Hollywood bard, muse and reveler Eve Babitz dies at 78

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Autoplay Eve Babitz , the Hollywood bard, muse and reveler who with warmth and candor chronicled the excesses of her native world in the 1960s and 1970s and became a cult figure to generations of readers, has died. She was 78.

Babitz biographer Lili Anolik confirmed that she died of complications from Huntington’s disease on Friday afternoon, at a Los Angeles hospital.

Few writers captured a time and place so vividly as Babitz did. Her dispatches from the Troubadour nightclub and the Chateau Marmont, from the Sunset Strip and Venice Beach, became as much a testament of her era as a Jack Nicholson movie or an album by the Eagles or Fleetwood Mac.


She was likened at times to fellow Californian Joan Didion – although Babitz often found magic where Didion saw ruin – and to the French author-sage-confessor Collette.

Babitz knew everyone from Jim Morrison to Steve Martin, but her greatest subject was herself. She was often witty, sometimes amazed and sometimes could only shrug.Babitz dished about her sex life ("I got deflowered on two cans of Rainier Ale when I was 17"), her outreach ("Dear Joseph Heller," she once wrote to the "Catch-22" author, "I am a stacked eighteen-year-old blonde on Sunset Boulevard"), her thoughts on marriage ("My secret ambition has always been to be a spinster"), and her affinity for the wicked."I hadn’t really liked Elizabeth Taylor until she took Debbie Reynolds’ husband away from her, and then I began to love Elizabeth Taylor," she once wrote. Eve Babitz, artist and author, photographed April 4, 1997, in Hollywood. Like the movie stars who had fascinated her since childhood, she was a master of entrances. Her first major public appearance came in 1963, in her early 20s, in one of the art world’s most famous photographs: Babitz, in the nude, plays chess with the fully clothed Marcel Duchamp."Anything seemed possible – for art, that night," she would remember. "Especially after all that red wine."Over the following decade, she designed the cover for the classic rock album "Buffalo Springfield Again" and for records by the Byrds and Linda Ronstadt, hung out with Nicholson and Michelle Phillips, and dated everyone from Harrison Ford to Morrison ("I met Jim, and propositioned him in three minutes") to music executive Ahmet Ertegun. She was an extra in "The Godfather, Part II," introduced Salvador Dali to Frank Zappa and helped convince Martin to wear a white suit.She was published in Rolling Stone and Vogue among other magazines and her books included "Eve’s Hollywood," "Slow Days, Fast Company" and "Sex and Rage." Some were called fiction, others nonfiction, but virtually all drew directly from her life – with only the names changed. ‘SEX AND THE CITY’ STAR MARIO CANTONE SAYS TV HUSBAND WILLIE GARSON’S DEATH WAS A ‘SHOCK’: NONE OF US KNEW She mined the most unusual and the […]

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