Leading Lady; Sherry Lansing and the Making of a Hollywood Groundbreaker


Stephen Galloway - 2017
    The definitive biography of movie executive and philanthropist Sherry Lansing traces her groundbreaking journey to become the first female head of a major motion picture studio, shares behind-the-scenes tales from movie sets and Hollywood boardrooms, and explains what inspired her to walk away from it all to start the Sherry Lansing Foundation.

Considering Doris Day


Tom Santopietro - 2007
    America's favorite girl next door may have projected a wholesome image that led Oscar Levant to quip "I knew Doris Day before she was a virgin," but in Considering Doris Day Tom Santopietro reveals Day's underappreciated and effortless acting and singing range that ran the gamut from musicals to comedy to drama and made Day nothing short of a worldwide icon.             Covering the early Warner Brothers years through Day's triumphs working with artists as varied as Alfred Hitchcock and Bob Fosse, Santopietro's smart and funny book deconstructs the myth of Day as America's perennial virgin, and reveals why her work continues to resonate today, both onscreen as pioneering independent career woman role model, and off, as a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States' highest civilian honor. Praised by James Cagney as "my idea of a great actor" and by James Garner as "the Fred Astaire of comedy," Doris Day became not just America's favorite girl, but the number one film star in the world. Yet after two weekly television series, including a triumphant five year run on CBS, she turned her back on show business forever.             Examining why Day's worldwide success in movies overshadowed the brilliant series of concept recordings she made for Columbia Records in the  '50s and '60s, Tom Santopietro uncovers the unexpected facets of Day's surprisingly sexy acting and singing style that led no less an observer than John Updike to state "She just glowed for me." Placing Day's work within the social context of America in the second half of the twentieth century, Considering Doris Day is the first book that grants Doris Day her rightful place as a singular American artist.

Tough Without a Gun: The Life and Extraordinary Afterlife of Humphrey Bogart


Stefan Kanfer - 2011
    Though he died at the young age of fifty-seven more than half a century ago, his influence among actors and filmmakers, and his enduring appeal for film lovers around the world, remains as strong as ever. What is it about Bogart, with his unconventional looks and noticeable speech impediment, that has captured our collective imagination for so long? In this definitive biography, Stefan Kanfer answers that question, along the way illuminating the private man Bogart was and shining the spotlight on some of the greatest performances ever captured on celluloid.Bogart fell into show business almost by accident and worked for nearly twenty years before becoming the star we know today. Born into a life of wealth and privilege in turn-of-the-century New York, Bogart was a troublemaker throughout his youth, getting kicked out of prep school and running away to join the navy at the age of nineteen. After a short, undistinguished stint at sea, Bogart spent his early twenties drifting aimlessly from one ill-fitting career to another, until, through a childhood friend, he got his first theater job. Working first as a stagehand and then, reluctantly, as a bit-part player, Bogart cut his teeth in one forgettable role after another. But it was here he began to develop a work ethic; deciding that there were “two kinds of men: professionals and bums,” Bogart, for the first time in his life, wanted to be the former.After the Crash of ’29, Bogart headed west to try his luck in Hollywood. That luck was scarce, and he slogged through more than thirty B-movie roles before his drinking buddy John Huston wrote him a part that would change everything; with High Sierra, Bogart finally broke through at the age of forty—being a pro had paid off. What followed was a string of movies we have come to know as the most beloved classics of American cinema: The Maltese Falcon, Casablanca, The Big Sleep, The African Queen . . . the list goes on and on. Kanfer appraises each of the films with an unfailing critical eye, weaving in lively accounts of behind-the-scenes fun and friendships, including, of course, the great love story of Bogart and Bacall. What emerges in these pages is the portrait of a great Hollywood life, and the final word on why there can only ever be one Bogie.

