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Joseph Egan Visits The Silver Screen Oasis Jan. 21 & 22

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Joseph Egan Visits The Silver Screen Oasis Jan. 21 & 22

Postby Sue Sue Applegate » January 17th, 2017, 1:58 pm

Joseph Egan author of The Purple Diaries: Mary Astor And The Most Sensational Hollywood Scandal of the 1930s will visit us this weekend, Saturday, January 21, and Sunday, January 22.

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Joseph Egan, an editor and conceptual artist, is also a close personal friend of Marylyn Thorpe Roh, the child at the center of this famous custody battle between Mary Astor, and her husband, Dr. Franklyn Thorpe. Joseph Egan has written for and edited a weekly entertainment newspaper, edited a privately printed anthology and edited several college literary magazines. He has also worked as a free-lance editor, as a professional researcher, worked in motion picture promotion, as a free-lance video editor and has had had several film scripts optioned. In addition, as a conceptual artist he has presented installations in New York City as well as in the Midwest. One installations was displayed at Lincoln Center.

Mr. Egan is expert on a wide range of diverse subjects including the motion picture Heaven’s Gate, producer David O. Selznick, inventor, Nikola Tesla and of course, Mary Astor.

Preferring the private life, Mr. Egan and his wife live on the side of a mountain in Dutchess County, New York, where their daily visitors are restricted to white tail deer, wild turkeys, chipmunks, rabbits, raccoons and a rather reclusive family of possums.

You can visit him and learn more about his laterst book, The Purple Diaries: Mary Astor And The Most Sensational Hollywood Scandal of the 1930s online at http://thepurplediaries.com or TheMaryAstorCollection.com and of course the Author’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/josephegan01?ref=ts&fref=ts

Why did Joseph Egan write the book? Read his fascinating response here:

"A number of years ago I put together a massive conceptual installation consisting of a series of paper collage works dealing with the American film Industry from the 20s through the 90s. For the 1930s I chose the Mary Astor Custody Battle. Over the years the Astor material intrigued me. It was basically the story of a woman who, for the sake of her little baby, took on the American media and the Hollywood establishment to do what she believed was best for her child. I soon discovered that every book, and even magazine article, written years after the trial had never gotten the story correctly. What is worse, they often printed rumor as fact.

The idea of writing about the custody battle was sparked when I read the Mary Astor chapter in Kenneth Anger’s hugely successful book, Hollywood Babylon. It was Anger’s intention to scandalize and he succeeded quite well at this. Thus, the piece on Astor was filled with so many falsehoods—often substituting the salacious for the truth—that I felt the record needed to be set straight. This idea languished until I read a short piece on the trial in New York Magazine for which Anger’s book was the principal source. In short, Hollywood Babylon and its many falsehoods had, and would continue to be, source material for any writer wanting to discuss the Mary Astor-Franklyn Thorpe Custody Trial. This provided me with just the motivation I needed to write a book that would finally ‘set the record straight’. The result is an exhaustively researched and compelling courtroom drama."

Many of Mary Astor's films continue to be screened on our favorite channel, TCM. Astor appeared from 1921 to 1964, amassing a screen career with more than 150 credits, and also enjoyed popularity as a writer and novelist. Her films continue to be popular at the TCM Film Festivals.

Egan's book has been featured or reviewed in the following venues:
The Huffington Post
Angle News
The Sun (New York)
Closer magazine
The New York Post
Goodreads
The Library Journal
And many more....

Please join us in welcoming Joseph Egan to The Silver Screen Oasis!
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Re: Joseph Egan Visits The Silver Screen Oasis Jan. 21 & 22

Postby Joseph Egan » January 17th, 2017, 5:02 pm

Thanks for your interest and I am open to any and all questions.

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Re: Joseph Egan Visits The Silver Screen Oasis Jan. 21 & 22

Postby Sue Sue Applegate » January 19th, 2017, 8:58 am

Wonderful, Joseph. Can't wait until Saturday!
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Re: Joseph Egan Visits The Silver Screen Oasis Jan. 21 & 22

Postby Hibi » January 19th, 2017, 12:47 pm

Mr. Egan, I wont be around this wknd. to take part. Wondered if I could post a question before your visit. I havent read your book yet, but I was under the impression the original diary was destroyed. Were all the purported excerpts just made up by the press? Did any part of the diary survive in evidence? Looking forward to reading your book!

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Re: Joseph Egan Visits The Silver Screen Oasis Jan. 21 & 22

Postby Joseph Egan » January 19th, 2017, 2:21 pm

Sure And Please call me Joe. (My kids call me far worse.)

