In Cold Type

What transpired between Brando and Capote over the course of their hours alone together in that hotel room has long been a subject of historical curiosity. Just how did Capote get the taciturn Brando to talk? Was Brando (as he later claimed) tricked by the devious Capote? Or was the star a willing participant in the unmaking of his own image? Was there (as Capote dubiously claimed) some sort of sexual history between the two? What is clear is that more than a half-century after it appeared, “The Duke in His Domain” remains the yardstick by which celebrity profiles are measured—an early harbinger of the New Journalism that would come into full flower in the 1960s. With its profusion of intimate details, confessional tone, and novelistic observation of Brando’s character, the story marked a clear evolution of celebrity journalism and heralded the arrival of the invasive, full-immersion pop culture of today.

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