George Plimptonwriter, editor, actor
Birthplace: New York City
Tall professional author and editor who also makes cameo appearances in films. Thoroughly educated, first at Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire, then at Harvard University where he majored in English and edited the Harvard Lampoon, he has actually lived the lives of the people he writes about, even if only briefly. He served as a tank driver in Italy for the U.S. Army from 1945 through 1948, attended King's College at Cambridge University in England, and founded The Paris Review with two friends, becoming its editor-in-chief in 1953. He devoted the magazine to finding unknown authors and including interviews with noted authors, notably one with Ernest Hemingway that Plimpton conducted himself. His publications include collections of his interviews with famous authors, as well as witty and urbane descriptions of his less-than-stellar exploits on the athletic field (originally written as a series of features for Sports Illustrated). In 1963, he joined the Detroit Lions football team, an experience captured in his popular book Paper Lion (1966), which became a film in 1968 with Alan Alda playing Plimpton. Plimpton has appeared in numerous films himself, including Reds (1981), Little Man Tate (1991), L.A. Story (1991), and Good Will Hunting (1997).Died: Manhattan, N.Y., 9/25/2003
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