I’m not one to gossip… but did you know that in 1976 international make-up artist turned gossip columnist David Hartnell was asked to leave the Grand Hotel’s lounge bar for being inappropriately dressed? Continue reading
DAVID HARTNELL: Made, not born.
In 1967, the one-time roller skating champion and Australia’s first male in-store makeup artist sat in Sydney, pen and paper in hand, contemplating a new identity. “I was born with one name and it was shut off. My mother remarried, and I had no say, it was changed. I thought, `Well, why don’t I change it to something I really want?’ And that’s what I did.”
His homage to London fashion designer Norman Hartnell was also a feat of alliterative foresight. Hartnell’s Hollywood rolled off the tongue onto the gossip pages and into our pop culture history.
Memoirs of a Gossip Columnist tells the story of how young David Segetin, who was terribly bullied at school and left the day he turned 15, went on make it to Hollywood, rubbing shoulders with the glitterati.
Bullied at school, growing up gay in 1950s/60s New Zealand, finding his family after 40+ years, being thrown out of a hotel in Invercargill for being ‘inappropriately dressed’ and that’s before we get to the myriad of stories and quotes from all the famous people he has met over the years.
The man who has made a career of writing about other people now opens up about himself. We follow his early life as a roller skating champion, his travels through New Zealand, Australia, the UK and USA as he finds his feet in the world of fashion and secures his role as a make-up artist — becoming the first male makeup artist in Australasia. We continue on as he then finds his penchant for gossip and his rise to become New Zealand’s most famous interviewer of the stars.
Memoirs of a Gossip Columnist bursting with amazing photos and stories of David’s encounters, including a surprise lunch with Alfred Hitchcock and Bette Davis, his close friendship with the legendary Phyllis Diller, little-known secrets about the Royal Family’s crown jewels and many, many more, this book is a must for anyone who loves behind-the-scenes gossip and enjoys a rollicking good read.
David Hartnell is available for interviews by telephone or in person from Auckland or during his book tour where he will be visiting New Plymouth, Hawera, Palmerston North, Wellington, Invercargill and Dunedin.
(yes his lips will be unsealed — but not for long so contact me for an interview!)
For all media enquiries please contact Raewyn Davies, Penguin Group (NZ)
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