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March 25, 2007



oh, I loved these books as a kid and used to see them at every thrift shop, now I never see them! Thanks for the article.

Listener Howard

I also loved these books as a kid. It's prolly been twenty years since I've seen one, I'd forgotten all about them. Thinking about them now, it seems a little odd that I liked reading them so much as I had no idea who 98% of the people profiled were. Thanks for the memory-jog!

Bonnie Vent

Hi Everyone,

I work with some of the actors mentioned in the blog entry. They are all alive and well and available for personal appearances and of course acting gigs.

Thanks so much,
Bonnie Vent
Genesis Creations Entertainment


Bob & Ray used to parody Mr. Lamparski's racket with a particularly smarmy character called "Mr. I-Know-Where-They-Are"...

Chris R.

I have a paperback collection of some of this stuff - love it!


Mad magazine did a funny take off of Whatever Became of back in the 1970s.


Does anybody have any info on the Sixth and Seventh Series??? Internet sellers list hundreds of copies of volumes One through Eleven, except NOBODY has Six and Seven. And if you check out the online catalog for the Library of Congress (, they list all but Six and Seven as well! There's gotta be a good story behind this.

Michael Powers

"Billy believed he was most frequently recognized by blacks for the part he did in the Clint Eastwood starrer High Plains Drifter (1973) and that Latinos usually know him for appearances in Hal Roach comedies ..." This seems absurd when you first read it, until you think about it. Billy probably spoke from a lifetime of actually being approached by blacks mentioning "High Plains Drifter" and Latinos asking about the Hal Roach comedies.

Lamparski's comments about Gene Tierney's supposed lack of talent are execrable, of course. She must've really rubbed him the wrong way during the interview. At least he didn't mention her famous affair with John F. Kennedy, if he knew about it.

This was another knockout article and I remember these books well myself. Someone (Lamparski himself?) should somehow collect them on a website since they're presumably long out of print and the publishing company is probably also extinct, and god knows who, if anyone, holds the copyrights at this point.

Michael Powers

"Another trophy is an autographed copy of Mein Kampf ..." The mind boggles and reels. The existence of such a keepsake somehow never occurred to me. (I'd surmise it's worth three baseballs signed by Babe Ruth.) Wonder if it was bound in human skin.


I recently discovered Richard Lamparski because he is mentioned in Richard Beymer's blog. As Lamparski stated above "Richard Beymer is/was a marginal Hollywood pretty boy".

Apparently Beymer was inspired ...err, startled into action is perhaps more like it, by Lamparski's request that he be interviewed for his series. Beymer has written a semi-autobiographical tale entitled "Imposter: or Whatever Happened To Richard Beymer?" and he has posted a blog about it on his myspace page. In his blog he also poses the question that you have above ...."Whatever Became Of ... Richard Lamparski?"

Even reading the description of Beymer's book gives a fascinating insight into this particular has-been actor's mind. He seems like a very atypical hollywood type and I can't wait for the book to come out. Take a look for yourself. He has information up at


I,too, am looking for Sixth and Seventh Series. May years ago I wrote Lamparski and he said he did publish them - but by a different publisher and they were paperback only. Does anyone, anywhere have Sixth and Seventh Series for purchase?


Re 6th and 7th series: it appears that instead an unnumbered volume about twice the size of the other volumes was published in 1974 or 1975. A curiosity about this volume is that it has no table of contents but does have an index.

Rampant Rabbit

Hi, I have seen the Sixth and Seventh Series sold in the UK. Waterstones stock it as a soft back and hard back. Their URL is Weatherstones dot com. I hope this helps. Rampant Reader

Sandi Razen

I too use to read the Whatever became of books, Is there any current books, updating the livesd of past stars, now that it is 2008, Most of the stars if not all, have since passed on when I last read the books, in the 80's. There really should be something current, to find out about old stars from the 40's and 50's big stars, and b-Movie stars, who are still alive, but that we don't know what ever became of them. Thank you. cAN YOU PLEASE RESPOND. tHANKS sR azen

Jack Hoffman

Whatever happened to Richard Lamparski?

Jack Hoffman

Whatever happened to Richard Lamparski?


hi anybody remember if they had in those lamparski books whatever became of nancy kulp in there ? write [email protected]

Douglas..............Los Angeles

I used to hear Richard on the radio here in Los Angeles. He was fascinating for sure. I guess you could call him the nice kind of stalker. When Richard Lamparski knocked on your door, you knew that you are a has-been for sure.

Researching the world

Richard Lamparski is alive and well, I speak to him weekly. If any of you have questions for him let me know and I will get you the answers.


I practically live with Richard during 1972-73 in Hollywood. He introduced me to Buckwheat, Merle Oberon, Gloria Swanson, Gloria Steinam's brother who sold me my first acid, Darla Hood, Stymie, and Soul Train. How we use to love to get high and pop corn and goof on it all back then. Richard was a huge influence on my life. I still have a copy of a picture he took of me tanning nude outside his window he mailed me years ago. Ditra Flame was my favorite. I made her tea and took her to Valentino's tomb for her first time in 22 year. Life was good in 1973.


Hi Researching the world. Could you ask Richard which volume of the whatever happened to series Lila Leeds appears in.


So has anyone seen the 6th-7th series in the last 6 months?

Henry martinez

Big fan of Richard Lamparski's work , have alot of hiw WBO series books in my collection,wish him the very best. Great job well done Richard !! your fan Henry Martinez of North Miami Beach, Florida.

joe palmer

I came across the first WBO book last month and found it fascinating for telling not just what became of but who WERE these once famous people (e.g. Father Coughlin - a name I heard frequently as a child but knew almost nothing about; the first Miss America - she became a palm reader in the Gypsy Tea Room in Times Square).

I wondered - what became of Richard Lamparski?

Searching the internet, I found he published two memoirs in 2006 - HOLLYWOOD DIARY and MANHATTAN DIARY. They offer remarkable - often unflattering - glimpses of famous people in their private lives. He is also very frank about the gay life in which he particpated with great relish. Amazingly these books have been very poorly promoted. No copies were sent to the major library review media and WORLDCAT lists only eight libraries in the world that own MANHATTAN DIARY! What a shame! So many people would find these memoirs enthralling reads.


The early 70s in particular had this big boom in trivia and nostalgia that was really a reaction to the post-60s decline in worthy new pop culture. And it's true, even as a kid, my sister and I felt that NO ONE would look at that era's entertainment fondly, ever. TV had reached new depths of dullness and the great films of the early 70s can still be enumerated on on one hand, it was just dire. So I started collecting comic books (which were still good then and not yet pretentious) and listened to old radio shows and watched dozens of old movies. Still do so. Lamparski had a ready audience, but I also enjoy the alternative, the Hollywood Babylon books, as I am particularly turned off by fannish idolatry and prefer to meet the actual people, not bask in their images.

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