More in autobiography

Carole Gene Marer spent her girlhood dreaming of meeting Rock Hudson, but when she finally had the chance—on her second date with her future husband, television mogul Aaron Spelling—she was so shy she hid all night in the powder room. How Candy morphed from that quiet girl into a seemingly-confident, stylish trophy wife, mistress of the largest house in Los Angeles (70,000 square feet when you count the attic) is at the heart of Stories from Candyland.

The life Candy created for her family—her husband and children Tori and Randy—was fabulous, over-the-top, and often magical. So what if California Christmases don't come with snow? Let's make some on the tennis court! How do we take a cross-country family vacation with a dad who doesn't fly? By private train car, of course (with an extra for the fifty-two pieces of luggage). The kids want to dress up for Halloween? No problem, why not call in Nolan Miller to design their costumes?

Candy had a hand in some of the most beloved television shows of all time (she once stopped production on "Dynasty" because Krystle Carrington's engagement ring was not spectacular enough), has entertained half of Hollywood in epic fashion, and lives an enviable life. But under all the fun and showmanship lies a more interesting character, still wrestling with some of the insecurities of her ingénue self. Oprah threw her into a major panic with a discussion of hoarding. A lifelong humming habit evolved as a unique coping mechanism. And there's nothing like being defined as, "well, you know, complicated" by your daughter on television and in her own book.

Stories from Candyland sparkles with glamour and grand gestures. But it also satisfies with some more intimate Candy concerns: why being a perfect wife and mother was so important to her, how cooking and cleaning can keep the home fires burning, why collections matter, and whether dogs are better judges of people than people are.

Visit Candyland in these pages and get a glimpse of a generous, glittering world revealing many of its surprising and funny secrets for the first time.

A poignant and revealing memoir from a legendary entertainer.

Donna McKechnie began her love affair with dance as a child in Detroit. At fifteen, she ran away from home to join a touring dance troupe, and in 1961, she was cast in the Broadway smash hit How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. She soon won acclaim as Michael Bennett's show-stopping muse in Promises, Promises and Company. In 1975, with her Tony-winning performance in Michael Bennett's masterpiece, A Chorus Line, McKechnie vaulted to stardom as a unique Broadway "triple threat" who could do it all -- dance, sing, and act.

Moving among the circles of artists, dancers, and musicians who inspired and challenged her in myriad ways, McKechnie writes about the trajectory of her career as it intertwined with and influenced her personal life and the lives of those around her. Recounting her dazzling career, McKechnie also reveals the dark side of fame: from her parents' troubled relationship to a searing account of her own marriage to Michael Bennett and her inspiring triumphs over depression and the rheumatoid arthritis that nearly ended her career. With affectionate reminiscences of Bob Fosse, Gwen Verdon, Stephen Sondheim, Fred Astaire, and many other well-known friends, McKechnie exhibits all the warmth, sensitivity, and verve that have endeared her to legions of fans over the years.

Filled with behind-the-scenes stories and anecdotes, Time Steps is a candid, funny, and deeply personal memoir by a vivacious woman with an indomitable spirit and an illustrious, ongoing career.
Dont Call Me Clarence! begins with an introduction describing what life was like during the authors childhood, the Depression years, a bit of colorful history of that era. Then the chapters take us from the authors early years how his inferiority complex came to be, a lot to do with character-forming, the pressures and influences and how important it is to be aware of both harmful and positive experiences, and even more importantly, how often people who denigrate us may actually benefit us by making us try harder to prove them wrong,

The author had at least three strikes against him as a youth: that name, Clarence, in his tough neighborhood humiliated him; he was short and thin which made him an easy mark for neighborhood bullies. Bad enough, there was the Fat Man, Fathers nephew who came to live with the family during the Depression until he could get on his feet financially, but he never left. The Fat Man was a cynical, faultfinding person who seemed to target Clarence with criticism mostly because Clarence tended to argue and fight back. But thanks to his father and mother, good old-fashioned, Old Country Christians, Clarence acquired what he called a beacon to distinguish right from wrong that influenced him to lead a straight life. His behavior was affected by a combination of positive and negative responses, but mostly his determination to fight back, to try harder to prove himself, helped him succeed in the difficult life that he led.

