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Entertaining, Cautionary Tales of Old and New Hollywood
on September 24, 2007
Prolific Hollywood author and biographer, James Robert Parish, has just published a fascinating gallery of sketches of the great and near-great Hollywood celebrities from the past 70 years through today in his latest book, THE HOLLYWOOD BOOK OF EXTRAVAGANCE. Let's be honest: there were many great stars of Hollywood's Golden Age who were quite sensible and level-headed (Rosalind Russell, Irene Dunne, Ray Milland and Fred MacMurray easily come to mind) but really, who wants to read about THEM? Far more entertaining are the celebs whose lives and careers flared brightly and often briefly though fate, but more often through mismanagement and by their own personal demons. Such circumstances may have ultimately made for a hellish life to live, but these are the stuff of the biographer's dream - and the reader's delight.
Parish reviews the familiar names such as Marilyn Monroe, Richard Burton, Frank Sinatra, and Joan Crawford, but for the true film aficionado are the cautionary tales of Veronica Lake, Betty Hutton, Oscar Levant, Macaulay Culkin, Burt Reynolds, and many other celebs - some quite forgotten today but celebrated (or notorious) in their own day. A highly recommended book that will make the actors you see on Turner Classic Movies become three dimensional for their follies and foibles.