As an actor, he seduces us with his tough-guy charm. As a director and producer, he amazes us with his artistry and technical savvy. As a Hollywood icon, Clint Eastwood, one of film's greatest living legends, represents some of the finest cinematic achievements in the history of American cinema. In American Rebel, bestselling author and acclaimed film historian Marc Eliot examines the ever-exciting, often-tumultuous arc of Clint Eastwood's life and career. Unlike past biographers, Eliot writes with unflinching candor about Eastwood's highs and lows, his artistic successes and failures, and the fascinating, complex relationship between his life and his craft. Eliot's prodigious research reveals how a college dropout and unambitious playboy rose to fame as Hollywood' s "sexy rebel," eventually and against all odds becoming a star in the Academy pantheon as a multiple Oscar winner. Spanning decades, American Rebel covers the best of Eastwood' s oeuvre, films that have fast become American classics-Fistful of Dollars, Dirty Harry, Unforgiven, Mystic River, Million Dollar Baby, and Gran Torino. Filled with remarkable insights into Eastwood's personal life and public work, American Rebel is highly entertaining and the most complete biography of one of Hollywood's truly respected and beloved stars-an actor who, despite being the Man with No Name, has left his indelible mark on the world of motion pictures.From the Hardcover edition.
As he did in his bestselling biographies of Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart, and Clint Eastwood, Marc Eliot offers an exciting, groundbreaking new take on an American icon--the most legendary Western film hero of all time, John WayneAn audience favorite and top box-office draw for decades, John Wayne symbolized masculinity, power, and patriotism, and inspired millions of Americans. Yet despite his popularity and success, he was unfairly dismissed as a "B" movie actor lacking elegance, creativity, range, and depth. American Titan challenges conventional wisdom and reevaluates Wayne's life and vital cinematic legacy, ultimately placing the man known as "Duke" among a select and brilliant pantheon of "actor auteurs"--artists whose consistency of style in their work reflects their personal creative vision.In American Titan, Eliot demonstrates that Wayne possessed a distinct and remarkable vision rooted in his unique Midwestern and West Coast childhood that would become manifest in one of the most enduring screen personalities of all time: the elusive, stoic frontier loner. Wayne's heroic outsider also influenced a new generation of actors and filmmakers who would borrow from it to use in their own movies.Drawing on his deep, extensive knowledge of Hollywood and film, Eliot contends that the primary driving force behind Wayne's extraordinary career and body of work was the result of his own ambitions and his collaborations with directors John Ford and Howard Hawks. Eliot offers as evidence the distinct personality that runs through Wayne's staggering 169 films, from Stage Coach and The Searchers to The Quiet Man and The Green Berets.Setting Wayne's life within the sweeping political and social transformations that defined the nation, Eliot's masterly revisionist portrait is a remarkable in-depth look at a life that embodied the spirit of the twentieth century. What emerges is nothing less than a powerful understanding of and appreciation for a true American titan.Marc Eliot is the New York Times bestselling author of more than a dozen books on popular culture, among them the highly acclaimed Cary Grant, the award-winning Walt Disney: Hollywood's Dark Prince, and American Rebel: The Life of Clint Eastwood. He writes for a number of publications and frequently speaks about film at universities and to film groups, and on radio and television. He lives in New York City and Woodstock, New York.MarcEliot.net
