Patricia Bosworth

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Patricia Bosworth
Born Patricia Crum
(1933-04-24) April 24, 1933 (age 83)
Oakland, California
Occupation Biographer, journalist
Genre Journalism, biography
Years active 1984—present

Patricia Bosworth (born April 24, 1933) is an American journalist and biographer. A former faculty member of the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University, she has also been an editor, actress and model.

Early life and career[edit]

Born as Patricia Crum in Oakland, California, she is the daughter of writer Anna Gertrude Bosworth and attorney Bartley Crum, one of the six lawyers who defended the Hollywood Ten during the Red Scare at the start of the Cold War in 1947. Her younger brother, Bartley Crum Jr., and her father both committed suicide.[1]

Bosworth attended Miss Burke's School and the Convent of the Sacred Heart. Aged 13, intending to become an actress, she adopted her mother's maiden name as her professional surname. In 1948, the family moved to New York City, where Bosworth attended the Chapin School. She also attended the École International in Geneva, Switzerland. Bosworth eloped in 1952 with an art student, ending the marriage after a year. After receiving her B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College in 1955, she became a member of the Actors Studio in Manhattan,[2] and found work as a model and actress.

Her first modeling job came from the John Robert Powers agency.[3] She was hired by Diane and Allan Arbus to pose with a male model for a magazine ad for the Greyhound bus company.[4] Allan drove everyone, including his and Diane's assistant Tad Yamashiro, who many years later became a photographer whose work was exhibited in galleries,[5] from Manhattan to the Ardsley Acres section of Ardsley, New York for the photo shoot.[6]

Present day[edit]

Bosworth's book on Diane Arbus was turned into a film called Fur (2006), directed by Steven Shainberg. She is currently employed as a Contributing Editor at Vanity Fair magazine. Her articles appear there often both in print and on their web site. She was married to photographer and theatre director Tom Palumbo, who died in October 2008.[citation needed]

As actress[edit]

Bosworth's stage roles included an appearance in Inherit the Wind (1955).

Playing a small supporting role, she can be seen and heard having conversations with Audrey Hepburn's character in two scenes of The Nun's Story (1959).

Bosworth's television work included guest star roles on Young Dr. Malone (1958) and an episode of The Patty Duke Show that was originally telecast by CBS on November 13, 1963.

She understudied Barbara Bel Geddes in the musical comedy Mary, Mary from 1961 to 1965. She also can be seen as a notably disgruntled redhead in the audience of the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival, in Bert Stern's documentary about the festival titled Jazz on a Summer's Day (1960).[citation needed]

As journalist[edit]

Changing careers to journalism afterward, she became an editor at Screen Stars magazine.

Later in the 1960s, Bosworth became an editor at Woman's Day and from 1969 to 1972 was senior editor of McCall's. Bosworth served as managing editor of Harper's Bazaar from 1972 to 1974, and then as executive editor of the nightlife magazine Viva from 1974 to 1976. She also freelanced for the arts section of The New York Times, as well as for national magazines, and was a contributing editor of Vanity Fair. She reviewed numerous books for The New York Times, and profiled film historian Lawrence J. Quirk for the April 1998 issue of Vanity Fair. In February 2005 she profiled Penthouse founder Bob Guccione for the same magazine.[7]

As biographer[edit]

Bosworth is the author of biographies on Montgomery Clift (1978), Diane Arbus (1984) and Marlon Brando (2000). Her book, Montgomery Clift: A Biography tells the story of the actor, whose introverted style of acting influenced James Dean and many other performers. In researching her book, the author had total access to Clift's family and many persons who knew the actor and worked with him.[citation needed]

Bosworth's biography of Arbus, a photographer known for her poetic approach to subjects eccentric, abnormal or extraordinary, proved to be extremely controversial, and did not get formal approval from the Arbus Estate. Main criticism was pointed at the absolute lack of evidence in the author's account of Arbus' life, her sensationalistic focus on her alleged "freaky" sexual life and allegations on her artistic sensibility which did not rely on first hands documents.

According to Publishers Weekly, Bosworth's biography on Marlon Brando "offers a vivid reminder of the personal and professional highlights of Brando's life ... [It is] an informative biography of Brando that, because of the limited format of the Penguin Lives series, hints at but cannot do justice to the great unruliness of Brando's career and life. She provides a fine, detailed sketch of his New York days when he took acting classes with Harry Belafonte, Elaine Stritch, Gene Saks, Shelley Winters, Rod Steiger and Kim Stanley, and presents a great portrait of the craziness on the set of Last Tango in Paris (co-star Maria Schneider announced that they got along 'because we're both bisexual')", but in only 228 pages, the author "can't approach the complexity of her earlier work."


  1. ^ Bosworth, Patricia. Anything Your Little Heart Desires: An American Family Story (1998)
  2. ^ Garfield, David (1980). "Appendix: Life Members of The Actors Studio as of January 1980". A Player's Place: The Story of The Actors Studio. New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc. p. 277. ISBN 0-02-542650-8. 
  3. ^ Bosworth, Patricia. Diane Arbus: A Biography. New York: Alfred Knopf, 1984
  4. ^ Bosworth, Patricia. Diane Arbus: A Biography. New York: Alfred Knopf, 1984
  5. ^ New York magazine April 24, 1978 edition
  6. ^ Bosworth, Patricia. Diane Arbus: A Biography. New York: Alfred Knopf, 1984
  7. ^ The X-Rated Emperor, Vanity Fair, February 2005

External links[edit]