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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Heartfelt and real
Piper Laurie has always been one of my favorite character actors and now I learn how she developed into a craftsperson and artist of the highest order. I wondered about her life, who she was, how she came to be "Piper Laurie" and reading her memoir gave me an intimate look into her psyche and the actual events in her life. She has had thus far a wonderful, challenging,...
Published on November 11, 2011 by J. Perry

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected.
Piper Laurie is an intelligent and understated actress, so when I heard an interview in which she said she had written the book herself, with no outside help, I expected an intelligent and non-salacious book. Unfortunately, it is neither: not particularly well-written and lots of tell-tale romances. Not what I expected.
Published 3 months ago by Rosemarie Rauzino-Heller


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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Heartfelt and real, November 11, 2011
By 
J. Perry (Berkeley, CA) - See all my reviews
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Piper Laurie has always been one of my favorite character actors and now I learn how she developed into a craftsperson and artist of the highest order. I wondered about her life, who she was, how she came to be "Piper Laurie" and reading her memoir gave me an intimate look into her psyche and the actual events in her life. She has had thus far a wonderful, challenging, spiritual journey and she continues to grow as an artist, moving into adapting written works into short films. She is an inspiration for many of us who have taken side paths away from film and theatre, at times out of choice and at times from necessity. Her description of her time with her daughter as a baby was terrific; I felt like I understood her deep sensitivity, her connectedness to oneness and her joy in life itself through what she revealed in these passages. And her beginnings: insecure, frightened, abandoned to a great degree shaped her strength and power on the screen. She gifted me with a glimpse into a true artist's soul. I can only say, "Thank you, Miss Laurie."
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It all makes sense now!, January 10, 2012
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She was such a cutie when she started, she had an enviable contract and a routine niche on the cover of "Photoplay" magazine and she made more money every week than my Dad did in a year. Why did she quit? She produced the most admired performance of the 1960's with "Hustler". Why did she retire? I'd always wondered. And then she favored us with this book. It is terrific fun for any movie historian, no matter how amateur, to read answers from her own pen.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional book, December 18, 2012
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This has got to be one of the best auto biographies that I've ever read. And I've read many many bios. First of all, it's got humor, pathos, honesty, and very well written. And I'm afraid that I've fallen in love with her all over again. She just pulls you in to her life. I wanted to send her personal congratulations, but I'm at a loss to make contact with her. Anyway, she looks terrific, and I'm very happy for her success. And I most certainly recommend this book to everyone who enjoys reading bios. Frank Taglieri
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing memoir, December 9, 2011
By 
Daryl Chin (Bklyn, NY USA) - See all my reviews
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Piper Laurie's career has been one of the more unusual in the annals of Hollywood, because, starting as a contract player for Universal in the 1950s, she fought to become a respected actor in the era of live television in the late 1950s, culminating in her acclaimed performance in the film THE HUSTLER (1961); from there, her acting career went on hiatus as she pursued other interests including sculpture; she married and adopted a child. The period from THE HUSTLER to CARRIE (1976) represents one of the longest "interruptions" in any major show business career. Yet once she restarted her career, she continued with many highlights, including her amazing stint working with David Lynch on the series TWIN PEAKS. And now this book recounts her remarkable trajectory with intelligence, humor and great feeling, hallmarks of her acting which shine through in her writing.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ONE OF THE BEST MEMOIRS I'VE EVER READ!, December 30, 2011
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Why the hyperbolic title? Several reasons, the first being that the subject is a personal favorite. That said, her story is an amazing one. Her horrific childhood is told in a non-melodramatic, yet straightforward manner that sounds like the way a child would indeed recall such events but with the benefit of an adult's vocabulary and perspective. Her teen years and early adulthood are eye-opening remembrances of the crumbling, yet still then powerful and feudal studio system of the 1950s. Taking the bold step to break free of its bondage, she does the amazing task of re-inventing herself not in the far-off realm of NY theater (as others have) but in the infant medium of widely seen live television. Talk about guts! She then walks away from her career for a decade -- but certainly not life -- only to remerge as a mature yet powerful character actress and director. Along the way are heartbreaking, humorous, poignant and life affirming anecdotes that makes her story worthy of a well-made film. A personal favorite is Ronald Reagan boasting about his prowess and the price of the condom DURING the act of lovemaking while being completely unaware of his own oafishness. It's cliche but the bottom line is true: Learning to Live Out Loud is a true page turner that is HIGHLY recommended by this reader of numerous biographies. I promise you won't be disappointed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Learning to live out loud., June 23, 2012
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This review is from: Learning to Live Out Loud: A Memoir (Kindle Edition)
This book on the surface is a typical tell-all book about a Holywood movie star from the 1950's onward. There are the numerous love affairs, including one with a future U.S. president, an abortion and the usual starlet roles with scripts that all seem the same. However, half-way through the book, Laurie changes direction and decides to take control of her career, switching from film to television, pursuing good scripts and directors and from time to time, doing some directing herself. She receives acclaim for these roles, particularly Something About Lee Wiley ane the TV version of Days of Wine and Roses. What I hoped to see from this book was the evolution of an actress and that point is realized. The book has a good picture section, but since Laurie was and is a glamourous red-head, it is possible that one may not be able to see her in color in this book, because I don't think Kindle touch technology has reached the color level yet.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected., June 15, 2014