"Everybody wants to be Cary Grant. Even I want to be Cary Grant." --Cary Grant. He is Hollywood's most fascinating and timeless star. Although he came to personify the debonair American, Cary Grant was born Archibald Leach on January 18, 1904, in the seaport village of Bristol, England. Combining the captivating beauty of silent-screen legend Rudolph Valentino with the masculine irresistibility of Clark Gable, Grant emerged as Hollywood's quintessential leading man. Today, "the man from dream city," as critic Pauline Kael once described him, remains forever young, an icon of quick wit, romantic charm, and urbane sophistication, the epitome of male physical perfection. Yet beneath this idealized movie image was a conflicted man struggling to balance fame with a desire for an intensely private life separate from the "Cary Grant" persona celebrated by directors and movie studios. 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 to reveal the man behind the movie star. Working with the most talented directors of his time, Grant starred in an astonishing seventy-two films, ranging from his groundbreaking comedic roles in such classics as Bringing Up Baby (Howard Hawks) and The Philadelphia Story (George Cukor) to the darker, unforgettable characters of Alfred Hitchcock's Suspicion and Notorious, culminating in the consummate sophisticates of An Affair to Remember (Leo McCarey), North by Northwest (Hitchcock), and Charade (Stanley Donen). The camera loved Grant, and his magnetism helped illuminate his leading ladies, some of the most glamorous women ever to grace the silver screen: Mae West, Irene Dunne, Katharine Hepburn, Ingrid Bergman, Grace Kelly, and Sophia Loren, among others. Yet, because of his pioneering role as an independent player, Grant was repeatedly denied the Oscar he coveted--a snub from the Academy that would last until 1970, when he graciously accepted a special lifetime achievement award. Grant's sparkling image on-screen hid a tumultuous personal life that he tried desperately to keep out of the public eye, including his controversial eleven-year relationship with Randolph Scott, five marriages, and numerous affairs. Rigorously researched and elegantly written,Cary Grant: A Biography is a complete, nuanced portrait of the greatest Hollywood star in cinema history.
Jimmy Stewart's all-American good looks, boyish charm, and deceptively easygoing style of acting made him one of Hollywood's greatest and most enduring stars. Despite the indelible image he projected of innocence and quiet self-assurance, Stewart's life was more complex and sophisticated than most of the characters he played. With fresh insight and unprecedented access, bestselling biographer Marc Eliot finally tells the previously untold story of one of our greatest screen and real-life heroes. Born into a family of high military honor and economic success dominated by a powerful father, Stewart developed an interest in theater while attending Princeton University. Upon graduation, he roomed with the then-unknown Henry Fonda, and the two began a friendship that lasted a lifetime. While he harbored a secret unrequited love for Margaret Sullavan, Stewart was paired with many of Hollywood's most famous, most beautiful, and most alluring leading ladies during his extended bachelorhood, among them Ginger Rogers, Olivia de Havilland, Loretta Young, and the notorious Marlene Dietrich. After becoming a star playing a hero in Frank Capra's Mr. Smith Goes to Washington in 1939 and winning an Academy Award the following year for his performance in George Cukor's The Philadelphia Story, Stewart was drafted into the Armed Forces and became a hero in real life. When he returned to Hollywood, he discovered that not only the town had changed, but so had he. Stewart's combat experiences left him emotionally scarred, and his deepening darkness perfectly positioned him for the '50s, in which he made his greatest films, for Anthony Mann (Winchester '73 and Bend of the River) and, most spectacularly, Alfred Hitchcock, in his triple meditation on marriage, Rear Window, The Man Who Knew Too Much, and Vertigo, which many film critics regard as the best American movie ever made. While Stewart's career thrived, so did his personal life. A marriage in his forties, the adoption of his wife's two sons from a previous marriage, and the birth of his twin daughters laid the foundation for a happy life, until an unexpected tragedy had a shocking effect on his final years. Intimate and richly detailed, Jimmy Stewart is a fascinating portrait of a multi-faceted and much-admired actor as well as an extraordinary slice of Hollywood history. "Probably the best actor who's ever hit the screen." --Frank Capra. "He taught me that it was possible to remain who you are and not be tainted by your environment. He was not an actor ... he was the real thing." --Kim Novak. "He was uniquely talented and a good friend." --Frank Sinatra. "He was a shy, modest man who belonged to cinema nobility." --Jack Valenti. "There is nobody like him today." --June Allyson. "He was one of the nicest, most unassuming persons I have known in my life. His career speaks for itself." --Johnny Carson.
