13. “You’re only as good as your last picture.”

Unlike Mr. Booker, Bob Brown was not a man who, he liked to say, “Waded through god damn minutia,” especially the finer points of male versus female behavior. Bob Brown tended to set goals and chart practical points to achieve them. He thought of himself as an integral, fundamental, part of the clockwork that regularly ticked out the American dream. He was a big picture kind of guy. His mother had been an R.N., his father sold tires. When his big brother, Manny, got him a job in the mailroom at Darryl Zanuck’s studio, Fox, Bob Brown took off like a rocket: from machine age to space age. It never occurred to him, when he met a San Francisco heiress wearing a very becoming snug mohair sweater-set on the Fox lot that his trajectory was about to swing way out of orbit.

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