A Character Guide to Season 2 of Ryan Murphy’s ‘Feud’


It’s not an April Fool’s joke: Ryan Murphy’s Quarrel is officially returning for a second season on FX, according to two separate Hollywood trade publications. While the first iteration centered on Joan Crawford and Bette Davis, season two will feature legendary author Truman Capote verbally butting heads with his group of socialite friends like Babe Paley, Slim Keith, CZ Guest and Lee Radziwill. If those names don’t ring a bell, well, expect a story about one of the wittiest gay men in history backstabbing one of the most glamorous cliques Manhattan has ever seen.

According to Deadline, the series will be based on the book by Laurence Leamer “Capote’s Women: A True Story of Love, Betrayal, and a Swan Song for an Era”. None other than Oscar-nominated director Gus Van Sant will direct all episodes, and Pulitzer runner-up Jon Robin Baitz has signed on to write the scripts. Naomi Watts is the first attached actress. She’ll play Paley, but the producers have reportedly already rounded up several other Oscar-nominated/award-winning actresses to fill the role. Meanwhile, a “global search” is underway to find the right man to play Capote. Philip Seymour Hoffman won an Oscar for playing the author in a 2005 biopic, but one has to wonder if the producers will be looking to cast an openly queer actor for the role this time around.

While we don’t know who will end up playing all the roles, we do know which real-life characters will end up on the show. Here, a distribution of the characters in Feud: Capote’s Women.

Truman Capote

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Even before becoming a national figure and cementing his place in the American literary canon with the years 1966 In cold bloodCapote was both a writer and a prominent figure in New York society (thanks in large part to the success of his first novel, Breakfast at Tiffany’s). The success of Blood allowed him to host his infamous 1966 Black and White Ball, still considered one of the most legendary parties in New York history. He surrounded himself with the socialites of the time, but he ended up souring those relationships in the best way a writer knows how: by writing about them.

In 1975 he published a chapter of his unfinished book Answered prayers in Esquire magazine, which depicts a slightly fictionalized depiction of the marriage between her friend Babe Paley and her husband William, the general manager of CBS. Other friends were not spared either. Many immediately dropped him from their social circles, and Truman quickly became persona non grata in high society. So, the “feud” of it all.

Babe Paley

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The girls still dream of living like that of Babe Paley, who will be played by Naomi Watts. The daughter of a prominent brain surgeon, she landed a job at vogue in 1938, and was already considered one of the best-dressed women in the world by the early 1940s. She left Vogue in 1947 after her marriage to media mogul William S. Paley and became a full-time socialite . In 1958, she was a member of the Fashion Hall of Fame after appearing on the international best-dressed list 14 times and was a noted couture client. “I’ve never seen her not get anyone’s attention: the hair, the makeup, the sharpness,” designer Bill Blass once said. “You were never aware of what she was wearing; you noticed Babe and nothing else.”

Rumor has it that the reason she enjoyed Capote’s company so much was because she was otherwise bored with life. Her husband, although in love with her, often cheated on her, and her children were raised by nannies. Capote, of course, would later think that he believed himself to be the only true friend she ever had in her life.

Lee Radziwill

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Yes, Jackie Kennedy is the mainstream icon, but fashion insiders have always considered her younger sister Lee Radziwill the true style icon. Although she was a pillar of high society, she wasn’t afraid of a little daring – Radziwill and Capote followed the Rolling Stones on their 1972 tour. Capote, in turn, worked hard to helping Radziwill escape his older sister’s public shadow by outsmarting her from any chance he had by doing a public dig at Jackie O herself.

Yes, her stepdaughter was on real housewives.

Guest CZ

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Another company doyenne who was already a member of the Best Dressed List Hall of Fame long before Capote met her, Guest was the daughter of a Boston investment banker. She dabbled in acting before marrying Winston Frederick Churchill Guest, a polo champion and member of a prominent British family (and, yes, a first cousin of the Winston Churchill).

Guest’s daughter Cornelia, who counted the Duke of Windsor and Wallis Simpson as her godparents, would go on to become one of Manhattan’s hottest socialites of the 1980s.

Slim Keith

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Long before she arrived in New York, Californian-born Slim Keith was a Hollywood socialite who counted director Howard Hawks as her first husband. She is also credited with paving the way for Lauren Bacall’s career by demanding that her husband screen test her for an upcoming film after seeing her on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar. Keith, however, left her husband after he cheated on her, cooled off in Cuba for a time with Ernest Hemingway, and reappeared on the New York social scene with a marriage to Leland Hayward, a premier theater producer. plan. (They eventually divorced. Rumor has it because of a one-night stand she had with Frank Sinatra.)

Keith was among the angst at Capote after he suspected his “Lady Coolbirth” character was based on her, although some suspect the character was based on another socialite.

Pamela Churchill Harriman


Harriman first rose to prominence when she married Winston Churchill’s son, but divorced her after racking up debts and she racked up business. She married Leland Hayward just hours after her divorce from Keith became official. She also had an affair with Paley’s husband before their marriage – one of her many dalliances with powerful men. A British journalist once described her as “a world expert on rich men’s bedroom ceilings”. Fun girl!

Later in her life, she became a major fundraiser for the Democratic Party, which led to Bill Clinton appointing her ambassador to France.

Gloria Guinness

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Although she liked to pretend she was born to a humble seamstress and political revolutionary, in reality Guinness was born in Mexico to a prominent journalist father and socialite mother. At some point in her life, she may or may not have been a spy…maybe for the Nazis. No one knows for sure as of now. Despite this, she has often been described as “the most elegant woman in the world”. She was married four times, and before becoming a Guinness (yes, the beer family), she was also married to a von Furstenberg and the son of an Egyptian princess. Later in her life, she wrote a column for Harper’s Bazaar.

Other possible characters

Reports suggest the series will focus on the above group, but there’s certainly room for other prominent socialites of the time to make appearances. This includes Gloria Vanderbilt (mother of Anderson Cooper), Happy Rockefeller, and Ann Woodward, a socialite who may or may not have murdered her husband and got away with it. Woodward actually inspired the main character of Capote’s scandalous story and killed himself days before it was published.


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