Through determination, inventiveness, and charisma, Michael Douglas emerged from the long shadow cast by his movie-legend father, Kirk Douglas, to become his own man and one of the film industry's most formi dable players. Overcoming the curse of failure that haunts the sons and daughters of Hollywood celebrities, Michael became a sensation when he successfully brought One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, starring his friend Jack Nicholson, to the screen after numerous setbacks, including his father's own failed attempts to make it happen. This 1975 box-office phenomenon won Michael his first Oscar (the film won five total, including Best Picture), an award Kirk hadn't won at the time, and solidified the turbulent, competitive father-son relationship that would shape Michael's career and personal life. In the decades that followed, Michael established a reputation for taking chances on new talent and proj ects by producing and starring in the hugely successful Romancing the Stone and Jewel of the Nile movies, while cultivating a multifaceted acting persona edgy, rebel lious, and a little dark in such films as Wall Street, Fatal Attraction, Basic Instinct, and Disclosure. Yet as his career thrived, Michael's personal life floundered, with an unhappy and tumultuous first mar riage, rumors of infidelity (especially with leading ladies such as Kathleen Turner), and a headline-grabbing stint in rehab. Rocked by a series of tragedies, including Kirk's strokes, his son Cameron's incarceration, and his own fight against throat cancer, Michael has emerged trium phant, healthy, and happy in his marriage to Catherine Zeta-Jones, a Welsh actress twenty-five years his junior, and their new young family. In Michael Douglas, Marc Eliot brings into sharp fo cus this incredible career, complicated personal life, and legendary Hollywood family. Eliot's fascinating portrait of the lows and remarkable highs in Michael's life in cluding the thorny yet influential relationship with his father breaks boundaries in understanding the life and work of a true American film star.
THE GROUNDBREAKING NEW BIOGRAPHY OF A MAN WITH ONE OF THE MOST ICONIC AND FASCINATING CAREERS--AND LIVES--IN HOLLYWOOD. For five decades, Jack Nicholson has been part of film history. With twelve Oscar nominations to his credit and legendary roles in films like Easy Rider, Five Easy Pieces, Terms of Endearment, The Shining, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Nicholson creates original, memorable characters like no other actor of his generation. And his personal life has been no less of an adventure--Nicholson has always been at the center of the Hollywood elite and has courted some of the most famous and beautiful women in the world. Relying on years of extensive research and interviews with insiders who know Nicholson best, acclaimed biographer Marc Eliot sheds new light on Nicholson's life on and off the screen. From Nicholson's working class childhood in New Jersey, where family secrets threatened to tear his family apart, to raucous nights on the town with Warren Beatty and tumultuous relationships with starlets like Michelle Phillips, Anjelica Huston, and Lara Flynn Boyle, to movie sets working with such legendary directors and costars as Dennis Hopper, Stanley Kubrick, Meryl Streep, and Roman Polanski, Eliot paints a sweeping picture of the breadth of Nicholson's fifty-year career in film, as well as an intimate portrait of his personal life. Equally at home on the bookshelves of serious film historians and fans of compulsively readable Hollywood biographies, Nicholson is both a comprehensive tribute to a film legend and an entertaining look at a truly remarkable life.
At sixteen, Lance Bass received a phone call from Justin Timberlake that would change his life forever. Soon after, he left his small-town home in Clinton, Mississippi, to join an emerging musical group called *NSYNC. Two years later *NSYNC was inspiring Beatles-esque mania around the world, becoming the face of the new MTV generation, and earning the all-time record for most album sales in a single day (more than one million) and in a single week for No Strings Attached. He's remained in the spotlight ever since, and here he talks in depth for the first time about his childhood, his astonishing experiences as a young man and Christian growing up in one of the biggest bands in the world, his shock and frustration at the band's eventual dissolution, and his subsequent career, including his four months in Russia, training to become a cosmonaut. He also frankly discusses life as a gay man -- his first same-sex relationship at twenty-one, his struggle to keep his sexuality hidden from *NSYNC's fans in case it jeopardized the band's success, and the true circumstances that led to his decision to publicly come out at the age of twenty-seven. Full of fascinating behind-the-scenes lore and revealing insights from a pop star who, until now, has been notoriously private, Out of Sync is the book that millions of fans have been waiting for.
