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Mae Murray: The Girl with the Bee-Stung Lips (Screen Classics) Hardcover – November 30, 2012
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"Astounding. Mae Murray works on many levels. For those who know of her, it's a revelation. At last, a reliable narrative of her life."―Mel Neuhaus, film writer for Examiner.com
"A most compelling, detailed chronicle of the meteoric rise and fall of stage/silent movie star Mae Murray, as to both her roller-coaster professional career and chaotic personal life. This book will certainly be the definitive biography of the legendary Mae Murray."―James Robert Parish, author of Fiasco: A History of Hollywood's Iconic Flops
"Her long life is a lesson about those heady days of early Hollywood and the transience of fame."―Library Journal
"Michael G. Ankerich has written the first entirely reliable narrative of her life in Mae Murray: The Girl with the Bee-Stung Lips."―Milwaukee Express
"Michael Ankerich, in this always interesting biography, suggests that, tragically, the story may be apocryphal."―Wall Street Journal
"As a document of her life, the book left me satisfied and thoroughly in love with Ms. Murray."―Classic Movies
"Ankerich captures a glittering, elusive Murrary, who lived in a self-created bubble of everlasting fame and who spun faster and faster until one day "she was gone."―Library Journal
"Ankerich does his research and brings to life not only a forgotten big screen star but also the time in which she lived. . . . This is a well written . . . and still relevant biography and is a must for every movie buff."―Past in Review
"This book is [astounding]. Mr. Ankerich must have spent decades researching this fantastic volume. He not only gives us the truth of of Ms. Murray's youth, but reveals why she opted to spiral into the weird lifestyle she inhabited."―Examiner
"Murray was unable to mount the comeback she pursued during the final years of her life but hopefully, this meticulously researched, crisply written new book will at least reestablish the work and talent of this remarkable woman."―Tucson Citizen
"It's nice to see a film fan analyze a star he loves in such an unobject way."―Journeys in Classic Film
"If Billy Wilder hasn't made the definitive movie about the delusions of stardom in Sunset Boulevard, Murray's story, a blend of absurdity and pathos, would make a terrific one."―Washington Post
About the Author
More About the Author
* Mae Murray: The Girl with the Bee-Stung Lips, Ankerich's biography of the famed silent film actress, is scheduled to be released in the fall of 2012.
* Ankerich is currently researching Hairpins and Dead Ends: The Perilous Journeys of 15 Actresses Through Early Hollywood, a companion volume to Dangerous Curves atop Hollywood Heels.
Michael G. Ankerich admits there have always been stars going around in his head. While still in college, he began interviewing country music stars as a way to meet his favorites. He considers his best conversations to have been with Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, and Tammy Wynette, whom he calls the "holy trinity" of country music queens.
He later became interested in silent films and interviewed many of the remaining actors and actresses from that era. His efforts were published in two books: Broken Silence: Conversations With 23 Silent Film Stars and The Sound of Silence: Conversations with 16 Film and Stage Personalities Who Bridged the Gap Between Silents and Talkies.
Broken Silence included interviews with Lew Ayres, William Bakewell, Lina Basquette, Madge Bellamy, Eleanor Boardman, Ethlyne Clair, Junior Coghlan, Joyce Compton, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Dorothy Gulliver, Maxine Elliott Hicks, Dorothy Janis, George Lewis, Marion Mack, Patsy Ruth Miller, Lois Moran, Baby Marie Osborne, Muriel Ostriche, Eddie Quillan, Esther Ralston, Dorothy Revier, David Rollins, and Gladys Walton.
The Sound of Silence included interviews with Hugh Allan, Barbara Barondess, Thomas Beck, Mary Brian, Pauline Curley, Billie Dove, Edith Fellows, Rose Hobart, William Janney, Marcia Mae Jones, Barbara Kent, Esther Muir, Anita Page, Marion Shilling, Lupita Tovar, and Barbara Weeks.
His most recent book, Dangerous Curves Atop Hollywood Heels: The Lives, Careers, and Misfortunes of 14 Hardluck Girls of the Silent Screen, was named one of the top 10 silent film books of 2010.
The Real Joyce Compton: Behind the Dumb Blonde Movie Image, written with the late actress Joyce Compton, was released in July 2009.
Mae Murray: The Girl with the Bee-Stung Lips, is scheduled to be released in the fall of 2012.
A former newspaper reporter, Ankerich has written extensively for Classic Images, Films of the Golden Age, and Hollywood Studio Magazine, which featured his interview with Butterfly McQueen (Prissy) on the 50th anniversary of the release of Gone With The Wind.
An art history buff, he is determined to see every Vermeer at least once, whereever they are in the world. He's seen quite a number so far, but there's always one more to track down.
Top Customer Reviews
Although it is not proven that Mae Murray was the inspiration for Norma Desmond, it is almost impossible not to see a resemblance between the two. However, the real-life Mae made the fictional Norma seem almost normal. The real-life silent screen queen of the 20s was defined, not only by her screen allure, but also by her fabrications, her fictions, her pretenses, her litigiousness and her decidedly odd behavior. The real story of the girl with the bee-stung lips has lied buried beneath Mae's attempt to artfully obscure the truth. She has remained an unsolved crackpot mystery. Unsolved, that is, until the seven veils of artifice have been lifted, one my one, by author Michael G. Ankerich in the aptly-titled "Mae Murray: The Girl With the Bee-Stung Lips."
Author Ankerich gives us the Mae we know and the Mae we did not know. We know she was a Ziegfeld performer and successful dancer, we know she was a successful movie queen, we know she was bilked out of her fortune by faux-royalty, we know she lost custody of her son, and we know she descended into poverty and madness.Read more ›
Michael Ankerich traces her life to her humble beginings to the Broadway stage and then onto Hollywood. While her career is discussed with points of interest, it was her "off the wall" behavior and how she could use that behavior to her advantage. She worked har to perfect her craft and she would fight a director tooth and nail to achive that perfection. She wasn't stupid but she didn't appear to have had much common sense. She was constantly suing someone or another but she would teach dance to the poor kids in the neighborhood. The treatment of her son by both of his parents left me bewildered and sad.
I think that this is Michaels best work to date and to know more about this facinanting woman it is a must read especially for those who read her ridiculous autobiography "The Self Enchanted.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
TCM just featured Mae Murray in it's "Summer under the Stars" with 24 hours of her movies. Wow. She is something. This book is a bit pricey for me. But one day. Read morePublished 5 months ago by michael randall
I never thought a biography of MAE MURRAY would be done-Michael Ankerich did a Brilliant job-I read this book in 2 days it was that intersting he got thru her facade to the real... Read morePublished 13 months ago by MICHAEL
Rating for price, not content. I am part of the natural target-audience for a book like this, but no way in hell am I paying $30.00 for a kindle edition of any book. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Simon
Michael Ankerich has emerged as one of the most knowledgeable and passionate experts and biographers of the silent screen era. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Pugwash
Very good read. Love this time period and often wish I'd been around back then to see it all take place. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Kindle Customer
I am a fan of biographies. I am a fan of, and want to find out all that I can about, the silent movie era. Read morePublished 23 months ago by michael stebbins
Well written ,possibly well researched, but- there are a bunch of Irish Murray's that have family pictures, family stories, etc. Read morePublished on August 25, 2013 by cm
As an author I am always delighted to discover a biography that digs deeper than usual into unresolved mysteries. Read morePublished on July 7, 2013 by Scott O'Brien