My Lucky Stars
A fascinating memoir by a reigning survivor of one of the world's toughest industries, My Lucky Stars goes beyond the typical Hollywood tell-all. It is rare and authentic view of an artist's life, filled with risk, daring, and the drive to understand - and filled with those Hollywood stars we have admired , idolized, and even loved.
Through four decades and more than forty films, Shirley MacLaine has been one of Hollywood's brightest stars, dazzling us with remarkable performances in movies such as The Apartment, The Turning Point, and Terms of Endearment. And now the Academy Award-winning actress turned internationally renowned memorist takes up her own pen to write about the subject she knows best - Hollywood. In My Lucky Stars, a moving, insightful, and disarmingly honest book, she looks back over her forty years as an actress to reveal how the land of dreams and it's artistic community - the actors, directors, and producers who became her mentors, lovers, antagonists, and friends - shaped her life, her craft, and the woman she's become.
She was a small-town girl with old-fashioned values, a Broadway dancer who'd grown up in the disciplined world of ballet. Then Alfred Hitchcock decided to cast an unknown in his movie The Trouble With Harry, and the nineteen-year-old hoofer went from grueling workouts and eight shows a week to the pampered yet bewildering life of a star in a town where the line between fantasy and reality is often blurred.
Shirley made a madcap movie with her idols Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis - and witnessed the trauma of their breakup. She was part of Sinatra's 'clan' and learned to roll with the punches during wildly unpredictable shoots. And in the middle of Two for the Seesaw and My Geisha, she found herself head over heels in love with her complex leading men. Here she writes perceptively of these special people and pays tribute to many other stars she cherishes, among them Jack Lemmon, Elizabeth Taylor, Anthony Hopkins, Julia Roberts, Jack Nicholson, and Barbara Streisand.
The leading actress in some of the most memorable films ever made, nominated six times for an Oscar, Shirley offers a fascinating glimpse into how she builds her characters - detail by detail - from the outside in. She shares, with sometimes startling candor, highlights of her professional relationship with the demanding genius Bob Fosse; the story of the friction on the set of Terms of Endearment; the truth about falling in love on location; and what it is like to take the stage with the legendary Sinatra today. And for the first time she tells the full story of Hollywood's most unconventional marriage - her own.
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REVIEW: This is a "Hollywood" memoir, not a "Shirley MacLaine" memoir, so be advised. Yeah, she's in there all right, but you get more, so much more. It's one of the most intelligent of all the star bios. If you are looking for a lot of mindless tibits and giggly gossip, you won't find much of that here. But if you are looking for real insight into some of our star icons, like Sinatra, Dean, Mitchum, this is the place to find it. Further, if you have any interest in what making movies is like, if you want to be an actor, director, cameraman or marry one, this is the book for you. If you are a creative person who puts yourself out there for the public, you will love this book. No one else has nailed this experience like MacLaine has. I will never see the Oscars or star interviews the same way again. In fact, the writing is so exceptional and insights so wide-ranging that this book should be required reading in any film class.
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