Written at the height of her fame but not published until over a decade after her death, this autobiography of actress and sex symbol Marilyn Monroe (1926-1962) poignantly recounts her childhood as an unwanted orphan, her early adolescence, her rise in the film industry from bit player to celebrity, and her marriage to Joe DiMaggio. In this intimate account of a very public life, she tells of her first (non-consensual) sexual experience, her romance with the Yankee Clipper, and her prescient vision of herself as “the kind of girl they found dead in the hall bedroom with an empty bottle of sleeping pills in her hand.” The Marilyn in these pages is a revelation: a gifted, intelligent, vulnerable woman who was far more complex than the unwitting sex siren she portrayed on screen. Lavishly illustrated with photos of Marilyn, this special book celebrates the life and career of an American icon—-from the unique perspective of the icon herself.
Peter Falk - Just One More Thing
Peter Falk came to prominence as an actor in 1956 in the highly successful off-Broadway revival of The Iceman Cometh with Jason Robards. Although he worked continuously for the next three years, bouncing from one off-Broadway theatre to the next, a theatrical agent advised him not to expect much work in motion pictures because of his glass eye. Later, a talent scout for Columbia Pictures described Falk as a second John Garfield, but Harry Cohn, the head of Columbia Pictures, unfortunately disagreed: 'For the same price, I can get an actor with two eyes.' But in 1958, Twentieth Century Fox came to New York to make a movie - Murder Inc - and Falk landed a juicy role for which he received rave reviews and, incredibly, was nominated for an Academy Award. He was then nominated again for his second film, Pocketful of Miracles starring Bette Davis. Falk went on to become a favourite among filmgoers, yet it was through television that he reached his widest audience as Lt. Columbo, winning four Emmys for the role. Interestingly, Columbo's raincoat came out of Falk's bedroom closet. He bought it years before he became an actor. He's been quoted as saying, 'I wanted to wear something people would remember. Bottom line, it's the world's most famous raincoat.' Just One More Thing is pure Peter Falk, and reads as if he's sitting next to you, chuckling as he recalls his remarkable past.
Paul Challen - The House that Hugh Laurie Built
At the centre of the critically acclaimed Fox drama House, British actor Hugh Laurie has become the focus of fans across North America, Britain, and Australia. Winner of the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Dramatic Series, honoured by the Queen with an Order of the British Empire, and one of People’s Sexiest Men Alive, Laurie has become an icon. But who is the man behind the cane and acerbic wit? A musician? A motorcyclist? A comedian? Laurie is all these things and more. This biography aims to shed light on his childhood struggles to live up to his mother’s high demands and emulate his father’s accomplishments as a doctor and an Olympic gold medalist; his education at the prestigious academies of Eton and Cambridge; his comedic career with Emma Thompson, Stephen Fry, and Rowan Atkinson; his own personal struggle with depression; and how he came to be the best–loved curmudgeon on television. Interviews with creator and executive producer David Shore will reveal the Canadian connection to this truly global show and how a Canuck from London, Ontario, made the move to Hollywood stardom. The House That Hugh Laurie Built will also serve as a magnifying glass, providing episode analysis, cast biographies, selections of Dr. House’s caustic wit, and production bloopers and medical mistakes that only a sleuth like Dr. House could expose.
Patrick McGilligan - Alfred Hitchcock
In a career that spanned six decades and more than sixty films, Alfred Hitchcock was the dominant figure in the first century of cinema. His films -- from The 39 Steps to The Birds, from Rear Window to Vertigo, from Notorious to Psycho -- set new standards for cinematic invention and storytelling élan. He was both visionary artist and consummate entertainer ... and became the most widely recognized director who ever lived. In the decades since his death, the public image of Hitchcock has crystallized into a series of iconic images: the macabre Englishman, the sexual obsessive, the Master of Suspense. But this remarkable new biography -- the first in a quarter-century -- draws on prodigious new research to restore Hitchcock the man, in all his three-dimensional glory. Here is the comprehensive film craftsman, forever pushing forward the boundaries of his art. Here is the passionate collaborator, who cheekily referred to actors as "cattle" but invigorated the careers of Cary Grant, James Stewart, Ingrid Bergman, and Grace Kelly. Here is the insatiable provocateur, testing the limits of his audience with his cocktails of sex and violence. And here, too, is the private man: dedicated romantic, constant trickster, impotent voyeur, devoted husband, a man who sacrificed his life, again and again, for his work. Like the best Hitchcock films, Patrick McGilligan's life of Hitchcock is a drama full of fresh revelation, graced by a central love story, dark humor, and cliff-hanging suspense: a definitive portrait of the most creative, and least understood, figure in film history.
