged 86 / VIDEO below: Funny English Errors: Fawlty Towers' Top 10 Funniest Miscommunications

Andrew Sachs, the much loved Fawlty Towers actor, dies aged 86

Hannah Furness, arts correspondent
2 DECEMBER 2016 • 9:06AM

Andrew Sachs, the actor who rose to fame in Fawlty Towers has died at the age of 86 after a four year battle with dementia.

The actor, best known for playing hapless Spanish waiter Manuel in John Cleese's sitcom, passed away in a care home last week, his wife has revealed.

Melody Sachs, who cared for him in his final years, disclosed he had suffered vascular dementia, losing his capacity to speak and write in later life.
She said: "He had the best life, and the best death you could ever have."

Sachs won a place in the nation's hearts for his role in Fawlty Towers, where he played a clueless Spanish waiter who became the butt of John Cleese's jokes.

His catchphrase, "I know nothing", and Basil Fawlty's dismissive "He's from Barcelona" have gone down in British comedy history, with the 1970s sitcom regularly voted among the best-loved BBC programmes ever made.

Despite his stellar career, Sachs is remembered in recent years for being the innocent victim of a BBC furore in which presenters prank called him.

In 2008, Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand made an obscene calls to him in which they joked about Brand sleeping with his granddaughter Georgina Baillie.

More than 500 people protested to the BBC, which was forced to apologise to Sachs for these "unacceptable and offensive" remarks.

In 2014, Sachs said he remained "disgusted" by the incident, with his wife telling the Daily Mail the episode had been "absolutely horrific".

The newspaper last night reported the actor had been battling dementia for the past four years and died in a care home last week.

"My heart has been broken every day for a long time," she said, adding that the actor had remained positive to the end.

"I never once heard him grumble. It wasn’t all doom and gloom; he still worked for two years.

"We were happy, we were always laughing, we never had a dull moment. He had dementia for four years and we didn’t really notice it at first until the memory started going.

"It didn’t get really bad until quite near the end. I nursed Andrew, I was there for every moment of it."

Mrs Sachs said her husband had been diagnosed with vascular dementia in 2012. The disease, the second most common form of Alzheimer's, in characterised by the often sudden loss of language, speech and memory, along with mood changes.

Mrs Sachs said the actor only lost his capacity to speak in the last few weeks, after suffering three bouts of pneumonia. He spent eight months in a care home, in which his family would read to him and enjoy summer in the garden.

"Don’t feel sorry for me because I had the best life with him," Mrs Sachs said last night. "I had the best husband and we really loved each other.

"One thing about Andrew is that I never once heard him grumble, I never found him once without a smile on his face.

"We’re both as daft as brushes, we were married for 57 years. We loved each other very deeply and it was a pleasure looking after him. I miss him terribly."

His co-star Cleese paid tribute to him on Thursday night, saying: "Just heard about Andy Sachs. Very sad.... I knew he was having problems with his memory as his wife Melody told me a couple of years ago and I heard very recently that he had been admitted to Denham Hall, but I had no idea that his life was in danger.

"A very sweet gentle and kind man and a truly great farceur. I first saw him in Habeas Corpus on stage in 1973. I could not have found a better Manuel. Inspired."

"If you meet Andrew you would call him almost retiring, very quiet, almost academic, studiously polite," he said. "Then suddenly he clips on his moustache and something else in his personality just slips in."

Cleese, 77, the co-creator of the 1970s sitcom, told Radio 4's Today programme on Friday he was in "a little bit of shock" by the news.

He said acting with Sachs was "like playing tennis with someone who is exactly as good as you are".

"Sometimes he wins and sometimes you win but somehow there's a rapport and it comes from the very deepest part of ourselves. You can work on it, but in our case we never had to work on it, it all happened so easily."

Cleese added that Sachs "turned into a completely different human being" when wearing his familiar Manuel moustache.

Asked of his favourite scene with Sachs in Fawlty Towers, Cleese told Today it had been The Kipper and the Corpse - episode four of the second series of the hit comedy.

