Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow: My Life (Sophia Loren; originally titled Ieri, oggi, domani)
Autographed copy Sophia Loren
In her first memoir, the Academy Award–winning actress Sophia Loren tells her incredible life story from the struggles of her childhood in war-torn Naples to her life as a screen legend, icon of elegance, and devoted mother.
In her acting career spanning more than six decades, Sophia Loren became known for her striking beauty and dramatic roles with famed costars Cary Grant, Frank Sinatra, Marlon Brando, Gregory Peck, Jack Lemmon, and Paul Newman. The luminous Italian movie star was the first artist to win an Oscar for a foreign language performance, after which she continued a vibrant and varied career that took her from Hollywood to Paris to Italy – and back to Hollywood. In Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow, Loren shares vivid memories of work, love, and family with winning candor, deep feeling, and sense of humor.
Loren’s life of glamour and success was preceded by years of poverty and hardship. Born in 1934 and growing up in World War II Italy, Loren’s life of glamour and success was preceded by years of poverty and hardship, when she lived in her grandparents’ house with her single mother and sister, and endured near-starvation. She shares how she blossomed from a toothpick-thin girl into a beautiful woman seemingly overnight, getting her start by winning a beauty pageant and starring in the new genre of photo-romance magazines, which eventually led to numerous memorable roles in Italian films, working with internationally acclaimed directors. She recalls how her first Hollywood film, The Pride and the Passion, ignited a high-profile romance with Cary Grant, who would vie with her mentor, friend, frequent producer, and lover Carlo Ponti to become her husband. Loren also reveals her long-held desire to become a mother, the disappointments she suffered, the ultimate joy of having two sons, and her happiness as a mother and grandmother.
From trying times to triumphant ones, this scintillating autobiography paints a multi-dimensional portrait of the woman behind the celebrity, beginning each chapter with a letter, photograph, or object that prompts her memories. In Loren’s own words, this is a collection of “unpublished memories, curious anecdotes, tiny secrets told, all of which spring from a box found by chance, a precious treasure trove filled with emotions, experiences, adventures.” Her wise and candid voice speaks from the pages with riveting detail and sharp humor. Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow is as elegant, entrancing, and memorable as Sophia Loren herself.
SOPHIA LOREN is an international film star who won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in Two Women. She has earned a record six David di Donatello awards for Best Actress, and seven special Golden Globes, including the Cecil B. DeMille Award for life achievement, as well as an Honorary Academy Award in 1991. Loren lives in Europe and frequents Los Angeles, where her two sons and grandchildren live.
Hardcover, dust jacket – 332 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 756 g (26,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Atria Books, New York, New York, 2014 – ISBN 978-1-4767-9742-7
“You Ain’t Heard Nothin’ Yet”: The American Talking Film History & Memory, 1927-1949 (Andrew Sarris)
Andrew Sarris, one of our premier film critics, here presents a sweeping, insightful, and personal history of American motion pictures, from the birth of the “talkies” to the decline of the studio system. At once intelligent and irreverent, You Ain’t Heard Nothin’ Yet appraises the silver screen’s greatest directors (among them John Ford, Alfred Hitchcock, Charlie Chaplin, Orson Welles, and Howard Hawks) and brightest stars (Greta Garbo, Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney, Clark Gable, Carole Lombard, Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, and so forth). Valued as much for the grace of his prose as the gravity of his pronouncements, as much for his style as his substance, Sarris also offers rich, informative, and diverting meditations on the major studios (MGM, RKO, Paramount, 20th Century-Fox, Universal, and Warner Bros.), the main genres (including musicals, screwball comedies, horror pictures, gangster films, and westerns), and even a few self-confessed “guilty pleasures” of this remarkable era. Here is one critic’s definitive statement on the art and craft of cinema – a book that reflects a lifetime of watching and thinking about movies. No film buff will want to miss it.
ANDREW SARRIS reviews movies for The New York Observer and was for twenty-nine years a film critic for The Village Voice. The author of the seminal The American Cinema, he teaches at Columbia University and lives in New York.
