Actors and actresses

Great Lives Lecture Series: Marilyn Monroe

Book cover of Fragments by Marilyn Monroe

The University of Mary Washington's 2013 Chappell Great Lives Lecture Series continues on Tuesday, February 26, with a lecture on Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe by Carl Rollyson, author of Marilyn Monroe: A Life of the Actress.

Find out more about this lecture on the University of Mary Washington's web site.

All lectures in the university's Great Lives series are held at 7:30pm, in Dodd Auditorium, George Washington Hall, and are free and open to the public.

For more on this topic, check out these items from the library:

Fragments: Poems, Intimate Notes, Letters by Marilyn Monroe
This work is a collection of Marilyn Monroe's written artifacts, notes to herself, letters, even poems, in her own handwriting, never before published, along with rarely seen intimate photos. These bits of text, jotted in notebooks, typed on paper, or written on hotel letterhead, reveal a woman who loved deeply and strove to perfect her craft.  (catalog summary)

Goddess: The Secret Lives of Marilyn Monroe by Anthony Summers
Published in 1985.  “An important contribution to the literature that seeks to explain and understand the fragile psyche of this truly and tragically wounded soul.” (Amazon.com)

Nerd Do Well: A Small Boy’s Journey to Becoming a Big Kid by Simon Pegg

Nerd Do Well: A Small Boy’s Journey to Becoming a Big Kid by Simon Pegg

While some memoirs are incredibly complex and intrinsically difficult to categorize, most of the ones I’ve read tend to fit in one of two general groups: the experience-driven and the persona-driven. Avi Steinberg’s Running the Books exemplifies the experience-driven category. Steinberg was an unknown when his memoir was published, and that relative obscurity meant that most readers were not drawn to the book because of his persona or celebrity. It was the topic of the autobiography that caught the public’s attention--the fact that this young man had worked in a prison library and found a way to describe the disorienting experience with both clarity and depth. 

Cary Grant: The Biography

By Marc Eliot

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Rigorously researched and elegantly written, Cary Grant: A Biography is a complete, nuanced portrait of the greatest star in cinema history. Exploring Grant’s troubled childhood, ambiguous sexuality, and lifelong insecurities, as well as the magical amalgam of characteristics that allowed him to remain Hollywood’s favorite romantic lead for more than thirty-five years, Cary Grant is the definitive examination of every aspect of Grant’s professional and private life and the first biography to reveal the real man behind the movie star.

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Wishful Drinking

By Carrie Fisher

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"In Wishful Drinking , adapted from her one-woman stage show, Fisher reveals what it was really like to grow up a product of 'Hollywood in-breeding,' come of age on the set of a little movie called Star Wars, and become a cultural icon and bestselling action figure at the age of nineteen. Intimate, hilarious, and sobering, Wishful Drinking is Fisher, looking at her life as she best remembers it (what do you expect after electroshock therapy?). It's an incredible tale: the child of Hollywood royalty -- Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher -- homewrecked by Elizabeth Taylor, marrying (then divorcing, then dating) Paul Simon, having her likeness merchandized on everything from Princess Leia shampoo to PEZ dispensers, learning the father of her daughter forgot to tell her he was gay, and ultimately waking up one morning and finding a friend dead beside her in bed."

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The Lost One: A Life of Peter Lorre

By Stephen D. Youngkin

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"Often typecast as a menacing figure, Peter Lorre achieved Hollywood fame first as a featured player and later as a character actor, trademarking his screen performances with a delicately strung balance between good and evil. His portrayal of the child murderer in Fritz Lang's masterpiece M (1931) catapulted him to international fame. Lang said of Lorre: 'He gave one of the best performances in film history and certainly the best in his life.' Today, the Hungarian-born actor is also recognized for his riveting performances in The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934), The Maltese Falcon (1941), and Casablanca (1942). Lorre arrived in America in 1934 expecting to shed his screen image as a villain. He even tried to lose his signature accent, but Hollywood repeatedly cast him as an outsider who hinted at things better left unknown. Seeking greater control over his career, Lorre established his own production company. His unofficial 'graylisting' by the House Committee on Un-American Activities, however, left him with little work.

"He returned to Germany, where he co-authored, directed, and starred in the film Der Verlorene (The Lost One) in 1951. German audiences rejected Lorre's dark vision of their recent past, and the actor returned to America, wearily accepting roles that parodied his sinister movie personality.The first biography of this major actor, The Lost One: A Life of Peter Lorre draws upon more than three hundred interviews, including conversations with directors Fritz Lang, Alfred Hitchcock, Billy Wilder, John Huston, Frank Capra, and Rouben Mamoulian, who speak candidly about Lorre, both the man and the actor."

Also available as an eBook.

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The Good, the Bad, and Me: In My Anecdotage

By Eli Wallach

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"...tells the extraordinary story of Eli Wallach's many years dedicated to his craft. Beginning with his early days in Brooklyn and his college years in Texas, where he dreamed of becoming an actor, this book follows his career as one of the earliest members of the famed Actors Studio and as a Tony Award winner for his work on Broadway. Wallach has worked with such stars as Marlon Brando, Paul Newman, Marilyn Monroe, Gregory Peck, and Henry Fonda, and his many movies include The Magnificent Seven, How the West Was Won, the iconic The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, and, most recently, Mystic River. For more than fifty years Eli Wallach has held a special place in film and theater, and in a tale rich with anecdotes, wit, and remarkable insight he recounts his magical life in a world unlike any other."