"I think that was some of our very best physical comedy and working out all that stuff like getting the body into the basket and getting it out again I think that was so much fun.

"Occasionally you come across someone who loves physical comedy and although he was such a quiet demeanour, Andy absolutely loved it. "He was wonderful."

Cleese said he last saw Sachs "eight or nine months ago" when they were being photographed together.

He said he realised then he "wasn't totally present" but added the news of his death was "a little bit of a shock".

"Although I knew his memory was not so good, despite that he was very special."

Born in 1930 Germany, Sachs fled the Nazis with his family in 1938 and eventually settled in North London.

He married Melody, who starred in one episode of Fawlty Towers herself, in 1960, going on to have three children.

Beginning his acting career on BBC radio, he went on to appear in The Saint, Randall and Hopkirk and The History of Miss Polly, with guest appearance in Casualty and Doctor Who.

He worked into his 80s, when he appeared in a live tour of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere.

The actor died on November 23, the Daily Mail reported, with family and close friends commemorating him in North London yesterday.

Blackadder actor and comedian Sir Tony Robinson paid tribute to his "true friend".

He wrote on Twitter: "So sad that Andrew Sachs has died. A true friend and a kindred spirit. I still have the wonderful baby pictures he took of my children. RIP."

Samuel West, whose mother Prunella Scales starred alongside Sachs in Fawlty Towers, added: "Creator of one of our most beloved EU migrants. Such warmth and wit; impossible to think of him without smiling."

Comedy writer Edgar Wright said Sachs "spun comic gold as Manuel in Fawlty Towers".

Andrew Sachs discusses "Fawlty Towers"

Monday, 28 November 2016

Enid Blyton - keeping up appearances / VIDEO: Enid 2009 trailer

Enid is a 2009 British biographical television film first broadcast on 16 November on BBC Four. Directed by James Hawes it is based on the life of children's writer Enid Blyton, portrayed by Helena Bonham Carter. The film introduced the two main lovers of Blyton's life. Her first husband Hugh Pollock, who was also her publisher, was played by Matthew Macfadyen. Kenneth Darrell Waters, a London surgeon who became Blyton's second husband, was portrayed by Denis Lawson. The film explored how the orderly, reassuringly clear worlds Blyton created within her stories contrasted with the complexity of her own personal life.

Helena Bonham Carter on being Enid Blyton
"Appealing and appalling." Helena Bonham Carter talks about how she was drawn in by the writer’s creative fire – and her dark deeds.
By Serena Davies
4:06PM GMT 13 Nov 2009

