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Learning to Live Out Loud: A Memoir Hardcover – November 1, 2011
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An “uncommunicative, silent child” who suffered from acute anxiety disorder, Laurie was inexplicably drawn to the world of stage performance from a young age. After suggesting that she “be in the movies,” her mother entered her in a contest that offered a screen test as first prize. Laurie won the contest but failed the screen test; yet the resolve to persist in following her dream remained strong. Her efforts eventually landed her a contract at Universal Studios when she was just 17. What she did not know was that “Universal was a picture factory then, specializing in a disposable product for a double feature market,” and that she would be promoted as a glamorous B-movie “bimbo.” Five years later, Laurie began the painful process of speaking for herself and articulating her professional desires. She broke her contract with Universal to take more serious roles on Broadway and in such groundbreaking TV dramas and films as the CBS Playhouse version of Days of Wine and Roses (1958), The Hustler (1961), Carrie (1976) and Twin Peaks (1990-91). Laurie’s openness—about her struggles with shyness and amphetamine addiction and her quietly determined pursuit of artistic fulfillment and sexual freedom—save the book from reading like just another Hollywood career catalog. The self-portrait that emerges is of a gracious woman who was in many ways ahead of her time and who fought “the good fight” on the way to becoming “a part of the speaking world.”
About the Author
PIPER LAURIE (born Rosetta Jacobs) has performed in a hundred films and dozens of plays. She has been nominated three times for an Oscar and received an Emmy and a Golden Globe Award. She was honored as Harvard’s Woman of the Year and with the Spirit of Hope Award for her many trips to entertain the troops in Korea. Her film credits include The Hustler, Carrie, The Grass Harp, Tim, and Children of a Lesser God. She is also well remembered for her dual roles as Catherine Martell and the Japanese businessman in David Lynch’s Twin Peaks. She lives in Los Angeles.
Top Customer Reviews
In her memoir, Piper Laurie describes the process of the implements being sent down a string in slow-motion and how humorous it was. (In the movie it was anything but humorous to me!) As the knives and forks hit her, Miss Laurie has to moan in ecstasy, her longed-for redemption through destruction complete, pinned to the wall like the stations of the cross.
It was inspired casting to put Piper Laurie in this role because it was one that could easily have gone over the top and been completely unconvincing. Miss Laurie did go over the top in this performance, as it was called for in the script, but she found the truth of the character, connected with it, and expressed it to us in a way that scared the crap out of us.
Brian de Palma, the director, made a a shrewd decision to hire a seasoned actress like Miss Laurie for this part. The integrity she brought to the film gave him even more credibility in Hollywood, and made him a very rich man.
What a crowd Miss Laurie hung out with during her career! She knew everybody and everybody knew, and respected, her. She has many interesting stories to tell and she comes across as a genuinely nice person who has overcome the trials of her earlier years.
When it comes to acting, Piper Laurie is one of the few remaining stars from the 50s who rose from the studio system to become a remarkable (and employable) character actress. Her accounts and reminiscences of the roles she played is wonderfully englightening and insightful.
5 Stars! Great read!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An exceptional memoir. Laurie is a very candid author who goes into great detail in her life. I found this book fascinating.Published 1 month ago by Bettyboy72
I read a lot of movie star biographies, and this is one of the best--complete and honest. One of our all time great but underrated actresses. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Peter Solari Photo
Certainly one of the best show-biz autobiographies on the market. Ms. Laurie is a superlative writer and the story of her life unravels like a thriller. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Hayworth
Interesting Hollywood memoir. Piper Laurie lets you know that you're never too old to make changes in your life. That's what's kept her young!Published 9 months ago by Marjorie Brian
A very interesting and easy read. She was much more prolific as an actress than I imagined. A bit before my time so I knew little of her. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Voltaire