Softcover – 573 pp., index – Dimensions 23,5 x 15,5 cm (9,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 837 g (29,5 oz) – PUBLISHER Oxford University Press, New York, New York, 1997 – ISBN 0-19-513426-5
You Can Get There From Here (Shirley MacLaine)
After writing Don’t Fall Off the Mountain, Shirley MacLaine turned to new adventures. Two of them – a high dive into the world of big-production television and a trip on the campaign trail with George McGovern – turned out to be, at best, mixed blessings. The third, her trip to the People’s Republic of China with a delegation of American women, was a profound experience that led to self-rediscovery.
Starting her new book as she opens her one-woman show in the never-never land of Las Vegas, Shirley MacLaine looks back over the past several years and tells the intimate tale of herself and the fascinating world in which she seems always to live. Convinced that Hollywood was done, that the motion picture moguls had lost touch with the American people, she was sold on TV by a British tycoon. She made an enormously expensive TV series. The result, when the series opened, is best forgotten. But, as always, every experience leads Ms. MacLaine deeper into herself and to a positive result.
Next came her all-out devotion to the cause of Senator McGovern’s presidential hopes. She stumped America – in the farmlands of the South, the factories of the Midwest, the motels of New England, the lush fundraising affairs of Park Avenue and Hollywood. What she learned about political humanity, what she experienced in the eventual disarray and defeat, and, above all, what she discovered about the people, gives heart to her story of that disastrous campaign. She walked with the prominent of the political world, stepped on their feet of clay, became intimate with the men and women of the press – from Walter Cronkite to the small-town stringer. And, in doing so, she came to know more of what was behind the face in her motel mirror.
Then came the climactic adventure. She was invited to take a delegation of a dozen American women to the People’s Republic of China. The women she gathered for the trip included an East Coast Brahmin (who turned out to be a closet McGovern worker), the wife of a Texas factory worker, a militant American Indian woman, a middle-aged black from the South, an all-woman TV camera crew, a psychologist, and a twelve-year-old.
What they saw and experienced in China was a deep shock to all of them. Shirley MacLaine, particularly, found a society which seemed both successful and happy in which there is no role for the individual creative impulse. It was a country that had torn down traditions thousands of years old in one generation and rebuilt a more workable society on new grounds – grounds completely alien to everything they, as Americans, had been taught to revere.
The effect of China on each of the American women is dramatic. The effects on Shirley MacLaine are just beginning to emerge. One is the fact that she has gone back to an earlier self. She has gone back to song and dance, regained her sense of humor, and is approaching the public again from the stage – where it all began.
Hardcover, dust jacket – 229 pp. – Dimensions 21,5 x 14,5 cm (8,5 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 442 g (15,6 oz) – PUBLISHER W. W. Norton & Co., Inc., New York, New York, 1975 – ISBN 0-393-07489-7
You Can Get There From Here (Shirley MacLaine)
“Let me start at the end: in Las Vegas. It was twenty after eight on July 12, 1974. I stood in the wings of the giant hotel theater set in the starkness of the American desert. I heard the roll of tympani, and then the strains of the theme from The Apartment. There were no more minutes left, either for delay or for thought or for hesitation. An oddly detached voice called my name. I walked out on the stage, and started to sing: ‘If they could see me now… that little gang of mine…’ A roar of applause came up as the spotlight hit me. I could feel the soft peach chiffon playing around my legs and see the zircons glittering on my shoulder straps. It was Las Vegas, a town that loved zircons because zircons had more class than rhinestones but lacked the permanence of diamonds.
Gradually I began to recognize familiar faces at the long rows of tables topped with fancy chow and fancy wine, and as I kicked a leg high there was another roll of applause. The inside of my mouth was like cotton and my stomach lurched. Then quite suddenly, I was soaring, carried by the music, the words, the lights, and the velvet darkness of the vast room packed with that audience that Oscar Hammerstein had once called ‘the big black giant.’ I spread my arms and felt joyous and exalted and free.
