If you want to hold onto any of your illusions about famous movie stars, don’t read this book. Awarded three stars on Goodreads.
From Rita Hayworth to Rex Harrison, from Elizabeth Taylor to Laurence Olivier — Frank Langella paints them all as self-absorbed, ego-driven, insecure humans who really only live to be on stage or the center of attention. It’s actually quite sad how dysfunctional so many icons appear. The book also includes a lot of talk about random sexual escapades among stars, lots of drinking, and relentless competition.
What did I learn? I learned that Actor-Author Frank Langella certainly has encountered a lot of famous actors, writers, and directors over the years. Sixty-six short chapters that include Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Elia Kazan, and the Queen Mother.
He isn’t a bad writer. But I felt throughout that he thinks of himself as apart, even above, all the others, possessing deeper insight. My sense from reading, however, is that he is just the same as all the others — not a particularly admirable person. And I also felt the book was mostly his opportunity to brag about all the famous people he’s known.
If you enjoy Hollywood and theater gossip, you’ll certainly enjoy this. But I can’t think of any other reason to read it.
Langella’s imdb information.