There is a scene in Enid, the BBC’s new biopic of Enid Blyton, where the children’s author, played by Helena Bonham Carter, is asked by a radio journalist how she maintains the balance between work and motherhood.
“Of course children need their mothers,” she replies, before the camera cuts away to show her two neglected daughters at home, listening to the broadcast in a state of sombre bemusement. “Mothers are the heart of any household. I try to spend as much time with my children as I possibly can while also fulfilling my professional duties. It is tricky, but I think I manage it.”
Bonham Carter chuckles as she quotes these lines in our own interview in a London members’ club. She has something of an affinity for Blyton and thinks these words will do as her personal response to the same question. Although, she concedes, her six-year-old son Billy may beg to differ: “Bill threw my script to the opposite end of the room just before I started filming, saying, ‘I like you but I don’t like what you do ’cos it takes such a very long time.’”
It’s a coup, of course, that the BBC has persuaded a film star of Bonham Carter’s standing to appear in a low-budget biopic. “I did it for the money,” she says with a grin, in a jest that is almost cruel. The frenetic 15-day shoot suggests otherwise. The 43-year-old actress, a one-time Oscar nominee for The Wings of a Dove, is more used these days to working in the lavish Hollywood productions of her partner, director Tim Burton. She has recently finished work on his Alice in Wonderland adaptation, due for release in the spring, in which she will play the Red Queen.
Bonham Carter is perhaps the biggest name so far to join the honourable list of actors who have starred in these TV one-offs. Ken Stott, David Walliams and Anne Reid are among those that went before her. And coming after Enid, completing a trio of films on idolised British women, will be Jane Horrocks playing Gracie Fields and Anne-Marie Duff as Margot Fonteyn. The salient feature of all these pieces – and the real draw for such quality casts – has been the writing. “It’s sort of ironic,” says Bonham Carter, “but I always find the better the script the less money you have to do it and the less time.”
Blyton’s is a corker of a story, and this is the first time it’s been turned into a straight drama, after a drama documentary in the early 1990s. The film’s director, James Hawes, is adamant that his feature is, “Neither a hagiography nor a hatchet job”, although the woman that scriptwriter Lindsay Shapero has created here would strike most as first and foremost a vindictive egotist.
Early and sudden fame in the 1920s (“She was the JK Rowling of her day – and then some,” says Hawes) went quickly to Blyton’s head and she soon lost interest in her downtrodden publisher husband, Hugh Pollock (played here by Matthew Macfadyen). She struggled to bond with her younger daughter, Imogen, whomshe left to scream in her cot. “She put the baby in a cupboard and carried on writing and it all fell apart,” as Bonham Carter neatly summarises.
Although both parties were adulterous Blyton persuaded Pollock to take the rap when they divorced, on the promise he would have unlimited access to the children – then refused to let him see them again, telling everyone her second husband, surgeon Kenneth Waters, was their father. She then contacted the major London publishers and used her literary clout to get Pollock blacklisted, so destroying his career. She also pretended her mother was dead because she hated her so much. There’s more, but too much will spoil the story.
The film was made in consultation with Blyton’s main biographer Barbara Stoney and Imogen, the surviving daughter, and the essential facts are easy to corroborate. It doesn’t even venture into the terrain of her possible lesbian affair, which received press attention a few years ago when Pollock’s second wife Ida went public with her own version of why Blyton’s first marriage collapsed.
But just as over the decades public opinion of the literary skills of the creator of Noddy, the Famous Five and around 750 further titles has yo-yoed, so Blyton can’t be painted only as unpleasant. The biopic encourages our sympathy through its depiction of Blyton’s difficult childhood: her father, a cutlery salesman, abandoned the family when she was 13. Her uterus stopped growing at the same age and, at the time, it was thought that this could prevent her having children. The parental trauma is a key reason why Bonham Carter herself finds the author “appealing as well as appalling”.
“Her writing was possibly a response to her father leaving her,” she explains. “That sort of painful encounter with reality meant that she wrote a world that was much more comfortable. My father fell really chronically ill when I was 13 and that’s when I phoned up an agent and started to act. So I had a very similar response and have always had great comfort from living imaginatively.”
But surely all Blyton’s deceits regarding her own family – she once pretended her dog was still alive when it wasn’t; she eulogised her womanising father – they’re not living imaginatively, they’re pathological fantasy? “Yes, her fantasy was so divorced from reality she was virtually insane,” says Bonham Carter. “It is very hard to have that creative force married to a totally sane brain.”
Bonham Carter couldn’t be more different from Blyton in real life. Demonstrating her customary disregard for fashion, the flouncy, lacy, multilayered get-up she wears for the interview includes bloomers, while her hair is a bird’s nest of a quality that any member of the Famous Five would be proud to discover. She looks about 25 and engages with candour with nearly every subject thrown at her. She says she only read a little Blyton growing up “but I’m reading Noddy to Billy now whether he likes it or not,” she laughs (she has another child, Nell, but she’s too young even for Blyton).
“And he does like it,” she adds. “All the things people criticise her for, such as repetitive language, he loves it, it makes it really easy to read.” She points out that all the racism that so bothered detractors during Blyton’s critical nadir in the Seventies has been taken out these days, and the sexism doesn’t seem too bad.
“When you write for very young children what they want is something familiar and safe and stereotyped. They want to know where they are… Lots of subtle and very intelligent friends of mine say, ‘Thank God for Blyton, she brought me up.’”
Blyton, whose books still sell around 8 million a year, is having a resurgence generally at the moment. Last year a survey found her Britain’s most popular author. The ex-Children’s Laureate Anne Fine recently made a Radio 4 programme in her defence. So she’s not the hate figure she once was. Enid comes out at an apposite time then, although, despite Bonham Carter’s defence of her, the film is unlikely to further endear the author to the nation.