Right in front of me were Carroll O’Connor and his wife, Nancy, and behind them, glowing like a golden presence, was Goldie Hawn. Off to my left was Gwen Verdon, red-haired and beautiful, dazzling me with her electric smile, and over to the right was Matty Troy, the Democratic boss of New York’s Queens County. I could see Pat Cadell and Fred Dutton, with whom I had traveled through so many strange towns during the tragic McGovern campaign. In another part of the darkened theater were Sam Brown and Dave Mixner, the insistent young men with whom I had marched on Washington to protest the killing in Asia. Lucille Ball sat in a back booth, she who had given me so much laughter and so much instruction; and beside her was Ginger Rogers, who had inspired me to want to dance when I was a little girl. There were dozens and dozens of others, friends from politics and publishing, from newspapers and magazines, from show business, from foreign countries. Top-drawer, first-rate friends. It was as if all the important phases of my life over the past ten years sat before me.” – From chapter 1.
Softcover – 218 pp. – Dimensions 18 x 10,5 cm (7,1 x 4,1 inch) – Weight 127 g (4,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Bantam Books, New York, New York, 1975
You’ll Never Nanny In This Town Again: The True Adventures of a Hollywood Nanny (Suzanne Hansen)
When Oregon native Suzanne Hansen becomes a live-in nanny to the children of Hollywood über-agent Michael Ovitz, she thinks she’s found the job of her dreams. But Hansen’s behind-the-scenes access soon gets her much more than she bargained for: working twenty-four hours a day, juggling the shifting demands of the Hollywood elite, and struggling to comprehend wealth unimaginable to most Americans. And that’s not to mention dealing with the expected tantrums and the unexpected tense – and intense – atmosphere in the house where she lives with her employers.
When the thankless drudgery takes its toll and Hansen finally quits, her boss threatens to blackball her from ever nannying in Hollywood again. Discouraged but determined, Hansen manages to land gigs with Debra Winger and then Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman. Attentive, welcoming parents with a relaxed attitude toward celebrity – looks like Hansen’s fallen into a real-life happy ending. But the round-the-clock workdays continue, rubbing some of the glitter off L.A. living, and Hansen’s not sure how much longer she can pretend to be Mary Poppins. Even bosses who treat her like family can’t help as she struggles to find meaning in her work while living in a town that seems to lack respect for nannies and everyone else who comes in the employee’s entrance – but without whom many showbiz households would grind to a halt.
Peppering her own journey with true stories and high drama experienced by other nannies to the stars, Hansen offers an intriguing, entertaining mix of tales from the cribs of the rich and famous. You’ll Never Nanny in This Town Again is a treat for everyone who is fascinated by the skewed priorities of Tinseltown, for anyone who has wondered how high-wattage supermoms do it all, and for readers who love peeking behind the curtains of celebrity, all of whom will devour this unparalleled – and unabashedly true – account of one girl’s tour of duty as Hollywood’s hired help.
SUZANNE HANSEN has been a high-risk labor and delivery nurse, lactation consultant, and childbirth educator. She lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband and two children.
Hardcover, dust jacket – 289 pp. – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 544 g (19,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Crown Publishers, New York, New York, 2005 – ISBN 978-0-307-23754-5
“You’re the Director… You Figure It Out”: The Life and Films of Richard Donner (James Christie; foreword by Mel Gibson)
Richard Donner is one of Hollywood’s most important filmmakers, the driving force behind iconic hits The Omen, Superman, The Goonies, and the Lethal Weapon series. His films – which have grossed billions of dollars at the box-office – touch generations of moviegoers, yet little is known about the man responsible for their success.
In the only authorized biography, author James Christie charts Donner’s transformation from wayward New York youth to Hollywood hotshot, revealing a power generator personality every bit as large as his blockbuster movies.
Based on extensive interviews with Richard Donner, his friends, family members, and many of those who have worked with and for the filmmaker, You’re the Director… You Figure It Out goes behind the scenes on butting heads with Steve McQueen, sidestepping Marlon Brando’s eccentricities, exploring the secrets of these and other big screen collaborations with Gregory Peck, Richard Pryor, Jackie Gleason, Mel Gibson, Bill Murray, Jodie Foster, Sylvester Stallone, Julia Roberts, Bruce Willis, and many more.
