- 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: 36 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #473,020 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Learning to Live Out Loud: A Memoir Hardcover – November 1, 2011
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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.”
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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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!
This should be a handbook for all aspiring actors, and for anyone interested in the ups and downs of life in the theater./cinema. Kudos to Ms. Laurie for such a terrific page-turner.