Thank Heaven: A Memoir (英語) ペーパーバック – 2010/11/30
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"Caron provides countless dishy details about her exploits which are sure to entertain film buffs, Caron fans and aspiring actors."—Publishers Weekly
While still a teenager, Leslie Caron—the daughter of an American mother and French father—was literally plucked from the Ballets des Champs-Elysées to star opposite Gene Kelly in An American in Paris, and went on to become an MGM star and one of the most cherished and admired actresses of our time.
Wry, poignant, and unguardedly frank, Thank Heaven (an homage to "Thank Heaven for Little Girls," the song Maurice Chevalier sings about her in Gigi) recounts Caron's unorthodox childhood in France, her string of Hollywood successes and leading men, her very public affair with Warren Beatty, and her later triumph over depression and alcoholism. Both witty and deeply moving, Caron's unsentimental memoir will captivate anyone who loves classic American movies.
“If, hovering around the tell-all memoir genre, another category exists—such as, say, the ‘tell-some’—then Thank Heaven, with its excellent blend of exposure and decorum, falls gracefully within it. Leslie Caron is a good writer with a volume of short stories—Vengeance —under her belt, as well as (as she puts it) ‘a few scripts.’ Her concision, grace, and good taste still leave room for revelations aplenty.”—Kate Light, The Weekly Standard
“Caron provides countless dishy details about her exploits, which are sure to entertain film buffs, Caron fans and aspiring actors.”—Publishers Weekly
“This is more than a typical Hollywood autobiography… Rather than approach her life in the public eye from a typically Hollywood angle, Caron writes seriously and passionately about her work, her craft, and her relationships with the people she met along the way… it’s sure to strike a chord with those who value classic movies and classic actresses.”—David Pitt, Booklist
“Caron recounts her life and career as Hollywood’s ‘little French girl’ in chatty, charming style, revealing an often troubled woman behind the glamorous image of an international movie star. The author writes movingly of her childhood in occupied France, peppering her memories of rationing and shortages with surprising insights into the psychology of the situation… The little French girl spins an engrossing yarn.”—Kirkus
“A record of a lost era of Hollywood that’s littered with respectful anecdotes about the great and the not-so-good, co-stars, friends and lovers… Thank Heaven abounds with A-list anecdotes: about ‘vain’ Dirk Bogarde; Cary Grant (‘very, very nice but capable of sudden fits of real bad temper’) and one of her favorite co-stars, Fred Astaire, who described Ginger Rogers as a sloppy dancer, ‘a little wobbly at the end of a number.’”—Charlotte Heathcote, Express (UK)
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What is so enjoyable about the book is to discover her childhood, her sufferings during the war years, the nature of her family (a sweet French, pharmicist father and a neurotic mother who indeed takes her own life at some point), her early start in Hollywood and her development personally and professionally through the years. She may look like a little "gamin" but she was and is a strong, determined woman.
I personally felt that her decision to leave dance and concentrate on acting (although she was not a terribly "bad" actress) was a mistake because she really was a dancer and a beautiful one at that but, on the other hand, dancing has a short life span.
In short, I highly recommend this book for those who love know and love Leslie Caron and of course are curious about where she came from
and where she went.
* Leslie's (sometimes eccentric) family background
* Her personal experience in WWII
* Her professional training
* Her reaction to being discovered
* The inside scoop about her co-stars and friends
* No angsty dwelling on a period of her life that was less than stellar.
I particularly enjoyed her comments about familiar names: Warren Beatty, Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, Cary Grant, Jane Wyman, Jean Renoir, all of the cast members of "Gigi," her experiences filming "An American in Paris," her stage fright, her marriages and her family.
This is not a dishy "Tell-All" but instead the observations of an intelligent woman who had the privilege of socializing with "name brands" most of her life.
I bought a copy of this book from Amazon.com, then carelessly left it in a hotel lobby. When I went back to Amazon.com to order a replacement, they promptly reminded me that I had already purchased the book. and included the date. I LOVE that feature!