 New TV drama reveals Enid Blyton as a barking-mad adulterous bully …
by Lisa Sewards for Mailonline
13 November 2009

On paper, the world of Enid Blyton was one populated by happy, carefree children whose idea of bliss at the end of an adventure-filled day was a slice of plum cake washed down by lashings of ginger beer.
The setting was an idyllic Britain, one of thatched cottages and lych gates, a fairytale time, in an age of innocence.
But the creator of Noddy, the Famous Five, the Secret Seven and Malory Towers was in truth a cold-hearted mother and a vindictive adultress who set out to destroy her former husband.

Barking mad: Enid Blyton will be played by Helena Bonham Carter (right) in a new television drama
The darker revelations, which will dissolve the image of Blyton conveyed by her 753 much-loved books, are part of a brilliant new television biopic, starring Helena Bonham Carter as the author.
At first glance, Blyton's life seems unlikely material for gripping drama, as much of it consisted of her sitting at a desk, knocking off 10,000 words a day. Her books sold 600million copies around the world and made her extremely rich and famous. Her works still sell eight million copies a year.
But Blyton's home life at her cottage, Old Thatch, near the Thames at Bourne End, then at Green Hedges, a mock-Tudor house in Beaconsfield, was nothing like as idyllic as the picture she tried to create.
In spite of the children's nursery, crumpets for tea, Bimbo the cat and Topsy the dog, all foisted on the public in convenient photocalls to project the Blyton brand, the truth was more conflicted.
Enid Blyton pays a visit to Victoria Palace in 1958 to meet some of the young artists who will portray her characters in Noddy In Toyland
Fairytale time: The author pays a visit to Victoria Palace in 1958 to meet some of the young artists who will portray her characters in Noddy In Toyland

Children's favourite: Blyton's Famous Five books are still delighting young readers across the world
'Enid's self-awareness was brilliant and she was incredibly controlling, too,' explains Bonham Carter. 'I was attracted to the role because she was bonkers. She was an emotional mess and quite barking mad.
'What I found extraordinary, bordering on insane, was the way that Enid reinvented her own life. She was allergic to reality - if there was something she didn't like then she either ignored it or re-wrote her life.
'She didn't like her mother, so let her colleagues assume she was dead. When her mother died, she refused to attend the funeral. Then the first husband didn't work out, so she scrubbed him out.
'There's also a scene in the film where her dog dies, but she carries on pretending he's still alive because she can't bear the truth.'
Emotionally, Blyton remained a little girl, stuck in a world of picnics, secret-society codes and midnight feasts. It acted as a huge comfort blanket.
Many of Blyton's obsessions can be traced to her father, who left her mother when Enid was 12. She then seized up emotionally and physically.
'It was my job to understand how she became like this in the first place, not to judge her,' explains Bonham Carter.
'When Enid consulted a gynaecologist about her failure to conceive, she was diagnosed as having an immature uterus and had to have surgery and hormone treatment before she could have children.'

Cold-hearted mother: Blyton with her daughters Gillian and Imogen
The irony was that when she finally did have two daughters, Gillian and Imogen, with her first husband, Hugh Pollock, she was unable to relate to them as a normal mother.
She loved signing thousands of letters to her 'friends' the fans, encouraging them to collect milk bottle tops for Great Ormond Street Hospital to help the war effort, and even ran a competition to name her house, Green Hedges.
But her neighbours said Blyton used to complain about the fearful racket made by children playing.
She was distant and unkind to her younger daughter Imogen and there was clear favouritism in the way she privileged her elder daughter Gillian, who died two years ago aged 75.

