HBD Harrison Ford

Harrison Ford just turned 80. What I love about him is that he didn’t just play lovable scoundrels, he was one in the 60s and 70s. Sure, the married star had a 3-month affair with Carrie Fisher while they were filming “Star Wars.” She was 19. He was a married father of two. 


Earlier, he also had an affair with Joan Didion’s assistant while he finished carpentry work at Didion’s house in Trancas, California. The woman’s sister, author Susanna Moore, shared details in her memoir of life in Hollywood in the 60s and 70s. The book is called Miss Aluminum and boy is it louche. 

“Harrison Ford didn’t just play lovable scoundrels, he was one. Sure, the married star had a 3-month affair with Carrie Fisher while they were filming “Star Wars.” She was 19. He was a married father of two.”


Born “on the wrong side of the blanket,” Gully was the first child of the second Viscount Selby and his paramour, Dorothy Grey. “The fact that I was a love child is a technicality,” he insisted. “My parents married as soon as my father’s divorce became final.



It’s almost midsummer. Therefore, time to poke through the Vanity Fair archives, looking for tales of Louche Angeles.  The late Richard Gully was the perfect Louche Angeleno. I adore Brits in Hollywood.

Gully witnessed the most interesting moments in 20th Century History. As he told Amy Fine Collins, he saw the end of the Edwardian Empire, enjoyed Berlin before Hitler’s rise, hung out in Mexico City with European emigres,  stormed Omaha Beach on D-Day, befriended West Coast gangsters like Bugsey Siegel, lived with Elsie DeWolfe, and became Jack Warner’s fixer. He saw it all. He remarked that until 1960 Los Angeles was a sinkhole of corruption: “Burton Fitts,” said Gully, “who was the D.A. during the same period, fixed everything. An example: in the early 30s, L. B. Mayer ran over a man and killed him.” Talent agent and “glorified companion” Frank Orsatti took the rap for L.B. They switched seats so it looked like it was Orsatti’s fault.” Orsatti, an ex-bootlegger, “stayed in jail for a year.”


At the end of Gully’s life, he spilled all the tea. He died at age 93, but failed to finish his memoirs. They would have been juicy reading. He knew the film colony’s every secret. “Danny Kaye was mean, a horror. He mistreated his wife, Sylvia Fine, who wrote his material. His love affair with Olivier, the coldest man I ever met, was so tacky,” he told Fine Collins. 

Welcome to Louche Angeles

I am a native Angeleno. I grew up in Pasadena in the 70s and 80s. I’ve seen this city change in a variety of ways. The most compelling change is its transformation from a louche backwater into a dazzling metropolis. I miss those days when the town was a shaggy underdog. It had a sleazy, anything-goes attitude that I thought I’d participate in when I grew up. 


This blog celebrates the world of my youth in the Seventies in all of its hedonistic glory. 



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