A terrible liar: a memoir

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Actor Hume Cronyn reminisces about his fifty-year marriage to Jessica Tandy and about his encounters with such stage and screen greats as Elia Kazan, Alfred Hitchcock, and John Gielgud

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User Review  - Kirkus

Intelligent, candid, humorously self-deprecating: the memoirs (only up to 1965, alas) of an actor's actor on stage and screen— who also turns out to be a stylish raconteur, an intrepid adventurer ... Read full review


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About the author (1991)

Hume Cronyn was born July 18, 1911, in London, Ontario. He attended Ridley College, McGill University, Montreal for pre-law, the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, New York and the Mozarteum, Salzburg, Austria for acting. Cronyn had simultaneous careers on stage and screen and had been a significant Broadway presence, in the form of actor, director, producer and writer since the 1930s. He married actress Jessica Tandy in1942, and the two went on to perfomr numerous plays and movies together. Cronyn's screen debut was as the armchair detective-neighbor in Hitchcock's Shadow of a Doubt in 1943. He also collaborated on the screenplays for Hitchcock's Rope in 1948 and Under Capricorn in 1949. Cronyn appeared as the ship's radio operator in Hitchcock's Lifeboat in 1944. He was often cast as ruthless, intelligent villains such as the Nazi collaborator in The Cross of Lorraine in 1943, and the sadistic warden in Brute Force in 1947. He played a jealous physician in People Will Talk in 1951, Roosevelt's gruff counselor, Louis Howe, in Sunrise at Campobello in 1960, and Polonius in Hamlet in 1964. With his wife, Jessica Tandy, Cronyn has starred on Broadway in The Fourposter, A Delicate Balance, The Gin Game and Foxfire, on a TV series, including The Marriagein 1954 and, more recently in a series of old-codger roles in Cocoon in 1985), and *Batteries Not Included in 1987. In 1994, Cronyn and Tandy won the first Tony Award for lifetime theatrical achievement. Cronyn's autobiography, written in 1991 was entitled A Terrible Liar : A Memoir. Hume Cronyn died on June 15, 2003.

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