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A Beautiful Fairy Tale: The Life of Actress Lois Moran Hardcover – July 1, 2005


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Limelight Editions (July 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0879103124
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879103125
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,260,873 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

[R]epresents Buller’s...diligent efforts to place...Moran in her proper historical context for F. Scott Fitzgerald scholars. -- Movie Magazine, June 2005

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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Thalia's Dog on June 20, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Richard Buller's knowledge seems to have no bounds. With clarity and confidence, the author presents key moments in the life of Lois Moran. He also spends a third of the book exploring her relationship with F. Scott Fitzgerald. Buller had a vast amount of information at his disposal: Moran's journal and autobiographical notes, her son Tim, and Moran herself. Plus, he researched numerous books and contemporary newspaper articles. Intimidated? Don't be. Buller pulls all the pieces of the puzzle together for us, in a seemingly effortless flow of historical events. Don't know the works of Moran or Fitzgerald? Buller provides clear summaries. Then, he takes us to the next level by analyzing how Moran influenced Fitzgerald. In addition, the book provides many pictures with helpful captions. Even if you've never heard of Lois Moran, this is a "must have" for anyone interested in F. Scott Fitzgerald, movies, or the Jazz age.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Harry Hart-Browne on June 14, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I had never heard of Lois Moran - now I am a fan! Richard Buller's fascinating account of this remarkable woman is brilliantly researched and beautifully written. Why more has not been made of this shining Hollywood star is a curious mystery. Happily, Mr. Buller fills us in with style. He describes the era adroitly and offers surprisingly intimate historical nuggets, sly humor, and a deep poignancy that moved this reader to tears. I felt as if I were walking with Lois every step of the way. Like meeting an old friend for the first time. Her gleeful, almost childlike kinship with life attracted sparkling people and events; yet her "grown-up" values guided her to always hone her gifts and to help others. A unique example that despite our heartaches, we can indeed create a "beautiful fairy tale" of our lives. A delightful, revelatory read. Inspiring.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Killian HALL OF FAME on October 8, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I suppose I first encountered Lois Moran as most people did, via Scott Fitzgerald's portrayal of her as Rosemary Hoyt, the ingenue in his tragic 1934 romance TENDER IS THE NIGHT. Since Arthur Mizener identified Lois Moran as Rosemary's "original" in his 1950s biography of Fitzgerald THE FAR SIDE OF PARADISE, her name once again became recognizable, and we began to think of her as a silent film star who must have beeen cute, but surely without talent otherwise wouldn't her performances have survived? Now Richard Buller steps forward with this biography of the actress herself, both in and out of her relationship with the great novelist, and his book shows us that she's perhaps even more interesting when considered as an actress alone, and not just a Lolita-like playtoy.

Buller explores the bond between Gladys (Lois Moran's mother) and her daughter, and rebuts the myth that Gladys was a conventional stage mother who disliked her daughter's interest in married men. Gladys is worthy of a book all of her own! She took Lois from their settled life in Pittsburgh and brought her to Paris as a teen to escape the repressive US climate of the day, and to show her daughter life in big beautiful capital letters.

Stardom in the movies was only a sort of lagniappe to Lois, who abandoned Hollywood when she married in 1935. And she was signally a free-lance player, one who evaded the contractual obligations of any one studio (except for a brief and not too happy contract with Fox). That may have precipitated her withdrawal from cultural memory, however, for I think in the classical cinemaa the studio really built their stars up, and the ones who played it free-lance aren't as well remembered today. (We know Clark Gable, for example, better than we know, say, Irene Dunne.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Timothy M. Young on June 29, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Lois Moran's life and body of work, so carefully portrayed by Richard Buller, are a living tribute to the wonderment of Lois Moran, the person. Here is a portrait of some eighty years of giving without reservation to the people of this planet.

The author's insightful and diligent research, coupled with some memorable findings in her journals, papers and photographs, have made this book a true and masterfully constructed literary achievement.
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