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I Love the Illusion: The Life and Career of Agnes Moorehead, 2nd edition 2nd Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
The book recounts her youth, early training and struggles, and swift rise to the top in radio, a show biz medium perfect for less than gorgeous people with gorgeous vocal equipment. Her triumphs onstage, in film and on radio are well recounted, and the amazing performance in Magnificent Ambersons is given its due, alongside her string of stunning appearances on Suspense (none moreso than "Suddenly, Last Summer", wherein she shows a genuinely nasty bedridden rich lady who's suddenly aware that she's lost all of her control over events; it's a much juicier conception of the murder victim than what the censors allowed in the 1948 film).
And the monumental experience of Don Juan in Hell is also explained at length. (I was lucky enough to see the 1970s revival. She was amazing.)
Her marital misadventures are also addressed, but for those expecting shocking bisexual tidbits, forget it; this is the story of a rock ribbed minister's daughter, who believed the Bible and prayer provided all the answers, a teetotaler who annually threw one of the classiest, unfussiest Christmas parties given in Beverly Hills, where too much was rarely ever enough, in the 1950s and 1960s.Read more ›
This is Mr. Tranberg's first book, and with its launch, he personifies the adage, "hit the ground running." Besides details derived from interviews with friends and colleagues of Miss Moorehead's, this biography provides fascinating insight into the actress herself, uncovered by the author as he went through boxes of her letters, papers and scrapbooks at the Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research. One of my favorite passages in this book is a story about how Miss Moorehead made "...a dying child's final month happy and memorable." As such, Mr. Tranberg shows how opposite this actress was from many of the stoic roles she played.
"I Love the Illusion" by Charles Tranberg sheds a refreshing light on a star who continues to shine decades after her after her death in 1974. Whether you are a casual fan or a serious admirer of the great Agnes Moorehead, you will love this book!
Her career came first for Agnes. If you read the appendices, you will see her abundance of work ranging from radio, stage, television and film throughout her career. She was a late bloomer and often played mother figures. She was nominated for an Academy Award four times. Perhaps if she had lived longer, she would have been awarded an honorary Academy Award. She was deeply respected and a professional actress by her peers and colleagues. She was the ideal actress for any role. Radio gave her the leading roles that films didn't. She never sounded bitter or ungrateful for the lack of leading roles.
Sadly, her relationship with Sean was perhaps the most disappointing of all. She shipped off to boarding schools in Europe rather than act as a full-time mother. In one heartbreaking note, he offered his toys for time with her. Agnes had taken care of him with all the luxuries except full time parenting. His outcome is never solved. Her marriages to Jack Lee and Robert Gist were failures. Jack Lee became resentful of her rising star while he never managed to have his own career. Robert Gist used her to get ahead in this business. Perhaps that is why she never sought a third husband.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Being a slow reader and with work, sleep and other things in daily life, I read five books in 2015. This was my favorite of 2015. The life of Agnes Moorehead was captivating. Read morePublished 1 month ago by J.R.
This book is a great addition to the collection of any Agnes Moorehead fan. It is well-written and portrays Agnes is a marvelous light. This book is very thorough and interesting. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
This was about the best character actress of the 20th century. Old time radio voice only- perfect. Twilight zone episode no dialog at all. Agnes
could do any part. Read more
I love Agnes Moorehead. A great actress and a great lady. Many thanks.Published 17 months ago by ageshio
Very informative but didn't get to the real heart of this unusual actressPublished 21 months ago by alexis
A very interesting book, not only does it tell us about Agnes Moorhead but people she worked with as well. Read morePublished on August 8, 2013 by Rex F. Shields
I had already known about her Christian beliefs and this book goes into more detail than I knew...it goes through each of her films, giving quotes of the time as well as reviews,... Read morePublished on July 10, 2013 by Ann McArthur
As a old movie buff and a bewitched lover. Agnes Moorehead life and career are Fascinating,so much more then one show on tvPublished on May 5, 2013 by R. Newton-Treadway