Between jobs actors.
That describes my husband to a T.
For twenty years, I hung in with this guy. Supported him, massaged his ego, responded to his every whim, cried with him, rejoiced with him, and had his children. And, all the while, gave up my career in theater and film so I could stand by him until at last he knew success. And with his success came adulation, and with adulation, came sexual affairs, and with sexual affairs came divorce. If the marriage was hell, divorce proceedings were Armageddon. He did everything to intimidate me, belittle me and frighten me. Do I regret that I never married the boy back home? Absolutely not. If had stayed in Huron, South Dakota, I would have missed the experiences with: Marilyn Monroe, Mel Brooks, Vivian Blaine, Hume Cronyn, Jessica Tandy, Daniel Mann, Jacqueline Onassis, Roy Scheider, Kurt Vonnegut and a summer living with Veronica Lake.
Movie fans asked me to tell what happened behind the scenes in Carnival of Souls, a movie that became a cult classic and a success twenty years after it was made. Carnival of Souls is shown once a year in London as part of The British Film Society’s repertoire that considers it as one of the 100 most important films of all times.
My odyssey began when I attended the University of Iowa, Iowa City then, a year after graduating from The American Theatre Wing, I danced at NYC’s Copacabana before gangsters and celebrities as one of the “World Famous Copa Girls.” At the same time, I was accepted into Lee Strasberg’s acting classes. It was there I met my charming future husband. How could I ever have guessed that years later, he would file for a divorce during the longest Screen Actors Guild strike in the union’s history.
And that is just ACT ONE ―
At the tender age of three Rose Marie Mazzetta was entered in an amateur contest at New York City's Mecca Theatre. Her rendition of "What Can I Say Dear, After I Say I'm Sorry?" won, and her career was launched. She stayed "Baby Rose Marie" until she was well into her teens, singing in nightclubs, on vaudeville stages, on the radio, and in the movies.
It was a glamorous but difficult life -- she worked side by side with legends such as Al Jolson, Milton Berle, and W.C. Fields, and was watched over by "Uncle" Al Capone and his associates -- but her father managed her career and personal life with an iron fist, gambling her earnings away and abusing her and any boy foolish enough to show an interest in the family meal ticket.
Rose Marie married trumpeter Bobby Guy in 1946 and continued as a singer and nightclub entertainer. She soon established a second career on the small screen, most prominently as Sally on the legendary Dick Van Dyke Show, a groundbreaking role for which she earned three Emmy nominations and which continues to gather new fans from reruns on TV Land. Her fourteen years on Hollywood Squares and recent guest spots on such hit shows as Murphy Brown and Caroline in the City have kept her in the spotlight.
With candor and humor, Rose Marie tells of her many years in the entertainment world. Her behind-the-scenes look at show business is replete with intimate stories of household names from Hollywood, Las Vegas, and Broadway.
James's Acting My Face renders Hollywood through the eyes and experience of an established character actor. James appeared on screen with such legendary stars as Clint Eastwood, Bette Davis, Gene Hackman, and Sidney Poitier, and in such classic television shows as Gunsmoke, The Big Valley, Starsky and Hutch, Charlie's Angels, and The A-Team. Yet, it is his mother's heroic story that captures his imagination. In an odyssey which in 1940 took her and her newly wedded husband from Greece to a small southern town in America where she bore her only child, James's mother suffered the early death of her husband when James was only eight years old. In the blink of an eye, she went from grand hostess of her husband's lavish parties to hotel maid. But like the lioness she was, she fought with great ferocity and outrageous will in her relentless devotion to James's future. And so it was, that on an August morning in 1960, eighteen-year-old James and his mother took a train from South Carolina three thousand miles to Hollywood, California, to realize his dream of an acting career. They possessed only two hundred dollars, their courage, and an astonishing degree of naiveté.
After his retirement in 1994, James and his mother moved to Arlington, Massachusetts, where he concentrated on his painting and poetry. His mother died in 2008 at the age of ninety-four, still a lioness protecting her beloved son. Acting My Face is an unusual memoir, one that explores the true nature of a working life in Hollywood and how aspirations and personal devotion are forged into a career.