All in All: An Actor's Life On and Off the Stage

All in All: An Actor's Life On and Off the Stage

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by Stacy Keach
     
 

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Stacy Keach is known for movie roles like Fat City and American History X and the television series Titus, and of course Mike Hammer, but he's also revered in the industry as a serious actor who's passionate about his craft. In his long, impressive career, he has been hailed as America's finest classical stage actor, earning acclaim for his portrayals of Hamlet,

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Overview

Stacy Keach is known for movie roles like Fat City and American History X and the television series Titus, and of course Mike Hammer, but he's also revered in the industry as a serious actor who's passionate about his craft. In his long, impressive career, he has been hailed as America's finest classical stage actor, earning acclaim for his portrayals of Hamlet, Macbeth, Richard III, and King Lear. He has worked alongside and become friends with the giants of American culture, from Joseph Papp to George C. Scott, from James Earl Jones to Oliver Stone.Keach's memoir begins with the riveting account of his arrest in London for cocaine possession. He takes readers through his trial and his time at Reading Jail as he battles his drug addiction and then fights to revive his career. Keach poignantly reveals his acting insecurities and relationship struggles. All in All is full of priceless behind the scenes Hollywood moments and friendships—from his late-night pool and backgammon showdowns with John Huston to his passionate relationship with Judy Collins.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
12/02/2013
Keach, star of TV show Mike Hammer and classically trained Shakespearean stage actor, delivers a spirited memoir of his career on stage and in film and television, sparing none of his life's dramatic and personal details. Opening powerfully with the story of his arrest for transporting cocaine in Heathrow Airport and flashing back to childhood trauma as a result of a cleft palate, Keach spends the bulk of the book navigating the ups and downs of his film career and love life, notably his unexpected cult fame as Sergeant Stadanko in the Cheech and Chong movie Up In Smoke and what it was like working with Edward Norton on American History X. Keach's perspective on his prolific acting career from his days at the venerated Yale School of Drama are clear headed and informative. Unsentimental and willing to be self-deprecating, Keach's straightforward, conversational prose and short, punchy chapters reveal the warm and likeable personality behind the hundreds of character-actor roles. His story reveals an arc to match any film, from highs of playing Mike Hammer and King Lear to lows when "My career was cratering. No A-List Hollywood directors were looking at me as the next star; it was just a jumble of small parts and lackluster scripts." (Nov.)
From the Publisher
"This book contains Stacy's essence, from Hamlet to Hammer, from Richard III to Sergeant Stedenko, from King Lear to Papa Ken Titus. He is a great raconteur. You'll delight in his tales of meeting Burton (though Liz Taylor made the greater impression) and working with Mitchum, of singing with Judy Collins and gambling with John Huston, of false mustaches and near deadly stunts. . . . Masculine and sensitive, intelligent and leonine, he is a force." —Alec Baldwin"A classic actor and a class act all the way, that's Stacy Keach. Every time I've had the pleasure of working with him I've thought to myself, 'What this guy has forgotten about the craft of acting is more than I've ever learned.' But this book reveals he's forgotten nothing. Wisdom and great stories from a true master of our trade." —Edward Norton"Stacy Keach reveals his truth in All in All, without an actor's hubris or the temptation to embellish. The result is a deeply moving and inspiring story that transcends a traditional Hollywood memoir in both candor and grace. Bravo!" —Martin Sheen"Stacy Keach's memoir, All in All, is a great read, telling the ups and downs of this wonderful actor's life. Stacy proves to be a great counter puncher, turning his challenges into gifts."—Jeff Bridges "What a life! What a story! A generous and fascinating memoir from the fabulous Stacy Keach! Stacy writes as he acts: openly and honestly with humor and warmth and dash!" —Linda Lavin"… A quiet, warm memoir from a generous man who's lived through a rocky relationship with the craft he adores. As a result, it's partly true and overly forgiving. Keach aptly displays the skills of the good actor—'do not let them take their eyes off you; keep em guessing.'" —Oliver Stone "An actor's autobiography that emphasizes the hard work more than the lush life.Not that the life Keach has led—including romances with some famous and talented women, most notably singer Judy Collins; a high-profile drug bust, trial and jail term in London in 1984; and quality time hanging with celebrities like John Huston, Orson Welles, Paul Newman and others—isn't worthy of higher billing. But Keach, while sharing plenty of amusing anecdotes and interesting insights about his peers, doesn't linger on those details. Instead, he takes us into the fertile mind of an intelligent, envelope-pushing artist of stage, screen and any other format where actors ply their trade, and he methodically (and with charming immodesty) lays down the outline of his amazing career, examining the thoughts behind the choices that shaped it. That may sound dull to the average nonactor, but the career in question belongs to one of America's most talented classically trained actors who has played the most significant roles of Shakespeare—Hamlet, Richard III, Lear and Falstaff (once as a young actor in a fat suit and again 40 years later under the weight of life fully lived)—almost always to great acclaim. While pursuing his first love of theater (from classical to experimental), he also pushed himself to take risky roles in film (memorably in End of the Road, The New Centurions, Fat City, The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean and American History X, to name a very few) and developed indelible, often hard-boiled characters for TV (including Mike Hammer for CBS and Ken Titus on the short-lived Fox sitcom Titus). Nonactors should find this relatively short, fast-moving memoir a pleasure to read, but drama, media and film students will find Keach's insights invaluable, particularly his coda ('Curtain Call'), which shares the fundamentals learned over a lifetime of honing his craft." —Kirkus"Keach's chronicle of the actor's world—with a wealth of insight and a refreshing lack of ego—makes All in All an immensely likable and readable picture of life upon the wicked stage during the last third of the 20th century and up through today. . . . " —Playbill
Kirkus Reviews
2013-08-15
An actor's autobiography that emphasizes the hard work more than the lush life. Not that the life Keach has led--including romances with some famous and talented women, most notably singer Judy Collins; a high-profile drug bust, trial and jail term in London in 1984; and quality time hanging with celebrities like John Huston, Orson Welles, Paul Newman and others--isn't worthy of higher billing. But Keach, while sharing plenty of amusing anecdotes and interesting insights about his peers, doesn't linger on those details. Instead, he takes us into the fertile mind of an intelligent, envelope-pushing artist of stage, screen and any other format where actors ply their trade, and he methodically (and with charming immodesty) lays down the outline of his amazing career, examining the thoughts behind the choices that shaped it. That may sound dull to the average nonactor, but the career in question belongs to one of America's most talented classically trained actors who has played the most significant roles of Shakespeare--Hamlet, Richard III, Lear and Falstaff (once as a young actor in a fat suit and again 40 years later under the weight of life fully lived)--almost always to great acclaim. While pursuing his first love of theater (from classical to experimental), he also pushed himself to take risky roles in film (memorably in End of the Road, The New Centurions, Fat City, The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean and American History X, to name a very few) and developed indelible, often hard-boiled characters for TV (including Mike Hammer for CBS and Ken Titus on the short-lived Fox sitcom Titus). Nonactors should find this relatively short, fast-moving memoir a pleasure to read, but drama, media and film students will find Keach's insights invaluable, particularly his coda ("Curtain Call"), which shares the fundamentals learned over a lifetime of honing his craft.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780762791453
Publisher:
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
09/29/2013
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
489,424
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

Stacy Keach (Jr.) is a renowned actor on stage and screen. Best known as Mike Hammer, he has won a Golden Globe and multiple Obie and Drama Desk Awards, and been nominated for Emmy and Tony awards. His films include Fat City, The Bourne Legacy, Planes, and the upcoming Nebraska. He recently starred on Broadway in Other Desert Cities.

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