Outside the home, there were two very positive influences that gave Clarence a goal in life. There was Mrs. Lowe, the grade school librarian who persisted in getting Clarence to read. It wasnt easy for her, but she put a book in his hand, and he opened it, and suddenly that fantastic world of books took hold. Clarence couldnt get enough books to read. The more he read, the more he wanted to improve his knowledge and education. Book stories fueled his imagination and opened the door to a fantasy world where heroes always won, and good triumphed. It influenced his personality. It also energized his creative mind. His own stories came to mind. And it was a second dedicated teacher, Mrs. Gabrielle, who took him in hand and encouraged Clarence to write. He then knew that what he wanted most out of life was to become a writer, and he had a goal, which he pursued.

There were the Depression years that toughened people to hardships, and Clarence tried early in life to get work, any kind of work to help provide income for the family. He had that work ethic that employers recognized so he always had someone wanting his services. In those years before self-service markets, Clarence clerked for a grocery store, learned how to deal with people, and he learned an important lesson. When employers see you working is when other job offers come up. Work produces work.

Then came World War II. Clarence enlisted in the Navy. He served on four ships that took him to different lands to see different people. His third ship was sunk off of Ansio, Italy, and he barely survived. His fourth ship he saw being built in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. His ship, the PGM-30, a gunboat, was in Okinawa where the Japanese were determined to fight to the death, inflecting heavy wounds to our Navy. The PGM-30 was part of an invasion fleet awaiting action in the invasion of Japan, that American planes dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and suddenly the war was over.

After the war, there was a quandary in Clarence: what to do for a living? His goal of becoming a writer was stalled, at age twenty-six. Here another helpful person persuaded Clarence to go back to school. Back to college among young teenagers fresh out of high school was embarrassing, but Clarence persisted, earned hi

The life of a rock star to the brink of death and back - and there again - the most shockingly honest account of alcoholism you will ever read.

'I have performed for royalty, dined with Superman, stood on a stage before 100,000 people and graced the covers of magazines. I lived an enchanted lifestyle. I woke up one day to find it had all deserted me. I found myself lying broken, beaten and bleeding upon the wreckage of my youth.'

Achieving fame in the eighties with hits like 'Barbados' and 'Modern Girl', James Freud was voracious for everything and anything life had to offer. Vivacious and irrepressible, he hung out with Robert Smith and Siouxsie Sioux in London, he once hit Elvis Costello, toured with Kylie Minogue, stared down the barrel of Chopper Read's gun and got drunk with Tommy Lee. But as alcohol and pills came to rule his life, the hits stopped coming. He briefly got sober, but by the time he was promoting the first part of his autobiography, I am the Voice left from Drinking, he had become a chronic and hopeless alcoholic.

I Am The Voice Left From Rehab is the dark, gritty account of exactly what happened to James and his family next, chronicling his physical, mental and spiritual demise as time and again he drove himself to the brink of death through booze and drugs, to the despair of his loyal wife and sons. For four years, he was repeatedly arrested, hospitalised and institutionalised, and attempted suicide several times before finally he called on his deepest reserves of willpower to try, one last time, to get clean and stay that way.

This is the most brutally honest account of alcoholism you will ever read, by a man who even in his darkest days was so charismatic, funny and full of love that his family wouldn't leave him, a man who for a time found the strength to turn his life around.

James ended his life in December 2010.
In this fascinating new biography of screen legend Joan Crawford, Charlotte Chandler draws on exclusive and remarkably candid interviews with Crawford herself and with others who knew her, including first husband Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., and Crawford's daughter Cathy. As a result, this biography is fresh and revealing, a brand-new look at one of Hollywood's most acclaimed stars.

