Here is the original story of a true original, the celebrated and internationally renowned director, playwright and screenwriter Arthur Laurents, whose creative genius continues to energize American stage and screen today. Say his name, and images of West Side Story, Gypsy, Anastasia, The Turning Point, and The Way We Were appear. Laurents' highly praised memoir is a dazzling portrait of his life - as he recounts the great moments, the trials and the joys of his incredible career. He takes us into his world, peopled with the creative artists, directors, actors and personalities who came of age in the theatre and in Hollywood after WWII. Later, back in New York, he writes about jump-starting Barbra Streisand's career by casting her in I Can Get It for You Wholesale. He writes about the creation of Gypsy with Jule Styne and Stephen Sondheim. And he writes about coming together in a complex, fraught collaboration with his three old pals, Jerome Robbins, Leonard Bernstein and Sondheim for West Side Story. Throughout, Laurents is funny, fierce, and frank - a life recounted as richly as it was lived. "This is a historic work. A 'must' for show biz mavens." - LIZ SMITH, Newsday & Syndicated
Outrageous, outspoken, and uninhibited, Tallulah Bankhead was an actress known as much for her vices -- cocaine, alcohol, hysterical tirades, and scandalous affairs with both men and women -- as she was for her winning performances on stage. In 1917, a fifteen-year-old Bankhead boldly left her established Alabama political family and fled to New York City to sate her relentless need for attention and become a star. Five years later, she crossed the Atlantic, immediately taking her place as a fixture in British society and the most popular actress in London's West End. By the time she returned to America in the 1930s, she was infamous for throwing marathon parties, bedding her favorite costars, and neglecting to keep her escapades a secret from the press. At times, her notoriety distracted her audience from her formidable talent and achievements on stage and dampened the critical re-sponse to her work. As Bankhead herself put it, "they like me to 'Tallulah, ' you know -- dance and sing and romp and fluff my hair and play reckless parts." Still, her reputation as a wild, witty, over-the-top leading lady persisted until the end of her life at the age of sixty-six.
From her friendships with such entertainment luminaries as Tennessee Williams, Estelle Winwood, Billie Holiday, Noel Coward, and Marlene Dietrich, to the intimate details of her family relationships and her string of doomed romances, Joel Lobenthal has captured the private essence of the most public star during theater's golden age. Larger-than-life as she was, friends saw through Bankhead's veneer of humor and high times to the heart of a woman who often felt second-best in her father's eyes, who longed for the children she was unableto bear, and who forced herself into the spotlight to hide her deep-seated insecurities.
Drawn from scores of exclusive interviews, as well as previously untapped information from Scotland Yard and the FBI, this is the essential biography of Tallulah Bankhead. Having spent twenty-five years researching Bankhead's life, Joel Lobenthal tells her unadulterated story, as told to him by her closest friends, enemies, lovers, and employees. Several have broken decadelong silences; many have given Lobenthal their final interviews. The result is the story of a woman more complex, more shocking, and yet more nuanced than her notorious legend suggests.
In spring 1953, the great director Alfred Hitchcock made the pivotal decision to take a chance and work with a young writer, John Michael Hayes. The four films Hitchcock made with Hayes over the next several years - Rear Window, To Catch a Thief, The Trouble with Harry and The Man who Knew Too Much - represented an extraordinary change of style. Each was distinguished by a combination of glamorous stars, sophisticated dialogue and inventive plots, and resulted in some of Hitchcock's most distinctive and intimate work, based in large part on Hayes's exceptional scripts.
This startling, intimate biography of James Stewart frankly reveals with new facts and discovers a fully dimensional view of this revered figure and consummate American icon. Shrewd, self-protective, financially astute, the James Stewart that Mr. Quirk uncovers was no bumbling naive Mr. Smith, but a Man of the World.