Carol Easton, whose curiosity about creativity impressed her to write down biographies of 4 distinguished figures within the arts — Stan Kenton, Samuel Goldwyn, Jacqueline du Pré and Agnes de Mille — died on June 17 at her residence in Venice, Calif. She was 87.
Her dying was confirmed on Saturday by her daughter, Liz Kinnon.
“She was at all times fascinated with individuals, particularly artistic individuals within the arts,” Ms. Kinnon stated. “After working as a contract author for years, she determined she wished to write down her first biography.”
Her first topic was the jazz composer and orchestra chief Stan Kenton, whose recognition spanned 4 a long time. Her “Straight Forward: The Story of Stan Kenton” was revealed in 1973.
She adopted that with “The Seek for Sam Goldwyn” (1976), a profile of the pioneering Hollywood producer; “Jacqueline du Pré: A Biography” (1989), in regards to the youngster prodigy cellist who developed career-ending cerebral palsy in her late 20s; and “No Intermissions: The Lifetime of Agnes de Mille” (1996), which delved into the lifetime of the choreographer who endowed dance with a particular American power.
“No Intermissions” was named a New York Occasions Notable E-book of the Yr in 1996. It was described by Jennifer Dunning, The Occasions’s dance critic, in a evaluate as an “extensively researched” have a look at the worlds of ballet and Broadway (together with Ms. de Mille’s groundbreaking choreography for “Oklahoma”); her impassioned advocacy for the Nationwide Endowment for the Arts; and her outspokenness. (When she obtained the Nationwide Medal of Arts in 1986, Ms. Easton wrote, she advised President Ronald Reagan, “You’re a a lot better actor now than you have been within the motion pictures.”)
“No Intermissions,” the evaluate concluded, “is an absorbing, pleasurable and thought-provoking learn, and that’s fairly an accomplishment for a ebook about so prickly and self-made an icon.”
In The New York Occasions E-book Evaluate, Joan Acocella stated of Ms. Easton’s ebook, “For many who nonetheless surprise, as I do, how dance is made, she describes intimately de Mille’s choreographic technique: how she imagined a dance, what got here into her thoughts first, what number of notes and what form she made earlier than going into the studio.”
Ms. Easton’s biography of Jacqueline du Pré was described within the Occasions E-book Evaluate by Peggy Constantine as “brimming with great quotations” (together with this one, from the violinist Hugh Maguire: “She was like champagne, freshly uncorked, on a regular basis”).
In a letter to The Occasions in 1999, Ms. Easton additionally contrasted her account of Ms. du Pré’s life with the movie “Hilary and Jackie” (1998), tailored from a ebook by Jacqueline’s sister, the flutist Hilary du Pré, who recounted an affair between Jacqueline and Hilary’s husband.
“As Jacqueline du Pré’s pal and, at her request, her biographer, I do know that she was neither the saint that the British media made her out to be nor the self-absorbed monstre sacre of her sister’s self-serving ebook,” Ms. Easton wrote. “Moderately, she was achingly human.”
Carol Evelyn Herzenberg was born on Sept. 27, 1933, in San Francisco to Jean Miller, an entrepreneur and journalist, and Herbert Herzenberg, a businessman. Their marriage resulted in divorce. Carol was legally adopted by her mom’s second husband, Jack Easton, a Hollywood agent, and took his surname.
She was raised in Hollywood, the place, her son Kelly stated, she used to sneak onto the Samuel Goldwyn Studios lot as a baby and managed to be forged as an additional within the 1943 antiwar movie “The North Star.”
She studied theater arts on the College of California, Los Angeles. In 1956, she married Jerry Kinnon. They divorced in 1968.
Along with their daughter and their son Kelly, is survived by one other son, Andy; 5 grandchildren; and a brother, Jack Easton.