Rediscover: Lee Server

Lee Server, author of numerous bestselling and critically acclaimed books about Hollywood cinema and pulp fiction, died December 28 at age 68. Server was born in Springfield, Mass., and graduated from New York University Film School. He worked briefly as a literary agent, was an editor for Oui magazine and interviewed celebrities for articles in a number of men's magazines. In Paris, Server tracked down and had many conversations with director Sam Fuller, which became Sam Fuller: Film Is a Battleground (1994). His book Robert Mitchum: "Baby I Don't Care" (2001) was named a best book of the year by the Los Angeles Times, "the film biography of the year" by the Sunday Times (U.K.) and one of the "60 Greatest Film Books."

Server's most recent title was Handsome Johnny: The Life and Death of Johnny Rosselli (2018). His other books include Ava Gardner: Love Is Nothing (2006), a New York Times Notable Book; Screenwriter: Words Become Pictures (1987); Danger Is My Business (1993); and Over My Dead Body! (1994). In an interview in 2002 for the Big Chat, Server explained his process for interviewing celebrities: "There is an art to it. You have to know when to flatter, when to play dumb, when to artfully pursue the controversial element." Handsome Johnny is available from St. Martin's Griffin ($19.99).

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