Mark White - Kenneth Branagh
From humble beginnings, Kenneth Branagh drove himself to dizzy heights of accomplishment. With a West End hit at twenty-one, a lead with the RSC by twenty-three and his own theatre company by twenty-six, no actor of his generation achieved so much so rapidly. And yet no actor has received such relentless criticism. Based on extensive research and numerous interviews, Mark White traces the vicissitudes of Branagh's career, examining his meteoric rise and the accompanying backlash.
Csalog Zsolt - M. Lajos, 42 éves / Lajos M., aged 42
Csalog először a hősének a munkahelyéről való elbocsátásáról ír (négy pokrócot tulajdonított el), majd megemlíti, hogy ismeretségük korábbi keletű. Az író úgy fogalmaz: "42 éves volt, amikor élményeit elmesélte, s amikor történetét első változatban megírtam". A Csalog műveiből ismert technika szerint a "hős" monológja ez is, a szerző leleménye ismét a narrátor kiválasztásában, beszéltetésében és a minden beépített kommentár nélküli jellemábrázolásban áll. A Don-kanyarnál hadifogságba esettek egyikéről kapunk portrét, akit tizenhárom évre Szibériai lágerbe küldenek. Hetvenüket fogták el, és hárman jutottak el Szibériáig; a táborban tizenhatezren voltak, "abbul maradt háromszáz". Életformájukat a "kátorzsnaja rabóta" határozta meg, éhezés és agyondolgoztatás. Rémes, megdöbbentő tényeket sorol fel a narrátor: "Emberhúsevés, az előfordult". "Embert én is ettem" - a visszaélő szakácsot megfőzik egy hatalmas kondérban és megeszik. Előfordulnak erőszakolási jelenetek és más atrocitások ábrázolásai is. Tizenhárom évet töltött Szibériában M. Lajos, itthon is büntették gyanakvásból, előítéletből. A végszó a tragikus élet végén jelentkező rezignált idillé: "semmire se panaszkodok. Mer legalább itthon vagyok..." A szöveg, főleg szókincse, a nyerseségig durva, de (talán éppen emiatt) megrázó és fölrázó. - Nemcsak politikai - irodalmi szenzáció is, a legdöbbenetesebb lágertörténetek egyike.
Aurelien Ferenczi - Masters of Cinema: Tim Burton
Tim Burton (USA, b. 1958) is the youngest of Hollywood's most successful directors. He has the knack of making films with a very broad appeal, taking the silliness out of the representation of children, while remaining in touch with the child within himself and his audiences. Burton emerged as a director and storyteller after working as an animator for Disney. His meeting with Johnny Depp enabled him to give physical form to the heroes of his imaginary worlds, where fear is mixed with laughter, strange is normal and those who are not normal, such as "Edward Scissorhands" (1990), must be preserved. After "Beetlejuice" (1988) and "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" (2005), the resolutely boyish Burton, now in his fifties, presents his version of "Alice in Wonderland" (2010).
Elizabeth Gaskell - The Life of Charlotte Brontë
Elizabeth Gaskell's _The Life of Charlotte Brontë_ (1857) is a pioneering biography of one great Victorian woman novelist by another. Gaskell was a friend of Brontë, and, having been invited to write the official life, determined both to tell the truth and to honour her friend. She contacted those who had known Charlotte and travelled extensively in England and Belgium to gather material. She wrote from a vivid accumulation of letters, interviews, and observation, establishing the details of Charlotte's life and recreating her background. Through an often difficult and demanding process, Gaskell created a vital sense of a life hidden from the world.
