Probably best-known to many as Gandalf from The Lord of the Rings, Ian McKellen had a long and illustrious career on stage and screen, and was an ardent campaigner for LGBT rights, before ever donning the wizard’s cloak. In this intimate and affectionate biography Garry O’Connor traces McKellen’s private and public lives, and his achievement as an actor, whether in repertory in Coventry or in Hollywood, never forsaking his ‘lifelong love affair’ with Shakespeare.
The Life and Radio Times of Kenny Everett
One of the most original and influential personalities of the pop radio era, Kenny Everett was fired from three stations before becoming Britain’s top TV comedian in the 1980s. This biography assesses the career, private life and complex personality of the shy but outrageous entertainer.
Best remembered for playing Sherlock Holmes in the 1960s television serial, Douglas Wilmer was an accomplished character actor who appeared in many classic films of the 1950s and 1960s, including Cleopatra and Jason and the Argonauts, and counted stars such as Laurence Olivier and Richard Burton among his friends. This memoir describes his life and career and features the personal anecdotes of leading actors of the post-war era.
No Way But This
In Search of Paul Robeson
The singer and actor Paul Robeson was one of the most celebrated African-Americans of his time, but sacrificed fame and fortune for his political ideals. Blending biography with travelogue, the author follows Robeson from Harlem to Spain, the Welsh valleys and Moscow.
Robert Redford is best known as a film actor whose iconic roles include Jay Gatsby and the Sundance Kid, but he also became a public figure through his film festival and a prominent political activist. This biography draws on his personal papers to portray a man whose self-doubt, rebellious nature and restless curiosity underpin the offbeat, careless charm of his movie personas.
The Little Girl Who Fought the Great Depression
Shirley Temple and 1930s America
During the 1930s Shirley Temple became the biggest box office star in the world: this is the story of her film career, with a strong focus on the wider cultural and political impact of her movies. Supported by contemporary photographs and visual material, it also explores the way that huge merchandise sales boosted jobs and local economies, and how the cinema reflected the mood of the nation during the Depression and FDR’s New Deal.
75 Years of Doing Just About Everything
Acting in myriad roles, including Albert Perks in The Railway Children , various Carry On characters and a Fawlty Towers guest, singing ‘Right Said Fred’, fishing for trout, picking up his BAFTA award and jumping out of aeroplanes (as a paratrooper), Bernard Cribbins (b.1928) has had a busy 75 years. Using his conversational ‘Jackanory method’, he tells the story of his life in the Army, films, television, radio and on and off stage: ‘one long variety show’.
My Life Outside the Lines
Coming to prominence on television at the age of 35, Nick Nolte has since earned three Oscar nominations for his film performances. This autobiography explores his early life in Iowa and years as a model as well as his Hollywood career and high-profile addiction problems. Slightly off-mint and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
A Lonely Life
Growing up in a humble shack in Tupelo, Mississippi, Elvis Presley dreamed that success would free him from poverty. So how did he become dependent on bank loans even after achieving huge worldwide fame, and why did he despise his own movies and songs, even fearing that he would be forgotten after his death? This biography focuses on identifying the origins of the contradictions and frailties that lay behind Elvis’s charming, confident onstage persona. Slightly off-mint.
The Mystery of Style
Published to accompany the 2010 exhibition of the same name at the Salvatore Ferragamo Museum in Florence, this volume investigates Greta Garbo’s life in fashion. Although almost everything she wore was custom-made, her sartorial style was not that of a conventional film star and her wardrobe consisted of comfortable, practical clothes and footwear, many previously unpublished photographs of which feature here. Also included are full-page studio portraits and paparazzi shots plus essays and anecdotes about her life on and off-screen.
More Than Just A Good Life
The Authorised Biography of Richard Briers
Richard Briers' comedic talent and acting pedigree was revealed to an international audience (and to his Hollywood co-stars) through Kenneth Branagh's films of the 1990s but he had long been established as a national treasure in Britain. This biography chronicles the early life and training of the actor (a contemporary of Peter O'Toole and Albert Finney at RADA) and relates anecdotes from his long career in theatre, television, film and radio.
Hollywood's Last Icon
By the age of 37 Charlton Heston was an Oscar-winning movie star, having played leading roles in three of Hollywood’s top-grossing movies, including The Ten Commandments and Ben Hur. This biography follows Heston from his boyhood in Michigan, where he suffered the pain of his parent’s divorce (an experience that would inform his indomitable screen persona), through his prolific Hollywood years, to his defence of the Second Amendment as president of the National Rifle Association. Felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
The Definitive Biography
One of the most charismatic actors of his generation, Peter O'Toole (1932–2013) brought a dangerous edge to both his roles and his life. Drawing on exclusive interviews with colleagues and friends, this biography from the author of Hellraisers paints an intimate picture of a complex, much-loved man. From the mystery of his place of birth through his formative years with the Royal Shakespeare Company, the book charts his celebrated performances, his turbulent relationships and his drunken antics.
