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Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool
On 29 September 1981, Peter Turner received a phone call that would change his life. His former lover, Hollywood actress Gloria Grahame, had collapsed in a Lancaster hotel and was refusing medical attention. He had no choice but to take her into his chaotic and often eccentric family's home in Liverpool.Liverpool born and bred, Turner had first set eyes on Grahame when he was a young actor, living in London. Best known for her portrayal of irresistible femme fatales in films such as The Big Heat, Oklahoma and The Bad and the Beautiful, for which she won an Oscar, Grahame electrified audiences with her steely expressions and heavy lidded eyes and the heroines she bought to life were often dark and dangerous. Turner and Grahame became firm friends and remained so even after their love affair had ended. And it was to him she turned in her final hour of need.Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool is an affectionate, moving and wryly humorous memoir of friendship, love and stardom.
Notes From the Upside Down: An Unofficial Guide to Stranger Things
If you devoured Stranger Things on Netflix and you’re looking to fill the demogorgon-sized hole in your life, then look no further than Notes from the Upside Down. This fan-tastic guide has every fact you could ever wish for - from insights into the origins of the show, including the mysterious Montauk Project conspiracy theory; a useful eighties playlist (because, of course); and much more.If you’ve ever wondered why Spielberg is such a huge influence, which Stephen King books you need to read (hint: pretty much all of them), or how State Trooper David O’Bannon earned his name, then this book is for you.Entertaining, informative, and perfect for fans of eighties pop culture, Notes from the Upside Down is the Big Mac of unofficial guides to Stranger Things - super-sized and special sauce included.
Hank and Jim: The Fifty-Year Friendship of Henry Fonda and James Stewart
Henry Fonda and James Stewart were two of the biggest stars in Hollywood for forty years. They became friends and then roommates as stage actors in New York, and when they began making films in Hollywood, they roomed together again. Between them they made such memorable films as The Grapes of Wrath, Mister Roberts, Twelve Angry Men, and On Golden Pond; and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Destry Rides Again, The Philadelphia Story, It’s a Wonderful Life, Vertigo, and Rear Window.They got along famously, with a shared interest in elaborate practical jokes and model airplanes, among other things. Fonda was a liberal Democrat, Stewart a conservative Republican, but after one memorable blow-up over politics, they agreed never to discuss that subject again. Fonda was a ladies’ man who was married five times; Stewart remained married to the same woman for forty-five years. Both men volunteered during World War II and were decorated for their service. When Stewart returned home, still unmarried, he once again moved in with Fonda, his wife, and his two children, Jane and Peter, who knew him as Uncle Jimmy.For Hank and Jim, biographer and film historian Scott Eyman spoke with Fonda’s widow and children as well as three of Stewart’s children, plus actors and directors who had worked with the men - in addition to doing extensive archival research to get the full details of their time together. This is not another Hollywood story, but a fascinating portrait of an extraordinary friendship that lasted through war, marriages, children, careers, and everything else.
So Say We All: The Complete, Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of Battlestar Galactica
Altman, Mark A.
From Mark A. Altman and Edward Gross, the bestselling authors of the definitive two-volume Star Trek oral history, The Fifty-Year Mission, comes the complete, uncensored, unauthorized oral history of Battlestar Galactica in So Say We All.Four decades after its groundbreaking debut, Battlestar Galactica - both the 1978 original and its 2004 reimagining have captured the hearts of two generations of fans. What began as a three-hour made for TV movie inspired by the blockbuster success of Star Wars followed by a single season of legendary episodes, was transformed into one of the most critically acclaimed and beloved series in television history. And gathered exclusively in this volume are the incredible untold stories of both shows - as well as the much-maligned Galactica 1980.For the first time ever, you will learn the unbelievable true story of forty years of Battlestar Galactica as told by the teams that created a television legend in the words of over a hundred cast, creators, crew, critics and executives who were there and brought it all to life. So Say We All!
The acclaimed true story of an aristocrat, a con man, and the friendship that transformed them both, now the inspiration for a major motion picture starring Kevin Hart, Bryan Cranston, and Nicole Kidman. Abdel Sellou and Philippe Pozzo di Borgo were two people marginalized by society: Sellou a wisecracking, unemployed immigrant, just out on parole; Pozzo a man born to wealth and privilege, recently paralyzed from the neck down after a paragliding accident. How they came to help each other, and the unlikely friendship that became a lifeline for them both, is an uplifting story that's now been told and retold around the world.In this bestselling memoir, Sellou shows us the irreverent, real-life character behind Kevin Hart's smiling face. The book takes us from Sellou's childhood spent stealing candy from the local grocery store to his career as a pickpocket and scam artist, to his unexpected employment as a companion for a quadriplegic. Sellou tells his story with a stunning amount of talent, humor, style, and--though he denies that he has any--humility.