Hardcover – 404 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 765 g (27 oz) – PUBLISHER BearManor Media, Duncan, Oklahoma, 2010 – ISBN 978-59393-208-4
You See, I Haven’t Forgotten (Yves Montand, with Herve Hamon, Patrick Rotman; originally titled Tu vois, je n’ai pas oublié)
Yves Montand was one of our century’s greatest entertainers – consummate music-hall performer, singer, dancer, star of stage and screen. His extraordinary life story is captivatingly told for the first time in this unusual memoir, part biography – a unique collaboration between Montand and two writers.
Born to Italian Communist peasants who fled Mussolini’s Italy, Montand grew up in the seething port city of Marseille, where he worked in his sister’s hairdressing salon and dreamed of the movies. By the age of seventeen he had sung his first song in a music hall. The rest is the stuff of legend, re-created here in fascinating and vivid detail: the fantastic successes on the Riviera; the endless, obsessive rehearsals to refine every aspect of his performances; the wartime crises during the German Occupation; Montand’s triumphant conquest of Paris, as the city opened its arms to the “singing prole” from the Midi whose every appearance was a glamorous, sold-out event.
Adding to the legend, of course, were his engrossing liaison with Edith Piaf and his introduction to the luminaries of Parisian cultural life, including Jacques Prévert, Marcel Carné, Pablo Picasso, and dozens more. By the time of his brutally affective starring performance in Henri-Georges Clouzot’s chilling The Wages of Fear, he had achieved unimaginable celebrity and was married to the charismatic Simone Signoret. The story of the intense but sometimes turbulent love between these two magnetic, highly competitive, and extremely political artists is a central part of the book.
Despite his limitless success in France, Montand had longed from the start to go to Hollywood, and perhaps the most riveting chapters of his life story focus on his coming to America to make movies. The description of his rehearsals and eventual love affair with Marilyn Monroe is, of course, required reading, but there is much more – Montand’s perfectionist dedication to every aspect of filmmaking; his friendship with Arthur Miller and other writers; his fascination with American politics; and his frank views on Hollywood stars, roles, and movies.
Montand maintained his incomparable personal and professional vitality to the end of his life, and even turned in some of his most memorable film and cabaret performances after the death of his beloved Simone. His last years saw increasing political activism, a return to the music-hall stage, a late second marriage, and the birth of his first child in 1988. The mesmerizing full story is superbly presented, not only in the narrative of his biographers – informed by unprecedented access to all of Montand’s friends, associates, and family members, as well as to his personal archives – but in the voice of Montand himself. We hear it throughout – a voice at once lucid, amused, intelligent, tough, and seductive. ”You see, I haven’t forgotten…”
YVES MONTAND died in November 1991. Hervé Hamon and Patrick Rotrnan are the authors of several previous books and live in Paris.
Hardcover, dust jacket – 463 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 938 g (33,1 oz) – PUBLISHER Alfred A. Knopf, New York, New York, 1992 – ISBN 0-679-41012-0
Yvonne: An Autobiography (Yvonne De Carlo, with Doug Warren)
Yvonne De Carlo’s candid and witty autobiography takes a close and intimate look at her long, varied career and fascinating personal life. But Yvonne De Carlo’s story does much more than chronicle her career as a cabaret-singer and dancer, Broadway actress, opera singer, and film and television actress. With humor and affection, Miss De Carlo remembers the people and places of Hollywood and brings them to life as only an insider can.
Cast for years as an “exotic” type in popular films of the forties and fifties, audiences remember Yvonne De Carlo for playing opposite Charlton Heston in Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments. Later generations also know her as Lily Munster in the early sixties’ television program, The Munsters, still running in syndication today.
Despite her sustained popularity as an entertainer, Yvonne was not an overnight success. Looking for parts as a young woman, she faced rejection and humiliation until she finally landed her first role at a cabaret in Hollywood. But that was just the beginning…
Yvonne talks with candor about her difficult childhood, her dreams of success and love, and her relationships with such intriguing men as Howard Hughes, Aly Khan, and the Shah of Iran’s brother. She is equally forthright about the friends, colleagues, and rivals whose lives touched hers, including, among others, James Stewart, Burgess Meredith, Tony Curtis, the young Rock Hudson, Orson Welles, Grace Kelly, Clark Gable, Sophia Loren, Dorothy Lamour, and Ava Gardner.