Isabella Rossellini - Some of Me
Some of Me is full of magic realism, moral elegance, and monstres sacrés. Though Isabella Rossellini deliberately chooses to reveal only bits of herself in her anecdotal new memoir, what amazing aspects they are. The photos tell part of the story: alongside Vogue covers and sumptuous magazine spreads, there are odder images--Ingrid Bergman in a balaclava; Rossellini sprawled on a chair with her potbellied pig and dog sprawled on her, all three looking equally pensive. But, oh, the prose! More provocative than ten tell-alls stacked together, Some of Me is an analyst's treasure trove and a reader's delight. There is something for everyone. Those interested in Rossellini's rise and fall as the Lancôme model will find indignant if good-humored fodder--she warns some to skip ahead "if you can't stand boring." But even those of us who wish we didn't know all those supermodels' names will find this section intriguing. Rossellini also provides some intriguing insights into her often bizarre film roles. There are, though, more bravura sections in this memoir. Who knew that Rossellini still communes with her dead parents? The author prints some of their debates verbatim, though she has already warned: "It's a habit of mine to embellish and color events until I lose sight of what really happened." Rossellini also takes on more upsetting memories such as the painful treatment she underwent for scoliosis and the thoughtless questions people ask about her adopted child. At one point, she remarks, "True elegance is for me the manifestation of an independent mind." Some of Me is a truly elegant manifestation.
Agatha Christie - An Autobiography
In an all-new edition, an engaging and illuminating chronicle of the life of the “Queen of Mystery,” complete with a bonus CD featuring the voice of the grande dame herself Agatha Christie was a woman of mystery, in every sense of the word. Her novels made her the world’s best-selling author, but her private life was hidden from view. For many years she dodged reporters and gave no interviews, and for a brief time she famously disappeared. She started writing her autobiography in April 1950 and finished it fifteen years later, when she was seventy-five years old and decided “it seems the right moment to stop.” In this book, which was originally published in 1977 in the United States by Dodd, Mead & Company, Agatha Christie sheds light on her past. She tells of her childhood in Victorian England, her volunteer work during World War II, her rise to success, her working habits, the inspiration for her most famous characters—Hercule Poirot and Jane Marple—and the places and people that influenced her.
Michael Feeney Callan - Robert Redford - The Biography
Among the most widely admired Hollywood stars of his generation, Redford has appeared onstage and on-screen, in front of and behind the camera, earning Academy, Golden Globe, and a multitude of other awards and nominations for acting, directing, and producing, and for his contributions to the arts. His Sundance Film Festival transformed the world of filmmaking; his films defined a generation. America has come to know him as the Sundance Kid, Bob Woodward, Johnny Hooker, Jay Gatsby, and Roy Hobbs. But only now, with this revelatory biography, do we see the surprising and complex man beneath the Hollywood façade. From Redford’s personal papers—journals, script notes, correspondence—and hundreds of hours of taped interviews, Michael Feeney Callan brings the legendary star into focus. Here is his scattered family background and restless childhood, his rocky start in acting, the death of his son, his star-making relationship with director Sydney Pollack, the creation of Sundance, his political activism, his artistic successes and failures, his friendships and romances. This is a candid, surprising portrait of a man whose iconic roles on-screen (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, All the President’s Men, The Natural) and directorial brilliance (Ordinary People, Quiz Show) have both defined and obscured one of the most celebrated, and, until now, least understood, public figures of our time.
Anthony Burgess - A Dead Man in Deptford
Set in Elizabethan England, Burgess's first novel for four years centres on the life of Christopher Marlowe, who was killed in suspicious circumstances in a tavern brawl in Deptford 400 years ago. It portrays a theatre genius riven by sexual and political conflicts.
Art Spiegelman - Maus: A Survivor's Tale - My Father Bleeds History
A story of a Jewish survivor of Hitler's Europe and his son, a cartoonist who tries to come to terms with his father's story and history itself.
Kenneth Branagh - Beginning
In "Beginning," Academy Award nominee Kenneth Branagh charts the ups and downs of a life in acting - a young career that has made him the most acclaimed actor of his generation. Opening with his childhood in working-class Belfast, in a neighborhood of drinkers and dreamers, Branagh describes the fires of early ambition that drew him to the stage and to the plays of Shakespeare. At age twenty-four he founded his own actor's troupe with the goal of performing those plays; at twenty-eight, he directed and starred in the movie of "Henry V," the role that won him international fame. "Beginning" is crammed with colorful anecdotes and insights into the actor's and director's craft, including: Stories about Olivier, Gielgud, Finney, Jacobi, and a private audience with Prince Charles to research the role of Henry VAd-libbing Shakespeare when props are missingThe differences in performing on stage, television, and large-screen filmsA near-miss in landing the role of Mozart in the film "Amadeus": an actor's dream turned nightmareRaising millions from scratch and filming "Henry V" in seven weeksWritten with great humor and a natural storyteller's gift, "Beginning" is an intriguing book for anyone interested in theater and film.
