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Full Frontal Nudity: The Making of an Accidental Actor Hardcover – October 5, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; First Edition edition (October 5, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439169993
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439169995
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,690,012 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this vibrant memoir, Hamlin, once voted by People magazine the "Sexiest Man Alive," offers almost nothing about his 34-year career as a professional actor. Instead, the 58-year-old actor looks back at his childhood (kicked out of the fourth grade for writing a book report on Mein Kampf), his parents (who gave him a Christmas gift subscription to Playboy when he was 11), and his introduction to drugs on "the psychedelic yellow brick road." Planning an architecture career, he arrived at Berkeley so late his intended classes were filled; to register, he signed up for drama classes and thus became "an accidental actor." After a drug bust in the San Francisco airport, he did time in the Redwood City, Calif., correctional facility, hassled by inmates who thought he was a snitch planted by the warden. With drugged-out friends, street riots, tear gas, naked bodies and sexual encounters interrupting his college days, Hamlin recovered from an "unsurvivable" head-on car collision, which was followed by backpacking adventures, more drug busts, and a raucous road trip through Mexico. Training at San Francisco's American Conservatory Theatre, he found his passion and a new direction. Hamlin's life has been filled with drama in more ways than one, and his skill at colorful, vibrant storytelling makes this a rewarding read
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Hamlin practically defined the word “himbo” with his flesh-baring role in the original 1981 Clash of the Titans film. That beefcake performance led to the actor’s successful stint on the hit television drama L.A. Law. Although he has worked steadily ever since, Hollywood is rarely kind to aging matinee idols. Yet, despite his faded-pretty-boy image, People magazine’s 1987 “Sexiest Man Alive” has penned an amusing, bitterness-free memoir that brings his foolhardy yet privileged formative years to life. A longtime journal keeper, Hamlin vividly recalls growing up in suburban California in the 1950s with an aeronautical-engineer father and housewife mother, with whom he had a frosty relationship. The architect wannabe fumbled his way into adulthood—and professional acting—by sheer dumb luck. He shares detailed memories of awkward sex, guerrilla theater, road trips, a drug bust, and his reluctant immersion in the counterculture movement. Hamlin’s wit isn’t scathing like that of Augusten Burroughs, and there’s zilch as far as showbiz dish goes, but he writes with a self-deprecating style that only time, contentment, and maturity can foster. --Chris Keech

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mediaman on August 11, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The story of Hamlin's somewhat fascinating early life is spoiled by an unordered writing style and his inability to share complete details of events. He will often start a story and then just as you are getting interested he will not finish it.

The entire book is incomplete. It only goes through his early 20s and ignores his much more interesting later celebrity life. There must be someone who will find his drug use, sexual exploitations, prison time and long-haired musings at Berkeley to be worth reading, but he withholds so much detail that the stories are just not that interesting. He even manages to make major life events (getting in a car crash, his frat house fire, etc.) sound dull.

His family background is also incomplete. He talks about his wacko parents (who let him do a book report on Adolph Hitler at age 10 and gave him a five-year subscription to Playboy when he was 11!), doesn't speak fondly of his older brother and his high school time across the country at boarding school (though there are few stories about any of these). There are never enough details to get more than just a surface idea of these people and experiences. His dad was a rocket scientist who worked with a former Nazi to help create the rocket that took man to the moon--and all he gets is a few sentences!

Hamlin tosses in asides to things that could be interesting (showing up ten years later to meet a girl he once promised to see again, becoming a born again Christian and then suddenly dropping it, forgetting to mention that he was banned from leaving California until after spending a number of chapters talking about his time at Yale) but there are never enough details. He devotes quite a few pages to his prison time, but not the interesting parts.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By La Femme Cherie on October 16, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I know Harry as the original Perseus in the original CLASH OF THE TITANS (hot), as an alpha male lawyer in L A LAW and as the dark character he ended up being in VERONICA MARS. This book which takes you through his college days is the most fun reading I've had in awhile. He's an excellent writer who guides you through these zany escapades that happened in the 70's. As a baby boomer at San Francisco State while he was at Berkeley I could totally validate his experiences. I liked the honesty with which he writes about childhood trauma, parental dysfunction, even his own sexual experiences and instead of drama-drama-drama-he does it with a comedic twist-like this happened to me but no big deal-life goes on. What a refreshing change. But mostly I was pleased to discover he WASN'T the alpha male he usually portrays. He seems charming, sensitive to a point but not afraid to give you his opinion. What do they call that? Grounded. Give yourself a gift and read this book.
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By chris on April 20, 2014
Format: Paperback
I enjoyed reading this book very much. It's interesting in life sometimes just by chance your whole life takes a totally different path than what you intended. Had he not missed his opportunity to enroll for different courses at the college and out of desperation to get in, he signed up for acting courses, he never would have gone down the path to being an actor. Life some times brings us down other paths than what we intended. I have been blessed by this happening to me and I ended up down a path I never intended in life but by accident or Devine guidance, who really knows.
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By patricia reinsch on February 16, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
This book was interesting from a person who seems to very talented and artistic and knows himself very well. Lite reading but good!!
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By Chiek on September 14, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Nothing is accidental. Not Harry's path to acting as a career, nor you being his admirer nor I for picking up this book to pry openly into HH's early life because HH impressed me with his works on films and TV. A very readable account of his escapades as a child but mostly his enviable experiences in Berkley, Ivy League Yale and finally acting school. Readable because his story mirrored my own in many aspects. The trial and errors, the good times, the bad times, the influential friends and teachers, the breaks we get in life, the brush with the law and redemntion. All in summation to give the product of who we are today, our profession, our principles and our faith. No, it is not accidental at all, for anyone. We owe it all to destiny or some would call it God's will.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an auto-biography by the famous actor Harry Hamlin. It sounds pornographic, but it is not. He writes a fast paced, entertaining, and funny book about his early life.
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