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The Mommie Dearest Diary: Carol Ann Tells All Paperback – September 18, 2015

4.7 out of 5 stars 155 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 166 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (September 18, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1515260607
  • ISBN-13: 978-1515260608
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.4 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (155 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #189,008 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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I ordered this book honestly not knowing what to expect. I knew little of Rutanya Alda beyond a few of her supporting roles in film and on TV and initially didn't make the connection that she had also essayed the role of the long-suffering, rapidly aging assistant in Mommie Dearest, Carol Ann.

Even as a child, MD came off to me as a hysterical, over-the-top ordeal that wasn't to be taken too seriously. While Faye Dunaway's unhinged madwoman is unquestionably fascinating to watch, as I got older and witnessed the REAL Joan Crawford, I realized Dunaway had lost key elements in her characterization. It was like the only JC films she watched in preparation for the role were Strait-Jacket and maybe Queen Bee. The portrait that emerges is one of a wild-eyed banshee; this one dimensional monster. Even her makeup looked off.
What went wrong? How and why did this clearly A-List, prestige project become this runaway campfest?

Alda, quite remarkably, kept a near-daily journal of the events that transpired between New Years Day and April of 1981. She explains why, and the reason was most certainly not for the sake of posterity. But here it is, a relentless document of diva chaos, Hollywood excess, bruised egos and brutal indifference...told in a very direct, clear and honest voice that makes it very plain she was not writing for the masses.

Yet the book is so much more that just a chronicle of Mommie Dearest; Alda's pre-MD background is quite fascinating, as she honed her craft and developed working relationships and/or friendships with such luminaries as Elia Kazan (her accounts of the warm friendship she shared with Kazan's wife-recently departed when MD began filming- are very touching), Brian de Palma and Sam Peckinpah.
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I haven't read such a thrilling pop-culture snapshot since The Warhol Diaries! Rutanya is a great storyteller, and this behind-the-scenes delight should be required reading for ANY movie fan. An incomprehensibly overlooked and underappreciated actress, Ms Alda gives us a taste of the daily drudgery that is the making of a film. She also gives us a glance at the fragile egos of stars, directors, designers and the lot. Funny how all of this took place over 30 years ago, yet seemingly some things never change...big stars must be catered to, while supporting cast & crew must make accommodations and simply make do. A fascinating read that you won't be able to put down.
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AMAZING and COMPELLING read! Brutally honest with such grace and humor and I'm not even through reading. This, by far, is the best book I have read in a long time. It has captivated me from the very first page and I cannot wait to finish. Truly a must read for all of Rutanya Alda's fans and friends. Do not miss this book!!!
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MOMMIE DEAREST has long been considered the ultimate camp classic. It's over-the-top, bravura performance by Faye Dunaway as Joan Crawford has been described as a hurricaine. But there was an eye in that hurricaine, a calm voice of reason trying to be heard over the din of hysteria. The eye was Carol Ann, Joan's faithful housekeeper reportedly based on several real life people. Carol Ann was played by actress Rutanya Alda, who kept a journal of this troubled production. The anecdotes come through with Ms. Alda's sly humor, but what is even more compelling is Ms. Alda's own story, told here for the first time, giving her many fans insight of a woman who has weathered much adversity in her life, always coming through as a strong survivor. Here is a lady who is known to her friends and fans as a person who works tirelessly for animal rights. And she has written a remarkable tome, with wit and humor as well as strength and grace.
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Rutanya Alda’s “The Mommie Dearest Diary: Carol Ann Tells All” is a fascinating glimpse behind the scenes of perhaps the only movie about child abuse that became a camp classic. It’s much more than a list of Faye Dunaway’s erratic moods and crazy moments. You become fully immersed in the day-to-day life of actors trying their best to do their best work on a film even though they are at the collective mercy of directors, producers, studio executives, and out-of-control stars. Ms. Alda draws sharp portraits of Frank Perry, Frank Yablans, Diana Scarwid, Jocelyn Brando, Steve Forrest, Mara Hobel, Irene Sharaff, and yes, Faye Dunaway. You also get to know Rutanya Alda much better and the struggles she has overcome throughout her life. She’s a wonderful storyteller as well as a terrific actor; you won’t want to put this book down!
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Once you start reading this book it will be impossible to put down. I read it from cover to cover this afternoon. If you are a fan of the film then you absolutely must read this book. Lots of great inside stories, jaw droppingly shocking at times and at other times very humorous. I think it was always an open secret in Hollywood that Faye Dunaway was difficult to work with but after reading ''Mommie Dearest Diary'' that's putting it mildly. She was an outright horror to. Glad to see Carol Ann got the last word in... for now! My favourite quote regarding Dunaway was made by Bette Davis. I couldn't help thinking how hilarious it was that, as much as she hated Joan Crawford, she hated the woman that went on to play her that much more.
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