Swanson on Swanson


Gloria Swanson - 1980
    Worshipped by the world's most dynamic men on screen, and off, and adored by no less than six husbands, directed by such powerhouses as Chaplin, DeMille, Stroheim, Billy Wilder, she surrendered her will to no man. Offered a million-plus tax free dollars by Paramount, she defied the studio to become her own boss. Surviving scandal, disaster, near-death and the collapse of that wonderland called Hollywood - alive, extraordinary, triumphant - this is Gloria Swanson!

He's Got Rhythm: The Life and Career of Gene Kelly


Cynthia Brideson - 2017
    One of the most influential and respected entertainers of Hollywood's golden age, Gene Kelly revolutionized film musicals with his innovative and timeless choreography. A would-be baseball player and one-time law student, Kelly captured the nation's imagination in films such as Anchors Aweigh (1945), On the Town (1949), An American in Paris (1951), and Singin' in the Rain (1952).In the first comprehensive biography written since the legendary star's death, authors Cynthia Brideson and Sara Brideson disclose new details of Kelly's complex life. Not only do they examine his contributions to the world of entertainment in depth, but they also consider his political activities -- including his opposition to the Hollywood blacklist. The authors even confront Kelly's darker side and explore his notorious competitive streak, his tendency to be a taskmaster on set, and his multiple marriages.Drawing on previously untapped articles and interviews with Kelly's wives, friends, and colleagues, Brideson and Brideson illuminate new and unexpected aspects of the actor's life and work. He's Got Rhythm is a balanced and compelling view of one of the screen's enduring legends.

Lord of Misrule


Christopher Lee - 2003
    In Lord of Misrule, Lee tells the story of his exceptional career, in films like The Curse of Frankenstein, the James Bond classic The Man with the Golden Gun, and more recently, in Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow. After appearing in more than 300 films, and a legend in his own right, Lee undertook one of the most demanding roles of his career as Saruman in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings. Shortly after, as one of the most powerful adversaries in the Star Wars canon, Lee proved that at 80, he is still a commanding screen presence. Written with self–deprecating wit and laced with hilarious anecdotes, Lord of Misrule is a marvelous career history of the man The Guardian called “the coolest actor on the planet.”

Sorry Not Sorry: Dreams, Mistakes, and Growing Up


Naya Rivera - 2016
    Whether it's with love and dating, career and ambition, friends, or gossip, Naya inspires us to follow our own destiny and step over--or plod through--all the crap along the way. After her rise and fall from early childhood stardom, barely eking her way through high school, a brief stint as a Hooters waitress, going through thick and thin with her mom/manager, and resurrecting her acting career as Santana Lopez on Glee, Naya emerged from these experiences with some key life lessons:Sorry:-  All those times I scrawled "I HATE MY MOM" in my journal. So many moms and teenage daughters don't get along--we just have to realize it's nothing personal on either side.-  At-home highlights and DIY hair extensions. Some things are best left to the experts, and hair dye is one of them.-  Falling in love with the idea of a person, instead of the actual person.Not Sorry:-  That I don't always get along with everyone. Having people not like you is a risk you have to take to be real, and I'll take that over being fake any day.-  Laughing at the gossip instead of getting upset by it.-  Getting my financial disasters out of the way early--before I was married or had a family--so that the only credit score that I wrecked was my own.Even with a successful career and a family that she loves more than anything else, Naya says, "There's still a thirteen-year-old girl inside of me making detailed lists of how I can improve, who's never sure of my own self-worth." Sorry Not Sorry is for that thirteen-year-old in all of us.

A Portrait of Joan


Joan Crawford - 1962
    It is full of glamorous moments, heart-warming episodes, and exciting personalities.

