Synopses & Reviews
The best-selling biographer of Katharine Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor tells the electrifying story of how Barbra Streisand transformed herself into the greatest star of her era, etching and#8220;an indelible portrait of the artist as a young womanand#8221; (Publishers Weekly
In 1960, she was a seventeen-year-old Brooklyn kid with plenty of talent but no connections and certainly no money; her mother brought her soup to make sure she stayed fed as she took acting classes and scraped out a living. Just four years later, Barbra Streisand was the top-selling female recording artist in America and the star of one of Broadwayand#8217;s biggest hits. Now the acclaimed Hollywood biographer William Mann chronicles that dizzying ascent, telling the riveting behind-the-scenes story of how Streisand and her team transformed her from an unknown dreamer into a worldwide superstar.
Drawing on the private papers of Jerome Robbins and Bob Fosse, and interviewing scores of the friends and lovers who knew Barbara before she became Barbra, Mann recreates the vanished world of 1960s New York City and uncovers the truth behind the myths of her formative years. He shows us how Funny Girl was slowly altered, by Fosse and Robbins among others, from a Fanny Brice bio into a star-making vehicle for Streisand; takes us into the clubs and onto the set for her early nightclub and television appearances, including her torch-handing turn with Judy Garland; and introduces the canny marketing team whose strategies made her stardom seem inevitable. The Streisand who emerges is a revelation: a young woman who, for all her tough-skinned ambition, was surprisingly vulnerable in love.
Everyone who has felt outside the gate, as she once did, remembers a time when the newness and difference of Barbra Streisand changed everything and rewrote all the rules. In Hello, Gorgeous, Mann incisively illuminates the woman before she became the icon and pays tribute to one of the worldand#8217;s most beloved performers.
"Bestselling biographer Mann (of Katharine Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor) chronicles the dazzling series of events as Streisand 'gate-crashed her way to fame.' Mann tightens the focus in this hefty volume to just the early, formative years of her career, choosing 1964 as his cutoff point. Beginning with her 1960 acting classes at age 17 and her friends then, he traces her journey as a performer. Boyfriend BarrÃ© Dennen steered her away from acting into singing, giving her an education on the great female vocalists and helping her develop a club act. After winning contests at a gay Greenwich Village club, she changed her name from Barbara to Barbra (to become 'the only Barbra in the world'). Her nightclub performances 'displayed the raw power of Piaf,' and word spread. After her TV debut on The Tonight Show, she arrived on Broadway in 1962 in I Can Get It for You Wholesale, followed by Funny Girl two years later. The marketing of Streisand and the men in her life are key themes throughout. Combining extensive interviews (some anonymous) and exhaustive archival research, Mann balances intimate personal details with audience reactions and critical acclaim to etch an indelible portrait of the artist as a young woman. 16-page and 8-page b&w photo inserts. Agent: Malaga Baldi, Baldi Agency." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
andquot;How to Be a Movie Star
is more than a well-told, thoroughly researched tale about the most compelling movie star of her time. It's the captivating story of how movie-making magic actually happensandmdash;and a truly lively portrait of the greatest screen magician of them all. Mann knows his subject intimately.andquot;
andmdash;Peter Richmond, author of Fever: The Life and Music of Miss Peggy Lee
andquot;Was Elizabeth Taylor the greatest product of the Hollywood star machine or its greatest victim? Or was she, perhaps, its inventor? At a time when celebrity culture seems to be spiraling out of control, William J. Mann's smart, engaging, clear-eyed case study of Taylor's unique life in the spotlight locates the 'real' person somewhere between her private life and her public image. It's a fresh, unique and wholly successful approach to a fascinating story.andquot;
andmdash;Mark Harris, author of Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of the New Hollywood
andquot;A dazzling and sagacious red-carpet Technicolor guide book to the lost art of Stardom . . . essential reading for aspiring love goddesses and mere mortals alike.andquot;
andmdash;Lee Server, author of the bestselling Ava Gardener: andquot;Love is Nothingandquot;
andquot;When I saw Elizabeth Taylor in person, I suddenly found myself screaming like a teen at a Beatles concert. Mann deftly describes how, with great self-assurance, Taylor shrewdly and methodically orchestrated that reaction on a global scale. This is a smart book about a surprisingly savvy superstar. It's one of the best Hollywood biographies I've ever read.andquot;
--Ed Sikov, author of Dark Victory: The Life of Bette Davis
