"3 highballs & I'm St. Francis of Assisi."
As a screenwriter in Hollywood in the 1930s, she irritated Samuel Goldwyn with her stream of caustic remarks.
Goldwyn complained: "Wisecracks, I told you there's no money in wisecracks. People want a happy ending."
Parker: "I know this will come as a shock to you, Mr. Goldwyn, but in all history, which has held billions & billions of human beings, not a single one ever had a happy ending."
"One more drink & I'd have been under the host."
Long ago, in a galaxy far away, I played a wonderful character named- Banjo, inspired by Harpo Marx, in a play – The Man Who Came To Dinner, that was based on a real life incident in the life of Algonquin Round Table regular- Alexander Woollcott.
I usually over-research my character work as an actor, I was sent into an Algonquin Round Table jag that lasted for decades. I read everything I could by & about these interesting, talented & witty friends & colleagues during one of NYC’s richest periods. I have books about & by Alexander Woollcott, Edna Ferber, Robert Benchley, Ira Gershwin, George S. Kauffman, Herbert Ross & S.J. Perelman, but Dorothy Parker was the personality that engaged me the most. I believe I read everything by her by the time I was 21.
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks."
When I lived in NYC in the 1970s, my handsome, sexy, neurotic, born in NYC boyfriend- Stephen (he looked like young Frank Langella. I wonder if he now looks like present day Langella?) Stephen took me on a Dorothy Parker NYC tour one autumn day, with stops at her girlhood home on the Upper West Side, the Algonquin Hotel, Woollcott’s home- Wits End, the Waldorf- Astoria, the old offices of the New Yorker, & the restaurant- 21.
She led an interesting & difficult life with a troubled childhood, 3 marriages ( 2 to the same man & one to a homosexual), & several suicide attempts, but her her caustic wit, talent, wisecracks & sharp eye for urban sophisticates & their foibles endure. She has been portrayed on film and television by Dolores Sutton in F. Scott Fitzgerald in Hollywood (1976), Rosemary Murphy in Julia (1977), Bebe Neuwirth in Dash & Lilly (1999) & most interestingly by Jennifer Jason Leigh in Mrs. Parker & the Vicious Circle (1994). Neuwirth was nominated for an Emmy Award for her performance & Leigh received a number of awards & nominations, including a Golden Globe nomination.
Parker was an early defender of human & civil rights. She left here estate to the NAACP. Parker's ashes are buried at that organization’s Baltimore Headquarters. She had suggested that her epitaph read- “Excuse my dust”
"You can lead a horticulture, but you can't make her think."