Ronald Reagan was one of the most powerful and popular American presidents. The key to understanding his political success and the remarkable likability and effortless charisma that made it possible is hidden in his early years as a Hollywood movie star. Other biographers and Reagan in his two memoirs have skimmed over the thirty years he spent as an actor, union activist, and ladies' man. Now, for the first time, in this highly entertaining and provocative new work, acclaimed film critic and historian Marc Eliot reveals the truth of those formative years and presents a far different and infinitely more detailed portrait of Reagan than ever before. Based on original research and never-before-published interviews, documents, and other materials, Eliot sheds new light on Reagan's film and television work opposite some of the most talented women of the time, including Bette Davis, Ann Sheridan, and Ginger Rogers; his starlet-strewn bachelor days when his name was linked with Lana Turner and Susan Hayward; his first, rocky marriage to actress Jane Wyman and his career-making second marriage to Nancy Davis; his controversial eight years as the president of the Screen Actors Guild; his friendships with Jimmy Stewart and William Holden; his place in the "Irish Mafia" alongside Pat O'Brien, Spencer Tracy, Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney, and Errol Flynn; and the crucial role of super-agent Lew Wasserman, who was instrumental in developing the persona that would prove essential to Reagan's future as a world leader. Set against the glamorous and often combative background of Hollywood's celebrated Golden Age, Eliot's biography provides an exceptionally nuanced examination of the man and uncovers the startling origins of the legend. From the Hardcover edition.
A captivating oral portrait of America's favorite borough, in the words of those who know Brooklyn best -- Mel Brooks, Spike Lee, Arthur Miller, Joan Rivers, Norman Mailer, Cousin Brucie, Maria Bartiromo, Pete Hamill, and many other current and former inhabitants. Gathers the oral testimony of 100 Brooklynites past and present, famous and unknown, about a mythic borough that is also an indisputably real place. They speak eloquently of what it was like back then, when the Dodgers played in Ebbets Field; later, when the borough fell on hard times; and now, when it has come back on the tracks of a real-estate boom, giving it celebrity chic and hipster cred. The story of Brooklyn is one of the great and still ongoing chapters of the American urban experience.
Steve McQueen is one of America's legendary movie stars best known for his hugely successful film career in classics such as The Magnificent Seven, The Great Escape, The Thomas Crown Affair, Bullitt, and The Towering Inferno as well as for his turbulent life off-screen and impeccable style. His unforgettable physical beauty, his soft-spoken manner, his tough but tender roughness, and his aching vulnerability had women swooning and men wanting to be just like him. Today--nearly thirty years after he lost his battle against cancer at the age of fifty--McQueen remains "The King of Cool." Yet, few know the truth of what bubbled beneath his composed exterior and shaped his career, his passions, and his private life. Now, in Steve McQueen, New York Times bestselling author, acclaimed biographer, and film historian, Marc Eliot captures the complexity of this Hollywood screen legend. Chronicling McQueen's tumultuous life both on and off the screen, from his hardscrabble childhood to his rise to Hollywood superstar status, to his struggles with alcohol and drugs and his fervor for racing fast cars and motorcycles, Eliot discloses intimate details of McQueen's three marriages, including his tumultuous relationships with Neile Adams and Ali MacGraw, as well as his numerous affairs. He also paints a full portrait of this incredible yet often perplexing career that ranged from great films to embarrassing misfires. Steve McQueen, adored by millions, was obsessed by Paul Newman, and it is the nature of that obsession that reveals so much about who McQueen really was. Perhaps his greatest talent was to be able to convince audiences that he was who he really wasn't, even as he tried to prove to himself that he wasn't who he really was. With original material, rare photos, and new interviews, Eliot presents a fascinating and complete picture of McQueen's life.From the Hardcover edition.
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