andquot;William J. Mann's portrait is meticulous and delicious, capturing the essence of a great movie star, a woman who epitomized the old Hollywood glamour even as she was bucking the system--every system! Through shrewd and intriguing detail, this lively book brings fresh insight into why and how Elizabeth Taylor mesmerized the world she was helping to change.andquot;
--Julie Salamon, author of The Devil's Candy and Hospital
andquot;This is a juicy telling of a screen idol who always did things her own way.andquot; --San Luis Obispo Tribune
andquot;...a richly enjoyable biography...andquot; --The Sunday Times (UK)
andquot;William Mann has picked the perfect title for a biography of Taylor. She was, truly, the last great movie star.andquot; --The Oregonian
andquot;...she knew by instinct, generations before today's crop of starlets, how to interface her personal and professional lives with the public, who adored her for it. Taylor lived out loud, and the world sang along to her tune.andquot; --EDGE New York
andquot;...the sorts of details a reader craves...all are rendered with a verve and fluidity that keep the book moving along in a fleet fashion. [Mann] has clearly done his research and just as clearly adores his subject [...] Taylor was at the furious center of it all, and provides as handy and captivating a guide through [the era] as any star of the 20th century could.andquot; --The New York Times Book Review
andquot;Mann's eminently yummy entry is pretty much everything you'd want in a Hollywood biography... What does make How to Be a Movie Star distinctive is its focus on the changing nature of personal fame as embodied by a woman whose life has consisted of one superlative after another.andquot; --Salon.com
andquot;William J. Mann's ridiculously entertaining biography of Elizabeth Taylor in her Hollywood heyday is yummier than digging into a hot-fudge sundae and a stack of Us Weeklys.andquot; --USA Today
andquot;William J. Mann dissects the crafty machinations of her stardom...andquot; --Bookpage
andquot;...wickedly entertaining biography...andquot; --The Times (UK)
andquot;Mann shows what all the fuss was about.andquot; --The New York Post
andquot;Mann is carving out a niche for himself as a writer and historian capable of presenting fresh information about oft-covered subjects.andquot; --The Washington Blade
andquot;This is an entertaining work, revealing much of the machinery behind star-building and star-maintaining back in the day. The trajectory of gossip queen Hedda Hopper's relationship with Elizabeth--from adoration to loathing--is deliciously conveyed. [...] Mr. Mann does an excellent job capturing the media/public frenzy of her greatest years...andquot; --Liz Smith, for wowOwow.com
andquot;...brilliant combination of history, criticism, and biography...Mann has found the perfect figure for an exploration of the seismic changes that took place in Hollywood--and in American pop culture--between the 1940s and the 1960s. It's a terrific read.andquot; --Connecticut News
andquot;Mann's book underscores the fact that Elizabeth Taylor is--above all else--a survivor...Perhaps that is why she is so relevant and remains, even more than half a century later, one of the country's most fascinating celebrities.andquot; --Lincoln Tribune
"Trying to figure out the Barbra Streisand mystique is no easy task, but Mann expertly captures the launch of her remarkable career in the early 1960s when a unique 'star was born.' Mann's meticulous research and insightful analysis go deeper than any previous biography..."--USA TODAY "[An] excellent new work...One can only put down Hello, Gorgeous with renewed appreciation for Barbras single-mindedness, and with some glimpse of her inner struggle."-Liz Smith, syndicated columnist "[A] surprisingly suspenseful and masterfully paced biography."—Kirkus (starred) "Streisand fans will come away feeling theyve had a ringside seat at her early career, and they will leave the show applauding."—Booklist "A compelling, detailed look at the rise of the multitalented Streisand from 17-year-old unknown to chart-topping singer and Broadway star. Highly recommended for fans of Streisand, biographies, and theater."--Library Journal "Combining extensive interviews (some anonymous) and exhaustive archival research, Mann balances intimate personal details with audience reactions and critical acclaim to etch an indelible portrait of the artist as a young woman."--Publishers Weekly "…[I]n his masterful Hello, Gorgeous: Becoming Barbra Streisand, he [Mann] captures one of the most fully realized pictures of the multi-hyphenate superstar to date." -Howard Cohen, The Miami Herald
andldquo;Streisand in the Camera Eye . . . is simply beautiful. andldquo;Hello, gorgeous!andrdquo; Barbra would say as Fanny Brice. Fans of Barbra will adore this one and even if you are merely fond of her work, like me, you will be blown away by the beauty of these rarely seen photographs accompanied by short descriptions of the time and place by Spada. Itandrsquo;s a real page turner, and each photograph is more eye-catching, more vivid than the last.andrdquo;
"Reading this life is like gorging on a chocolate sundae."