Packed with Hollywood lore and personal insights, Yvonne: An Autobiography makes for delightful reading.
YVONNE DE CARLO wrote her autobiography with DOUG WARREN, author of James Cagney (SMP, 1983). Miss De Carlo lives in Hollywood, and Doug Warren in Ventura, California.
Hardcover, dust jacket – 264 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 595 g (21,0 oz) – PUBLISHER St. Martin’s Press, New York, New York, 1987 – ISBN 0-312-00217-3
Zachary Scott: Hollywood’s Sophisticated Cad (Ronald L. Davis)
Throughout the 1940s, Zachary Scott (1914-1965) was the model for sophisticated, debonair villains in American film. His best-known roles include a mysterious criminal in The Mask of Dimitrios and the indolent husband in Mildred Pierce. He garnered further acclaim for his portrayal of villains in Her Kind of Man, Danger Signal, and South of St. Louis. Although he earned critical praise for his performance as a heroic tenant farmer in Jean Renoir’s The Southerner, Scott never quite escaped typecasting.
In Zachary Scott: Hollywood’s Sophisticated Cad, Ronald L. Davis writes an appealing biography of the film star. Scott grew up in privileged circumstances – his father was a distinguished physician; his grandfather was a pioneer cattle baron – and was expected to follow his father into medical practice. Instead, Scott began to pursue a career in theater while studying at the University of Texas and subsequently worked his way on a ship to England to pursue acting. Upon his return to America, he began to look for work in New York.
Excelling on stage and screen throughout the 1940s, Scott seemed destined for stardom. By the end of 1950, however, he had suffered through a turbulent divorce. A rafting accident left him badly shaken and clinically depressed. His frustration over his roles mounted, and he began to drink heavily. He remarried and spent the rest of his career concentrating on stage and television work. Although Scott continued to perform occasionally in films, he never reclaimed the level of stardom that he had in the mid-1940s.
To reconstruct Scott’s life, Davis uses interviews with Scott and colleagues and reviews, articles, and archival correspondence from the Scott papers at the University of Texas and from the Warner Brothers Archives. The result is a portrait of a talented actor who was rarely allowed to show his versatility on the screen.
RONALD L. DAVIS is professor emeritus of history at Southern Methodist University. He is the author of several books on Hollywood, including Hollywood Beauty: Linda Darnell and the American Dream, Duke: The Life and Image of John Wayne, The Glamour Factory: Inside Hollywood’s Big Studio System, and Just Making Movies: Company Directors on the Studio System.
Hardcover, dust jacket – 238 pp., index – Dimensions 21 x 15,5 cm (8,3 x 6,1 inch) – Weight 511 g (18 oz) – PUBLISHER University Press of Mississippi, Jackson, Mississippi, 2006 – ISBN 1-57806-837-1
The Zanucks of Hollywood: The Dark Legacy of a Movie Dynasty (Marlys J. Harris)
Although he never appeared on screen, Darryl F. Zanuck produced, directed, and starred in his own life as if it were one of the 600 movies he made during his long and energetic career as head of production at Twentieth Century-Fox. In the real life drama, however, his wife and children were cast in some of the worst parts. Virginia portrayed the loyal, respectable Hollywood wife to Zanuck’s compulsively philandering husband. Richard played the darkly devoted son, groomed by the mogul himself, who would one day unseat his father from his throne – and the Zanuck daughters, Darrylin and Susan, often appeared in tragic bit parts as ambitious and frustrated failures.
For generations, the Zanucks have acted out an anguished destiny. Even before Zanuck died in 1979, the simmering battle amongst his heirs had erupted into an all-out war for his fortune. The widow fought her own grandchildren, his son turned against his daughter, grandchild bickered with grandchild – and all of them opposed Zanuck’s French mistress. The whole sorry drama climaxed in courtrooms, private clinics, and funeral homes as a Hollywood dream turned into a nightmare.