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Piper Laurie is an intelligent and understated actress, so when I heard an interview in which she said she had written the book herself, with no outside help, I expected an intelligent and non-salacious book. Unfortunately, it is neither: not particularly well-written and lots of tell-tale romances. Not what I expected.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Honest and forthright, September 22, 2014
By 
CJS (Hagerstown, MD USA) - See all my reviews
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Honest and forthright autobiography by actress Piper Laurie. She discusses her difficult childhood, not only was she incredibly shy, but her parents sent her to a "sanitarium" with her sister who suffered from asthma. The reasons were never fully explained. She always wanted to be an actress and was signed by Universal about the same time as Rock Hudson and Tony Curtis. She got to work with many interesting folks including Charles Coburn, Tyrone Power, Donald O'Connor, Dana Andrews, and eventually Paul Newman in her Oscar nominated role in Somebody Up There Likes Me. She struggled with shyness and insecurity most of her life but was finally able to overcome this and has expanded her career, not only in acting and directing, but in sculpting as well. Her book tells some amazing stories, including a mudslide at her home from which she narrowly escaped and her first love, who was Ronald Reagan. I thought this was a good look at someone who was able to overcome their shyness and insecurity and realize that they can live a full life and work well with others. The book was well written and contained numerous photos.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At Times Annoying, But Consistently Interesting, January 7, 2012
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I am reviewing the Kindle edition of this book.
I had this kicking around on my Kindle for nearly two months and decided to read it a couple of days ago. To say it was good would be an understatement. Laurie (born Rosetta Jacobs and also known as Rosie or Sissy) really lays out her life in this book. As she tells her reader, she was a quiet child who had an inability to speak or express herself. A child of the depression, her life takes a strange turn at the age of six when she and her older asthmatic sister are taken from their native Detroit and placed in a residential home for sickly children in the San Fernando Valley just north of LA. The problem here is that Rosie is a healthy child. Presumably both of her parents remain in Detroit. Her maternal grandmother resides in two homes; one in California and one in Michigan. For 3 years, Rosie and her sister Sherrye have virtually no contact with her parents or anyone else from their past. Talk about abandonment. Just as inexplicably, the parents reclaim their two daughters and resettle in LA. The parents remain in denial or permanent brain freeze for the rest of their lives never giving any explanation as to why the kids were farmed out or why the perfectly healthy Rosie was moved into a place for children who were so sick that most of them weren't able to attend public school. The entire episode still confuses Rosie as well as her reader.
Family life resumes as 'normal' and their are glimpses of a father who basically just works and then crashes when he gets home and a neurotic mother given to periods of depression and poor health. A pattern develops where the kids get involved in lessons which vary in terms of kind and duration based on the family finances. Quiet and insecure Rosie shines only when performing.
Rosie's borderline stage mama starts entering her in contests. She bombs in a screen test at Warner Bros., but continues with the acting lessons eventually getting a contract with Universal Pictures. This marks the start of fame and frustration for Rosie who wants to become a serious actress and becomes frustrated with the indentured servitude of her seemingly endless studio contract that offers nothing more than big bucks and mediocre roles.
At this point, the story hits some repetitive themes. The newly minted Piper Laurie turns sexual and has affairs with some extremely prominent people while still living a publicly sheltered life under her parents roof. I'll spare you names for the most part, but advance PR for this book implicates future president Ronald Reagan as the man she lost her virginity to. She has a strange involvement with David Schine, scion of a wealthy family of hoteliers who is most well known for his association with Roy Cohn. Along the way there are affairs a plenty, a ménage a trois, an unplanned pregnancy which was the result of casual sex. There is also the predictable leaving home, distancing herself from her family, getting out of the Universal contract, continuing to learn her craft, fighting against type in the legit theater, etc. Eventually Rosie marries a noted film critic without much reason after avoiding marriage for a variety of reasons and moves away from her career which becomes non-existent. The only times she seems to work is when she needs a little money.
At a point, Rosie decides to go for a second and later third act in regard to her career as an actress and inexplicably breathes new life into her career by scoring some great roles professionally as well as the expected accolades.
Throughout this was a very good book. It was gossipy and revealing yet also surprisingly introspective.
There were a couple things in this book that I came to find grating, but not enough to stop reading. The 'learning to live out loud' part was a consistent theme in the book, but it was so overworked that I found Laurie's constant allusions to her inability to take control unbelievably irritating. I also tired of the mini acting lessons Laurie gave. I just didn't find these tangents constructive in regard to the overall story. However, that is my opinion and I suspect most readers might disagree with me. Clearly, I liked this book immensely and that's why I've chosen to review it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Superior Autobiography, September 1, 2014
The book was sent promptly and in superb condition. This is one of the very best autobiographies I've ever read by a star who has offered many luminous performances over the years. Ms. Laurie is frank, thorough, and fascinating, and her writing is every bit as good as her acting. A highly recommended book for those interested in the art of acting, and the toll that fame sometimes takes.
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Learning to Live Out Loud: A Memoir
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