Joan Crawford was born Lucille LeSueur in San Antonio, Texas, in 1908 (as she always insisted, though other sources disagreed). Her father abandoned the family, and her mother soon remarried; Lucille was now known as Billie Cassin. Young Billie loved to dance and achieved her early success in silent films playing a dancer. Her breakthrough role came in Our Dancing Daughters. Soon married to Hollywood royalty, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. (who called her "Billie"), she was a star in her own right, playing opposite John Barrymore and a stellar cast in M-G-M's Grand Hotel.

Crawford was cast opposite another young star, Clark Gable, in several films. They would sometimes play lovers on screen -- and off as well. After her marriage to Fairbanks broke up, Crawford married actor Franchot Tone. That marriage soon began to show strains, and Crawford was sometimes seen riding with Spencer Tracy, who gave her a horse she named Secret. Crawford left M-G-M for Warners, and around the time she married her third husband, Phillip Terry, she won her Oscar for best actress (one of three times she was nominated) in Mildred Pierce. But by the 1950s the film roles dried up. Crawford and Terry had divorced, and Crawford married her fourth husband, Pepsi-Cola executive Alfred Steele. In 1962, she and longtime cinematic rival Bette Davis staged a brief comeback in the macabre but commercial What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? Following Steele's death, Crawford became a director of Pepsi- Cola while she continued raising her four adopted children. Although her daughter Christina would publish the scathing memoir Mommie Dearest after Crawford's death, Chandler offers a contrasting portrait of Crawford, drawing in part on reminiscences of younger daughter Cathy among others.

Not the Girl Next Door is perhaps Charlotte Chandler's finest Hollywood biography yet, an intimate portrait of a great star who was beautiful, talented, glamorous, and surprisingly vulnerable.
Entertainment Weekly's controversial critic of more than two decades looks back at a life told through the films he loved and loathed.

Owen Gleiberman has spent his life watching movies-first at the drive-in, where his parents took him to see wildly inappropriate adult fare like Rosemary's Baby when he was a wide-eyed 9 year old, then as a possessed cinemaniac who became a film critic right out of college. In Movie Freak, his enthrallingly candid, funny, and eye-opening memoir, Gleiberman captures what it's like to live life through the movies, existing in thrall to a virtual reality that becomes, over time, more real than reality itself.

Gleiberman paints a bittersweet portrait of his complicated and ultimately doomed friendship with Pauline Kael, the legendary New Yorker film critic who was his mentor and muse. He also offers an unprecedented inside look at what the experience of being a critic is really all about, detailing his stint at The Boston Phoenix and then, starting in 1990, at EW, where he becomes a voice of obsession battling-to a fault-to cling to his independence.

Gleiberman explores the movies that shaped him, from the films that first made him want to be a critic (Nashville and Carrie), to what he hails as the sublime dark trilogy of the 1980s (Blue Velvet, Sid and Nancy, and Manhunter), to the scruffy humanity of Dazed and Confused, to the brilliant madness of Natural Born Killers, to the transcendence of Breaking the Waves, to the pop rapture of Moulin Rouge! He explores his partnership with Lisa Schwarzbaum and his friendships and encounters with such figures as Oliver Stone, Russell Crowe, Richard Linklater, and Ben Affleck. He also writes with confessional intimacy about his romantic relationships and how they echoed the behavior of his bullying, philandering father. And he talks about what film criticism is becoming in the digital age: a cacophony of voices threatened by an insidious new kind of groupthink.

Ultimately, Movie Freak is about the primal pleasure of film and the enigmatic dynamic between critic and screen. For Gleiberman, the moving image has a talismanic power, but it also represents a kind of sweet sickness, a magnificent obsession that both consumes and propels him.
World Wrestling Entertainment fans think they know "The Heartbreak Kid." He's "The Showstopper" who pushes his high-flying abilities to the limit in the squared circle, on ladders, and in steel cages. He's the company's first "Grand Slam" champion. And of course, he's forever the guy who conspired with WWE Chairman Vince McMahon to screw Bret "Hitman" Hart out of the WWE Championship in Montreal at Survivor Series on November 9, 1997.