The Disaster Artist
In 2003, an independent film called The Room - starring and written, produced, and directed by a mysteriously wealthy social misfit named Tommy Wiseau - made its disastrous debut in Los Angeles. Described by one reviewer as "like getting stabbed in the head," the $6 million film earned a grand total of $1,800 at the box office and closed after two weeks. Ten years later, it's an international cult phenomenon, whose legions of fans attend screenings featuring costumes, audience rituals, merchandising, and thousands of plastic spoons. Hailed by The Huffington Post as "possibly the most important piece of literature ever printed," The Disaster Artist is the hilarious, behind-the-scenes story of a deliciously awful cinematic phenomenon as well as the story of an odd and inspiring Hollywood friendship. Greg Sestero, Tommy's costar, recounts the film's bizarre journey to infamy, explaining how the movie's many nonsensical scenes and bits of dialogue came to be and unraveling the mystery of Tommy Wiseau himself.
Blowing the Bloody Doors Off: and Other Lessons in Life
Now in his 85th year, Hollywood legend Michael Caine shares wisdom and stories from his remarkable career in this "engrossing" memoir that "shines with positive energy" (Library Journal, starred review).One of our best-loved actors, Michael Caine has starred in over 100 films in his six-decade career, spanning classic movies like Alfie, Zulu, and The Italian Job (the inspiration for the book title) to playing Alfred opposite Christian Bale's Batman in Christopher Nolan's blockbuster Dark Knight trilogy. Caine has excelled in every kind of role--with a skill that's made it look easy. Caine knows what success takes. He's made it to the pinnacle of his profession from humble origins. But as he says, "Small parts can lead to big things. And if you keep doing things right, the stars will align when you least expect it." Still working and more beloved than ever, Caine now shares everything he's learned-and "his fans will be rewarded, as will anyone seeking an enjoyable, inspirational read" (Library Journal).
Charlton Heston: Hollywood's Last Icon
This is the definitive biography of one of the most iconic, complex and enduring legends of Hollywood’s golden age, whose major presence in American film, radio, television, stage and theater lasted beyond the second half of the 20th Century, and whose classic films are known throughout the world.
Playing to the Gods: Sarah Bernhardt, Eleonora Duse, and the Rivalry That Changed Acting Forever
The riveting story of the rivalry between the two most renowned actresses of the nineteenth century: legendary Sarah Bernhardt, whose eccentricity on and off the stage made her the original diva, and mystical Eleonora Duse, who broke all the rules to popularize the natural style of acting we celebrate today.Audiences across Europe and the Americas clamored to see the divine Sarah Bernhardt swoon—and she gave them their money’s worth. The world’s first superstar, she traveled with a chimpanzee named Darwin and a pet alligator that drank champagne, shamelessly supplementing her income by endorsing everything from aperitifs to beef bouillon, and spreading rumors that she slept in a coffin to better understand the macabre heroines she played.Eleonora Duse shied away from the spotlight. Born to a penniless family of itinerant troubadours, she disappeared into the characters she portrayed—channeling their spirits, she claimed. Her new, empathetic style of acting revolutionized the theater—and earned her the ire of Sarah Bernhardt in what would become the most tumultuous theatrical showdown of the nineteenth century. Bernhardt and Duse seduced each other’s lovers, stole one another’s favorite playwrights, and took to the world’s stages to outperform their rival in her most iconic roles.A scandalous, enormously entertaining history full of high drama and low blows, Playing to the Gods is the page-turning account of the feud that changed theater forever.
Springfield Confidential: Jokes, Secrets, and Outright Lies from a Lifetime Writing for The Simpsons
In celebration of The Simpsons thirtieth anniversary, the show’s longest-serving writer and producer offers a humorous look at the writing and making of the legendary Fox series that has become one of the most revered artistic achievements in television history.Four-time Emmy winner Mike Reiss—who has worked on The Simpsons continuously since episode one in 1989—shares stories, scandals, and gossip about working with America’s most iconic cartoon family ever. Reiss explains how the episodes are created, and provides an inside look at the show’s writers, animators, actors and celebrity guests. He answers a range of questions from Simpsons fans and die-hards, and reminisces about the making of perennially favorite episodes.In his freewheeling, irreverent comic style, Reiss reflects on his lifetime inside The Simpsons—a personal highlights reel of his achievements, observations, and favorite stories. Springfield Confidential exposes why Matt Groening decided to make all of the characters yellow; dishes on what it’s like to be crammed in a room full of funny writers sixty hours a week; and tells what Reiss learned after traveling to seventy-one countries where The Simpsons is watched (ironic note: there’s no electricity in many of these places); and even reveals where Springfield is located! He features unique interviews with Judd Apatow, who also provided the foreword, and Conan O'Brien, as well as with Simpsons legends Al Jean, Nancy Cartwright, Dan Castellaneta, and more.Like Cary Elwes’ As You Wish, Jennifer Keishin Armstrong’s Seinfeldia, and Chris Smith’s The Daily Show: An Oral History, Springfield Confidential is a funny, informational, and exclusive look at one of the most beloved programs in all of television land.
