A Day Like This

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27 April 1959 Noel Coward in New York writes in his diary: 'I have been offered a part in the movie of Lolita. Now, I have refused to read Lolita for a long time, so at last I have been forced to try. It is well written in a curious way, but exceedingly pornographic and qute disgusting. I cannot quite see myself playing a long, lecherous love story with a little girl of twelve. An unsavoury project if ever there was one. I conversed - in the Turkish bath - with Louis Rawlings, who wishes to launch 'Noel Coward' cologne, to be followed by 'after-shave', 'bath-oil', 'soap', etc. This sounds quite a good idea, providing that the product is very good and I might make a lot of money. If Larry (Olivier) and Gerald du Maurier can advertise cigarettes, I can't see why I shouldn't advertise toilet water. It's certainly less degrading than playing in Lolita.'