James Stewart was and is one of the best loved movie stars of all time.A biography of this complex and very private man was a monumental task, but author Donald Dewey managed to create a portrait that not only reveals the real Stewart, but pays tribute to the man and his art.It is full of great insider tidbits to please any hollywood trivia buff, as well as many unknown facts about the young Stewart. Stewart's movies are summarized and analyzed, but Dewey is careful not to let the book become one long movie review.All in all,this is a well done and complete biography. An excellent book.
Lesser known to today's audiences, Helen Hayes was once one of the most famous stars in America and abroad. Yet her autobiography is unassuming, and even modest in it's scope. She spends no time tooting her own horn, instead she credits those who helped her reach the heights of stardom, and speaks lovingly yet honestly of her husband and the demons he faced, as well as the tragic death of her daughter.Hayes paints an intensly interesting picture of life on the Broadway stage and in Hollywood, including entertaining memories of stars such as Norma Shearer and Joan Crawford.Narrated by her son,this well done and touching biography is a must listen for those who love old Hollywood and/or a well done memoir.
If you are expecting a tantalizing tell all, you will be sorely disapointed. Alda is merciful to his famous friends, mentioning them only to praise them. He is not nearly so kind to himself. He is honest in his portrait of his early life and the mental illness his mother suffered. All of the poignant episodes of this well loved actor's life are handled with grace and the famous Alda humor. I only wish that more time had been spent discussing M*A*S*H, which was perhaps his greatest contribution to popular culture. However all in all, this is a well done and witty memoir.