Anjelica Huston: A Story Told
A must-read for November
The day Anjelica Huston was born, her father, John Huston, was deep in the Belgian Congo directing 1951’s The African Queen with Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn. Anjelica, the daughter of Huston’s fourth wife, the dancer Enrica “Ricki” Soma, was raised with her brother Tony on a remote estate in Ireland, where her father returned after frequent absences, often with famous friends. In her affecting memoir, A Story Lately Told (Scribner), out this month, Huston recounts how Peter O’Toole was on hand for her childhood acting debut in the family living room (she played a witch in Macbeth), how Marlon Brando’s lips curled when she met him, and how distressed Montgomery Clift became on the set of her father’s 1962 film Freud. With glimpses of her erratic schooling in Swinging London, where her exotic mother relocated after her parents’ separation, and her forays into acting—as Marianne Faithfull’s understudy in a 1969 staging of Hamlet, and then in one of her father’s films—Huston’s account is candid and laced with longing. She both feared and adored her father, and she moved to New York soon after her mother died in a car accident, landing shoots with fashion greats Richard Avedon and Bob Richardson. Huston acted as muse and lover to the much older, troubled Richardson (father of the photographer Terry), even as his zeal to control her became unbearable. The book ends with her heading to Hollywood, where we know a love affair with Jack Nicholson and a movie career lie in store. But for that tale, you will have to wait until 2014, when Huston publishes the next installment of her compelling saga.