Martin Freeman: From Slough to Middle Earth
Playing the sweet and vulnerable everyman, Tim, in The Office made Martin Freeman's name but before this breakthrough he had often been cast as edgy outsiders. This biography describes his Hampshire childhood and tracks his career from his acting debut at the Youth Action Theatre to his roles in TV and film, including Sherlock and the Hobbit trilogy, which have made him an international star.
A Star is Born
The Moment an Actress Becomes an Icon
Vivien Leigh's performance in Gone with the Wind or Anita Ekberg's in La Dolce Vita were pivotal moments in cinema, when a relatively unknown actress was transformed into a major international star. With full-page portraits and brief biographies, this film history identifies the breakthrough moments of 75 leading actresses from Greta Garbo in Mata Hariand Grace Kelly in High Noon to Jane Fonda in Klute and Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman.
A Brief Life
Hitchcock carefully controlled his public persona, emphasizing his lugubrious humour and often retelling selected anecdotes from his childhood to explain his mastery of the cinematic thriller. Delving behind these stories Ackroyd investigates what the director also owed to his formative experiences in British and German film-making and how the fears, fantasies and obsessions of his lonely upbringing in East London shaped his lifelong controlling personality and his films’ characteristic mixture of comedy and suspense. American-cut pages. Off-mint and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
There's Something I've Been Dying to Tell You
Something of a national treasure, thanks to her appearances as the archetypal mum in the Oxo television commercials, Lynda Bellingham (1948–2014) was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2013. In this memoir, she reflects on her life and continuing work while undergoing treatment for the disease as well as her relationships with her family, and her quest to find her birth father, having been adopted in infancy.
Morecambe & Wise
50 Years of Sunshine
Eric Morecambe's son Gary has drawn on the family archive of photographs and ephemera to compile this illustrated biography of Eric and Ernie, reviewing their career from the early 1940s to the 1980s and their legacy beyond. The pictured items include variety bills, programmes, letters, scripts, stills from their celebrated television shows, archive images of their early career and private snaps with friends and family.
My Fifty-Year Friendship with a Remarkable Man
The actors who would create the iconic parts of Spock and Kirk in Star Trek were both 23 when they met on the set of The Man from UNCLE in 1964. In this affectionate biography, Shatner gives an account of Leonard Nimoy’s life and career from the perspective of their long friendship.
Michael Caine: 1960s
Michael Caine’s film characters, such as Alfie and Harry Palmer, as well as his distinctive looks, working-class background and glamorous lifestyle, made him the model of male cool in the 1960s. This celebration of his style presents a portfolio of photographs of the actor during the period, including portraits, film stills and candid pictures, on and off set. A brief introduction and captions set the scene and identify celebrity co-stars and companions, including Natalie Wood, Terence Stamp and Mia Farrow.
Katharine Hepburn: A Personal Biography
A Scott Berg knew Katharine Hepburn for 20 years, during which time they shared many hours of private conversation – material, it was agreed, for a book to be published after the actress’s death. Covering details of her privileged background, her 50 years of stardom, her relationship with Spencer Tracy and her thoughts about other actors, interwoven with fascinating anecdotes, this is Hepburn’s life as she wanted it to be presented.
Despite the success of American Graffiti in 1973, George Lucas was unable to get the rights to Flash Gordon, so instead began to develop his own science fiction soap opera. Tracing the director’s roots and influences, this biography recounts the stories of bringing blockbusters such as Star Wars to the screen and assesses Lucas’s profound influence on movie-making, not least through the foundation of special effects and production companies such as Pixar and THX Sound.
Movie Star Italian Style
In a career spanning almost seven decades, Sophia Loren has achieved recognition as one of the most beautiful and talented actresses of all time. Part one of this photographic tribute traces her life from childhood poverty in wartime Pozzouli, near Naples, to Academy Award-winner, singer and UN Goodwill Ambassador. In part two, her films are each introduced with a concise text and illustrated with film stills, posters and rarely seen photographs.
A Life in Movies
This well illustrated biography of Ava Gardner covers four decades of film history. The authors examine Gardner’s roles in movies such as The Killers and Night of the Iguana, the creation of her image, her tempestuous relationships (including with Hemingway and Sinatra) and her loyal friendships, revealing her to be far more than an MGM-created ‘cookie-cutter star’. Slightly off-mint.
The Death of Photography
In 1970s London the photographer Peter Gravelle shot portraits of The Sex Pistols, The Damned, Siouxsie Sioux and other punk icons. But the death of Sid Vicious convinced him to switch to fashion, beginning in 1980 with a shoot for Italian Vogue. This collection of Gravelle’s uncompromising and often experimental work also features personal musings on his relationships and career, both derailed by an addiction to heroin which would dominate his life. Contains graphic images and sexually explicit.
