Gardner wrote me in an email, "I knew her very well '61-'71...The drink at the Huntington [when he suggested she try medicinal marijuana] was probably '77 or '78." He added, "Lil said she used mj when she was around people who used it. As in 'Whenever I'd be at a dinner with Gene Krupa...' "
According to the 1986 book Lillian Hellman: The Image, The Woman by William Wright, Hellman was a bit of a cougar in her later years, enjoying the company of young men in New York in the mid-1970s. At one gathering, Wright writes, "one of the company persuaded Hellman to smoke marijuana." The evening was "a raucous success" and Hellman had to be dissuaded from taking a walk down Park Avenue at 2AM.
Hellman had a 30-year relationship with "Thin Man" writer Dashiell Hammet, and the two lived in a hotel managed by VIP Nathanael West in LA. She was blacklisted by the movie industry after telling the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) in 1950: "
Hellman died in 1984 but remains current: On the red carpet at the Golden Globes on Sunday, "Mad Men" star Elisabeth Moss said she's appearing in London with Keira Knightley in Hellman's The Children's Hour.
Photo (reportedly Hellman's favorite) by the late, great Irving Penn.