Imogen Smallwood, 74, says: 'My mother was arrogant, insecure and without a trace of maternal instinct. Her approach to life was childlike, and she could be spiteful, like a teenager.'
Although Imogen prefers to remain private, she did visit the set to advise Bonham Carter. 'We had email correspondence before Imogen visited the set. We agreed that I wasn't going to try to impersonate her mother because this is a drama,' says Helena.
'Imogen is sensitive, but was very supportive and gave me a few tips, such as how her mother did everything at immense speed because she was ruled by the watch. Enid's domestic life was seen as an interruption to her writing, which was her escapism.'
There is a poignant scene in the film where Blyton holds a tea party at home for her fans, or 'friends' as she preferred to call them. But her daughters are banished to the nursery.
'Enid is one of the kids at the Famous Five tea parties - the jelly and ice-cream are as much for her as they are for her fans,' explains Helena.
'It's also significant that when her daughters go to school, a large mannequin of Noddy - her new child - arrives in the hall to take the place of the children.'
Blyton's first husband, Hugh, called her 'Little Bunny' and adored her. He helped launch her career after they met when he was her editor at Newnes, the publisher.
Blyton's first book, Child Whispers, a collection of poems, was published in 1922. She wrote in her diary soon after meeting him: 'I want him for mine.'
They were married for 19 years, but as Enid's career took off in the Thirties, Hugh grew depressed and took to nightly drinking sessions in the cellar while Enid managed to fit affairs in between writing.
The marriage deteriorated and Hugh moved out. She mocked him in later adventure stories, such as The Mystery Of The Burnt Cottage, as the clueless cop, PC Theophilus Goon.
After a bitter divorce, she married surgeon Kenneth Darrell Waters, with whom she had a fulfilling sex life.

Although the drama shows Blyton's flirtatiousness - she entertained servicemen to dinner at the house while her husband was away at war and found them and their attention attractive - directors chose to omit some aspects of Blyton's apparently sensual side, such as visitors arriving to find her playing tennis naked and suggestions of a lesbian affair with her children's nanny, Dorothy Richards.
But the drama, which has been given the thumbs-up by the Enid Blyton Society, does highlight the author's cruel streak. When Hugh remarried, as she had done, Blyton was so furious that she banned her daughters from seeing their father.
According to Ida Crowe, who later married Hugh, Blyton's revenge was to stop him from seeing Gillian and Imogen, and to prevent him from finding work in publishing. He went bankrupt and sank into depression and drinking.
Ms Crowe, 101, is using her memoir, Starlight, published this month, to break her silence on her feelings towards Blyton, whom she portrays as cold, distant and malevolent. Ms Crowe confirms that during her first marriage, Blyton embarked on a string of affairs, including a suspected relationship with nanny Richards.
Yet Blyton could never forgive Hugh for finding happiness of his own when their marriage ended.
Rosemary Pollock, 66, daughter of Ida and Hugh, says: 'My father. was an honourable man - not the flawed, inconsequential one which was the deliberate misconception perpetuated by Enid.'
Ida and Hugh met when she was 21 and he was 50. In her memoirs, she describes him as 'shatteringly handsome' - tall and slim with golden hair and blue eyes.
After Ida narrowly escaped death in an air raid, she says, Hugh asked for a divorce and Enid agreed. The memoirs claim, however, that Hugh agreed to be identified as the 'guilty' party in the divorce in return for an amicable separation and access to their daughters.
But Rosemary says: 'This agreement was a sham because Enid had no intention of allowing him any kind of contact with either of the girls. She even told Benenden, the girls' boarding school, that on no account was their father, who was paying the bills, to be allowed near them.'
Ida and Hugh married within days of the divorce being granted in October 1943. Gillian and Imogen were 12 and eight. Rosemary got in touch with her half-sisters after Enid's death in 1968, at the age of 71.