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Re: Joseph Egan Visits The Silver Screen Oasis Jan. 21 & 22

Postby Joseph Egan » January 19th, 2017, 2:42 pm

I will have to answer that question in several parts.

1-The original diary which was sealed by the court in 1936 was burned a few months after Marylyn turned 21. It was sealed in case the custody case was re-opened. Thorpe wanted to make sure that he could use it. Astor wanted to make sure that it couldn't be used against her or the friends whose activities were discussed in it. When Marylyn turned 21 Astor and Thorpe had a discussion about what to do with it and both agreed that it should be destroyed which it was and it was done by the court.

2-The only real excerpts were those in the Answers that Thorpe filed in July 1936 to Astor's petition and the Kaufman excerpts his attorney released to the press on August 10, 1936 and were printed in newspapers all over the world. (If you go to the purplediaries.com and click excerpts tap you can read these excerpts.) Everything else printed in the press about scorecards and all that were from a salacious forgery by someone who, according to Mary Astor, was worried that his name might be mentioned in the real diary and so wanted to scare Astor into settling. Over the years bits and pieces of this salacious material were printed in articles and books and it was thought that this came from the real diary which had nothing pornographic in it. One of the reasons why I wrote the book was to clear this up and finally tell the real story.

3-The Diary was never submitted as evidence as one of the two volumes had been taken apart so that Thorpe could make Photostats. Astor's attorney found case law that made it clear that an altered, mutilated or incomplete document could not be used as evidence and in this way prevented it from ever being used in court. Thorpe's attorney in desperation gave the Kaufman excerpts (on my website) to the press and then asked Astor questions on the stand relating to it so that if she lied about anything written in the diary she could be brought up on perjury charges. It was at this point that the judge had had enough and called a halt and demanded that Astor and Thorpe worked out a Custody agreement which they did and he then signed. That took another three days.

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Re: Joseph Egan Visits The Silver Screen Oasis Jan. 21 & 22

Postby Joseph Egan » January 19th, 2017, 2:45 pm

If anyone wants to ask questions ahead of time that's fine. I'll keep this page open on my computer and check it over the course of the day.

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Re: Joseph Egan Visits The Silver Screen Oasis Jan. 21 & 22

Postby Professional Tourist » January 19th, 2017, 3:13 pm

Mr. Egan, I am a admirer of Agnes Moorehead and understand that she and Mary Astor enjoyed a personal friendship. I know that the two worked together at least twice, when Miss Moorehead directed Miss Astor in a touring company of Don Juan in Hell in the mid-1950s, and then in the film Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte although as I recall they did not have any scenes together.

SSO member vecchiolarry had told us a while back of AM's friendship with MA. I was wondering if you might have any details of when/how they first met, and of any milestones of their friendship, such as special social occasions, correspondence, and/or shared travel experiences.

Thank you.

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Re: Joseph Egan Visits The Silver Screen Oasis Jan. 21 & 22

Postby Joseph Egan » January 19th, 2017, 4:26 pm

To tell you the truth I don't know anything about it. I do know about Astor working with A.M. during the early 50s when she was doing plays and live television and of course on Hush Hush. (It should be noted that Astor only did a days work on it when the film was on location and Crawford was still with the project. When DeHavilland replaced Crawford I think Astor did one day's work at the studio ) I will ask Astor's daughter about it and get back to you. Marylyn remembers that when she was younger names like Frederic March, Cagney, Gable, Chatterton and others were common names in the house. By the way there is an extensive interview I did with Marylyn on themaryastorcollection.com a site which I put together on Astor. You might want to take a look.

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Re: Joseph Egan Visits The Silver Screen Oasis Jan. 21 & 22

Postby Sue Sue Applegate » January 20th, 2017, 1:35 pm

We are moving over to the official Guest Star thread here: viewtopic.php?f=127&t=6984

Members, please post any new questions there. Thank you!
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Re: Joseph Egan Visits The Silver Screen Oasis Jan. 21 & 22

Postby Steve Hayes » January 21st, 2017, 5:52 pm

Dear Joseph;
First of all congratulations on your fabulous book. As an ardent Mary Astor fan, I'm thrilled that not only is there an in depth look at the scandal, but a new interest in the career of thsi fascinating and brilliant actress. Were you always a Mary Astor fan and what are your favorite roles? After the scandal, did Mary ever run into Kaufman again sociolly? Also what was the reaction of Bea Kaufman, when her husband's sexual exploits were suddenly all over the front pages? On a side note; years ago , when they did a revival of "You Can't Take It With You" on Broadway, I found myself sitting next to Kaufman's last wife Leueen MacGrath. She was elderly, tiny, gracious and lovely.
Steve Hayes
"Tired Old Queen at the Movies"


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