"This is a juicy telling of a screen idol who always did things her own way."
"...a richly enjoyable biography..."
"William Mann has picked the perfect title for a biography of Taylor. She was, truly, the last great movie star."
"...she knew by instinct, generations before todayand#8217;s crop of starlets, how to interface her personal and professional lives with the public, who adored her for it. Taylor lived out loud, and the world sang along to her tune."
"...the sorts of details a reader craves...all are rendered with a verve and fluidity that keep the book moving along in a fleet fashion... [Mann] has clearly done his research and just as clearly adores his subject."
"Taylor was at the furious center of it all, and provides as handy and captivating a guide throughandnbsp;[the era]andnbsp;as any star of the 20th century could."
"Mann's eminently yummy entry is pretty much everything you'd want in a Hollywood biography... What does make How to Be a Movie Star distinctive is its focus on the changing nature of personal fame as embodied by a woman whose life has consisted of one superlative after another."
"William J. Mann's ridiculously entertaining biography of Elizabeth Taylor in her Hollywood heyday is yummier than digging into a hot-fudge sundae and a stack of Us Weeklys."
"Distinguished celebrity biographer and Vanity Fair
contributing editor Bosworth recounds the life story of an American icon in all its heady--and at times, unabashedly scandalous--glory
. With consummate skill and insight, the author follows Fonda... Bosworth's coverage of Fonda...is as epic as the life that she chronicles. Reading to savor
-Kirkus, starred "[Bosworth's] remarkable reconstruction of long-ago events has a fly-on-the-wall viewpoint, written with such intimacy that it sometimes generates the strange sensation of being present with Fonda and her friends... Bosworth has succeeded in capturing Fonda's step-by-step transformation from wide-eyed, apolitical ingenue to the poised personality of recent decades."
-Publishers Weekly, starred "Watching Jane Fonda wrestle with her many passions has been one of the most fascinating stories of the past fifty years. Brilliant, beautiful, achingly vulnerable, self-wounding and yet with a Joan of Arc sense of self-determination whenever she steps into the spotlight. Fonda is one of the greatest film stars to ever appear on the screen. Her life deserves to be re-evaluated as it is in Patricia Bosworth's Jane Fonda: The Private Life of a Public Woman."
and#8212;Alec Baldwin "Patricia Bosworth has written an irresistible biography ofand#160;the accomplished controversial actress whose roles on screen and off helped define a generation. Whether you love Jane Fonda or abhor her, the Private Life ofand#12288;a Public Woman is a detailed and generous exploration not only of the contradictory world Fonda grew up in but of the many people who shaped her."
and#8212;Jeannette Walls "Bosworthand#8217;s expedition into every corner of Fondaand#8217;s life makes for far more than a spellbinding biography. It sweeps the reader into a cultural history of the and#8217;60s, and#8217;70s, and and#8217;80s, when this female icon helped define the causes of the era. The access gained by Bosworth is impressiveand#8212;lovers, stepmothers, and ex-husbands share their secrets, adding to what will certainly become the definitive portrait of a woman conflicted, torn between ferociousand#12288;ambition, family, and feminist causes. Bosworthand#8217;s rendering of Fondaand#8217;s interior chaos becomes a revealing probe into the female psyche."
