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Comment: A well-cared-for item that has seen limited use but remains in great condition. The item is complete, unmarked, and undamaged, but may show some limited signs of wear. Item works perfectly. Pages and dust cover are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine is undamaged.
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Learning to Live Out Loud: A Memoir Hardcover – November 1, 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

In a candid memoir, Emmy- and Golden Globe–winning actress Laurie remembers her long, surprising life as a film, theater and TV star.
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.”
Warmly intimate.
-Kirkus

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. 

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Archetype; 1St Edition edition (November 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 082302668X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0823026685
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,266,842 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. Perry on November 11, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Piper Laurie has always been one of my favorite character actors and now I learn how she developed into a craftsperson and artist of the highest order. I wondered about her life, who she was, how she came to be "Piper Laurie" and reading her memoir gave me an intimate look into her psyche and the actual events in her life. She has had thus far a wonderful, challenging, spiritual journey and she continues to grow as an artist, moving into adapting written works into short films. She is an inspiration for many of us who have taken side paths away from film and theatre, at times out of choice and at times from necessity. Her description of her time with her daughter as a baby was terrific; I felt like I understood her deep sensitivity, her connectedness to oneness and her joy in life itself through what she revealed in these passages. And her beginnings: insecure, frightened, abandoned to a great degree shaped her strength and power on the screen. She gifted me with a glimpse into a true artist's soul. I can only say, "Thank you, Miss Laurie."
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She was such a cutie when she started, she had an enviable contract and a routine niche on the cover of "Photoplay" magazine and she made more money every week than my Dad did in a year. Why did she quit? She produced the most admired performance of the 1960's with "Hustler". Why did she retire? I'd always wondered. And then she favored us with this book. It is terrific fun for any movie historian, no matter how amateur, to read answers from her own pen.
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Poor Sissy Spacek. Tortured by her God-fearing maniacal mother, in her film debut, Spacek finally kills her by causing a batch of kitchen implements to pin her to the wall.

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!
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This has got to be one of the best auto biographies that I've ever read. And I've read many many bios. First of all, it's got humor, pathos, honesty, and very well written. And I'm afraid that I've fallen in love with her all over again. She just pulls you in to her life. I wanted to send her personal congratulations, but I'm at a loss to make contact with her. Anyway, she looks terrific, and I'm very happy for her success. And I most certainly recommend this book to everyone who enjoys reading bios. Frank Taglieri
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Piper Laurie's career has been one of the more unusual in the annals of Hollywood, because, starting as a contract player for Universal in the 1950s, she fought to become a respected actor in the era of live television in the late 1950s, culminating in her acclaimed performance in the film THE HUSTLER (1961); from there, her acting career went on hiatus as she pursued other interests including sculpture; she married and adopted a child. The period from THE HUSTLER to CARRIE (1976) represents one of the longest "interruptions" in any major show business career. Yet once she restarted her career, she continued with many highlights, including her amazing stint working with David Lynch on the series TWIN PEAKS. And now this book recounts her remarkable trajectory with intelligence, humor and great feeling, hallmarks of her acting which shine through in her writing.
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Very good book I am a biography guy. Always liked Piper Laurie. Talks about her life as a Universal International Contract player which she did not like being put into Francis The Talking Mule movie and others like westerns when all she really wanted to do was act like she did in The Hustler,and just a sneak peak she had her first sex at 18 with a very well known actor in his late 40's who everybody knows very well.
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Honest and forthright autobiography by actress Piper Laurie. She discusses her difficult childhood, not only was she incredibly shy, but her parents sent her to a "sanitarium" with her sister who suffered from asthma. The reasons were never fully explained. She always wanted to be an actress and was signed by Universal about the same time as Rock Hudson and Tony Curtis. She got to work with many interesting folks including Charles Coburn, Tyrone Power, Donald O'Connor, Dana Andrews, and eventually Paul Newman in her Oscar nominated role in Somebody Up There Likes Me. She struggled with shyness and insecurity most of her life but was finally able to overcome this and has expanded her career, not only in acting and directing, but in sculpting as well. Her book tells some amazing stories, including a mudslide at her home from which she narrowly escaped and her first love, who was Ronald Reagan. I thought this was a good look at someone who was able to overcome their shyness and insecurity and realize that they can live a full life and work well with others. The book was well written and contained numerous photos.
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