From Bosworth—acclaimed biographer of Montgomery Clift, Diane Arbus, Marlon Brando, and Jane Fonda—comes a series of vivid confessions about her remarkable journey into womanhood. This deeply-felt memoir is the story of a woman who defied repressive 1950s conventions while being shaped by the notable men in her life.
Born into privilege in San Francisco as the children of famous attorney Bartley Crum and novelist Gertrude, Patricia and her brother Bart Jr. lead charmed lives until their father’s career is ruined when he defends the Hollywood Ten. The family moves to New York, suffering greater tragedy when Bart Jr. kills himself. However, his loving spirit continues to influence Patricia as she fights to succeed as an actress and writer.
Married and divorced from an abusive husband before she’s twenty, she joins the famed Actors Studio. She takes classes with Lee Strasberg alongside Marilyn Monroe, Paul Newman, and others; she works on Broadway opposite Paul Muni, Helen Hayes, and Elaine Stritch; Gore Vidal and Elia Kazan become her mentors. Her anecdotes of theatre’s Golden Age have never been told before. At the zenith of her career, about to film The Nun’s Story with Audrey Hepburn, Patricia faces a decision that changes her forever.
The Men in My Life is about survival, achieving your goals, and learning to love. It’s also the story of America’s most culturally pivotal era, told through the lens of one insider’s extraordinary life.
Patricia Bosworth has gone beyond the image of an American superwoman to reveal a Jane Fonda more powerful and vulnerable than ever expected. Fonda emerged from a heartbreaking Hollywood family drama to become a ’60s onscreen ingénue and then an Oscar-winning actress. At the top of her game she risked all, rising up against the Vietnam War and shocking the world with a trip to Hanoi. While becoming one of Hollywood’s most committed feminists, she financed her husband Tom Hayden’s political career in the ’80s with exercise videos that began a fitness craze and brought in millions of dollars. Just as interesting is Fonda’s next turn, as a Stepford Wife of the Gulfstream set, marrying Ted Turner and seemingly walking away from her ideals and her career. Fonda’s multilevel story is a blend of the deep insecurity, magnetism, bravery, and determination that has fueled her inspiring and occasionally infuriating public life.
“The definitive portrait of a woman conflicted, torn between ferocious ambition, family, and feminist causes.” —Gail Sheehy, author of Passages
“The Private Life does Jane Fonda the service of making us remember why she was relevant in the first place: the movies. Bosworth’s thorough account of this wild, uniquely twentieth-century Hollywood life makes Jane Fonda the actress even more intriguing.” —San Francisco Chronicle
Diane Arbus became famous for her intimate and unconventional portraits of twins, dwarfs, sideshow performers, eccentrics, and everyday “freaks.” Condemned by some for voyeurism, praised by others for compassion, she was nonetheless a transformative figure in twentieth-century photography and hailed by all for her undeniable genius. Her life was cut short when she committed suicide in 1971 at the peak of her career. In the first complete biography of Arbus, author Patricia Bosworth traces the arc of Arbus’s remarkable life: her sheltered upper-class childhood and passionate, all-consuming marriage to Allan Arbus; her roles as wife and devoted mother; and her evolution from fashion photographer to critically acclaimed artist—one who forever altered the boundaries of photography.
In 1948 Marlon Brando stunned audiences and critics alike with his revolutionary, raw, and improvisational approach to acting. He became a symbol of a new, rebellious generation that was sick of conventions and committed to genuine emotion and unvarnished truth. From his breakout role as Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire to his mesmerizing portrayal of Don Corleone in The Godfather, he created some of the most memorable characters in American cinematic history. Brando was a paradox—intensely private but using his fame to promote worthy causes, a womanizer who clung to his childhood friends and animals. He was one of the most fiercely independent stars ever. In this book, acclaimed biographer Patricia Bosworth peels away Brando’s many layers, revealing the struggles, triumphs, and relentless ambition that transformed the irrepressible farm boy from Nebraska into a legend of American cinema.
“A vivid reminder of the personal and professional highlights of Brando's life.”—Publishers Weekly