and#8212;Gail Sheehy, author of Passages
"Patricia Bosworthand#8217;s brilliant detective work has unearthed so much about Jane Fonda that I didnand#8217;t knowand#8212;so much feeling, so much courage, so much hurt. Reading this book, it occurred to me that Fonda, despite her brilliant acting, despite her activism, despite her life led in the headlines, was really the archetypal woman of her generation: a woman torn between love and work, family and accomplishment. Bosworthand#8217;s book is far from another Hollywood biography; it is a human portrait and, at the same time, a major American life. Reading this book, living Janeand#8217;s life along with her, is an adventure and a pleasure."
and#8212;William Mann, author of Kate: The Woman Who Was Hepburn and How to Be a Movie Star: Elizabeth Taylor in Hollywood "Jane Fonda was born with beauty and talent, which broughtand#12288;her fame and wealth. Now she's blessed with a biographer who knowsand#12288;Hollywood and understandsand#12288;the human condition. Nothing about Fonda's life (her obsession with her looks, her loversand#8212;male and femaleand#8212;her husbands, her money, and her elusive father) escapes the keen eye of Patricia Bosworth, who tells the life story ofand#12288;a cinema icon, one of the most intriguing women of our era.and#12288;You will be enthralled from start to finish."
and#8212;Kitty Kelley, author of Oprah:and#12288;A Biography
"Gracefully written and deeply researched, Patricia Bosworth's Jane Fonda is not only a first-class biography but a thoughtful,sympathetic, yet objective, study of a central figure in the preoccupying drama of American celebrity life as it has been played out over the past half century."
and#8212;Richard Schickel, author of Conversations with Scorsese "As an heiress to Hollywood royalty, survivor of childhood trauma, sexpot, movie star, fitness guru, activist, trophy wife, and serial self-reinventor, Jane Fonda has embodied every theme in modern American mythology. And I can't think of anyone better equipped to tell her story than Patricia Bosworth. Her superb reporting, combined with an equally sure understanding of what the details add up to, has produced a clear-sighted but sympathetic and compelling portrait of a woman who really is an emblem of our age."
and#8212;Amanda Vaill, author of Everybody Was so Young
The acclaimed and bestselling biographer of Katherine Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor charts Barbra Streisandand#8217;s climb to fame during her New York years and tells the electrifying story of how she transformed herself into the greatest superstar of her era.
In 1960, Barbra Streisand was just a seventeen-year-old Brooklyn kid with plenty of talent and even more ambition. Four years later, she had conquered Broadway as the star of Funny Girl and had three platinum albums. In Hello, Gorgeous, William Mann takes us back to her formative years: her relationship with her mother, her early lovers, and her husband Elliott Gould. With access to the previously sealed private collections of Jerome Robbins, Bob Fosse, and many others, Mann lays out the first-ever accurate account of the making of Funny Girl, fills in an incomplete record of Streisands early nightclub and television appearances, and takes us behind the scenes of the canny marketing team whose strategies made her stardom seem inevitable.
A narrative account of Elizabeth Taylor's career, with particular attention paid to how the consummate movie star influenced and crafted her image over the years.
Elizabeth Taylor has never been short on star power, but in this unprecedented biography, the spotlight is entirely on herand#8212;a spirited beauty full of magic, professional daring, and wit.
Acclaimed biographer William Mann follows Elizabeth Taylor publicly as she makes her ascent at MGM, falls into (and out of) marriages, wins Oscars, fights studio feuds, and combats America's conservative values with her decidedly modern love affairs. But he also shines a light on Elizabeth's rich private life, revealing a love for her craft and a loyalty to the underdog that fueled her lifelong battle against the studio system. Swathed in mink, disposing of husbands but keeping the diamondsand#8212;this is Elizabeth Taylor as she lived and loved, breaking and making the rules in the game of supreme celebrity.
"[An] excellent new work . . . One can only put down Hello, Gorgeous with renewed appreciation for Barbras single-mindedness, and with some glimpse of her inner struggle." —Liz Smith, syndicated columnist
“Barbra Streisand’s story may be the most triumphant case of revenge in show business history . . . Mann vividly evokes the atmosphere of Streisand’s New York.”—New York Times
In 1960, Barbra Streisand was just a seventeen-year-old Brooklyn kid with plenty of talent but no connections and certainly no money; her mother brought her soup to make sure she stayed fed as she took acting classes and scraped out a living. Just four years later, she was the top-selling female recording artist in America and the star of one of Broadway’s biggest hits. In Hello, Gorgeous, the acclaimed Hollywood biographer William Mann chronicles that dizzying ascent, telling the riveting behind-the-scenes story of how Streisand and her team transformed her from an unknown dreamer into one of the world’s most beloved superstars.
