Edward Sorel: A lifetime curiosity about Mary Astor

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Edward Sorel has illustrated book and magazine covers, authored several books, as well as contributed cartoons to the New Yorker, the Atlantic, and Vanity Fair. His most recent book, Mary Astor’s Purple Diary: The Great American Sex Scandal of 1936, details the life of the late actress Mary Astor and her scandalous extramarital affairs with prominent men of the time, including Broadway producer George S. Kaufman and actor John Barrymore. In their discussion, Sorel tells Robert Scheer about the origins of his obsession with the actress and her difficult upbringing. They talk about the impact of Astor’s public affairs on her movie career. And, they discuss the parallels between the movie business from the early 20th century and today.

Note: This episode contains sexually graphic language.

Photo © Saskia Kahn



  • Edward Sorel - illustrator, caricaturist, cartoonist, graphic designer and author