Rosemary says: 'Gillian said the last time she saw her father was when they were walking to Beaconsfield station and she had this awful feeling she was not going to see him again.
'She said that on her wedding day, she looked around the church and hoped her father would turn up. My father said he was devastated not to have been invited to Gillian's wedding.'
Rosemary has also accused Enid of wrecking Hugh's literary career. 'Enid was capable of many vindictive things and she didn't want her former husband occupying a prominent position in London publishing, a world she dominated.
'My father had to file for bankruptcy in 1950 because he couldn't find work. She also put out a story that he was a drunk and an adulterer, and that he had made her life a misery.
'Incredibly, Enid even wrote to my mother three years after they had both remarried, saying: "I hope he doesn't ruin your life as he did mine."
'My father did drink, but it was in order to numb the pain. I never heard him criticise Enid. He would praise her remarkable talents.'
Certainly, Blyton is enjoying a renaissance. Disney UK is planning a new, animated feature called Famous 5: On The Case, in which the children of the original Five, and a dog, enjoy some new adventures.
She was also named Britain's best-loved author in a poll last month.
Imogen attributes her mother's success to the fact she 'wrote as a child with an adult's writing skills'.
Despite her private life, no amount of detraction will diminish Blyton as one of Britain's great writers who shaped millions of childhood imaginations. Although it may be harder for the adults they grew into to imagine what the creator of Noddy got up to in real life.

On 28 August 1924 Blyton married Major Hugh Alexander Pollock, DSO (1888–1971) at Bromley Register Office, without inviting her family. Pollock was editor of the book department in the publishing firm of George Newnes, which became her regular publisher. It was he who requested that Blyton write a book about animals, The Zoo Book, which was completed in the month before they married. They initially lived in a flat in Chelsea before moving to Elfin Cottage in Beckenham in 1926, and then to Old Thatch in Bourne End (called Peterswood in her books) in 1929.

Blyton's first daughter Gillian, was born on 15 July 1931, and after a miscarriage in 1934, she gave birth to a second daughter, Imogen, on 27 October 1935. In 1938 Blyton and her family moved to a house in Beaconsfield, which was named Green Hedges by Blyton's readers following a competition in her magazine. By the mid-1930s, Pollock – possibly due to the trauma he had suffered during the First World War being revived through his meetings as a publisher with Winston Churchill – withdrew increasingly from public life and became a secret alcoholic. With the outbreak of the Second World War, he became involved in the Home Guard. Pollock entered into a relationship with a budding young writer, Ida Crowe, and arranged for her to join him at his posting to a Home Guard training centre at Denbies, a Gothic mansion in Surrey belonging to Lord Ashcombe, and work there as his secretary. Blyton's marriage to Pollock became troubled, and according to Crowe's memoir, Blyton began a series of affairs, including a lesbian relationship with one of the children's nannies. In 1941 Blyton met Kenneth Fraser Darrell Waters, a London surgeon with whom she began an affair. Pollock discovered the liaison, and threatened to initiate divorce proceedings against Blyton. Fearing that exposure of her adultery would ruin her public image, it was ultimately agreed that Blyton would instead file for divorce against Pollock. According to Crowe's memoir, Blyton promised that if he admitted to infidelity she would allow him parental access to their daughters; but after the divorce he was forbidden to contact them, and Blyton ensured he was subsequently unable to find work in publishing. Pollock, having married Crowe on 26 October 1943, eventually resumed his heavy drinking and was forced to petition for bankruptcy in 1950.

Blyton and Darrell Waters married at the City of Westminster Register Office on 20 October 1943. She changed the surname of her daughters to Darrell Waters and publicly embraced her new role as a happily married and devoted doctor's wife. After discovering she was pregnant in the spring of 1945, Blyton miscarried five months later, following a fall from a ladder. The baby would have been Darrell Waters's first child and it would also have been the son for which both of them longed.

Her love of tennis included playing naked, with nude tennis "a common practice in those days among the more louche members of the middle classes".

Blyton's health began to deteriorate in 1957, when during a round of golf she started to complain of feeling faint and breathless, and by 1960 she was displaying signs of dementia. Her agent George Greenfield recalled that it was "unthinkable" for the "most famous and successful of children's authors with her enormous energy and computer-like memory" to be losing her mind and suffering from what is now known as Alzheimer's disease in her mid-sixties. Blyton's situation was worsened by her husband's declining health throughout the 1960s; he suffered from severe arthritis in his neck and hips, deafness, and became increasingly ill-tempered and erratic until his death on 15 September 1967.

