ArtsBeat reports: Before his death in 2003 at age 99, Al Hirschfeld captured more than 7,000 personalities from Broadway and beyond in his signature swooping lines. Now, after drawing everyone from John Barrymore to the Muppets, he will be getting his own full-dress portrait.
Last week, Sarah Crichton Books at Farrar, Straus and Giroux signed up a biography of the artist by Ellen Stern, who wrote a profile of Mr. Hirschfeld for GQ in 1987. While Ms. Stern never saw him again after the article appeared, her future role may have been foreordained when Mr. Hirschfeld signed a copy of his book “Show Business Is No Business” to her with the words “For Ellen Stern, my biographer.”
“The piece ran, he liked it a lot, and that was that,” Ms. Stern said in an e-mail. “Alas, I never saw him again. But I held onto my notes. He died in 2003, and last year his house was sold and his famous barber chair and drawing board given to the New York Public Library. It broke my heart. Hirschfeld would have said, ‘Get over it.’ So I did. Then one day I pulled out my research and found the book he’d signed 25 years ago. Yes! A biography!”
The book is scheduled to appear in 2015, according to the publisher.