Bosworth, Patricia.

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American journalist and biographer; b. 1933.

From the description of Patricia Bosworth collection, 1944-2002. (Boston University). WorldCat record id: 70971764

Biographer, journalist, editor, actress, and model, Patricia Bosworth was born April 24, 1933 in Oakland, California to famed attorney Bartley C. Crum and Anna Gertrude Bosworth, a writer. She had one younger brother, Bartley Crum Jr.

Bosworth attended Miss Burke’s School and Convent of the Sacred Heart in California, where she became friends with Dianne (Goldman) Feinstein. At the age of thirteen, she decided to become an actress and to use her mother’s maiden name: Bosworth. In 1948, the family moved to New York City where Bosworth attended the Chapin School. She also attended École International in Geneva, Switzerland. In 1952, Bosworth eloped with an art student; the marriage lasted about a year.

She received a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College in 1955. Bosworth worked as a model and actress, becoming a member of the Actors Studio. She appeared in a number of stage, film, and television productions, such as Inherit the Wind (1955), The Nun’s Story (1959), and Young Dr. Malone (1958). Bosworth’s final Broadway position was as an understudy to Barbara Bel Geddes in Mary, Mary (1961) for approximately four years.

In the mid 1960s, she left acting and became a full-time journalist. Bosworth worked as an editor at Woman’s Day and went on to become senior editor at McCall’s (1969 –1972), managing editor of Harper’s Bazaar (1972 – 1974), and executive editor of Viva (1974 – 1976). By the late 1960s, Bosworth’s byline could frequently be found in the arts section of The New York Times and other leading national publications. She has also been a contributing editor to Vanity Fair .

One day, Bosworth came home from school to find her idol, actor Montgomery Clift, lying on the living room floor of her family’s upper East Side townhouse, discussing politics with her father. Bosworth’s father had arranged for Clift’s visit to Israel and for the actor to spend time at San Quentin to prepare for his role in A Place in the Sun . Bosworth’s father had also been campaign manager for 1940 Republican Presidential candidate Wendell Willkie, whom Clift greatly admired. When her father introduced her to Clift, a flustered Bosworth curtsied and Clift curtsied back. Some fifteen years after that introduction, subsequent to the 1956 car accident that had destroyed Clift’s handsome face, Bosworth did not recognize him when he approached her at the Actors’ Studio. When their conversation ended, Clift turned and then curtsied to Bosworth.

After abandoning an attempt at a biography of Marlon Brando Clift, Bosworth chose Clift, who died in 1966 at the age of forty-five, as the subject of her first biography, Bosworth spent five years researching Clift and interviewing some two hundred and fifty people who knew him. She won the cooperation of the Clift family, especially Clift’s older brother Brooks, and Clift’s twin sister, Ethel Clift McGinnis. The book, Montgomery Clift: A Biography, was published by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich in 1978 to much critical acclaim. It became a bestseller and was published in several languages. In 1979, it was published in paperback by Bantam.

Bosworth’s second biography was of photographer Diane Arbus ( Diane Arbus: A Biography, Knopf, 1984), for whom she had modeled as a teen. Her Marlon Brando: A Biography (Viking Press, 2001), recounts the life of the actor who was, perhaps, the most influential of his generation.

In her book, Anything Your Little Heart Desires: An American Family Story (Simon & Schuster, 1997), Bosworth recounts and attempts to come to grips with the story of her powerful lawyer father, whose clients ranged from Harry Bridges, head of San Francisco’s longshoremen’s union, to movie star Rita Hayworth, and who served as advisor to such politicians as Harry Truman and Wendell Wilkie. Bosworth’s father defended the “Hollywood Ten” and later became a victim of the blacklist himself. In 1959, five years after her brother shot himself to death, Bosworth’s father also committed suicide.

In 1966, Bosworth married playwright Mel Arrighi who died in 1986. Anything Your Little Heart Desires is dedicated to the late actor and director Tom Palumbo, who was probably Bosworth’s third husband. Bosworth is on the faculty of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

From the guide to the Patricia Bosworth papers, 1932-1984, 1948-1980, (The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Patricia Bosworth papers, 1932-1984, 1948-1980 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
creatorOf Bosworth, Patricia. Patricia Bosworth collection, 1944-2002. Boston University. School of Medicine
referencedIn Gore Vidal papers, 1850-2020 (inclusive), 1936-2008 (bulk) Houghton Library
referencedIn Lucille Lortel papers The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Arbus, Diane, 1923-1971 person
associatedWith Clift, Montgomery person
associatedWith Lortel, Lucille person
associatedWith Saddler, Donald person
correspondedWith Vidal, Gore, 1925- person
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
Motion picture actors and actresses
Women biographers
Women journalists
Women biographers
Women journalists


Birth 1933-04-24





Ark ID: w6059x1k

SNAC ID: 74396899