Books

Showbiz Books for Summer

New titles — about Lorraine Hansberry, “Midnight Cowboy” and more — get to the heart of our enduring obsessions with Hollywood and the performing arts.


By Dave Itzkoff

Long before he became the celebrated filmmaker of “Sunset Boulevard,” “Some Like It Hot” and “The Apartment,” a young Billy Wilder worked briefly as a dancer for hire in the ballroom of a fashionable Berlin hotel. As he described the endeavor — one that called for a certain amount of imagination and role-playing in its own right — for a German newspaper in 1927, “This is no easy way to earn your daily bread, nor is it the kind that sentimental, softhearted types can stomach. But others can live from it.”

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