Brilliantly investigated and superbly written, The Zanucks of Hollywood is the dramatic story of three generations of a powerful and glamorous family dominated and destroyed by the spirit of one man.
MARLYS J. HARRIS is a senior writer for Money magazine. Her work has appeared in other magazines, including Manhattan Inc.
Hardcover, dust jacket – 346 pp., index – Dimensions 22 x 14 cm (9,1 x 5,5 inch) – Weight 550 g (19,4 oz) – PUBLISHER W.H. Allen & Co., London, 1989 – ISBN 1-85227-007-1
Zanuck: The Rise and Fall of Hollywood’s Last Tycoon (Leonard Mosley)
Zanuck is the extraordinary life-story of one of the most gifted and turbulent of the old-time movie moguls, whose career spanned almost 50 years of Hollywood’s most glorious days. Darryl F. Zanuck was studio chief at Warner Brothers at the age of 23 and only eight years later, in 1933, he became head of Twentieth Century-Fox. It was Zanuck – son of a hotel night-clerk in Wahoo, Nebraska – who first put spoken words into the movies (The Jazz Singer); who started the gangster-film cycle by discovering James Cagney and Edward G. Robinson; who introduced CinemaScope; and who made such film classics as Forty-Second Street, The Grapes of Wrath, All About Eve and Panic in the Streets. Towards the end of his career, when he had transferred his headquarters to Europe, he made The Longest Day, the story of the D-Day landings in Normandy. He died in 1979.
Zanuck’s fame as a film producer was matched by his ‘macho’ reputation – on playing-field and casting-couch alike. His private life was stormy and – ultimately – tragic. Leonard Mosley has spent many hours with Zanuck’s son, Richard, and talked to numerous writers, actors, producers and directors to create this full-scale biography, packed with anecdotes, of a man whose appetite for cinema – and for women – was never exhausted. A keen family man who married only once, he was notorious for exercising his droit de seigneur over the starlets in his company; his affairs with improbable leading ladies (including Juliette Gréco) were sensational and almost always disastrous.
Yet Zanuck’s influence on his colleagues was electrifying. In the words of one of his closest associates, Milton Sperling: ‘Even at a distance his presence was always felt. His life-style, his pleasures, his prejudices influenced me far past my period of employment … I wish he was around now. He loved film, made instant decisions, encouraged talent. He’d deride today’s committee-ridden, computer-oriented, agent-accountant management apparatus. He was the Sun King. On reflection, I’m glad he escaped the deluge.’
LEONARD MOSLEY, who was born in Manchester in 1916, was for many years a London-based foreign correspondent, theater and film critic before turning full-time writer. His books include biographies of Orde Wingate, Curzon, Lindbergh, Goering, Hirohito and the Dulles family. He has written film scripts in Hollywood and twice sat on the Jury of the International Film Festival at Cannes.
Hardcover, dust jacket – 590 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 963 g (34,0 oz) – PUBLISHER Granada Publishing, Ltd., London, 1984 – ISBN 0-246-12213-7
Zero Mostel: A Biography (Jared Brown)
Best remembered for his creation of the role of Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof, as well as for his brilliant comedic portrayals in The Producers, Rhinoceros, and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Zero Mostel was a uniquely talented actor, a gargantuan personality, and a man of many contradictions. He was huge in stature, with an ego to match, a violent temper, and an unquenchable zest for life.
Mostel, however, thought of himself first as a painter. A prolific and sensitive artist, he always claimed that he worked only to gain the freedom to paint. Because he stood by his convictions and refused to bow to McCarthyism, Zero was blacklisted for many years, a dark period during which painting became his life. Jared Brown, author of the The Fabulous Lunts, has spoken to Mostel’s family and friends, his business associates, those who received his generosity and those who suffered his anger. He portrays Mostel, in all his diversity, brilliance, brashness, and bad-boy behavior, as a man who was a scholar and a brat, a man of a thousand faces complete with warts and scars.
