|Big discounts on
stuff you want!
is hands down the best site on the Web for classic TV.'
shows on DVD
Not long ago Billy was kind enough to post my look at actors turned authors. Lots of fun feedback ensued, as did many suggestions and mentions of other TV stars, past and present, who have also taken on a literary life. So, please enjoy 10 more…
“Shady Lady” by Ruth Gordon (1982)
The one-of-a-kind Ruth Gordon always mixed acting roles with her writing career. Her oeuvre would go on to include screenplays, plays and a couple of memoirs. She was no slouch in the acting department either, winning an Oscar for her role in “Rosemary’s Baby” and an Emmy for a guest spot on “Taxi” years later. She would also write one novel. Her “Shady Lady” is glitzy, fun read about a willful, fun-loving little lass Winona Lloyd who travels to New York to become a Zeigfeld girl.
“Touch Me” by Suzanne Somers (1973)
Even before she became a house-hold name on TV’s “Three’s Company,” actress Suzanne Somers was appearing on talk shows reading and talking about her original poetry. After she achieved fame as Chrissy Snow, the book was reissued with an updated and more glamorous portrait of its author on the cover. (Pictured here is the book’s original front.) Since then, Somers has starred in the series “Step by Step” and authored a plethora of books on diet and health issues.
“Go Slowly, Come Back” Quickly by David Niven (1981)
An Oscar winner and an early TV host (on “Four Star Playhouse,’ 1952-1956), David Niven was also a great man of letters. During his lifetime, he published two highly praised memoirs and two novels. “Go Slowly, Come Back Quickly” was his first work of fiction. This book tells the story of Stani Skolimowski who progresses from football star to RAF officer to photographer in wartime England.
“On Stage Miss Douglas” by Lisa Howard (1960)
Though not well known today, Lisa Howard was one of TV’s earliest female news reporters. After beginning her career as an actress on the New York stage and in live TV, Howard segued into broadcast journalism eventually securing a job with the Mutual Radio Network in the late 1950s. By 1960, she was working for ABC-TV News. Her career highlights included one-on-one interviews with Khrushchev and Fidel Castro. Sometime in between, Howard also found the time to write this novel, the story of a star struck girl named Ellen and her nascent career on the stage.
“Murder on Location” by George Kennedy (1983)
Along with winning an Oscar for “Cool Hand Luke” and starring in the popular “Airport” films, George Kennedy has consistently been seen on television including the series “Sarge” (1971-1972) and “The Blue Knight” (1975-1976). In this mystery novel, Kennedy’s first book, Kennedy himself appears as a character alongside such famous names as Mariette Hartley, Yul Brynner, Dean Martin and Glenn Ford. They are the star-studded cast of the $30 million epic “The Godless,” shot on location in Mexico. They also almost all become victims when it turns out someone doesn’t want this movie finished! Ultimately it is us to Kennedy and his (fictional) cohort, Mike Corby, a former NYPD member turned tech advisor, to solve the crime.
“Murder at the Academy Awards” by Joan Rivers (2009)
Joan Rivers never stops! Along with her career as a stand-up comic, talk show host, actress, jewelry designer and fashion critic, Rivers is also the author of several books including this mystery novel. Written with the aid of Jerrilyn Farmer, Joan Rivers is a central character in this story of a starlet who drops dead on the red carpet. (Was it something Joan said?) Equal parts whodunit and Hollywood send-up, Rivers obviously knows the world she is writing about. Joan’s daughter, Melissa Rivers, also figures in the book’s storyline.
“The CanniBalS” by Keefe Brasselle (1968)
One of the most infamous books ever written about television was this novel by one-time actor and TV producer Keefe Brasselle. Brasselle began his career as a handsome attraction in various Hollywood films. He also played the lead in the film “The Eddie Cantor Story” in 1953.
“The Image of Kate” by Mary Astor (1966)
Though best known for her film work, including “The Maltese Falcon” and her Oscar-winning turn in the film “The Great Lie,” Mary Astor’s career would continue well into the ‘50s and ‘60s in film and on TV with roles on “Alfred Hitchcock Presents,” “Dr. Kildare,” “Rawhide” and “Thriller” with Boris Karloff. Astor was also the author of several novels. This one, “The Image of Kate,” was published in 1966 and tells the soapy story of a woman whose glamorous life is constantly undermined, sometimes recklessly so, by the guilt she feels regarding her mother’s death.
“A Roman Tale” by Carroll Baker (1987)
After publishing her well-regarded memoir, “Baby Doll,” in 1983, Baker found the writing life enjoyable and rewarding. She followed up that book with 1986’s “To Africa, with Love,” a true-life, first person account of her adventures—in love and movie making--on the Dark Continent. In 1987, she wrote this possible roman a clef about a former Hollywood actress and her escapades in the wild world of Italian filmmaking. (Note this book’s cover model’s startlingly resemblance to the actress/author.)
