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What Classic Star Needs A Book Written About Them?


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Hi All -

 

The subject says it all - What Classic Star Needs A Book Written About Them?

 

Claudette Colbert

Frank Morgan

Thelma Ritter

Maria Montez

Gail Russell

 

Just to name a few...

 

 

Michelle

 

www.michellevogel.com

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To "normandie7" -

 

You're certainly entitled to your opinion but what baffles me the most about your posts is your bitterness toward me and my initial question on this thread, and all of it apparently because you didn't like one of my books...

 

Anyway, my question still stands - What Classic Star Needs A Book Written About Them?

 

Michelle

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By the way, E.J. Fleming who recently wrote the first full length biography on Carole Landis will be releasing his newest book, this one on the life and career of Wallace Reid, later this summer. Can't wait for that one. Reid had a fascinating life and was pumped with drugs (to lull the pain of a back injury) by his studio in order to keep him working. He became addicted and he spiraled from there.

 

Wallace Reid was one of the first matinee idols and one wonders where his career would have taken him had he lived. I guess we can ponder that thought on quite a few classic and silent stars who died before their time.

 

Michelle

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  • 2 weeks later...

Colleen Moore

Doug Fairbanks, Sr

Harry Carey, Sr

George O'Brien

The character actors/actresses of Warner Brothers: Allen Jenkins, Frank McHugh, Joan Blondell

Frederic March

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Clark Gable ( i dont know of anything that is written on him.. if there is could someone tell me?)"

 

There's a paperback biography by Christopher Spicer; and there's another by Warren Harris. Warren Harris also wrote a book called Gable and Lombard, if you want to focus on that period of his life. I thought there was another from the 1970's with "King" in the title, but I can't seem to find it...

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I thought there was another from the 1970's with "King" in the title, but I can't seem to find it... >>

 

It's either "The King" or "The King of Hollywood". I have it but it is in boxes packed away. But I know I have it and I read it.

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Michelle, I look forward to your book on Gene Tierney. I have "Self-Portrait" but I enjoy reading biographies as well as autobiographies. It is nice to have different views. You would not believe how much my grandmother resembled Gene when she was younger.

If I win the lottery someday, I'll hire you to write my so desired book on Dana Andrews!

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Ginger,

Re: Biographies of Constance Bennett and Claude Rains and Norma Shearer

 

You might check out The Bennetts: An Acting Family by Brian Kellow for a biographical portrait of Constance, Joan and Barbara Bennett, as well as their father, prominent stage actor Richard Bennett. Richard Bennett's few appearances on film belie the fact that he was an innovative, if highly tempermental figure in American drama and an early proponent of Eugene O'Neill's work. Mr. Bennett influenced a generation of American actors, notably Orson Welles, who used the declining actor in The Magnificent Ambersons and Journey Into Fear near the end of his life.

 

Constance Bennett comes across as a person who inherited her father's mercurial nature and after her flurry of early thirties screen work, her off stage life became more intriguing than her professional noteriety. Joan Bennett appears to have been the most grounded and hardest working of the girls, as evidenced by her excellent work with Fritz Lang, George Cukor, and Max Ophuls, among others--though her own life had its share of scandal as well. The least well known sister, Barbara, appears to have been somewhat unbalanced and terribly shy from day one. Her alcoholism and involvement with such figures as Louise Brooks and marriage to Morton Downey, Sr. seems to have cost her dearly. Kellow doesn't gloss over anything in this very thorough book, but his portrait of the Bennetts is well written. I found it at my local library, but it can be found inexpensively on Amazon as well.

 

There is an interesting, if expensive, book called Claude Rains: A Comprehensive Illustrated Reference on the life and career of the actor by John Soister and JoAnna Wioskowski. The authors have written affectionately and frankly about one of the most accomplished character actors of the studio age and included many rare photographs of the subject. They also had the cooperation of Rains' daughter, Jessica Rains, who contributes the forward to the book. Ms. Rains is also said to be writing a memoir of her father at this time, though publication date is unknown. A must for any Claudesters!

 

Gavin Lambert's 1990 book, Norma Shearer: A Biography is THE best tome about the ultimately unknowable star. He writes honestly, and sympathetically about the queen of MGM, (at least she was queen, until soon after her first husband, Irving Thalberg's death). The most touching part of the book for me was the delineation of her last years, when she gradually became blind and began to mistake her second husband of forty years, Martin Arrouge, for the long dead Irving. Lambert's books are always well written, and he tries to understand his subject as much as possible without stinting on the backstage dramatics.

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Regarding Clark Gable, there are several books about him out there. I know that I own about 5 or 6 (if you include the one that is about him and Carole Lombard together), and I by no means own the whole library.

 

I collect rare books/1st editions related to four actors, but Gable isn't one of them. So if I can find 5 or 6 books without getting into the rare books market, I'm sure there are actually several *more* out there. Just do a search on Amazon - I bet you come up with several hits.

 

As for actors I'd like to see more written on, Charles Boyer, for SURE.

 

I own the only book that I am aware of related to Charles Boyer, and while it's a very 'factual' book, it is very abbreviated and and sticks only to the basic facts about his films and the bare basics of his life. It really doesn't dig into anything below the surface.

 

I'd also love to read something about Franchot Tone. To my knowledge, there is nothing out there on him at all.

 

Quite selfishly, I'd love to see a book written about Lily Damita...but mainly in order to read her side of the Errol Flynn story. *lol*

 

And while I'm on the topic of the woman in Flynn's life, I was stunned to discover that there is nothing out there written about Olivia deHavilland. I know there is a memoirs books out there, and I know she has an autobiography in process. But it is surprising that there is nothing out there by someone else, ABOUT her. Maybe this is because she is still alive??? I don't know...but it is nonetheless surprising.

 

I'm sure there are a few others, but those are the ones I can think of right off the bat.

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I had mentioned earlier that there is a book about de Havilland. It is called

"Sisters The Story of Olivia ...and Joan Fontaine" by Charles Higham.

I agree, I would love an autobiography by Ms. de Havilland. Especially about filming GWTW and working with Bette Davis.

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