JARED BROWN, born in New York City and raised in Los Angeles, was educated at Ithaca College, San Francisco State College, and the University of Minnesota. He is professor of theater at Western Illinois University, where he directs the programs in theater history, directing, and playwriting. He has contributed articles – among them a series that amounts to a comprehensive study of the theater in America during the Revolution – to many leading theatrical and historical journals, written eight plays, directed more than fifty, and for a brief time acted professionally. Mr. Brown is the author of the highly acclaimed, prizewinning biography of Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, The Fabulous Lunts (Atheneum 1986).
Hardcover, dust jacket – 334 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 676 g (23,8 oz) – PUBLISHER Atheneum, New York, New York, 1989 – ISBN 0-689-11955
The Ziegfeld’s Girl: Confessions of an Abnormally Happy Childhood (Patricia Ziegfeld)
The author of this sparkling book led a childhood which – by all that’s puritan – should have left her a traumatized and spoiled wreck. The only child of rich and famous parents, Patty Ziegfeld grew up in such character-building settings as Palm Beach, a medieval fief in Westchester County and a private island in the Laurentians. She was coddled, tutored and pampered, taken to Europe, carried about in private railroad cars, and given such pets as a baby elephant (complete with elephant boy) and such toys as a Mount Vernon replica playhouse.
The result? One of the funniest and most joyous petite memoirs in years. The daughter of Florenz Ziegfeld, America’s most flamboyant producer, and the feathery Billie Burke, one of its most beloved actresses, shows what love and laughter and an inspired flair for living can do to keep an American princess from growing up into useless royalty.
Today Patty Ziegfeld, who lives in California with her architect husband, can tell her grandchildren about “the little girl who spent her childhood in a fairy-tale world of baby elephants and rooms at the Ritz and hothouse grapes and Rolls-Royce cars and lion cubs and governesses and ponies and playhouses” – and still managed to live happily ever after. Today, too, the lucky reader can happily immerse himself in a unique, flatout – for – fun childhood, and in a more lavish and feckless America than we are likely to see again.
Hardcover, dust jacket – 210 pp. – Dimensions 21,5 x 14,5 cm (8,5 x 5,7 inch) – Weight 460 g (16,2 oz) – PUBLISHER Little, Brown and Company, Boston, Massachusetts, 1964
Zorina (Vera Zorina)
Autographed copy To Bob and Chet with admiration and love – Brigitta. 1.10.87
At seventeen, when Brigitta Hartwig joined the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo in London, she was asked to choose from an alphabetical list of Russian names and picked the last, Vera Zorina. After her great success in America on stage and in films, the public came to know her simply as Zorina. She tells the fascinating story of a varied career on the Continent, in London, on Broadway, and in Hollywood – where she signed a contract with Samuel Goldwyn only after George Balanchine became choreographer of The Goldwyn Follies, which featured the famous Undine “waterlotus” ballet. Zorina’s portrait of the youthful Balanchine’s creative genius in musical comedy, movies, and opera between 1937 and 1946 throws new light on this period. Balanchine’s charming letters to his wife (they were married in 1938) are published here for the first time. Among other things, Zorina serves as a manual on the art of the dance.
Drawing on her private diaries, Vera Zorina charts her rise to international stardom in vivid prose. There is an affectionate memoir of her bohemian parents, especially her supportive mother. Working in the Ballet Russe with Léonide Massine, a member of the original Diaghilev company, she experienced first love. She tells the story of her London debut in On Your Toes, the smash Broadway hit I Married an Angel with Balanchine’s choreography, the fun of working in Hollywood with Erich von Stroheim and Peter Lorre, and the unexpected role of Ariel in Margaret Webster’s Broadway production of The Tempest. Her successful screen test as Maria, in Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls, has a shocking aftermath then she learns, after shooting has started, of the studio’s double-cross. There are unusual meetings with Marlene Dietrich, Serge Lifar, Orson Welles, Igor Stravinsky, Erich Maria Remarque, and Eleonora Sears – among others.
Zorina is written with style, sensitivity, humor, and impressive honesty.
Hardcover, dust jacket – 311 pp., index – Dimensions 24 x 16 cm (9,5 x 6,3 inch) – Weight 672 g (23,7 oz) – PUBLISHER Farrar Straus Giroux, New York, New York, 1986 – ISBN 0-246-12213-7