Tributes continue to pour in for Gore Vidal, the author, playwright and contrarian who died last night at age 86. Ricky Gervais and Rob Lowe are among those who took to Twitter to honour Vidal, one of the last generation of literary writers who were also celebrities in their own right, along with Norman Mailer and Truman Capote. "Now there was a man who knew how to use his pencil," Lowe tweeted.
Throughout his life and career, Vidal was known for his wit and wisdom, not to mention a willingness to challenge convention. His 1948 novel 'The City and the Pillar' outraged conservative critics - it was one of the first major American novels to feature unambiguous homosexuality.
Vidal will be well-remembered for his way with a phrase. Here are some of his best-known quotes:
"I never miss a chance to have sex or appear on television."
"A good deed never goes unpunished."
"Every time a friend succeeds, I die a little."
"Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn."
"There is no such thing as a homosexual or a heterosexual person. There are only homo- or heterosexual acts. Most people are a mixture of impulses if not practices."
"As the age of television progresses the Reagans will be the rule, not the exception. To be perfect for television is all a President has to be these days."
"Any American who is prepared to run for president should automatically by definition be disqualified from ever doing so."
"A narcissist is someone better looking than you are."
"Some writers take to drink, others take to audiences."
Gore was in the red chair a couple of years back. Check out that interview below:
Vidal regularly sparred with fellow writer Norman Mailer. Here's an example of the two of them going at it on the Dick Cavett show:
Many fans of Vidal's work (and his vivid persona) have taken to Twitter to remember him:
"..to rid one's self of this consciousness..nothing wrong with that.." Gore Vidal RIP— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) August 1, 2012
Angry at a bad review, Norman Mailer punched Gore Vidal at a party. On the floor, Gore said "Once again, words fail Norman Mailer."— Pete Sinclair (@pete_sinclair) August 1, 2012
Gore Vidal. Now there was a man who knew how to use his pencil.— Rob Lowe (@RobLowe) August 1, 2012
RIP Gore Vidal, 86, brilliant American writer. His best line: "Politics is showbusiness for ugly people."— Jeremy Vine (@theJeremyVine) August 1, 2012
Gore Vidal died. He was the opposite of twitter.— Alec Sulkin (@thesulk) August 1, 2012
Gore Vidal was first openly gay person to run for Congress. He destroyed the closet in literature, politics, media and on Broadway.— Ian Capstick (@iancapstick) August 1, 2012
Gore Vidal is dead. The truth just took a big hit. RIP— marc maron (@marcmaron) August 1, 2012