Double Life: Portrait of a Gay Marriage From Broadway to Hollywood

Open Road Media
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“A fascinating, frank and page-turning memoir about the lifelong love affair of two extraordinary men” (Candace Bushnell, author of Sex and the City).
  The human story at the center of this debate is told in Double Life, a dual memoir by a gay male couple in a fifty-plus year relationship. With high profiles in the entertainment, advertising, and art communities, the authors offer a virtual timeline of how gay relationships have gained acceptance in the last half-century. At the same time, they share inside stories from film, television, and media featuring the likes of Marlon Brando, Katharine Hepburn, Rock Hudson, Barbra Streisand, Laurence Olivier, Truman Capote, Bette Davis, Robert Redford, Lee Radziwill, and Frances Lear.
Double Life is a trip through the entertainment world and a gay partnership in the latter half of the twentieth century. As more and more same sex couples find it possible to say “I do,” the book serves as an important document of how far we’ve come. 
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About the author

Alan Shayne retired as president of Warner Bros. Television in 1986. There, he was responsible for launching the hit shows Wonder Woman, The Dukes of Hazzard, Alice, and Night Court, among others. He began his career in television with David Susskind’s production company after heading the Broadway casting office for David Merrick. Prior to that, he was an actor on Broadway and in television.
Norman Sunshine is a painter and sculptor whose work is in permanent collections around the country. Earlier in his career, he was a fashion illustrator and creative director at the Jane Trahey Agency, where he coined the phrases “What becomes a legend most?” for Blackglama Minks, and “Danskins are not just for dancing.” He won an Emmy for graphic and title design in the 1970s.
Shayne and Sunshine live in Connecticut. 
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Additional Information

Publisher
Open Road Media
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Published on
Jul 30, 2013
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Pages
360
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ISBN
9781480442559
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Entertainment & Performing Arts
Biography & Autobiography / LGBT
Biography & Autobiography / Personal Memoirs
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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ONE OF KIRKUS REVIEWS’ BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR

In this “heartbreaking but often surprisingly hilarious memoir” (People) reminiscent of Love Is a Mixtape and Bettyville, a respected TV columnist remembers his late husband, and the lessons, love, and laughter that they shared throughout their fourteen years together. As J.J. Abrams raves, “A more honest, funny, and insightful book on the subject of loss can be found nowhere.”

For the past decade, TV fans have counted upon Michael Ausiello’s insider knowledge to get the scoop on their favorite shows and stars. From his time at Soaps in Depth and Entertainment Tonight to his influential stints at TV Guide and Entertainment Weekly to his current role as co-founder of the wildly popular website TVLine.com, Michael has established himself as the go-to expert when it comes to our most popular form of entertainment.

What many of his fans don’t know, however, is that while his professional life was in full swing, Michael had to endure the greatest of personal tragedies: his longtime boyfriend, Kit Cowan, was diagnosed with a rare and very aggressive form of neuroendocrine cancer. Over the course of eleven months, Kit and Michael did their best to combat the deadly disease, but Kit succumbed to his illness in February 2015.

In this heartbreaking and darkly hilarious memoir, Michael tells the story of his harrowing and challenging last year with Kit while revisiting the thirteen years that preceded it, and how the undeniably powerful bond between him and Kit carried them through all manner of difficulties—always with laughter front and center in their relationship. Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies is “a story about love and loss, joy and heartbreak. And in the midst of personal turmoil, we learn that bravery comes in many forms” (The Washington Post).
     I once was told there are three kinds of men I should never marry.

                                                Working actors.

                                                Non-working actors.

                                                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 ―

Most of us remember Rose Marie as the wisecracking Sally Rogers on The Dick Van Dyke Show, or recognize her from her perch in the top middle square on Hollywood Squares, but her career in show business has spanned almost seventy years.

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.

Actor Anthony James has played killers, psychopaths, and other twisted characters throughout his Hollywood career. In the summer of 1967, James made his motion picture debut as the murderer in the Academy Award-winning Best Picture, In the Heat of the Night. His role in the 1992 Academy Award-winning Best Picture, Unforgiven, culminated a unique, twenty-eight year career. Behind his menacing and memorable face, however, is a thoughtful, gentle man, one who muses deeply on the nature of art and creativity and on the family ties that have sustained him.

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.

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