Stephanie Watson - Heath Ledger: Talented Actor
The Joker in 2008s mega-hit movie The Dark Knight was an incredible, Oscar-worthy performance by this young and troubled actor. Tweens and teens were crazy about the film, and the world mourned when Ledger died. This book examines Ledgers brief career, background, and personal life, as well as the controversies surrounding his death. From his breakout role in the teen flick 10 Things I Hate About You to his Oscar nomination for his performance in Brokeback Mountain, Ledgers biography is bound to intrigue young movie fans. Lives Cut Short is a series in Essential Library, an imprint of ABDO Publishing Company.
Susan Netter - Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward
This moving and candid biography tells the story of cinema's best-known celebrity couple. It takes the reader beyond the hype to the flesh-and-blood man and woman who have been married for over thirty years - and who have lived in the public eye for even longer. It is the story of their huge successes, the films they made together - including Winning and Rachel, Rachel - and those they made individually, with Joanne winning an Oscar for Three faces of Eve and Paul for The Color of Money - a long overdue award after his highly-praised performances in The Hustler, The Sting and Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid.
Jacqueline Wilson - Jacky Daydream
Everybody knows Tracy Beaker, Jacqueline Wilson's best loved character. But what do they know about Jacqueline herself? In this fascinating book, discover... ... how Jacky played with paper dolls like April in _Dustbin Baby._ ... how she dealt with an unpredictable father like Prue in _Love Lessons._ ... how she chose new toys in Hamleys like Dolphin in _The Illustrated Mum._ ... how she enjoyed Christmas like Em in _Clean Break._ ... how she sat entrance exams like Ruby in _Double Act. _ But most of all how Jacky loved reading and writing stories. Losing herself in a new world was the best possible way she could spend her time. From the very first story she wrote, it was very clear that this little girl had a very vivid imagination. But who would've guessed that she would grow up to be mega-bestselling, award-winning author! Includes previously unseen photos, Jacqueline's own school reports and a brand new chapter from Jacqueline on the response to the book, her teenage years and more!
Ben Falk - Robert Downey Jr
"I've always felt like an outsider in this industry. Because I'm so insane I guess." - Robert Downey Jr. Robert Downey Jr's life isn't a movie - but it could be. Now one of the biggest box office stars in the world thanks to Iron Man and Sherlock Holmes, he's come a long way since his early days as a rising actor amidst the Brat Pack of the Eighties, as well as stints on Saturday Night Live and Ally McBeal. His incredible journey has also encompassed prison and drug addiction - experiences which left him just one bad choice away from death. Funny, definitive and entertaining, this is the first book that dares to glimpse inside the psyche of a brilliant and complex icon of our times.
Bertrand Russell - Autobiography
Bertrand Russell remains one of the greatest philosophers and most complex and controversial figures of the twentieth century. Here, in this frank, humorous and decidedly charming autobiography, Russell offers readers the story of his life – introducing the people, events and influences that shaped the man he was to become. Originally published in three volumes in the late 1960s, Autobiography by Bertrand Russell is a revealing recollection of a truly extraordinary life written with the vivid freshness and clarity that has made Bertrand Russell’s writings so distinctively his own.
Françoise Gilot - Carlton Lake - Life with Picasso
Françoise Gilot was a young painter in Paris when she first met Picasso - he was sixty-two and she was twenty-one. During the following ten years they were lovers, worked closely together and she became mother to two of his children, Claude and Paloma. LIFE WITH PICASSO, her account of those extraordinary years, is filled with intimate and astonishing revelations about the man, his work, his thoughts and his friends - Matisse, Braque, Gertrude Stein and Giacometti among others. Francois Gilot paints a compelling portrait of her turbulent life with the temperamental genius that was Picasso. She is a superb witness to Picasso as an artist and to his views on art.