True Indie: Life and Death in Filmmaking
From Don Coscarelli, the celebrated filmmaker behind many cherished cult classics comes a memoir that's both revealing autobiography and indie film crash course.
Wanna Bet?: A Degenerate Gambler's Guide to Living on the Edge
When Artie Lange's first book, the #1 New York Times bestseller, Too Fat To Fish, hit the top of the charts, audiences learned what Howard Stern listeners already knew: that Artie is one of the funniest people alive. He is also an artist haunted by his fair share of demons, which overtook him in the years that followed. After a suicide attempt, a two-year struggle with depression, and years of chronic opiate addiction, Artie entered recovery and built himself back up, chronicling his struggle in brave detail in his next book and second New York Times bestseller, Crash and Burn.In his hilarious third book, the two-time bestselling author, comedian, actor, and radio icon explains the philosophy that has kept his existence boredom-free since the age of 13?the love of risk. An avid sports better and frequent card player, Lange believes that the true gambler gets high not from winning, but from the chaotic unknown of betting itself. He recounts some of his favorite moments, many of which haven't involved money at all. In this candid and entertaining memoir, he looks back at the times he's wagered the intangible and priceless things in life: his health, his career, and his relationships. The stories found in Wanna Bet? paint a portrait of a man who would just as quickly bet tens of thousands of dollars on a coin toss as he would a well thought out NBA or NFL wager. Along for the ride are colorful characters from Artie's life who live by the same creed, from a cast of childhood friends to peers like comedian and known gambler Norm McDonald. The book is a tour of a subculture where bookies and mobsters, athletes and celebrities ride the gambling roller coaster for the love of the rush. Through it all, somehow Artie has come out ahead, though he does take a few moments to imagine his life if things hadn't quite gone his way. Unrepentant and unrestrained, the book is Lange at his finest.
Ian McKellen: A Biography
The definitive biography of Sir Ian McKellen from an acclaimed biographerIn 2001, Ian McKellen put on the robe and pointed hat of a wizard named Gandalf and won a place in the hearts of Tolkien fans worldwide. Though his role in the film adaptation of Lord of the Rings introduced him to a new audience, McKellen had a thriving career a lifetime before his visit to Middle Earth. He made his West End acting debut in 1964 in James Saunders’s A Scent of Flowers, but it was in 1980 that he took Broadway by storm when he played Antonio Salieri in Peter Shaffer’s Tony-Award-winning play Amadeus.He has starred in over four hundred plays and films and he is that rare character: a celebrity whose distinguished political and social service has transcended his international fame to reach beyond the stage and screen. The breadth of his career—professional, personal and political—has been truly staggering: Macbeth (opposite Judi Dench), Iago, King Lear, Chekhov’s Sorin in The Seagull and Becket’s tramp Estragon (opposite Patrick Stewart) in Waiting for Godot. Add to all this his tireless political activism in the cause of gay equality and you have a veritable phenomenon. Garry O’Connor’s Ian McKellen: A Biography probes the heart of the actor, recreating his greatest stage roles and exploring his personal life. Ian McKellen will show readers what makes a great actor tick. His life story has been a constantly developing drama and this biography is the next chapter.
The Electric Woman: A Memoir in Death-Defying Acts
Tessa Fontaine’s astonishing memoir of pushing past fear follows the author on a life-affirming journey of loss and self-discovery - through her time on the road with the last traveling American sideshow and her relationship with an adventurous, spirited mother.Turns out, one lesson applies to living through illness, keeping the show on the road, letting go of the person you love most, and eating fire:The trick is there is no trick. You eat fire by eating fire.Two journeys - a daughter’s and a mother’s - bear witness to this lesson in The Electric Woman.For three years Tessa Fontaine lived in a constant state of emergency as her mother battled stroke after stroke. But hospitals, wheelchairs, and loss of language couldn’t hold back such a woman; she and her husband would see Italy together, come what may. Thus Fontaine became free to follow her own piper, a literal giant inviting her to “come play” in the World of Wonders, America’s last traveling sideshow. How could she resist?Transformed into an escape artist, a snake charmer, and a high-voltage Electra, Fontaine witnessed the marvels of carnival life: intense camaraderie and heartbreak, the guilty thrill of hard-earned cash exchanged for a peek into the impossible, and, most marvelous of all, the stories carnival folks tell about themselves. Through these, Fontaine trained her body to ignore fear and learned how to keep her heart open in the face of loss.A story for anyone who has ever imagined running away with the circus, wanted to be someone else, or wanted a loved one to live forever, The Electric Woman is ultimately about death-defying acts of all kinds, especially that ever constant: good old-fashioned unconditional love.
