Here's to you: Mrs. Webb

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Most of you probably know that Charles Webb wrote a novel in 1963 called The Graduate, which was turned into the film by Mike Nichols in 1967. Most of you probably also know that Benjamin Braddock is a big-time WASP in the book, and as such, the part was originally offered to Robert Redford. (You knew that, right?)

And as surely you're aware, before Dustin Hoffman came along, "ethnic" guys didn't get leading roles in major motion pictures. The unlikely success of The Graduate opened doors for folk like Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro.

But what you surely did not know, which I feel you really must, because it's just that wonderful, is the following, taken right from our friends at Wiki (are you strapped into your parachutes?):

As of 2006, [Charles] Webb has been with his long-term partner Eve for more than 40 years. Eve shaves her head and calls herself "Fred" in solidarity with a Californian support group called Fred, for men who have low self-esteem [2]. Fred is an artist and her work includes illustrations for Webb's 2002 novel New Cardiff. The couple have two sons, one of whom is now a performance artist who once cooked and ate a copy of The Graduate with cranberry sauce [3].

The Webbs removed their children from school so that they could tutor them at home. This was an illegal act in California at the time, and to evade the authorities they fled the state; at one point they managed a nudist camp in New Jersey. They also divorced - accounts vary as to why (it was not due to personal differences), either in protest against the institution of marriage [4] or against the US's lack of marriage rights for gays [5]. They sold their wedding presents back to their guests and having given away four houses in succession lived on the breadline, taking menial jobs as cleaners, cooks and fruit-pickers, working at K-Mart and living in a shack [6]. They currently live in Hove, East Sussex.

AND... lastly, you need to know:

In May, 2006 Webb announced that he has signed a deal with Random House to write a sequel to The Graduate. The sequel, which will be titled Home School, takes place ten years after the ending of the first novel

February 19, 2007 - 3:46am
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