The story of Blyton's life was dramatised in a BBC film entitled Enid, which aired in the United Kingdom on BBC Four on 16 November 2009. Helena Bonham Carter, who played the title role, described Blyton as "a complete workaholic, an achievement junkie and an extremely canny businesswoman" who "knew how to brand herself, right down to the famous signature".

Friday, 25 November 2016

Hubert de Givenchy - To Audrey with Love / exhibition Den Haag – 26 November 2016 / 26 March 2017 --- Audrey: The 50s by David Wills

Hubert de Givenchy - To Audrey with Love / exhibition
Den Haag – 26 November 2016 / 26 March 2017

Some of Hubert de Givenchy's most beautiful creations were born from his wonderful friendship with Audrey Hepburn. On and off the big screen, Audrey Hepburn brought to these clothes her exceptional charm: Sabrina (1954), Funny Face (1957), Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961), How to Steal a Million (1966). Hubert de Givenchy's drawings dance on the pages, inviting us to embark upon an exclusive retrospective of his most beautiful designs, accompanied by his annotations, from the famous Bettina blouse of 1952 to the wedding dress of his last collection in 1995. We also find his creations for the Empress of Iran, HRH Princess Grace of Monaco, the princess Caroline of Monaco, the Duchess of Windsor, Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Elizabeth Taylor, Marlene Dietrich and many other iconic personalities. This book promises to be a formidable source of inspiration for all the fashion addicts and the lovers of the incomparable Givenchy style, that incarnates French elegance and taste at their summit.

 Audrey: The 50s
by David Wills
About the Book

A stunning photographic compilation showcasing Audrey Hepburn’s iconic career in the 1950s—the decade that solidified her place as one of the world’s greatest stars in film and fashion.
Devoted to her most influential decade, Audrey: The 50s brings together in one volume the allure and elegance that made Audrey Hepburn the most iconic figure in modern fashion history. Photographed during the early days of her career, both on the sets of Roman Holiday, Sabrina, Funny Face, and other classic films, and in fashion photo shoots by top photographers who adored and immortalized her, these beautiful black-and-white and color images radiate with Audrey’s waifish charm, ethereal beauty, and effortless style.
Renowned author, curator and photographic preservationist David Wills has carefully selected this collection of two hundred museum-quality photos that capture Audrey in her prime as never before. Audrey: The 50s displays this star at her brightest, and brings her legacy into perfect focus.
Among the highlights:
Rare and classic images digitally restored from vintage photographic prints, original studio negatives and transparencies.
Never-before-seen publicity photos, scene stills and work shots from the sets of Roman Holiday, Sabrina, Funny Face, Love in the Afternoon, and The Nun’s Story.
Previously unpublished "posed candids" of Audrey at home.
Beautifully restored advertisements, fan magazine layouts, international film posters and lobby cards.
Quotes from photographers, directors, and costars, including William Holden, Gregory Peck, Fred Astaire, Billy Wilder, King Vidor, William Wyler, Edith Head, Hubert de Givenchy, Richard Avedon, Cecil Beaton, and Audrey herself.

BECK 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder Replica

Inspired by the Porsche 356 which was created by Ferry Porsche, and some spyder prototypes built and raced by Walter Glöckler starting in 1951, the factory decided to build a car designed for use in auto racing.[1] The model Porsche 550 Spyder was introduced at the 1953 Paris Auto Show.[2] The 550 was very low to the ground, in order to be efficient for racing. In fact, former German Formula One racer Hans Herrmann drove it under closed railroad crossing gates during the 1954 Mille Miglia

Racing history
The first three hand built prototypes came in a coupé with a removable hardtop. The first (550-03) raced as a roadster at the Nurburgring Eifel Race in May 1953 winning its first race. Over the next couple of years, the Werks Porsche team evolved and raced the 550 with outstanding success and was recognized wherever it appeared. The Werks cars were provided with differently painted tail fins to aid recognition from the pits. Hans Herrmann’s particularly famous ‘red-tail’ car No 41 went from victory to victory. Porsche was the first car manufacturer to get race sponsorship which was through Fletcher Aviation, who Porsche was working with to design a light aircraft engine and then later adding Telefunken and Castrol.

