Charlie Castle, a film star of considerable renown. He is rich, ruggedly handsome, virile, charming, frequently cynical, and dependably candid in dealing with people. Charlie’s studio is pressuring him to renew his contract, which he does not want to sign, although it is for fourteen years at four million dollars a year. One skeleton lurks in Charlie’s closet: Once, when he was driving drunk, he had an accident in which someone was killed. He permitted Buddy Bliss to take the blame and to go to jail for vehicular manslaughter. the studio uses this information in its attempt to blackmail Charlie into signing his new, extended contract. Instead, he commits suicide.
Marion Castle, Charlie’s wife. Disenchanted with the falseness of life in Hollywood, she is living apart from her husband and vows that she will return to him only if he refuses to commit himself to the long-term contract his studio is trying to inveigle him into signing. Marion is a completely honest person. She has discovered that honesty is a liability in the society in which she has been forced to travel as a star’s wife, but this quality is too ingrained in her nature for her to change now.
Patty Benedict, a Hollywood gossip columnist whose loyalty is strictly to herself. She is a powerful woman who rules by intimidation and communicates by innuendo. She knows Charlie’s dark secret and uses this knowledge in her attempts to manipulate him. She is as deceitful as Marion is honest. the two have a strained relationship, generally civil but little more....
(The entire section is 677 words.)