Last Night at the Viper Room: River Phoenix and the Hollywood He Left Behind
At the dawn of the 1990s, a new crew of leading men--Johnny Depp, Nicolas Cage, Keanu Reeves, and Brad Pitt--was rocketing toward stardom. River Phoenix, however, stood in front of the pack. But behind Phoenix's talent and beautiful public face was a young man who had been raised in a cult by nonconformist parents, who was burdened with supporting his family from a young age, and who eventually succumbed to addiction, dying of an overdose in front of the Viper Room, West Hollywood's storied club, at twenty-three. Last Night at the Viper Room is part biography, part cultural history of the 1990s, and part celebration of a Hollywood icon gone too soon. Full of interviews from his fellow actors, directors, friends, and family, Last Night at the Viper Room shows the role River Phoenix played in creating the place of the actor in our modern culture and the impact his work still makes today.
Rebel: My Life Outside the Lines
Legendary actor Nick Nolte delivers his most revealing performance yet. This intimate memoir is a tale of art, passion, commitment, addiction, and the quest for personal enlightenment as intense and hypnotic as the man himself.
The true story that inspired the major motion picture starring Bryan Cranston and Helen Mirren. Dalton Trumbo was the central figure in the "Hollywood Ten," the blacklisted and jailed screenwriters. One of several hundred writers, directors, producers, and actors who were deprived of the opportunity to work in the motion picture industry from 1947 to 1960, he was the first to see his name on the screen again. When that happened, it was Exodus, one of the year's biggest movies. This intriguing biography shows that all his life Trumbo was a radical of the homegrown, independent variety. From his early days in Colorado, where his grandfather was a county sheriff, to Los Angeles, where he organized a bakery strike, to bootlegging, to Hollywood, where he was the highest-paid screenwriter when he was blacklisted (and a man with constant money problems), his life rivaled anything he had written. His credits include Kitty Foyle, The Brave One, Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo, Spartacus, Lonely are the Brave, and Papillon, and he is the author of a power pacifist novel, Johnny Got His Gun.
Follies of God: Tennessee Williams and the Women of the Fog
An extraordinary book; one that almost magically makes clear how Tennessee Williams wrote; how he came to his visions of Amanda Wingfield, his Blanche DuBois, Stella Kowalski, Alma Winemiller, Lady Torrance, and the other characters of his plays that transformed the American theater of the mid-twentieth century; a book that does, from the inside, the almost impossible - revealing the heart and soul of artistic inspiration and the unwitting collaboration between playwright and actress, playwright and director.
Hail to the Chin: Further Confessions of a B Movie Actor
One of my dad’s favorite jokes about getting older was: “I went out for coffee when I was twenty-one and when I got back I was fifty-eight!”I get what he meant now. Time flies. My first book, If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a "B" Movie Actor, was published back in 2001 and it chronicles the adventures of a “mid-grade, kind of hammy actor" (my words), cutting his teeth on exploitation movies far removed from mainstream Hollywood.This next book, an “Act II” if you will, could be considered my “maturing years” in show business, when I began to say “no” more often and gravitated toward self-generated material. Taking stock in the overall quality of my life, I fled Los Angeles and moved to a remote part of Oregon to renew, regroup and reload.If that sounds tame, the journey from Evil Dead to Spider-Man to Burn Notice was long, with plenty of adventures/mishaps along the way. I never pictured myself hovering above Baghdad in a Blackhawk helicopter, facing a pack of wild dogs in Bulgaria, or playing an aging Elvis Presley with cancer on his penis - how can you predict this stuff? The sheer lunacy of show business is part of the fun for me and I hope you'll come along for the ride.– Bruce “Don’t Call Me Ash” Campbell
Letterman: The Last Giant of Late Night
In a career spanning more than thirty years, David Letterman redefined the modern talk show with an ironic comic style that transcended traditional television. While he remains one of the most famous stars in America, he is a remote, even reclusive, figure whose career is widely misunderstood. In Letterman, Jason Zinoman, the first comedy critic in the history of the New York Times, mixes groundbreaking reporting with unprecedented access and probing critical analysis to explain the unique entertainer’s titanic legacy. Moving from his early days in Indiana to his retirement, Zinoman goes behind the scenes of Letterman’s television career to illuminate the origins of his revolutionary comedy, its overlooked influences, and how his work intersects with and reveals his famously eccentric personality.Zinoman argues that Letterman had three great artistic periods, each distinct and part of his evolution. As he examines key broadcasting moments - "Stupid Pet Tricks" and other captivating segments that defined Late Night with David Letterman - he illuminates Letterman’s relationship to his writers, and in particular, the show’s co-creator, Merrill Markoe, with whom Letterman shared a long professional and personal connection.To understand popular culture today, it’s necessary to understand David Letterman. With this revealing biography, Zinoman offers a perceptive analysis of the man and the artist whose ironic voice and caustic meta-humor was critical to an entire generation of comedians and viewers - and whose singular style ushered in new tropes that have become clichés in comedy today.
