Joan Blondell: A Life Between Takes

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Univ. Press of Mississippi, 2007 - Biography & Autobiography - 312 pages
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"Joan Blondell: A Life between Takes" is the first major biography of the effervescent, scene-stealing actress (1906-1979) who conquered motion pictures, vaudeville, Broadway, summer stock, television, and radio. Born the child of itinerant vaudevillians, she was on stage by age three. With her casual sex appeal, distinctive cello voice, megawatt smile, luminous saucer eyes, and flawless timing, she came into widespread fame in Warner Bros. musicals and comedies of the 1930s, including "Blonde Crazy, Gold Diggers of 1933," and "Footlight Parade."

Frequent co-star to James Cagney, Clark Gable, Edward G. Robinson, and Humphrey Bogart, friend to Judy Garland, Barbara Stanwyck, and Bette Davis, and wife of Dick Powell and Mike Todd, Joan Blondell was a true Hollywood insider. By the time of her death, she had made nearly 100 films in a career that spanned over fifty years.

Privately, she was unerringly loving and generous, while her life was touched by financial, medical, and emotional upheavals. Meticulously researched, expertly weaving the public and private, and featuring numerous interviews with family, friends, and colleagues, "Joan Blondell: A Life Between Takes" traces the changing face of Twentieth Century American entertainment through the career of this extraordinary actress.

 

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Contents

Introduction
3
Chapter 1 The Next Town
10
Chapter 2 Starlight
25
Chapter 3 Hammer and Tongs
46
Chapter 4 Nearer to Heaven
68
Chapter 5 Freelancing
89
Chapter 6 The Interrupted Family
104
Chapter 7 GulagontheHudson
130
Chapter 11 Predestiny
227
Epilogue
240
Filmography
245
Stage Appearances
260
Radio Appearances
261
Television Appearances
262
Source Notes
265
Bibliography
284

Chapter 8 Solo Rites
153
Chapter 9 Love Matey
179
Chapter 10 I Hear Voices
204

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About the author (2007)

Matthew Kennedy teaches anthropology at the City College of San Francisco and film history at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He is the author of Marie Dressler: A Biography and Edmund Goulding's Dark Victory: Hollywood's Genius Bad Boy.

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