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How to Be a Movie Star: Elizabeth Taylor in Hollywood Paperback – April 1, 2010
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In the 60s, Elizabeth Taylor's affair with the married Richard Burton knocked John Glenn's orbit of the moon off front pages nationwide. Yet, despite all the gossip, the larger-than-life personality and influence of this very human woman has never been captured. William Mann, praised by Gore Vidal, Patricia Bosworth, and Gerald Clarke for Kate, uses untapped sources and conversations to show how she ignited the sexual revolution with her on-and off-screen passions, helped kick down the studio system by taking control of her own career, and practically invented the big business of celebrity star-making. With unputdownable storytelling he tells the full truth without losing Taylor's magic, daring, or wit.
Readers will feel they are sitting next to Taylor as she rises at MGM, survives a marriage engineered for publicity, feuds with Hedda Hopper and Mr. Mayer, wins Oscars, endures tragedy, juggles Eddie Fisher, Richard Burton and her country's conservative values. But it is the private Elizabeth that will surprise--a woman of heart and loyalty, who defends underdogs, a savvy professional whose anger at the studio's treatment of her led to a lifelong battle against that very system. All the Elizabeth's are here, finally reconciled and seen against the exciting years of her greatest spirit, beauty, and influence. Swathed in mink, staring us down with her lavender eyes, disposing of husbands but keeping the diamonds, here is Elizabeth Taylor as she was meant to be, leading her epic life on her own terms, playing the game of supreme stardom at which she remains, to this day, unmatched.
A Q&A with William J. Mann, Author of How to Be a Movie Star
Photographs from How to Be a Movie Star: Elizabeth Taylor in Hollywood
(Click on Images to Enlarge)
|1939: Elizabeth with her mother Sara, and brother Howard||1941: Elizabeth's first publicity photo, Universal Studios|
|1945: Elizabeth posing with Roddy McDowall||Early 1950s: Publicity photo (photo not included in the book)|
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
1. She gave up her US citizenship to avoid income taxes and kept her British citizenship. That meant she was not actually a US citizen when she was married to Senator Warner. She lost some of my respect there and so did he. Of course it was obvious he just used her to get elected.
2. The public hysteria was not spontaneous, it was hype generated by Taylor's personal publicists. I did not know that before I read this book.
3. She did not actually raise her several children herself, hired nannies did it and she just visited with the kids for a little while in the evenings. On the one hand, I think she would have been a better, more grounded person if she had been a more involved, hands-on mother, but on the other hand, it might have been hard on the kids. So who knows.
4. Mann tries to make the case that Taylor was single-handedly responsible for changing the times sociologically. I disagree. Times change, yes, but there are many factors involved. Taylor was just acting out the "me first want it all now no matter what" excesses that were normal for her. Typical of an addict, indulging her addictions was what her life revolved around, and so she could not understand the effect her behavior was having on other people.
5.Read more ›
Going in a bit different direction than other biographies, this one focuses more on the making of the Liz "brand" back before creating a brand persona was the norm. It aims to more clearly define fact from fiction and focusing less on scandal details. We all know the many published stories about Taylor and her private life. We also know much of it is fabricated, as almost all publicity in Hollywood was in those days. But this book aims to delve a bit deeper into that subject, which is why the people interviewed for this book are a different crew from those used for other Taylor biographies. I did enjoy seeing Taylor through the eyes of the industry folks who all contributed to her hype, press and manufactured "private life", created exclusively for public consumption. It added a dimension to her that I found decidedly human.
However, William J. Mann's writing becomes tiresome halfway through the book. The many (too many for my taste) references to Hedda Hopper, suggestions that neither Marilyn Monroe, nor Judy Garland could handle their celebrity like "La Liz" and the endless speculations grew irritating and tiresome. On occasions too numerous to count, the author goes off on a stream of assumptions based on the occasional bits of documented fact. Statements like, "she must have been", "one can naturally arrive to the conclusion that" and "she was likely" are sprinkled throughout the book.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Interesting. I always felt sympathy with her, as extreme beauty is a handicap to overcome. Evidently she discovered this and found her own way in spite of it.Published 11 days ago by Dorothy Mattiza
It's fine - I wouldn't pay full price for the book but it discusses the ups & downs of Elizabeth Taylor intelligently.Published 23 months ago by nocooking
HOW TO BE A MOVIE STAR is William J Mann’s miracle of a book that is both about Elizabeth Taylor and not about her, too. Read morePublished 24 months ago by Richard Kramer
He is a n amazingly thorough researcher, an incredibly astute observer of human behavior, and a terrific writer. Read morePublished on June 7, 2014 by Sam Neal
Bring new insights into the life of a very public person. Enjoyed it very much and recommend it to all.Published on April 21, 2014 by SAUL SANCHEZ
First off this is NOT a biography of Taylor. Also it isn't an analysis of her films--there are many other books covering that subject. Read morePublished on December 13, 2013 by Wayne M. Malin