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Mae Murray: The Girl with the Bee-Stung Lips (Screen Classics) Hardcover – November 30, 2012


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Product Details

  • Series: Screen Classics
  • Hardcover: 392 pages
  • Publisher: The University Press of Kentucky (November 30, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813136903
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813136905
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #751,123 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"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



"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. -- David Luhrssen, Express Milwaukee" -- David Luhrssen, Express Milwaukee



"Michael Ankerich, in this always interesting biography, suggests that, tragically, the story may be apocryphal. -- Scott Eyman, Wall Street Journal" -- Scott Eyman, Wall Street Journal



"As a document of her life, the book left me satisfied and thoroughly in love with Ms. Murray. -- Classic Movies" -- 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." -- Teri Shiel, Westfield State University" -- 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." -- The Past in Review



"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" -- Journeys in Classic Film

About the Author

Former news reporter Michael G. Ankerich is author of The Sound of Silence: Conversations with 16 Film and Stage Personalities Who Bridged the Gap between Silents and Talkies and coauthor of The Real Joyce Compton: Behind the Dumb Blonde Movie Image.


More About the Author

Latest updates:

* 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.

*************************************************************************

Biography:


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.



















Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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I am a fan of biographies.
michael stebbins
The book presents a good look at the silent film industry and life in vaudeville after the studio system blacklisted Murray.
CJS
Kudos to Michael G. Ankerich for his amazing research on the fascinating life of Mae Murray.
T. E. West

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Marsha Collock on January 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Like the fictional Lina Lamont of "Singin' in the Rain," the real-life Mae Murray was "a shimmering, glowing star in the cinema firmament." While real people walked on the ground, Mae Murray fluttered above it on gauzy fairy wings. While real people breathed oxygen, Mae Murray inhaled the rarefied air of the gods. While real people ate, slept and aged. Mae faced each morning ageless and dewy-fresh, a vision of perpetual loveliness. So believed those wonderful people out there in the dark (for a time) and, sadly, so believed Mae Murray (all of the time).

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.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Hans J. Wollstein on December 7, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am in total awe of film historians who not only manage to trawl through the hyperbolic prose of a now distant past but are able to make their subjects come to life and, even more importantly, make said life relevant to today's readers. Eve Golden famously managed to do exactly that in her seminal study of Theda Bara, "Vamp," and Michael Ankerich does it to the equally misunderstood Mae Murray. Like Bara, Murray is one of those near-iconic names bandied about when silent film buffs and others debate who the real Norma Desmond of "Sunset Blvd." was. But who was she really? The dingbat that the writer Dewitt Bodeen once encountered on a Los Angeles city bus, furiously humming Lehar lest anyone forgot she was once a Merry Widow, or a hardworking professional silent screen actress who got lost in her own publicity? Ankerich has the answer for you and most entertainingly so. Just like Ms. Golden did regarding Theda Bara. And, most appropriately, Michael Ankerich dedicates "Mae Murray: The Girl With the Bee-Stung Lips" to Eve Golden. This is already one of my favorite books of all time and, of course, highly recommended.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By B. Corp on December 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have just finished Mae Murrary: The Girl with the Bee-Stung lips by author Michael G. Ankerich. It was a terrific book and that Michael was able to find and interview members of Mae's family was a real treat. Mae's son Koran/Daniel has never given an interview or discussed his famous parents. While Mae was best known for her movie the Merry Widow she was also a dancer and a Zigfield performer who in the end was more remembered for her antics, lawsuits, and foolish choices. .
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.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By CJS on December 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Fascinating and well researched book on silent film star Mae Murray (best known for 1925's The Merry Widow). For a woman who was always vague in interviews and during her lifetime changed her year of birth from 1885 to 1906 as she got older, author Ankerich did a fantastic job of tracking down and finding out the facts about Murray's life. The book included interviews with Murray's son and nephews, neither of whom had an intimate relation with her. Murray's life could be the model for Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard and it is just too bad that this talented lady could not move on with her life and live in the present. The book presents a good look at the silent film industry and life in vaudeville after the studio system blacklisted Murray. Her decline and loss of fortune to a fortune hunting husband is detailed and Murray's constant court battles. One thing you can say for Murray is that she always thought of herself as a star. The book contains some fantastic photographs, a complete filmography, and list of theatrical work and lets you know what happened to all of the principal individuals in Murray's life. Recommended for any fan of silent films or early Hollywood history.
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