|Birth: ||May 18, 1921|
|Death: ||Nov. 6, 1976|
New York County (Manhattan)
New York, USA
Birth name Edward Everett Tanner III, Pen Name Patrick Dennis
Patrick Dennis (May 18, 1921 – November 6, 1976) was an American author.
He was born Edward Everett Tanner III in Evanston, Illinois,And later changed his name to Patrick Dennis He attended Evanston High School, where he began using his pseudonym. In 1942, he joined the American Field Service, working as an ambulance driver in North Africa and Saudi Arabia.
His most famous work, Auntie Mame (1955), a fiction novel inspired by his eccentric aunt, spent 112 weeks on the bestseller list, selling as many as 5,000 copies a week. Before going out of print, it had sold more than 2,000,000 copies in five different languages. The manuscript was turned down by eleven publishers before being accepted by Vanguard. The novel recalls his supposed adventures growing up as the orphaned ward of his father's madcap sister, although in reality Dennis was raised by both parents. Dennis wrote a sequel, Around the World With Auntie Mame, in 1958.
In 1956, with Auntie Mame, The Loving Couple: His (and Her) Story, and Guestward, Ho!, Dennis became the only writer ever to have three books on the New York Times bestseller list at the same time.
The highly successful 1958 screen adaptation of Auntie Mame, starring Rosalind Russell in the title role, inspired Jerry Herman's musical Mame, with Angela Lansbury in the lead. It eventually was filmed with Lucille Ball.
Working with longtime friend, actor and photographer Cris Alexander, Dennis created two fictional biographies, complete with staged photographs. The first, Little Me: The Intimate Memoirs of That Great Star of Stage, Screen, & Television Belle Poitrine, a spoof of tell-all Hollywood memoirs, purported to be the life story of Belle Poitrine "as told to Patrick Dennis." His wife, Louise, appeared as Pixie Portnoy in the book's photographic illustrations, which included their children and family retainer as well. Like Auntie Mame, Little Me served as the source of a Broadway musical, with a book by Neil Simon and a score by Cy Coleman and Carolyn Leigh. The second "bio," First Lady (1964), allegedly was the life story of Martha Dinwiddie Butterfield, wife of a robber baron who "stole" the presidency for thirty days at the turn of the century.
Dennis' novel House Party (1954), written under the pseudonym Virginia Rowans, was about a supposedly wealthy family who were in fact dead broke. It later served as the inspiration for the television sitcom The Pruitts of Southampton, starring Phyllis Diller.
Dennis' work fell out of fashion in the 1970s, and all of his books went out of print. At the turn of the 21st century there was a resurgence of interest in his work, and subsequently many of his novels are once again available. His son, Dr. Michael Tanner, wrote introductions to several reissues of his father's books. Some of Dennis' original manuscripts are held at Yale University, others at Boston University.
In Dennis's later years he left writing to become a butler, a job that his friends reported he enjoyed. At one time, he worked for Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonald's. Although he was at long last using his real name, he was in essence working yet again under a pseudonym; his employers had no inkling that their butler, Tanner, was the world-famous author Patrick Dennis.
On December 30, 1948, Dennis married Louise Stickney, with whom he had two children. Throughout his life, he struggled with his bisexuality, at one point becoming a well-known participant in Greenwich Village's gay scene. He died from pancreatic cancer at the age of 55.
He was one of the Great American Gay Novelist writers
Oh What A Wonderful Wedding (1953, novel, pseudo. Virginia Rowans)
House Party (1954, novel, pseudo. Virginia Rowans)
Auntie Mame: An Irreverent Escapade (1955, novel)
The Loving Couple: His (and Her) Story (1956, novel, pseudo. Virginia Rowans)
Guestward, Ho! (1956, novel, with Dorothy Erskine)
The Pink Hotel (1957, novel)
Around The World With Auntie Mame (1958, novel)
Little Me (1961, novel)
Love and Mrs. Sargent (1961, novel, pseudo. Virginia Rowans)
Genius (1962, novel)
First Lady (1964, novel)
The Joyous Season (1965, novel)
Tony (1966, novel)
How Firm A Foundation (1968, novel)
Paradise (1971, novel)
3-D (1972, novel)
He had no funeral service or memorial service of any kind after his death
Note: He is not marked as famous because no one know's where he was buried. But he was a famous writer
Maintained by: David Eastburn
Originally Created by: Charles W Brown
Record added: May 02, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 36635086