“Vengeance” by Leslie Caron (1978)
She won an Emmy a few years ago for a powerful turn on “Law & Order: SVU,” but to most people, Leslie Caron will always be “Gigi.” In 1978, Caron also added author to her resume with this collection of short stories. There are 12 tales here. In one story, “Curtain Call,” a young ballerina comes into herself; in “Boogey Man,” a marriage is awash in alcohol; and, in the title story, an illegitimate girl vows revenge against her father. In 2010, Caron returned to the page and composed her autobiography, “Thank Heaven.”
And one more….
“Black Widow” by Christina Crawford (1982)
Four years after her expose of her mother Joan Crawford, “Mommie Dearest,” forever altered the way we remember the great screen legend, Christina Crawford (who worked as a soap opera actress in her youth) fashioned this second book. Though fictional, it’s not hard to envision Joan Crawford potentially playing the role of this novel’s main character, Vivian Simpson. Simpson is the “black widow” of the title, a former prostitute turned gold-digger who, early in the book, loses her rich husband when he dies mysteriously in an accident. According to the book’s inside flaps, “[Theirs is] a world where lying, deceit and treachery are a way of life; a system of antiquated laws by which children are still considered the property of their parents.”
And still others actor-writers: Helen Hayes, Meg Tilly, Steve Martin, Peter Ustinov, Marlon Brando, Janet Leigh, Molly Ringwald, Craig Ferguson, Gene Hackman, Hugh Laurie, George Nader, Nichelle Nichols, Ingrid Pitt, Peter Mark Richardson, Buddy Ebsen, Jim McKrell and many who have composed children’s books including Julie Andrews, Jamie Lee Curtis, Bette Midler, Jay Leno and—of course--Madonna!
Post-Modern Sitcoms / Actors That Wrote Books / 1987 Gilbert Gottfried Pilot Written By Larry David / Tarantino, DiCaprio & Pitt on Once Upon A Time In Hollywood / Ray Liotta and Joe Pesci Talk Goodfellas / Coming to America - The Awful Sitcom? / Robert Wagner Interview / Lucky 19-Year Old Birthday Boy on The Price is Right / 1990-1999 TV Commercials / James Hong on the First & Only Asian Talent Agent in Hollywood / More Than Myagi: The Pat Morita Story / Chevy Chase 2021 Interview / Peter Boyle's Heart Attack on the Set of Everybody Loves Raymond / Patrick Swayze Refused To Do 'Ghost' Without Whoopie Goldberg / Clark Furlong on Stephen King's Mini-Series Lisey's Story / Three Generations of Talent / One Season Too Many / Angela Lansbury Tribute / Houston Knights / Uncle Buck Sitcom / My Brush With King Charles / Frank Zappa Talk Show? / Remembering Marvel & Buffy Scribe Pierce Askegren / 1993 Route 66 Reboot / Angela Lansbury Interview / The Shadow Movies of the 1930s & 40s / Remembering Hal Holbrook / Remembering Angela Lansbury / Greensboro Movie Theaters : Star Theatre / Police Squad Shot-By-Shot Remake of M Squad! / A Painting Saved Bill Murray's Life / Why Jim Carrey Fought to Cast Jeff Daniels in 'Dumb and Dumber' / Sopranos Creator David Chase Had to Fight to Make Tony Soprano the Mobster He Was / Joan Collins on Working With Drunk Actors / Snowmaggedon 1969 / Joe Pesci HATES Practical Jokes / Books About Showbiz / Making It in Showbiz / Dark Justice / My Fave Book About Showbiz / Remembering Billy Packer / More Celebrity Biographies / Peter Falk : Inside The Actor's Studio / Jason Alexander on Duckman / Robert Ebert on Robert Mitchum / Watch Dave Chappelle's New Netflix Special for Free / Margaret (Wicked Witch of the West) Hamilton Was Almost Scarred For Life Filming Wizard of Oz / Restaurant Chains We Might Lose In 2020 / Night Heat / Short History of TV Advertising / Is Ellen A Monster? / To Binge Or Not To Binge? / 1986-87 TV SEASON / Celebrity Bios 4 / 1988-89 TV SEASON / 1990-91 TV SEASON / Can Comic Book City Survive? / When TV Plays Politics for Laughs / The Worst Thing I Ever Saw (Part 2) / Greensboro's Beef (Biff) Burger Has Closed! / Sally Field Looks Back on Smokey and the Bandit / Actors Writing Memoirs 2 / Gene Wilder's Sexual Chemistry with Richard Pryor / WORST Pizzas Served On Kitchen Nightmares / Ricky Gervais' Cruelly Funny 2020 Golden Globe Monologue / What It's Like To Win A New Car on The Price Is Right / Night Train! 3 - Las Vegas Comic Pat Cooper / Night Train! 