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Dizzy & Jimmy: My Life with James Dean: A Love Story Hardcover – September 19, 2000


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Dizzy & Jimmy: My Life with James Dean: A Love Story + Jimmy & Me: A Personal Memoir Of A Great Friendship: JAMES DEAN & LEW BRACKER
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: HarperEntertainment; 1st edition (September 19, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060393831
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060393830
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 5.5 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #190,650 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Sheridan, best known as Jerry Seinfeld's TV mother, reveals her love affair with James Dean in a brief book replete with moony dialogue, prescient remarks about Dean's driving habits and a 1950s New York setting. The effervescent Sheridan, known as Dizzy, was a dancer living in a theater district residence hall for aspiring actresses when she met the 21-year-old Dean, an Indiana farm boy who had come to New York via Hollywood. Their instant attraction was soon consummated. Sheridan portrays Dean as a sometimes corny romantic, who immediately began talking about being "together forever" and who needed "always to touch and be touched." While Dizzy managed to work, dancing in nightclubs all over New York or in summer stock musicals, Jimmy was either more unlucky or more choosy, and brooded over his disappointments. Though she touches on Dean's moody episodes and regular, unexplained disappearances, as well as his disclosure of a homosexual liaison with a California producer helpful to his career, Sheridan doesn't claim that her memoir is a complete account of Dean's New York years. (For example, there's no mention of his acceptance into the Actors Studio in November 1951.) When Dean was cast in a bound-for-Broadway production, he moved easily away from Sheridan. Dean got enthusiastic notices in See the Jaguar, although the play closed in a few days, and the affair never rekindled. Sheridan's feelings for Dean, her pain upon their separation and on his untimely death a few years later, are sweetly rendered and seem genuine, although the details are filtered though a romanticized lens. B&w photos not seen by PW. (Sept.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Two love stories. One funny and sweet. One curious but poignant. Both authors linked by a coincidence: they were both characters on the TV sitcom Seinfeld. Before Stiller played George Costanza's father on Seinfeld, he was one half of the comedy team Stiller and Meara, a successful collaboration, in part because Anne Meara was his wife. This is not only the story of Stiller's rise from poverty to become a successful actor and comedian but also the story of a "showbiz" marriage, the unlikely pairing of a Jewish boy and an Irish girl who struggled to stay together for over 30 years. It's a very straightforward memoir with lots of insider, "showbizzy" anecdotes.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

I bought this book online because I couldn't wait for it to come to the nearest Borders store.
Craines
Together, Liz (Dizzy) Sheridan and James (Jimmy) Dean were unbelievably alive and in love . . . in a way that almost anyone can admire and perhaps even envy a bit.
Donald Mitchell
I would highly recommend this book to anyone, even if they are not a fan of James Dean, because everyone can relate to this story of love lost.
Lisa

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 3, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book clearly deserves many more than five stars! It is one of the best books I have read in many years.
Romantic novels and love stories are not my first choice for fiction, usually because the authors cannot carry off the stories in effective ways. To enjoy these novels and plays, you usually have to overlay your own sense of romance . . . because the authors don't provide enough of their own.
Imagine my pleasure when I found this "true" romance that exceeds all but a handful of fictional ones. What a great treat!
"A long time ago . . . I fell in love with Jimmy Dean and he fell in love with me." You can see the fairy tale quality of the book in this simple sentence. What woman who felt a closeness to James Dean can help but be attracted by this opening? Liz Sheridan has the great gift of being a romantic person, and of being able to write about that perspective in a way that brings the reader into the relationship.
As a man who admired James Dean's acting, I was curious to learn more about his life as an aspiring actor and was greatly rewarded. Dean was even more interesting in real life than he was on the stage and screen.
Together, Liz (Dizzy) Sheridan and James (Jimmy) Dean were unbelievably alive and in love . . . in a way that almost anyone can admire and perhaps even envy a bit. "It was 1951, and he hadn't yet become James Dean, public property . . . the Rebel, the Icon." They would sing corny songs together, split a beer and talk until the bar closed, and dance down the streets like Gene Kelly in Singin' in the Rain. Two talented theatrical people were always on-stage with each other, finishing each other's lines and hugging with laughter.
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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 8, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I have been a James Dean fan for several years. I was excited to hear about the writing of this book. I liked this book for many reasons. First, it showed James Dean in a new light. It didn't focus on the rebel quality that so many other books do. It gave me a better insight as to what James Dean, the person, was like, rather than the actor. Secondly, it was a beautiful love story. I found the book easy to get caught up in, and hard to put down. I am so thankful that Dizzy shared her story with everyone!! I would recommend this book to all of James Dean's fans, and for anyone who enjoys a good love story!!
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37 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Peter L. Winkler on August 20, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Dizzy & Jimmy is Sheridan's memoir of her affair with James Dean, which lasted only about one year and ended just as Dean's career began to gain momentum. The book concentrates on the details of their relationship as seen through Sheridan's rose-tinted memories, whose accuracy are sometimes questionable, as in her recounting of the visit she and Dean made to Dean's gay mentor, Rogers Brackett.

Sheridan barely remembered the encounter when Dean biographer Val Holley interviewed her, but she describes Brackett's building and apartment in detail in her memoir and says he had beige-colored hair. The only problem is that photos of Brackett published in Holley's and Ron Martinetti's books show that he had very dark hair.

This book amounts to a protracted magazine article, padded out with endless scene-setting descriptions and sidebars on Sheridan's mother, sister and father. The section on her post-Dean life in the Bahamas reads like something from a Harlequin romance and is of little interest.

Unless you have to have every Dean-related book, I'd read what Sheridan told Val Holley and Donald Spoto and skip this book.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Craines on July 7, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book online because I couldn't wait for it to come to the nearest Borders store. I received it earlier than expected and I was very excited. Elizabeth Sheridan describes to us a man who did not always appear to others the way she knew him. Many other books describe James Dean as being an angry, introverted, and selfish young man. All this may have been true about him, but he also had a sweet side to him which was not always seen. From this book, it is clear that it meant you meant something to him if he expressed his feelings, thoughts, and emotions to you. It portrays a young man who had a sense of humor and who was a hopeless romantic. Reading what Elizabeth Sheridan has said about him shows his fans that he was capable of love and that other books about him aren't 100% true, that he wasn't a cold-hearted person. This is a firsthand account of James, before he became a star and it truly captures the essence of who he was, who he was when he let his guard down and trusted others. By the end of the book, I started to tear up when they parted from each other because I myself wouldn't have been able to do that with someone I loved. I then broke down crying when it described how Sheridan found out about his death. Just reading the words about it made me feel so empty inside, as if I had known him personally, as if he had once been a part of my life. It's as if I had been there. This book is truly a heart-felt account of a misunderstood young man, who in the midst of all things, really wanted to love and be loved. I love this book and whoever reads it shouldn't be disappointed.
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