Accustomed to Her Face: Thirty-Five Character Actresses of Golden Age Hollywood

McFarland
1
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Drawing on historical documents and newspaper reports, this book provides a fascinating portrait of a diverse group of character actresses who left their stamp on Hollywood from the early sound era through the 1960s. The lives of 35 actresses are explored in detail. Some are familiar: Margaret Hamilton starred in dozens of films before and after her signature role as the Wicked Witch in The Wizard of Oz; Una Merkel nearly died when her mother committed suicide in 1945. Others are nearly forgotten: Maude Eburne owed her career to a spectacular fall on the Broadway stage in 1914; Greta Meyer, who played the quintessential German maid, came to Hollywood after years in New York’s Yiddish theater—though she wasn’t Jewish.
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About the author

Axel Nissen is a professor of American literature in the Department of Literature, Area Studies and European Languages at the University of Oslo in Oslo, Norway.
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Additional Information

Publisher
McFarland
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Published on
Aug 1, 2016
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Pages
288
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ISBN
9781476626062
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / General
Performing Arts / Film / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor Here we are together in the digital universe. Somehow, you've clicked yourself to this page. If you came here of your own free will and desire, you and I are going to get along just fine.
Life is full of choices. Right now, yours is whether or not to download the autobiography of a mid-grade, kind of hammy actor.
Am I supposed to know this guy? you think to yourself.
No-and that's exactly the point. You can download a terabyte of books about famous actors and their high-falootin' shenanigans. I don't want to be a spoilsport, but we've all been down that road before.
Scroll down to that Judy Garland biography. You know plenty about her already-great voice, troubled life. Scroll down a little further to the Charlton Heston book. Same deal. You know his story too-great voice, troubled toupee.
The truth is that though you might not have a clue who I am-unless you watch cable very late at night-there are countless working stiffs like me out there, grinding away every day at the wheel of fortune. If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor documents my time in blue-collar Hollywood, where movies are cheap, the hours are long, and the filmmaking process can be very personal.
To keep up with the times, I've digitized Chins. It was originally published in hardcover/analog fifteen years ago, which is a vast amount of time in the evolution of books and technology, and it was time to get current.
The advance of technology is great for a book like this, which is jammed full of pictures. When it came out originally, the photographs all had to be black and white and moderately sized on the page. Now, any photo that was originally taken in color can strut its stuff.
Overall, the resolution of the images is off-the-charts better than the first go-around. This is one "sequel" that I'm happy to be a part of, since we could make so many technical improvements. The process was very similar to restoring an old movie.
Since I knew that it was going to be reissued, I also had a look at the story being told and decided to condense, move, or clarify some chapters, all or in part. I also tried to add a hint of historical context, since it has been a decade and a half since Chins first came out.
I hope you enjoy it.
Regards,
Bruce Campbell
For more than a quarter century, Al Pacino has spoken freely and deeply with acclaimed journalist and bestselling author Lawrence Grobel on subjects as diverse as childhood, acting, and fatherhood. Here, for the first time, are the complete conversations and shared observations between the actor and the writer; the result is an intimate and revealing look at one of the most accomplished, and private, artists in the world.

Pacino grew up sharing a three-room apartment in the Bronx with nine people in what he describes as his "New York Huckleberry Finn" childhood. Raised mostly by his grandparents and his mother, Pacino began drinking at age thirteen. Shortly after he was admitted to the renowned High School for Performing Arts, his classmates nicknamed him "Marlon," after Marlon Brando, even though Pacino didn't know who Brando was. Renowned acting coach Charlie Laughton saw Pacino when he was nineteen in the stairwell of a Bronx tenement, and the first words out of Laughton's mouth were "You are going to be a star." And so began a fabled, lifelong friendship that nurtured Al through years of not knowing where his next meal would come from until finally -- at age twenty-six -- he landed his first salaried acting job.

Grobel and Pacino leave few stones unturned, touching on the times when Pacino played piano in jazz clubs until four a.m. before showing up on the set of Scarecrow a few hours later for a full day's work; when he ate Valium like candy at the Academy Awards; and when he realized he had been in a long pattern of work and drink.

As the pivotal character in The Godfather trilogy and the cult classic Scarface, Pacino has enshrined himself in film history. He's worked with most of Hollywood's brightest luminaries such as Francis Ford Coppola, Sidney Lumet, Michael Mann, Norman Jewison, Brian De Palma, Marlon Brando, Robert De Niro, Gene Hackman, Sean Penn, Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Hilary Swank, and Robin Williams, among many others. He was nominated for eight Academy Awards before winning the Oscar for Best Actor for his role in Scent of a Woman. Pacino still seems to prefer his work onstage to film and, if he's moved by a script or play, is quick to take parts in independent productions.

Al Pacino is an intensely personal window into the life of an artist concerned more with the process of his art than with the fruits of his labor, a creative genius at the peak of his artistic powers who, after all these years, still longs to grow and learn more about his craft. And, for now, it's as close to a memoir as we're likely to get.
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