Thursday, June 24, 2010
SEND YOURSELF ROSES
SEND YOURSELF ROSES: THOUGHTS ON MY LIFE, LOVE, AND LEADING ROLES. Kathleen Turner in collaboration with Gloria Feldt. Springboard Press; 2007. [Hachette Book Group USA].
Like many actors, Kathleen Turner can come off as affected, breathless, and overbearing – and there’s a certain degree of “diva” in this book – but in this frank memoir she also emerges as an intelligent woman with some admirable qualities and a story to tell. Turner came to fame with the thriller Body Heat, made a few other notable movies, then became the Hollywood cliche of the “aging” sex symbol and reinvented herself as an acclaimed stage star of such works as The Graduate and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? She explains how many stars are so used to being fussed over while on a film set that they have a terror of losing that unique position in-between films [thus explaining those actors who surround themselves with hangers-on and sycophants and others who become demanding monsters to virtually everyone around them]. Turner’s show biz story is empowered by two aspects: her feminist perspective, particularly in regards to women as they age in a culture obsessed with youth, and her honest detailing of her struggle with RA [rheumatoid arthritis], the drugs for which affected her personality, behavior and appearance, and the pain of which exacerbated her heavy drinking. There are amusing anecdotes as well, such as the hapless Raquel Welch auditioning to replace Turner on Broadway in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and running around the stage making feline movements and cat noises!
Verdict: Vivid show biz memoir. ***.