Don Ameche: The Kenosha Comeback Kid (英語) ペーパーバック – 2007/2/28
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The official biography of the Oscar-winning actor of Cocoon, and the great radio actor, Don Ameche. Written with the aid of the Ameche family, this first book features over 100 rare photos and many interviews with family and friends. Foreword by John Landis, director of Trading Places. With over 100 pictures! "Wonderful book! Your writing captured the dimension of Ameche during the years when he was at his best. We all thank you for that. You captured his sensitivity." - - Ted Key, creator of Hazel, and Disney screenwriter ..".pleasing new biography. It's a lineaer, clearly written book, based in large part on the author's privileged access to Ameche family members and papers. Ohmart has dug out career and personal nuggets that give intriguing pictures of Ameche (a more complex man than his fans ever imagined), of a changing Hollywood, and the perils of mixing career ambition with responsibilities as a husband and father. Author Ben Ohmart (also the founder of Bear Manor books) has put together a touching biography--not in the sentimental sense, but in its clear-eyed view of how one man and his family struggled against the vicissitudes of Hollywood life. This is a very human book about a superb talent." - Filmfax
Ben Ohmart can not be faulted for this as his writing is crisp and his delivery straight forward and not trumped up gossip. If anything, perhaps Mr. Ohmart respects his subject too much to pry below the surface. Still, when you consider that Don Amache was a star for almost 60 years, you put the book down only to find him to be so vague that the man comes across as a minor character in his own life.
From his slightly aloof marriage to his distancing himself from his children, Mr. Amache's story is told basically as a series of facts. You know about his moods and how Don Amache separated himself from everyone and most things but the author never questions the oddity of this. Mr. Amache's eternal vagueness in life - as retold here - serves to make this book less satisfying as you really don't know anything about Don Amache except his professional credits.
There are a few holes, like exactly why Ameche lived apart from his wife for so long, but this was a conservative and private Catholic man so maybe that was simply his own business. Certainly, Ameche falls into that category of male who was much better communicating in public than privately with his own family.
Ameche was an extremely hard working professional of whose work the only real criticism is a certain lack of imagination and blandness. The same applies to this biography. A slightly colourless personality generates a colourless book with no feel for the times in which Ameche prospered. The author fails to make the yarn interesting.
reading this, i also got the sense that Don was too tough on his kids, ala' Bing Crosby. But, the difference was that his kids seemed to thank him later for it.