Poking a Dead Frog: Conversations with Today's Top Comedy Writers
A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY NPR Amy Poehler, Mel Brooks, Adam McKay, George Saunders, Bill Hader, Patton Oswalt, and many more take us deep inside the mysterious world of comedy in this fascinating, laugh-out-loud-funny book. Packed with behind-the-scenes stories - from a day in the writers’ room at The Onion to why a sketch does or doesn’t make it onto Saturday Night Live to how the BBC nearly erased the entire first season of Monty Python’s Flying Circus - Poking a Dead Frog is a must-read for comedy buffs, writers and pop culture junkies alike.
Four-time Emmy winner Mike Reiss—who has worked on The Simpsons continuously since episode one in 1989—shares stories, scandals, and gossip about working with America’s most iconic cartoon family ever. Reiss explains how the episodes are created, and provides an inside look at the show’s writers, animators, actors and celebrity guests. He answers a range of questions from Simpsons fans and die-hards, and reminisces about the making of perennially favorite episodes.In his freewheeling, irreverent comic style, Reiss reflects on his lifetime inside The Simpsons—a personal highlights reel of his achievements, observations, and favorite stories. Springfield Confidential exposes why Matt Groening decided to make all of the characters yellow; dishes on what it’s like to be crammed in a room full of funny writers sixty hours a week; and tells what Reiss learned after traveling to seventy-one countries where The Simpsons is watched (ironic note: there’s no electricity in many of these places); and even reveals where Springfield is located! He features unique interviews with Judd Apatow, who also provided the foreword, and Conan O'Brien, as well as with Simpsons legends Al Jean, Nancy Cartwright, Dan Castellaneta, and more.Like Cary Elwes’ As You Wish, Jennifer Keishin Armstrong’s Seinfeldia, and Chris Smith’s The Daily Show: An Oral History, Springfield Confidential is a funny, informational, and exclusive look at one of the most beloved programs in all of television land.
Wayne and Ford: The Films, the Friendship, and the Forging of an American Hero
For more than twenty years John Ford and John Wayne were a blockbuster Hollywood team, turning out many of the finest Western films ever made. Ford, known for his black eye patch and for his hard-drinking, brawling masculinity, was a son of Irish immigrants and was renowned as a director for both his craftsmanship and his brutality. John “Duke” Wayne was a mere stagehand and bit player in “B” Westerns, but he was strapping and handsome, and Ford saw his potential. In 1939 Ford made Wayne a star in Stagecoach, and from there the two men established a close, often turbulent relationship.Their most productive years saw the release of one iconic film after another: Rio Grande, The Quiet Man, The Searchers, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. But by 1960 the bond of their friendship had frayed, and Wayne felt he could move beyond his mentor with his first solo project, The Alamo. Few of Wayne’s subsequent films would have the brilliance or the cachet of a John Ford Western, but viewed together the careers of these two men changed moviemaking in ways that endure to this day. Despite the decline of the Western in contemporary cinema, its cultural legacy, particularly the type of hero codified by Ford and Wayne—tough, self-reliant, and unafraid to fight but also honorable, trustworthy, and kind—resonates in everything from Star Wars to today’s superhero franchises.Drawing on previously untapped caches of letters and personal documents, Nancy Schoenberger dramatically narrates a complicated, poignant, and iconic friendship and the lasting legacy of that friendship on American culture.
Charlton Heston: Hollywood's Last Icon
This is the first and definitive biography of one of the most iconic, complex and enduring legends of Hollywood’s golden age, whose major presence in American film, radio, television, stage and theater lasted beyond the second half of the 20th Century, and whose classic films are known throughout the world.
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