Excerpt: No Way Renee: The Second Half of My Notorious Life

NPR.org – by Renee Richards

In 1976, I was one of the most famous people in the world. The paparazzi were on my trail twenty-four hours a day, hungry for any photo, the less flattering the better. The mainstream press was better, sometimes. People, Time, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated ? I was featured in them all, an international phenomenon. Once, at the height of my notoriety, I found myself in Uruguay, where I had gone beyond the urban centers like Montevideo and was walking down the beach at Carrasco, a tiny coastal village. I was enjoying a welcome sense of anonymity, but a man in a little kiosk pointed to my picture on a magazine and with much excitement asked me to sign it, which I did. Recognizable even in the countryside of Uruguay: that sums up the Ren?e Richards phenomenon at its zenith.

During that time I was deluged by a myriad of television opportunities. All the major figures wanted to interview me: Phil Donahue, Tom Snyder, Howard Cosell, and many others I can’t recall. I was on the Today show, Good Morning America, and a host of other major shows. I was even invited to do The Hollywood Squares, but I declined. I had my limits.