My Word is My Bond


Roger Moore - 2008
    Beginning with the classic Live and Let Die, running through Moonraker and A View to a Kill, Moore brought his finely honed wit and wry charm to one of Hollywood's most beloved and long-lasting characters. Still, James Bond was only one in a lifetime of roles stretching back to Hollywood's studio era, and encompassing stardom in theater and television on both sides of the Atlantic. From The Saint to Maverick, Warner Brothers to MGM, Hollywood to London to extreme locations the world over, Roger Moore's story is one of the last of the classic Hollywood lives as yet untold.Until now. From the dying days of the studio system and the birth of television, to the quips of Noël Coward and David Niven, to the bedroom scenes and outtakes from the Bond movies, Moore has seen and heard it all. Nothing is left out—especially the naughty bits. The "special effects" by which James Bond unzipped a dress with a magnet; the spectacular risks in The Spy Who Loved Me's opening scene; and Moore's preparation for facing down villains (he would imagine they all have halitosis): the stories in My Word is My Bond are priceless.Throughout his career, Moore hobnobbed with the glamorous and powerful, counting Elizabeth Taylor, Jane Seymour, and Cary Grant among his contemporaries and friends. Included are stories of a foul-mouthed Milton Berle, a surly Richard Burton, and a kindhearted Richard Kiel, infamous as Bond enemy Jaws.As much as it is Moore's own exceptional story, My Word is My Bond is a treasure trove of Hollywood history.

All in All: An Actor's Life On and Off the Stage


Stacy Keach - 2013
    In his long, impressive career, he has been hailed as America's finest classical stage actor, earning acclaim for his portrayals of Hamlet, Macbeth, Richard III, and King Lear. He has worked alongside and become friends with the giants of American culture, from Joseph Papp to George C. Scott, from James Earl Jones to Oliver Stone.Keach’s memoir begins with the riveting account of his arrest in London for cocaine possession. He takes readers through his trial and his time at Reading Jail as he battles his drug addiction and then fights to revive his career. Keach poignantly reveals his acting insecurities and relationship struggles. All in All is full of priceless behind the scenes Hollywood moments and friendships—from his late-night pool and backgammon showdowns with John Huston to his passionate relationship with Judy Collins.

Rebel: The Life and Legend of James Dean


Donald Spoto - 1996
    From the dusty roads of rural Indiana to Manhattan's gay culture, from Broadway to Burbank, here is Dean's troubled life: the tragic death of his mother when he was nine; his tumultous relationship with his father; his rise to stardom in New York and Hollywood and his on-and off-screen exploits.

Tracy and Hepburn


Garson Kanin - 1970
    Spence Tracy and Kate Hepburn were the couple everyone knew of but no one really knew anything about. What kept these two opposites together makes for an interesting read.

The View from the Bridge: Memories of Star Trek and a Life in Hollywood


Nicholas Meyer - 2009
    The man best known for bringing together Sherlock Holmes and Sigmund Freud in The Seven Per-Cent Solution had ironically never been interested in Star Trek until he was brought on board to save the film series. Meyer shares how he created the script for The Wrath of Khan, the most revered Star Trek film of all, in twelve days-only to have William Shatner proclaim he hated it. He reveals the death threats he received when word got out that Spock would be killed, and finally answers the long-pondered question of whether Khan's chiseled chest is truly that of Ricardo Montalban. Meyer's reminiscences on everyone from Gene Roddenberry to Laurence Olivier will appeal not only to the countless legions of Trekkies, but to anyone fascinated by the inner workings of Hollywood.

How to Be a Movie Star: Elizabeth Taylor in Hollywood


William J. Mann - 2009
    But he also shines a light on Elizabeth's rich private life, revealing a love for her craft and a loyalty to the underdog that fueled her lifelong battle against the studio system. Swathed in mink, disposing of husbands but keeping the diamonds—this is Elizabeth Taylor as she lived and loved, breaking and making the rules in the game of supreme celebrity.

Cary Grant: A Biography


Marc Eliot - 2004
    Exploring Grant’s troubled childhood, ambiguous sexuality, and lifelong insecurities, as well as the magical amalgam of characteristics that allowed him to remain Hollywood’s favorite romantic lead for more than thirty-five years, Cary Grant is the definitive examination of every aspect of Grant’s professional and private life and the first biography to reveal the real man behind the movie star.