How to be a Movie Star: Elizabeth Taylor in Hollywood

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009 - Biography & Autobiography - 484 pages
46 Reviews
Synopsis: In the 60s, Elizabeth Taylor's affair with the married Richard Burton knocked John Glenn's orbit of the moon off front pages nationwide. Yet, despite all the gossip, the larger-than-life personality and influence of this very human woman has never been captured. William Mann, praised by Gore Vidal, Patricia Bosworth, and Gerald Clarke for Kate, uses untapped sources and conversations to show how she ignited the sexual revolution with her on- and off-screen passions, helped kick down the studio system by taking control of her own career, and practically invented the big business of celebrity star-making. With unputdownable storytelling he tells the full truth without losing Taylor's magic, daring, or wit. Readers will feel they are sitting next to Taylor as she rises at MGM, survives a marriage engineered for publicity, feuds with Hedda Hopper and Mr. Mayer, wins Oscars, endures tragedy, juggles Eddie Fisher, Richard Burton and her country's conservative values. But it is the private Elizabeth that will surprise-a woman of heart and loyalty, who defends underdogs, a savvy professional whose anger at the studio's treatment of her led to a lifelong battle against that very system. All the Elizabeth's are here, finally reconciled and seen against the exciting years of her greatest spirit, beauty, and influence. Swathed in mink, staring us down with her lavender eyes, disposing of husbands but keeping the diamonds, here is Elizabeth Taylor as she was meant to be, leading her epic life on her own terms, playing the game of supreme stardom at which she remains, to this day, unmatched.

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Review: How to Be a Movie Star: Elizabeth Taylor in Hollywood

User Review  - Goodreads

William J. Mann's book is less a biography, more a study of Taylor's public image over the decades. As such, he chooses to focus on key moments in her career and has space to devote to the workings of ... Read full review

Review: How to Be a Movie Star: Elizabeth Taylor in Hollywood

User Review  - Deodand - Goodreads

I enjoyed this but it shouldn't be the first book you read about Taylor's life. Mann focuses on her first 40 years, and hits the highlights, so if there are gaps in your knowledge of La Taylor's ... Read full review


How to Be a Movie Star
When in Rome
Educating a Movie Star
The Most Exciting Girl
Acting Out
Over the Top
Protecting Interests
A Second Chance on Life
No Deodorant Like Success
Rewriting the Rules
How to Stay a Movie Star

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About the author (2009)

William J. Mann is the author of Kate: The Woman Who Was Hepburn, which was named a New York Times Notable Book. Mann has worked as a freelance journalist and editor, and has written several other works of fiction and nonfiction.  He divides his time between Provincetown, Massachusetts and Palm Springs, California.

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