For such a limited number of 90 prototype and customer builds, the 550 Spyder was always in a winning position, usually finishing in the top three results in its class. The beauty of the 550 was that it could be driven to the track, raced and then driven home, which showed the flexibility of being both a road and track car. Each Spyder was individually designed and customised to be raced and although from the pits it was difficult to identify the sometimes six 550s in the race, the aid of colouring tail spears along the rear wheel fenders, enabled the teams to see their cars. The racing Spyders were predominantly silver in colour, similar to the factory colour of the Mercedes, but there were other splashes of blue, red, yellow and green in the tail spears making up the Porsche palette on the circuit.

Each Spyder was assigned a number for the race and had gumballs positioned on doors, front and rear, to be seen from any angle. On some 550s owned by privateers, a crude hand written number scrawled in house paint usually served the purpose. Cars with high numbers assigned such as 351, raced in the 1000 mile Mille Miglia, where the number represented the start time of 3.51am. On most occasions, numbers on each Spyder would change for each race entered, which today helps identify each 550 by chassis number and driver in period black and white photos.

The later 1956 evolution version of the model, the 550A, which had a lighter and more rigid spaceframe chassis, gave Porsche its first overall win in a major sports car racing event, the 1956 Targa Florio.

Its successor from 1957 onwards, the Porsche 718, commonly known as the RSK was even more successful. The Spyder variations continued through the early 1960s, the RS 60 and RS 61. A descendant of the Porsche 550 is generally considered to be the Porsche Boxster S 550 Spyder; the Spyder name was effectively resurrected with the RS Spyder Le Mans Prototype.

James Dean's "Little Bastard"
Perhaps the most famous of the first 90 Porsche 550's built was James Dean's "Little Bastard", numbered 130 (VIN 550-0055), which Dean fatally crashed into Donald Turnupseed's 1950 Ford Custom at the CA Rte. 46/41 Cholame Junction on September 30, 1955.

As Dean was finishing up Giant’s filming in September, 1955, he suddenly traded in his 356 Porsche Super Speedster at Competition Motors, for a new 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder on September 21st, and immediately entered the upcoming Salinas Road Race event scheduled for October 1 and 2.

According to Lee Raskin, Porsche historian and author of James Dean At Speed, Dean asked custom car painter and pin striper Dean Jeffries to paint "Little Bastard" on the car:

"Dean Jeffries, who had a paint shop next to Barris did the customizing work which consisted of: painting '130' in black non-permanent paint on the front hood, doors and rear deck lid. He also painted 'Little Bastard' in script across the rear cowling. The red leather bucket seats and red tail stripes were original. The tail stripes were painted by the Stuttgart factory, which was customary on the Spyders for long distance endurance racing identification."
Purportedly, James Dean had been nicknamed "Little Bastard" by Bill Hickman, a Warner Bros. stunt driver who became friendly with him. (Previous references to Hickman say he was Dean's dialogue coach on Giant, though Bob Hinkle, a Texan, was actually Dean's Giant dialogue coach.) Hickman was part of Dean's group driving to the Salinas Road Races on September 30, 1955. Hickman says he called Dean, "Little Bastard", and Dean called Hickman, "Big Bastard."

Another origin story of the "Little Bastard" monicker has been corroborated by two of Dean's close friends, Lew Bracker and photographer Phil Stern. They believe Jack L. Warner of Warner Bros. had once referred to Dean as a "little bastard" after Dean refused to vacate his temporary East of Eden trailer on the studio's lot, and Dean wanted to get "even" with Warner by naming his race car "Little Bastard" and to show Warner that despite his sports car racing ban during all filming, Dean was going to be racing the "Little Bastard" in between making movies for Warner Bros.