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One Man Tango Hardcover – August, 1995

4.4 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Quinn follows up his first book, The Original Sin, with this deeper, more contemplative memoir recalling his varied careers before and beyond acting. They include stints as one of Aimee Semple McPherson's street preachers working the East Los Angeles barrios, as a prelim fighter in local rings and as an acclaimed painter. Writing with freelancer Paisner, Quinn recalls his self-doubts concerning marriage to Cecil B. DeMille's daughter when he was a lowly Paramount contract player and his early struggles to overcome typecasting as an actor who could play only gangsters and Mexican bandits. With verve and wit he relates how he prepared his most famous roles: Gauguin in Lust for Life, Zampano in La Strada, Zorba in Zorba the Greek and others, and how he managed to put his own personal stamp on the role of Stanley Kowalski in the road company of A Streetcar Named Desire despite Brando's indelible characterization. The 80-year-old Quinn's life reads like a picaresque novel, its rogue hero of cinematic dimension. Photos.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Memoirs of a two-time OscarR winner.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 388 pages
  • Publisher: Harpercollins; 1st edition (August 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060183543
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060183547
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 6.5 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #849,839 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I really enjoyed this book by Anthony Quinn. At first, I was put off by the way his thoughts jumped around, but in retrospect, I realize that this was just his way of getting his point across, and I became mesmerized by his thoughts and the disparity of his early years. Mr. Quinn did not flower his book with how great he was, or even sound like a celebrity, in the description of his life. In his early years he was very poor, and really let the reader feel his thoughts on his poverty, and how he fought to stay alive. It is a great example of coming from a life of nothing, with seldom having food to eat, to become a great actor, artist, lover, and family man.
Although he would never receive accolades as a husband, he truly loved his family. He mentioned several times, his grief at the death of his son and the loss of father.
He made many friends along the way, and treasured every one. Not caring whether they were paupers or kings.
In 1983, we had the pleasure of seeing and meeting Mr. Quinn on Broadway, in Zorba the Greek. We had invested in several of his paintings and sculptures, and was invited to a party for him at the Helmsley Palace in New York City. We were really impressed with his ability to encompass a room with his presence, while giving every person a piece of his persona.
This book is excellent reading, which keeps the reader waiting for his next thought. The world will truly miss this great man.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is Anthony Quinn's second autobiography. Since he lived to be 86, he apparently felt that he couldn't tell his life story in only one autobiography. He was probably correct in that assumption. As of this moment, I've not read his 1972 "The Original Sin" but it will probably be my next read. Quinn was an excellent writer as well as a visual artist and famous stage and film actor. He was also a very randy fellow he couldn't keep his hands off the beautiful women he attracted like bees to honey. He had thirteen children from his three wives and three known,long-time mistresses. Like most motion pictures stars he had affairs with most of the beautiful actresses he met in his 100 plus motion pictures and plays. One of his affairs involved actress Ruth Warrick in 1945. "Years later, she offered the following comment to a reporter: `Anthony Quinn, in the middle of a love affair with me, once said he wanted to f**k all the women in the world, and impregnate all of them. I never knew he'd get this far.'"
Despite his inability to resist the ladies for whom his addiction and appeal was legendary, Quinn lived a life that could not have been fictionalized to be more interesting. He was born in a Mexican hut to a mother who had only recently been sent home from the front lines of the Mexican Revolution. She had wanted to remain and continue fighting, but her obvious pregnancy resulted in her being sent home. Her husband stayed and continued fighting with Poncho Villa. Years later his father moved to Los Angeles and eventually became an assistant cameraman at Zelig's Movie Studio. Anthony showed a talent for art early in life. Quinn studied briefly with Frank Lloyd Wright through the Taliesin Fellowship he won in a high school architectural design contest.
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Format: Paperback
Here is a biography worth reading, about a man whose life was worth living and worth hearing about: a man who lived every inch of his life on the edge and to its fullest. Even with its foibles and demented aspects, one cannot read this well-crafted biography without being envious of Quinn's life.

Quinn, a Mexican from Chihauhua, possessed an inner drive and an ego destined to make him larger than life in one arena or another. Although with multiple hidden talents, most of which only to be discovered later in life, Quinn became an actor in order to learn English better. But during a bumpy life course he became much, much more than just an actor, he sculpted, painted, cycled and kept a string of younger ladies and a host of wives and families happy until his death as an octogenarian. All of which required considerable talent.

Had it not been told so well and with such passion and verve, and from Quinn's own deeply passionate and artistic mind, this could have been a very tragic story indeed, but the way the events of his life actually unfolded lent itself to the pure poetry that is exhibited here; and the way they have been collated arranged and sorted out by Daniel Paisner, makes them a "song" to all of those like myself who only knew Quinn vicariously through that "rough but exciting" screen persona, as "Zorba the Greek" and his many other characters.

Unlike the biography of one of Quinn's (and my) heroes, Marlon Brando, which was lifeless to the point of being depressing, this one is alive and sparkles throughout. Both Quinn and Dan Paisner are to be commended for, at the same time raising the level of biographic writing, while also raising the human spirits in a story exquisitely well told.

One of the few books on any subject that is so full of life's dramas and metaphors, that you will love reading it so much that you will want to read it over and over. Fifty Stars.
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Format: Hardcover
I'm surprised that this book has so few reviews; I guess people don't read autobiographies much anymore. I found this man's story to be extremely interesting. For one man to have lived such a full life is truly a blesssing and to his credit he lived it to the fullest. Anthony Quinn, the man, is revealed, warts and all. A womanizer, a multi-media artist, best known for his performance art, a musician, a boxer,preacher, you name it, Anthony Quinn probably tried it. The book begins with Quinn painting in his villa in Italy when a package arrives from his ex-wife Katherine De Mille, daughter of renowned filmmaker Cecil B. De Mille. He anticipates the contents but cannot open it immediately but rather takes off on an extensive bike ride. The bike ride becomes the vechilcle of his life long recollections. It is well written and a thoroughly enjoyable book. Quinn narrates his childhood memories in Mexico and the transition to living in the United States. He recalls his early encounters with fame and recounts his numerous jobs before landing employment in Hollywood. His candid rancour about his early stereotypical roles is evident but his strong determination to be recognized as a great artist is even more apparent. It seems nothing could stop Anthony Quinn from achieveing success. The many loves of Quinn are remembered, the resulting children as well are touched upon, including the loss of one of his sons who drowned in the De Mille pool; the good and the bad, it is all here. It is a bittersweet story of one mans journey, revealed on a memorable bike ride through the countryside of Italy. The memories are many and the revelations and insights are brilliant. Included are historic family photographs and scenes from his many movies.Read more ›
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