4 - Resurrection and Death of Louis Prima / Denis Shepard of Paradise Lost / Space Force Logo is a Ripoff from Star Trek! / Batman Movie from 1939? What?!? / Michael Richards (Kramer) Really Hated It When his Seinfeld Co-Stars Messed Up / Melissa McCarthy Almost Quit Acting Days Before Landing Gilmore Girls / Bar Rescue's Wildest Customers! / How The Golden Girls and Elvis Got Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs Made / Charlie Brown Voice Actor Released From Prison / New Year's Eve on TV / Sir Laurence Olivier on the 'Genius' of Marlon Brando / 1967 Futurists Predict The 21st Century / Remembering Diahann Carroll / 50 Funniest Niles Crane Insults / TV HITS - By the Numbers / How Tom Hanks Played Mr. Rogers / Colin Farrell as The Penguin? / Alex Baldwin On His TV and Film Roles / Ray Charles' BIG Problem With TV / Malcolm Gladwell on TV Crime Dramas / Why Dolly Parton Would Not Let Elvis Record 'I Will Always Love You' / Top Ten Sitcoms of the 1970s / Danny McBride Rebooting Hogan's Heroes? / Fashion on TV / Alive & Well / James Cameron Made No Money for Titanic / Whatever Happened To Miss Cleo? / Lucy Blows Off Burt Reynolds / Dave Navarro Meets His Mother's Killer / The Real Mindhunters Killers / John Goodman Breaks Down His Iconic Roles / Growing Up In The Playboy Mansion / Ed McMahon Drunk on the Air! / Lucy Interviewed by Barbara Walters / Valerie Harper Cancer / Jeff Bridges Breaks Down His Iconic Roles / Dog Fight! The KCNC Scandal / Buckley vs Hefner / Laurence Olivier vs Marilyn Monroe / Dallas vs Eight is Enough / 1974 MAD Magazine TV Special - Never Aired! / Iconic M*A*S*H Restaurant Coming To Kroger? / Matt Damon, Bill Murray, and Graham Norton - Big Laughs! / When Lucy Got Fired / Partridge Family and Brady Bunch at Kings Island theme park 1972-73 / Awkward Talk Show Moments / Allan Blye Interview / Jack Benny's Last Tonight Show 1974 / Patricia Heaton's Audition for Everybody Loves Raymond / Luke Perry's Last Role / Johnny Cash's Last Interview / Judy Garland's Last Film / Who Was Bob Gordon? / Richard Dreyfuss vs Bill Murray / Jeff Ross vs Everybody / Tennessee Williams 1972 Interview / Ed Asner Interview / Norm Macdonald vs OJ Simpson / Tony Kornheiser Interview / Freddy's Nightmares TV Series / Emmy Award Multiple Winners / Nathaniel Taylor aka Rollo Lawson / Anthony Zuiker: Mr. CSI / Jimmy & Cher / Diana Muldaur: A Viewer's History / Uncle Andy's Funhouse / Bea Arthur vs Betty White / Skidoo: Worst All-Star Comedy Ever? / Every Marvel Cartoon Opening Theme From 1966 - Present / When Stars Play Themselves / My Pen Pal is in the Pen, Pal / Small Roles Big Performances / Barbara Hall / Stars Before They Were Famous / Stars Before They Were Famous 2 / Stars Before They Were Famous 3 / A Better Classic TV Network / Bill Paxton / Who Was the Black Daliah? / How Frasier Was Created / Music Videos / Chitty Chitty Bang Bang - Behind the Scenes / Shirley Jones Interview / What We Lost When We Lost VHS / When Hit TV Shows Return / Commercials Starring Sopranos Cast Members / Shows Nobody Remembers But Me 4 / Shows Nobody Remembers But Me 1 / Bryan Cranston Interview / FREE streaming movie service you didn’t know you have / The Great Cable TV Migration / Sportscaster Woody Durham / Movie Posters and the documentary 24x36 /Chris Robinson /Dallas Reboot /David Letterman /Auditioning For Game Shows in the 80s /Ghosts of Cable TV past / Honey Boo Boo - WTF?!? / Steven Bochco Tribute / Ian Abercrombie / Joe Franklin / John Nettles / Gotham / Jon Cryer / Jon Stewart / Lana Wood / David Letterman / Matt Bomer / Molly Ringwald / Morgan Brittany / Music Rights for TV Shows / Neilsen Ratings / Norman Lloyd / Not Your Dad's TV / TV Series Reunions / Rich Little / Special Bulletin with George Clooney / Howard Stern VS Jamie Foxx / Top Ten Action Movies / 2013 Emmy Awards / 2010 Celebrity Deaths
ACTORS THAT WROTE BOOKS
Lost Kid Shows / Movie Stars on TV / Saturday Morning Shows / Video Vault / TV Goodbyes / Fabulous Fifties / Unseen Scenes / Game Shows / Requested Forgotten TV Shows / The Super Sixties / More Modern TV Shows / The New * * Shows / 1980's Wrestling / TV Blog
|TV's Embarrassing Moments / Action Shows of the Sixties / TVparty Mysteries and Scandals / Variety Shows of the 1970s / The Eighties / The Laugh Track / 1970's Hit Shows / Response to TVparty / Search the Site / Add Your Comments|