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The Hollywood Book of Death: The Bizarre, Often Sordid, Passings of More than 125 American Movie and TV Idols Paperback – October 29, 2001


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The Hollywood Book of Death: The Bizarre, Often Sordid, Passings of More than 125 American Movie and TV Idols + The Hollywood Book of Scandals : The Shocking, Often Disgraceful Deeds and Affairs of Over 100 American Movie and TV Idols + Hollywood Babylon: The Legendary Underground Classic of Hollywood's Darkest and Best Kept Secrets
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 413 pages
  • Publisher: Contemporary Books of McGraw Hill; 1st edition (October 29, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809222272
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809222278
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,497 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

James Robert Parish, a former entertainment reporter and publicist, is the author of more than 90 books. A well-known authority on show business, he appears frequently as an expert on A&E's "Biography" and E! Television's "Mysteries and Scandals," as well as numerous other network and cable television documentaries.


More About the Author

I have the privilege of doing work (i.e., writing books) that I thoroughly enjoy, so it is no real chore to be active on my book projects seven days a week. Doing research is much like being a detective, bringing as many elements of the subject's life to light and assessing how each piece fits into the puzzle of a celebrity's biography.

Customer Reviews

Very interesting and lots of information.
Gladys J. Stuckless
So you pick up THE HOLLYWOOD BOOK OF DEATH, and it makes you sad to read that Auntie Em killed herself because she was in so much pain from arthritis.
Wayne Harvey
James Robert Parish's the HOLLYWOOD BOOK OF DEATH explores the passing of 125 motion picture and tv stars.
ken Jones

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

148 of 154 people found the following review helpful By Wayne Harvey on December 19, 2001
Format: Paperback
You're sitting there watching some great old movie on Turner Classics, when a familiar face stops you -- who IS that sweet old woman? and you realize that it's Auntie Em from "The Wizard of Oz." You gradually remember her name -- Clara Blandick -- and then you wonder whatever happened to her. So you pick up THE HOLLYWOOD BOOK OF DEATH, and it makes you sad to read that Auntie Em killed herself because she was in so much pain from arthritis.
But then you start flipping the pages, and you just can't stop reading. You find many of your old favorites, including stars who died accidentally or were murdered, or died from booze or drugs.
You start reading the group of "Puzzling Deaths," and when you look up several hours later, you realize that you forgot to watch that movie you really wanted to see.
How many books can do that to you?
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68 of 69 people found the following review helpful By Barry on April 11, 2004
Format: Paperback
Celebrities. There has always been an incredible fascination with the ins and outs of a celebrity and everything that goes with it. It's been that way for decades and decades. While some may be interested in what they do or spend, nothing is more interesting and fascinating than the tale of a star who's time has come and gone and are no longer with this. This decent sized book tells the tale of over 125 celebrities who have passed on to that big silver screen in the sky. Some big names, some you have probably never heard of before in your life. The big name stars that are featured in this book like Mary Pickford, W.C. Fields, River Phoenix, Bela Lugosi, Marlene Dietrich, Carole Lombard, and a ton of others, are always interesting to read about. But it is the people you are not familiar with that comes across as more intriguing. The book is divided into a couple of different categories dealing with the way of death. There is the first section, "Accidental Deaths", which is pretty much self explanatory. People in this section include Sonny Bono, Grace Kelly, Brandon Lee, and a dozen others. Then there is the "Alcohol And Drugs" section, where such celebs as Belushi, Barrymore, Farley, and Holden among others will be found. There is "In Obscurity", a section with lesser known performers, although Martha Raye is in here along with Clara Bow and Hedy Lamarr. This section deals with entertainrs who, well, went into obscurity. The book rounds out with "Murders", "Natural Causes", which does have a lot of people in it but does not fill up the book at all like an earlier review said. Plus, there is "Puzzling Deaths" and "Suicides". Some entertainers get a lenghty enough tribute, while some others don't.Read more ›
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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Clara on January 4, 2009
Format: Paperback
While my expertise is silent film, anyone can look through the various reviews here on Amazon and find several inaccuracies about several stars...from what roles they did to how they died to where their buried!!! Considering thats the point of this book it doesnt seem worth the money.

To add my own known inaccuracy in the Valentino chapter June Mathis is mentioned as dying in a fire. WHERE the author got this I have no clue...she may not be heavily remembered but every and any simple source out there on here says she died of a heart attack while watching a Broadway play. Did he just start making stuff up instead of googling? Waste of time...
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70 of 79 people found the following review helpful By G.I Gurdjieff TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 8, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have what is essentially two other copies of this book published under different titles that date back to pre-1994. This incarnation includes an index which matches cemeteries and their dead celeb residents. Beware that if you plan to use this as a cemetery tour book, there are some serious inaccuracies contained within.
What particularly irks me is that the author used bad sources for his information and didn't verify his information. This was not necessary as most of this information could have been verified online. Far better and more accurate information in print can be obtained by buying a recent book by Allen Ellenberg that covers LA County cemeteries. THE INFORMATION IN THIS BOOK IS ACCURATE AS OF ITS DATE OF PUBLICATION.
My biggest personal gripe with this book.....if you are going to repackage it as 'new', it would be really nice if an attempt were made to correct past errors. If this was done, it is not evident to me. As for the bulk of the book which contains stories of heartbreak and (eventually) death, this book is a good read. Parish is a good writer and manages to keep his reader hooked.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Bobby Dillard on March 6, 2003
Format: Paperback
If you're interested in the lives and deaths of TV and movie celebrities, this is the book for you. It provides an account of each featured celeb's life and (of course) death no matter how tawdry either the former or latter may be. Suicides, murders, old age, disease, and every other imaginable way the Grim Reaper takes his harvest is here. One will be saddened over the suicides of Freddie Prinz and River Phoenix as well as feel pride over how a real-life cowboy and hero like Buck Jones went to his final roundup rescuing people in real life as he did so many times on film. My only recommendation is that the reader should read only a few pages at a time since the book can prove rather depressing what with seeing the often sad end of so many bright stars.
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