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I'm Not Dead... Yet! Paperback – July 18, 2012
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About the Author
Robby Benson, actor, writer, composer, and award-winning star of stage, screen, and television has also spent years behind the camera as the director of more than one hundred episodes of such hit sitcoms as Friends and Ellen, in addition to being a highly esteemed professor of film studies at New York University. He lives in both the Blue Ridge Mountains and New York City with his wife, singer Karla DeVito, and their two children.
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As a teen '70s "Tiger Beat" reader and avid viewer of Benson films like "Ode to Billy Joe" and "One on One," I bought this Benson bio recently primarily to find out "whatever became of." Was pleased to learn that Benson went on to a minor career in H'Wood as a director, and made a decent living for himself. His tales of his early years on Broadway and in Hollywood were interesting. (At an early teen age, he was propositioned at different times by both a male and a female co-star in their 40s: The male he describes as a pedophile; the female he describes as a positive experience.) And I didn't know that he'd been in love with early co-star Glynnis O'Connor, who ultimately rejected him.
The book is half a personal memoir, and half a medical memoir of Benson's heart problems. On the personal side: Benson REALLY loves his wife, Karla DeVito, and his kids. He REALLY loves most of the big stars he worked with, like Burt Reynolds, John Ritter, Paul Newman. He's irritated by Hollywood producers who "just don't care." On the medical side, the last pages of the book are a paeon to the glories of the Cleveland Clinic, which successfully treated him for his heart problems.
Overarching all is "The Passion of the Robby" ---- Robby runs a billion flights of stairs, Robby jumps off high buildings, Robby runs a marathon, Robby wrecks his tractor. Aside from the heart problems, there are dozens of injuries caused by Robby's own negligence. In fact, most of the book is a history of what injuries Robby has incurred, ranging from childhood through the present-day. Until I finally got the point of the book: Robby's a martyr. And the physical martyrdom is COMPLETELY the focus of the book. For instance, Benson often proclaims his love for longtime wife Karla DeVito --- yet always in generic terms: "She's my soul-mate, I love her so much." Yet I never learned a single thing about the couple's spiritual connection... I did, however, learn EVERY detail about EVERY hospital that Benson has ever been in.
Story aside: The layout and photos in the book were horribly amateurish. Just about every single photo was blurry. The first 80 or so pages of the book had photos stuck in random places on the page, with the text equally randomly placed. Apparently, this book started out as an eBook, and it looks like it. The copy editing is equally random and haphazard: Stories are repeated, words are misspelled, capitalization of the same term varies, etc. Overall, as a text, it's extremely annoying to look at and try to read.
I'd pay $2 for the book in a bargain bin, but not the $9 that I paid to begin with.
It was inspiring to read that my childhood crush loves his wife, and did not fall prey to Hollywood's "sick in mind| childhood actors, which in turn become actors who are mentally unhealthy adults. What is sad to read is the trials of Robby through all of his heart problems. After reading the story of this seemingly very kind man (and he has the most soulful eyes), I just want to root for him and his family that his last heart surgery in Cleveland will be his last heart surgery, period. And, I just hope he lives a long, healthy life which he can breathe easily and enjoy his Carla and family until he is an old, old man.
This book is well written, and I for one am so glad he put his fingers to the keyboard.
also love all the pictures and antidotes in this book.
He has been on some journey from his Acting, Directing, Writing, Singing/Song Writer & Health
. He highly recommends the Cleveland Clinic that he has said saved his life after other failed surgeries. Good to know as we have history of heart problems in our family as well* Thanks Robby*
I was also kind of shocked to learn he is a Professor in at least 4 Colleges in several States, I thought I knew quite a bit about him but was not aware of this particular talent. I am so glad through all he has been through with the many major heart surgeries that he is still with us and doing well.
I read the book daily over the summer hanging our by our pool, excellent read, I recommend highly!
Most recent customer reviews
Everyone who's played this part " victim of the Heart".Read more
and my love and admiration for him have only grown.Read more