But that's the side "HBK" has allowed you to see...until now. Heartbreak & Triumph: The Shawn Michaels Story introduces us to Michael Shawn Hickenbottom, the youngest of four children whose "really conservative upbringing" made him shy and "afraid that people wouldn't like me if I showed who I really was." But upon discovering Southwest Championship Wrestling (SWCW) on TV one Saturday night, the preteen Hickenbottom realized instantly what he wanted to become, and later would convince his father—a colonel in the U.S. Air Force—to let him pursue his dream.

From there, Hickenbottom fully recounts the events that led to "Shawn Michaels's" tutelage under Mexican wrestler Jose Lothario; working matches at Mid-South Wrestling under the guidance of Terry Taylor and the Rock 'n' Roll Express's Robert Gibson & Ricky Morton; flying high with Marty Jannetty as "The Midnight Rockers" in the American Wrestling Association (AWA); and how a barroom confrontation in Buffalo almost prevented the tandem from ever joining the World Wrestling Federation.

While reliving the crippling back injury that forced him to retire in his prime, Michaels credits the new loves in his life—his second wife Rebecca, his children, and his newfound faith—with giving him the strength to kick his habit, recover physically, and make a jubilant return to the ring at SummerSlam 2002. Now back on top and doing what he enjoys most, the WWE Superstar regards Heartbreak & Triumph as the perfect means "to review my life, and attempt to figure out how I became the person I am."
In this “explosive” (Us Weekly) and “brutally honest” (E! Online) memoir, Jodie Sweetin, once Danny Tanner’s bubbly daughter on America’s favorite family sitcom, takes readers behind the scenes of Full House and into her terrifying—and uplifting—real-life story of addiction and recovery.

How rude!

Jodie Sweetin melted our hearts and made us laugh for eight years as cherub-faced, goody-two-shoes middle child Stephanie Tanner. Her ups and downs seemed not so different from our own, but more than a decade after the popular television show ended, the star publicly revealed her shocking recovery from methamphetamine addiction. Even then, she kept a painful secret—one that could not be solved in thirty minutes with a hug, a stern talking-to, or a bowl of ice cream around the family table. The harrowing battle she swore she had won was really just beginning.

In this deeply personal, utterly raw, and ultimately inspiring memoir, Jodie comes clean about the double life she led—the crippling identity crisis, the hidden anguish of juggling a regular childhood with her Hollywood life, and the vicious cycle of abuse and recovery that led to a relapse even as she wrote this book. Finally, becoming a mother gave her the determination and the courage to get sober. With resilience, charm, and humor, she writes candidly about taking each day at a time. Hers is not a story of success or defeat, but of facing your demons, finding yourself, and telling the whole truth—unSweetined.

Helen Mirren has been an internationally acclaimed actress--and the recipient of many awards, transferring between stage, cinema and television--for over 40 years.

Known in her youth for a forthright style, a liberated attitude and a bohemian outlook, she has never ceased to be out of the public eye, with legions of admiring fans all over the world. This illustrated memoir is an account of an extraordinary talent, and a life well lived.

Helen's aristocratic Russian grandfather, Pyotr Vasilievich Mironov, a military man, was sent to London by the Czar and found himself stranded and penniless by the Bolshevik revolution, cut off from the family estate near Smolensk. He brought with him a trunk of papers and photographs. This delightful memoir starts with the contents of the trunk, with evocative pictures of Helen's Russian antecedents. She has kept a rich seam of photo-graphs and memorabilia from her life, and her parents, family life, childhood, teenage and early years as an actress living in insalubrious flats are vividly documented.

Helen's many distinguished roles in theatre, cinema and television and the illustrious men and women she has encountered are commemorated, as well as her forays into Hollywood and her sub-sequent life in the United States with her husband, film director Taylor Hackford. Golden Globe and Oscar ceremonies make their appearance, as do many stunning images of Helen by the world's leading photographers.

In the Frame: My Life in Words and Pictures is a book to savour, created and written by one of the great personalities of our age.
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