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Angels Along the Way: My Life with Help from Above

By Della Reese with Franklin Lett and Mim Eichler

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"The inspiring autobiography of the beloved singer, actor, and star of the hit television series Touched by an Angel....the story of a remarkable woman whose life has been filled with surprises. Born in the Detroit slums, Deloreese Patricia Early landed her first professional tour at thirteen, singing backup for Mahalia Jackson. By 1953 she was in New York with a recording contract, racking up hits including "In the Still of the Night" and "Don't You Know." The first woman to host The Tonight Show, Della also became the first black woman to host her own nationally syndicated television talk show. Through it all, Della has dealt with personal tragedy, such as the early death of her mother, which caused her to leave college in order to take care of her father. One night, while performing on The Tonight Show, Della suffered a potentially fatal aneurysm. When her doctor told her she had just days to live, she found a new surgeon, who trusted in the Almighty as she did. In 1983, Della's 'partner' above inspired her to become a minister. She has served ever since as the chief leader of a ministry she founded in a Los Angeles community, preaching to a standing-room-only crowd every Sunday. Here is the powerful story of a woman who is quick to credit the many miracles in her life to human 'angels,' as well as her 'partner' above."

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Speedbumps: Flooring it Through Hollywood

By Teri Garr with Henriette Mantel

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"...the popular Oscar- nominated actress muses about movies, men, motherhood, and MS in a book that is both Hollywood hilarious and personally moving.

From Speedbumps:

I was originally up for the principal female role in Young Frankenstein . Mel Brooks was directing. He had just finished Blazing Saddles , and was at the top of the comedy world. Mel had picked me out of five hundred girls, but admitted that he was still trying to convince Madeline Kahn to take the lead role. After I auditioned three times, Madeline finally did decide to take the part of the fianc e. I was crushed. I’d never come so close to getting a major part in a major movie. But then Mel told me that if I came back the next day with a German accent I could read for the part of Inga, Gene Wilder’s buxom lab assistant. A German accent in twenty-four hours? Luckily, I was still on The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour, and, as fate would have it, Cher’s wig stylist was German. So, I sat in on Cher’s hairstyling session (that gave me hours of study!) and emerged with a perfect German accent when saying, 'Mein Gott, zis vig veighs forty pounds.' That would translate to the script!

"There was one last thing I needed for Inga. Or two, actually. I realized Inga’s part was really all about the boobs, so the next day I went in to the audition wearing a bra stuffed with socks. People pay over five thousand dollars for a boob job today. Mine cost under five dollars at Woolworth’s, and got me the part, my biggest to date. I was thrilled. I’d been chosen by one of the best. My career was finally in motion. I got to thinking that I should have stuffed my bra with socks for every audition."

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I'll Scream Later

By Marlee Matlin

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"From Children of a Lesser God to Dancing with the Stars, Academy Award®–and Golden Globe–winning actress Marlee Matlin shares her incredible life story in a moving and often surprising memoir, I'll Scream Later. More than twenty years after becoming the youngest woman to win a Best Actress Oscar for her stunning performance as Sarah Norman, the pupil-turned-custodian at a school for the Deaf in Children of a Lesser God, Marlee Matlin continues to be an inspirational force of nature.

"A working mother, wife, activist, and role model, she takes readers on the frank and touching journey of her life, from the sudden and permanent loss of her hearing at eighteen months old to the highs and lows of Hollywood, her battles with addiction, and the unexpected challenges of being thrust into the spotlight as an emissary for the Deaf community. With uncompromising honesty, she reveals the shocking incidents of molestation that took her years to reconcile; her passionate and tumultuous relationship with Oscar winner William Hurt; her romances with Rob Lowe, Richard Dean Anderson, and David E. Kelley; and much more. As fresh and invigorating as her memorable television roles on Seinfeld, The West Wing, The L Word, and her dazzling turn on Dancing with the Stars, Marlee Matlin’s self-portrait captures the chutzpah and humor of a celebrated actress who continues to defy all expectations."

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Remarkable Changes: Turning Life's Challenges Into Opportunities

By Jane Seymour and Pamela Patrick Novotny

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"Throughout her celebrated career as an actress, from her film debut as a Bond Girl to her starring role in the beloved television series Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, and during the winding course of her life, Jane Seymour has been a testament to the rewards of embracing life's challenges eagerly and gracefully. Speaking from fifty-two years of experience with both joy and heartache, she firmly believes that 'when we allow ourselves to see all changes as remarkable, some extraordinary things can happen to us.' Rich in lived wisdom, Remarkable Changes revolves around seven signposts of change -- stops we all visit, and perhaps revisit, on the turbulent voyage of life. Jane reflects on the life-altering events of her past and on their universal lessons.

"While candidly recounting her own defining moments of turmoil -- rejection, betrayal, divorce, near bankruptcy, and near-death experiences among them -- she introduces extraordinary men and women who have courageously navigated the most formidable changes, from the loss of a child to sudden blindness, as well as those who have made incredible changes happen against the odds. Drawing on her own life and the shining examples of others -- including her indomitable mother, a native of Holland who was held in a Japanese prisoner of war camp during World War II; her husband, James Keach, who restored her faith in love and trust in men after a painful divorce; and her "soul mate," Christopher Reeve, who won her heart in the cult classic Somewhere in Time -- she offers a wealth of guidance for successfully managing any journey of transition."

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