The lives of real-life characters are constantly turned into biopics. This year the stories of Truman Capote, Johnny Cash, June Carter, Laura Henderson (Judi Dench in Mrs. Henderson Presents), Josey Aimes (Charlize Theron in North Country), and Edward R. Murrow, were all translated for the screen.
Author Harper Lee is also included on that list. The release of Capote has renewed interest in the author (she was childhood friends with Truman Capote). Catherine Keener (in an Oscar-nominated role) plays Lee in Capote and Sandra Bullock will portray the author in Infamous, another release about Truman Capote.
Harper Lee, Gregarious for a Day
By Ginia Bellafante Published: January 30, 2006 NY TIMES
TUSCALOOSA, Ala., Jan. 27 — Of all the functions at the president’s mansion of the University of Alabama here, none has acquired the mystique surrounding a modest annual luncheon attended by high school students from around the state.
They come with cameras dangling on their wrists and dressed, respectfully, as if they were about to issue an insurance policy or anchor the news. An awards ceremony for an essay contest on the subject of To Kill a Mockingbird, the occasion attracts no actor, politician or music figure. Instead, it draws someone to whom Alabamians collectively attach far more obsession: the author of the book itself, Harper Lee, who lives in the small town of Monroeville, Ala., one of the most reclusive writers in the history of American letters.
With more than 10,000,000 copies sold since it first appeared in 1960, To Kill a Mockingbird exists as one of the best-selling novels of all time. For decades, Ms. Lee has remained fiercely mindful of her privacy, politely but resolutely refusing to talk to the press and making only rare public appearances, in which she always declines to speak. She has maintained her resolve despite renewed attention in the wake of the film Capote, in which Ms. Lee is portrayed as the moral conscience of her childhood friend Truman Capote; the coming Infamous, another Capote movie in which Sandra Bullock plays Ms. Lee; and a biography of Ms. Lee scheduled for May.