“Trying to figure out the Barbra Streisand mystique is no easy task, but author William Mann expertly captures the launch of her remarkable career in the early 1960s when a unique ‘star was born’ . . . Mann's meticulous research and insightful analysis go deeper than any previous biography: shedding light on the formative years that shaped Streisand's persona, debunking some myths . . . and providing a cultural snapshot of the wild and free-spirited era in which Streisand blossomed.”—USA Today
“In his masterful book, Mann captures one of the most fully realized pictures of the multi-hyphenate superstar to date . . . Many books have been written about Streisand but few, if any, put readers as close to the subject as Mann does."—Miami Herald
Streisand: In the Camera Eye is a collection of 170 of the most compelling photographs of Barbra Streisand, chosen for their rarity, beauty, and insight into Streisandand#8217;s multifaceted life and career. The pictures, most of which have never been published before, document her many phases, from her early days on Broadway, including Funny Girl, to her hugely popular TV specials, to her work as an actress in films such as Hello, Dolly!, The Way We Were, and A Star Is Born. Taken by some of the greatest names in photographyand#8212;including Philippe Halsman, Francesco Scavullo, Douglas Kirkland, Bob Willoughby, and Cecil Beatonand#8212;the images also represent her fabled concerts, as well as personal moments away from the set and stage. Seven essays by Spada introduce the various periods of Streisandand#8217;s adult life, and, along with substantial anecdotal and quote-filled captions, they combine with the spectacular photos to tell the whole story of one of the worldand#8217;s most popular and beloved stars.and#160;[Please note that theand#160;title design intentionally wraps around the spine to the back cover.]
In the hands of a seasoned, tenacious biographer, the evolution of one of the century's most controversial and successful women becomes nothing less than the enthralling saga of a mythic American life.
Bosworth goes behind the image of an American superwoman, revealing Jane Fondaand#8212;more powerful and vulnerable than ever expectedand#8212;whose struggles for high achievement, love, and successful motherhood mirror the conflicts of a generation of women.
In the hands of this seasoned, tenacious biographer, the evolution of one of the centuryand#8217;s most controversial and successful women becomes nothing less than a great, enthralling American life.
Jane Fonda emerged from a heartbreaking Hollywood family drama to become a and#8217;60s onscreen ingand#233;nue and then an Oscar-winning actress. At the top of her game she risked all, rising against the Vietnam War and shocking the world with a trip to Hanoi. Later, while becoming one of Hollywoodand#8217;s most committed feminists, she financed her husband Tom Haydenand#8217;s political career in the and#8217;80s with exercise videos that began a fitness craze and brought in millions of dollars. Just as interesting is Fondaand#8217;s next turn, as a Stepford Wife of the Gulfstream set, marrying Ted Turner and seemingly walking away from her ideals and her career.
Fondaand#8217;s is a story of the blend of deep insecurity, magnetism, bravery, and determination that fuels the most inspiring and occasionally infuriating public lives. Finally here is Fonda and all the women sheand#8217;s been.
About the Author
PATRICIA BOSWORTH, a contributing editor at Vanity Fair, has known Jane Fonda since they were students at the Actors Studio and has been writing about her since 1968.andnbsp; Bosworth has also written acclaimed biographies of Montgomery Clift, Diane Arbus, and Marlon Brando.andnbsp;andnbsp;She lives in New York.
Table of Contents
and#160; Iand#160;Daughter: 1937and#8211;1958and#8194;and#8226;and#8194;15
and#160;IIIand#160;Movie Starand#8201;/and#8201;Sex Symbol: 1963and#8211;1970and#8194;and#8226;and#8194;187
and#160;IVand#160;Political Activist: 1970and#8211;1988and#8194;and#8226;and#8194;307
and#160;Vand#160;Workout Guruand#8201;/and#8201;Tycoon Wife: 1988and#8211;2000and#8194;and#8226;and#8194;439