No Cunning Plan
After stints in regional theatre in Leeds, Birmingham and Bristol, Tony Robinson played small parts on television during the 1970s, including presenting Play Away, and began to make his name as a comedian in the early 1980s with the sketch show Who Dares Wins. The Blackadder star reads his engaging autobiography in this 12-CD set.
No Cunning Plan
As one of Fagin's boys in the original production of Oliver!, Tony Robinson's understudy was Steve Marriott, later of the Small Faces, and he'd had a 20-year career in regional theatre and minor television work before Blackadder and Time Team, for which he is now principally known. In this autobiography he discusses his long professional career as well as his childhood in North London and his political and campaigning work.
The Blue Book Modelling Years
Miss Emmeline Snively, head of the Blue Book Agency, nurtured 19-year-old Norma Jeane Dougherty at the beginning of the young woman’s modelling career, before she transformed into the movie icon Marilyn Monroe. It was Miss Snively’s archive, which includes previously unseen colour and black-and-white photographs, adverts, notes and press clippings from the agency, which enabled the authors to put together this unique and detailed account of Marilyn’s first tentative steps along the road to fame.
Philip Norman's history of the Beatles, Shout!, and his biography of John Lennon seemed to take a largely anti-McCartney stance so it was a surprise when Paul gave tacit approval to Norman to write this biography, enabling access to family members and close friends. The result redresses the balance, describing the importance of McCartney's creative leadership in the Beatles and exploring his later career and personal life from the early death of his mother to his highly publicized marriages. Slightly off-mint and felt-tip mark on upper trimmed edge.
I Know Nothing!
Much loved as the Spanish waiter Manuel in Fawlty Towers, Andrew Sachs (1930-2016) was born in Berlin rather than Barcelona and fled to England in 1938 after his father was arrested by the Gestapo. In this compelling and often hilarious memoir he tells of his early years in showbiz, the success of the infamous Torquay hotel, and his acting career beyond Fawlty, which included Shakespeare, Dustin Hoffman's Quartet, a stint as Father Brown, and Snowy in BBC Radio 5's Tintin.
Who I Am
Actress Charlotte Rampling’s early life included schooling and holidays in France and much time spent with her sister, Sarah, who committed suicide in 1967. The truth about the tragedy was initially kept from Charlotte and she then shared the secret with her father until her mother’s death. This short memoir is written in elegiac, fragmentary and sometimes poetic style and includes photographs from the family archive.
The distinguished Beckett scholar Gerry Dukes presents a photographic biography of one of the most interesting and challenging writers of the 20th century. Illustrated with family snapshots, formal portraits and many informal photographs taken during rehearsals and performances of his plays, the book traces Beckett’s life from his birth in Dublin in 1919 to his death in Paris, his adopted home, in 1989.
Masters of Cinema
Jérôme Larcher traces Charlie Chaplin’s life and work from the London music hall to his tremendous success as the Little Tramp, and from the films he made in Hollywood after the advent of ‘talkies’, to his later work in Europe – minus the baggy trousers and bowler hat.
A Woman at War
Marlene Dietrich Remembered
An icon of Hollywood's golden era, Marlene Dietrich first made her name in the Deutsches Theater in Berlin in the 1920s. The most famous German performer of the 1930s, Dietrich was a vocal critic of the Nazi regime, bravely denouncing it and later working to promote the American war effort. Recalling the great star during this turbulent period, this book is a collection of interviews with a range of people who knew her, from GIs to well-known fellow entertainers.
Unearthing secrets in Budapest, getting arrested in Thailand, exalting in the art of Venice or facing down airline staff... life is anything but dull with Sheila Hancock. Following on from The Two of Us, this book describes life on her own, after the death of her husband John Thaw. Having heeded a piece of Quaker advice - 'live adventurously' - she faced the future with characteristic wit, gusto and curiosity.
The Cinematic Legacy of Frank Sinatra
Already famous as a singer, Frank Sinatra (1915–1998) entered the film industry as a song-and-dance man, but soon demonstrated his versatility in roles ranging from romantic leads to tough guys in films such as Ocean's 11 (1960) and The Manchurian Candidate (1962). This book celebrates his career as an actor, pairing more than 200 photographs and posters with commentaries from co-stars including Grace Kelly and Sammy Davis Jr, and essays from his children Nancy, Tina and Frank Jr.
The star of landmark movies including Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, The Deer Hunter and Sergio Leone's legendary Once Upon a Time in America, Robert De Niro is indisputably one of the greatest actors of his generation, famous for his total immersion in roles such as Jake LaMotta in Raging Bull. This biography from the author of Rat Pack Confidential follows the trajectory of De Niro's career as actor and director, but also examines the life of the man behind the many characters.
