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

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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,...

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

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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.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

He's played rookie cops and Barrabas; Hamlet, Merlin, and Richard Nixon. During his long acting career, Stacy Keach has taken diverse roles, but always, as he has told several interviews, after searching for characters who are emotionally driven. True to his credo, his autobiography is no starry-eyed Hollywood or Broadway celebration of self. In fact, All in All begins with his account of his arrest for drug possession at London's Heathrow Airport and tracks his very non-celebrity experience of his rough six-month stay at Reading Prison. This memoir displays both Keach's well-known talents as a storyteller and the muscular vulnerability that makes him such a fine actor and fascinating person.

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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780762791453
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/29/2013
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 238,821
  • 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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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 21, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    Stacy Keach has lived a very interesting life. In the book All i

    Stacy Keach has lived a very interesting life. In the book All in All: An Actor’s Life On and Off the Stage Keach talks about his career as an actor and his disgrace of being arrested for cocaine. The most interesting part of the book is Keach’s description of trying to rebuild his career after serving jail time.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 7, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    Stacy Keach is an incredible actor. No one can ever take that aw

    Stacy Keach is an incredible actor. No one can ever take that away from him. In his memoir All in All he reveals his dark side. The story begins with his arrest for trying to smuggle cocaine onto an airplane. Through his words we come to feel his battle with drug addiction and battle to revive his career after his drug bust and prison time. All in All is a very entertaining book. I definitely recommend it.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2013

    A good read!

    No one knows Stacy Keach better than Stacy Keach himself. I like the way he tells his story. He's honest about himself, and tells his story in a direct, no nonsense style that keeps the reader turning pages to learn more about the actor and the man.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2014

    I thought this book All In All was a good story, both funny and

    I thought this book All In All was a good story, both funny and interesting,  Stacy sure did have a full life, good, bad and just plan life in
    itself, It was surley not a boring book,  I do recomment this book to any one. 

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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