From Publishers Weekly
Eliot, biographer of stars ranging from Walt Disney to Bruce Springsteen, tackles the life, career and artistic challenges of Clint Eastwood. In 1954, at age 24, Eastwood was married and working at an Oakland, Calif., gas station when he was brought to Universal by director Arthur Lubin and signed to a learning contract. After years of uncredited appearances and bit parts in B films, he finally got his break when he was cast as Rowdy Yates on CBS's Rawhide
, seen for eight seasons (1959–1965). His role as the poncho-clad Man with No Name
in Serge Leone's innovative westerns triggered a solid movie career, followed by the popular Dirty Harry series. In 1971, he made his directorial debut (Play Misty for Me
) and later racked up multiple nominations and awards, including Oscar wins for directing Unforgiven
and Million Dollar Baby
. Updating previous biographies, Eliot analyzes both box-office bombs and successes while also probing the never-ending drama of Eastwood's modus vivendi, his financial empire and his personal relationships. Married twice, Eastwood has seven children by five different women. Although Eastwood did not consent to be interviewed and key sources asked not to be named, Eliot documents a wealth of details in this well-researched, comprehensive biography that will not disappoint Eastwood's fans. (Oct.)
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“The story of a man who goes from small-time jazz pianist and gas-station attendant to Hollywood leading man reads like a rich movie plotline. All the sex, brawls, and gunslinging are here.”
—PlayboyPraise for Reagan: The Hollywood Years
"A fascinating portrait."
"Eliot' s book is poised to provide something interesting: a fresh look at subject matter well worth dusting off. . . . The genesis of Reagan's later public persona is closely charted here."
—New York Times
Praise for Jimmy Stewart
"It was a wonderful–and long–life, and Eliot . . . covers it all."
"Elucidates how a skinny guy with zero sex appeal molded himself into an enduring star."
"Stewart deserves critical reassessment and a seat closer to the front row of the film pantheon. Eliot makes a solid case for Stewart's merits, and he gives us a decent, eminently likable man."
Praise for Cary Grant
"A fascinating and thorough portrait . . . Eliot does a good job of cracking the screen fantasy."
"Highly readable . . . Glimpses of the debonair leading man's dark side are the most intriguing elements of this welcome biography."
—People (three stars)
"Keeping the actor's astonishing career firmly in view, Eliot assembles a portrait that shows the dark shadows behind the gleaming facade, while also revealing Grant' s own shrewdness in maintaining that fictional persona."