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MovieMadness

Memoirs of actors and actresses

41 posts in this topic

9 minutes ago, Det Jim McLeod said:

 I have an autographed copy, one of my most prized possessions

 

 

Hardcover The Ragman's Son Book

You didn't grab it when it was being passed back through a crowd, did you?

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6 hours ago, jakeem said:

You didn't grab it when it was being passed back through a crowd, did you?

No, not sure if I get the reference. Can you let me know?

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9 minutes ago, Det Jim McLeod said:

No, not sure if I get the reference. Can you let me know?

So sorry! That was intended for TomJH, who recently started a Kirk Douglas tribute thread -- and regaled us with his remembrance of a 2002 Douglas book signing he attended.

 

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10 minutes ago, jakeem said:

So sorry! That was intended for TomJH, who recently started a Kirk Douglas tribute thread -- and regaled us with his remembrance of a 2002 Douglas book signing he attended.

 

Yeah, but this STILL would beg the question to our Det. Jim here...

Where were YOU on the night of June 3rd 2002 ???

(...Toronto MAYBE?!!!)

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1 hour ago, jakeem said:

So sorry! That was intended for TomJH, who recently started a Kirk Douglas tribute thread -- and regaled us with his remembrance of a 2002 Douglas book signing he attended.

:lol: I just read that anecdote on the thread.

When I got my copy it was in 1988 and it was on a table of other copies so I didn't get to see him.

I did see him in person many years later (post stroke) when he was giving a talk about his career.

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Tab Hunter's Tab Hunter Confidential (with Eddie Muller, no less) is very entertaining. Hunter seems to have a good perspective on all the ups and downs of his career and his life. An excellent inside account of what it was like to be a gay man in Hollywood in the 1950s.

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So OK I have to mention Marion Davies' memoir The Times We Had, which was published in 1975, 14 years after her death. The book is an edited transcription of audio tapes she made in the early 1950s. While there are some factual errors, mis-remembered bits, etc, there's also a wealth of information about people and places and movies she made. The book is also famous for a foreword written by Orson Welles in which he basically apologizes for the perceived portrayal of Davies in Citizen Kane and his recognition of her talent as a comedienne.

8231090204_2e27f5b171_z.jpg

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8 minutes ago, drednm said:

So OK I have to mention Marion Davies' memoir The Times We Had, which was published in 1975, 14 years after her death. The book is an edited transcription of audio tapes she made in the early 1950s. While there are some factual errors, mis-remembered bits, etc, there's also a wealth of information about people and places and movies she made. The book is also famous for a foreword written by Orson Welles in which he basically apologizes for the perceived portrayal of Davies in Citizen Kane and his recognition of her talent as a comedienne.

8231090204_2e27f5b171_z.jpg

The photos alone make this book worth having.

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Davies rather hilariously starts out by stating "I was born in 1905." That means she was 9 years old when she appeared in her first Broadway musical and only 12 when she wrote and starred in her first movie, Runaway Romany. Davies was born in 1897. The opening almost gives the book a "Little Me" quality.

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I like "This Life," Sidney Poitier's first autobiography from 1980. 

The photo on the front jacket cover is cool because it's from "Duel at Diablo," the 1966 Western he did with James Garner and Bibi Andersson. 

572997.jpg

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Picture-523.png

A most enjoyable romp, with some embellishment, to be sure, by Flynn, as well as surprisingly candid self appraisals. The man was a good story teller and he had an often delicious sense of humour.

First published in December, 1959 and still on sale today, MWWW remains the longest selling autobiography of an actor in history. That says something about the quality of the book, even if it is ghost written by Earl Conrad.

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This is one of my favorites, from someone who was there albeit not as an actress (well, maybe at her juvenile court hearing).  Well written and lots of bean spilling.

 

 

 

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On 9/26/2018 at 2:47 AM, MovieMadness said:

I see that Sally Field has a best selling memoir out, and was wondering if anyone knows which memoir is the best of the bunch in terms of actors and actresses for the classic actors. I'm talking about a memoir written by that person, not by some fan or journalist (use of a ghostwriter OK though).

 

So who spilled the beans the best.

Other than Errol Flynn's "My Wicked, Wicked Ways" I have liked most the biography of Oscar Levant, who wrote "The Memoirs of an Amnesiac". One should accompany it with his other book "A Smattering of Ignorance" if possible, along with a nice down-filled couch to lie on while reading and some martinis.

To semi-paraphrase him, if one feels like exercising, first lie down on the couch, and then fall into a coma, for some nice resting time before exerting oneself.

What I really don't like in biographies or autobiographies is phoniness, or disregarding serious character flaws in the person being depicted, in the sense of making it a hagiography much like the "Lives of the Saints". Either tell the truth about yourself or who you are writing about, with flaws and attributes or don't waste the readers' time. If one only wants fake complimentary tales, they could just go find old copies of movie magazines to read from the star's heyday, which leaves out all the nefarious details that made the whole person one sees up on the screen.

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I've only read about a third of this one, but "Bette Davis Speaks" by Boze Hadleigh is quite entertaining. The set-up of the book resembles a film/stage script; it is in Bette's own words, and it's written quite well. 

Image result for bette davis speaks

Next (although she isn't what I'd call "100% classic), Carol Burnett's 2 memoirs: "This Time Together" and "In Such Good Company" are some of my favorites that I own. 

Image result for this time together by carol burnett   Image result for in such good company carol burnett

 

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5 hours ago, NickAndNora34 said:

Next (although she isn't what I'd call "100% classic), Carol Burnett's 2 memoirs: "This Time Together" and "In Such Good Company" are some of my favorites that I own.  

Burnett won a Best Spoken Word Album Grammy Award in 2017 for the audio version of "In Such Good Company," the story of her years on "The Carol Burnett Show." It was her fourth memoir.

Image result for carol burnett in such good company grammy

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I really liked Carol Burnett's books too. I especially like memoirs that are not linear, but instead just focus on individual milestones that illustrate the person's overall life & their personal outlook.

Goldie Hawn's book A LOTUS GROWS IN THE MUD is a particular favorite in this sense. 

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