There's no one quite like Brian Blessed: actor, storyteller, mountaineer and coffin-maker. In this frank, riotous memoir he recalls his childhood in a Yorkshire mining town, his breakthrough on Z Cars, falling for Katharine Hepburn, raising hell with Peter O'Toole, meeting the love of his life, the actress Hildegard Neil – and punching Harold Pinter down a flight of stairs. ‘No long dramatic pauses this time, Harold; he got one right on the side of the jaw. Wham!’
His Life, Thought, and Work
Marlon Brando (1924–2004) is remembered for his charismatic screen presence, rugged good looks and rebellious stance. Drawing on unpublished documents, letters, the actor's own library and interviews with friends and colleagues, this major biography presents a very different portrait of the fascinating private man: a civil-rights activist and intellectual who collected 4,000 books, rewrote scripts to sharpen his dialogue, loved the poetry of Emily Dickinson, and embraced other cultures and let them shape both his politics and his art.
The Cinematic Legacy of Frank Sinatra
Already famous as a singer, Frank Sinatra (1915–1998) entered the film industry as a comedic song-and-dance man, but soon demonstrated his versatility in roles ranging from romantic leads to tough guys in films such as Ocean's 11 (1960). This handsome book celebrates his career as an actor, pairing more than 200 photographs and posters with reflections from co-stars including Grace Kelly and Sammy Davis Jr. Off-mint and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
A Life in Pictures
Destined for the limelight from childhood, Elizabeth Taylor (1932–2011) was just twelve when National Velvet made her a star. And while later films such as Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966) established her depth and power as an actress, she was better known for her many marriages and passion for diamonds. Illustrated with photographs, this handsome book charts her life and career, her turbulent relationship with Richard Burton, and her charity work. Off-mint.
Hollywood star, Oscar-winning director, the greatest stage actor of the 20th century – Laurence Olivier's singular triumphs were due above all to two things: talent and a ravenous determination to succeed. In this much-acclaimed biography, Ziegler draws on over 50 hours of unpublished interviews to offer the fullest portrait yet of the legendary actor, both on and off stage, and in films from Henry V to The Prince and the Showgirl with Marilyn Monroe.
Jack Duckworth and Me
Bill Tarmey (1941–2012) played the lovable rogue Jack Duckworth in Coronation Street for 31 years until his character was killed off during the show's 50th anniversary in 2010. His story of growing up in post-war Manchester, singing in working men's clubs, and then finding his niche playing a rascal whose life uncannily mirrored his own will be cherished by all fans of Britain's longest-running soap.
Joanna Lumley is not only a star of stage and screen but a national treasure. Luckily her magpie instincts have preserved a hoard of memorabilia that make this illustrated memoir a visual feast, with photos from her Indian childhood to the present. There are souvenirs of her early modelling career, her celebrated roles in The New Avengers, The Pink Panther and Absolutely Fabulous and, of course, the causes about which she feels passionate.
Photographs from the John Kobal Foundation
'Never act with children or animals,' they say, but many of Hollywood's greatest stars were only too happy to be captured on film with their feline companions. This collection of over 100 vintage photographs offers a glimpse of such luminaries as Dirk Bogarde, Marlon Brando, Ava Gardner, Cary Grant, Carole Lombard, Jayne Mansfield, Kim Novak and Elizabeth Taylor in charming unguarded moments with their beloved pets, as well as the nameless strays who ruled the studios.
George Cole: My Autobiography
The World Was My Lobster
George Cole was adopted as a baby by a South London couple, and then again at 15 when the comic actor Alastair Sim took him in as an evacuee. This autobiography reflects on Cole's childhood and relationships as well as the long career during which he worked with many legends of the stage and screen and created such memorable characters as Flash Harry in the St Trinian's films and Arthur Daley in Minder.
Matinee Idol to Movie Star
A matinee idol in his twenties, John Gielgud went on to become the greatest classical actor of the 20th century. This entertaining but critical biography charts the ups and downs of his life, his stage roles, his rivalry with Olivier, his personal relationships – and the arrest that nearly wrecked his career. Drawing on Gielgud's own frank correspondence and on interviews with colleagues and friends, Croall draws an intimate, often startling portrait of this great and much-loved actor. Slightly off-mint.
Born in Philadelphia in 1929, Grace Kelly became an Academy Award-winning actress, starring with Hollywood’s leading men, a favourite and a friend of Alfred Hitchcock and a style icon for millions; in 1956 she left America, married Prince Rainier of Monaco and became Princess Gracia, renowned for her benevolence and unwavering poise. In this biography, Thilo Wydra explores the ambivalence that coloured Grace’s personality, drawing on her letters to Hitchcock and an interview with her son, as he examines a life ‘in two halves’. Off-mint.