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Truman Capote Won an Emmy With Radziwill by His Side

Truman Capote Won an Emmy With Radziwill by His Side

In Ryan Murphy‘s FX anthology offering Feud: Capote vs. The Swans, author Truman Capote and his flock of socialite friends spend much of their leisure time preening at La Côte Basque, a French bistro on West 55th Street in Manhattan. But on one memorable occasion, Capote escorted one of his high society besties, Lee Radziwill, about two blocks south, to the Sheraton Times Square, where she would be his plus-one at the 19th annual Emmy Awards. There, Capote picked up an individual achievement honor, shared with Eleanor Perry, for adapting A Christmas Memory, an ABC Stage 67 special based on an autobiographical short story he wrote for Mademoiselle in 1956.

Frankly, watching Christmas Memory today, it’s hard to see much special about this special. It recounts Capote’s childhood holidays spent with an elderly cousin in Depression-era Alabama — Geraldine Page plays the cousin (and also won an Emmy), Donnie Melvin portrays young Truman, and Capote provides voiceover narration — with much of its dawdling plot revolving around gathering nuts and baking fruitcakes. A much more intriguing peek into Capote’s youth is 1962’s big-screen adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird, in which Dill, the odd neighbor boy who befriends Scout and Jem, is based on Capote. (Mockingbird author Harper Lee and Capote spent their formative years in Monroeville, Alabama, and remained lifelong close friends.)

Still, this bit of Emmy trivia might come in handy during the nominations window for Feud, which features more than a few nuts of its own.

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This story first appeared in a May standalone issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.

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