BN.com Gift Guide

How to Be a Movie Star: Elizabeth Taylor in Hollywood

( 22 )

Overview



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 ...

See more details below
Paperback
$13.98
BN.com price
(Save 12%)$15.95 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (59) from $1.99   
  • New (19) from $1.99   
  • Used (40) from $1.99   
How to Be a Movie Star: Elizabeth Taylor in Hollywood

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$10.99
BN.com price
(Save 31%)$15.95 List Price

Overview



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.

Read More Show Less
  • William J. Mann
    William J. Mann  

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
"I have never read any of the autobiographies of me," Elizabeth Taylor once joked, and if she had, she probably wouldn't have been pleased. This soft-spoken actress doesn't easily fit into any narrow Hollywood niche and her career resists any facile capsulation. Fortunately, William J. Mann, the author of the New York Times Notable Book Kate, has arrived to set things right with a revelatory look at a superstar we all thought we knew so well. Mann's Taylor surprises us by pounding at the studio system, juggling lovers, and sparking a pre-Woodstock sexual revolution. Along the way, she also feuds with enemies, fights for juicy parts and against innumerable health crises, and battles for a full array of good causes. A must-have for vintage film fans.
Publishers Weekly
In his proficient and titillating biography of one of the last greats to emerge from the Hollywood studio system, Mann (Kate: The Woman Who Was Hepburn) spotlights Taylor's feverish, sensuous years during the high '50s and '60s, when she set her own standards of fame, both moral and professional. Tinged by scandal as well as touched by greatness as an actress, Taylor was the first female movie star to earn a million dollars for a movie plus a share of the profits (Cleopatra in 1963). Mann relishes depicting Taylor's larger-than-life appetites, whether for men, jewels or food, and marvels at her ability to arouse and sidestep scandal, as well as to demonstrate continually a singular devotion to her acting craft, as captured in A Place in the Sun and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Taylor managed not only to play along with the old Hollywood system perfectly—for example, allowing MGM to orchestrate her first marriage to Nicky Hilton in 1950 in order to pump publicity for her film Father of the Bride—but to flout it outrageously, e.g., by becoming the ultimate home wrecker in Eddie Fisher's marriage, and all to her advantage. Mann employs an authoritative voice, promising intimacies but still remaining respectful of his subject, and concentrates on Taylor's skillful use of marriages and illness to get what she wanted. By refusing to apologize for her flagrant adulterous affair with Richard Burton, Taylor possibly “spurred the sexual revolution of the 1960s,” Mann suggests. Reading this life is like gorging on a chocolate sundae. (Oct.)
San Luis Obisbo Tribune
"This is a juicy telling of a screen idol who always did things her own way."
The Sunday Times (UK)
"...a richly enjoyable biography..."
The Oregonian
"William Mann has picked the perfect title for a biography of Taylor. She was, truly, the last great movie star."
EDGE New York
"...she knew by instinct, generations before today’s crop of starlets, how to interface her personal and professional lives with the public, who adored her for it. Taylor lived out loud, and the world sang along to her tune."
New York Times Book Review

"...the sorts of details a reader craves...all are rendered with a verve and fluidity that keep the book moving along in a fleet fashion... [Mann] has clearly done his research and just as clearly adores his subject."

"Taylor was at the furious center of it all, and provides as handy and captivating a guide through [the era] as any star of the 20th century could."

— Frank Bruni

Salon.com
"Mann's eminently yummy entry is pretty much everything you'd want in a Hollywood biography... What does make How to Be a Movie Star distinctive is its focus on the changing nature of personal fame as embodied by a woman whose life has consisted of one superlative after another."
USA Today
"William J. Mann's ridiculously entertaining biography of Elizabeth Taylor in her Hollywood heyday is yummier than digging into a hot-fudge sundae and a stack of Us Weeklys."
New York Times Book Review - Frank Bruni
"...the sorts of details a reader craves...all are rendered with a verve and fluidity that keep the book moving along in a fleet fashion... [Mann] has clearly done his research and just as clearly adores his subject."

"Taylor was at the furious center of it all, and provides as handy and captivating a guide through [the era] as any star of the 20th century could."

From the Publisher
"How to Be a Movie Star is more than a well-told, thoroughly researched tale about the most compelling movie star of her time. It's the captivating story of how movie-making magic actually happens—and a truly lively portrait of the greatest screen magician of them all. Mann knows his subject intimately."
—Peter Richmond, author of Fever: The Life and Music of Miss Peggy Lee

"Was Elizabeth Taylor the greatest product of the Hollywood star machine or its greatest victim? Or was she, perhaps, its inventor? At a time when celebrity culture seems to be spiraling out of control, William J. Mann's smart, engaging, clear-eyed case study of Taylor's unique life in the spotlight locates the 'real' person somewhere between her private life and her public image. It's a fresh, unique and wholly successful approach to a fascinating story."
—Mark Harris, author of Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of the New Hollywood

"A dazzling and sagacious red-carpet Technicolor guide book to the lost art of Stardom . . . essential reading for aspiring love goddesses and mere mortals alike."
—Lee Server, author of the bestselling Ava Gardener: "Love is Nothing"

"When I saw Elizabeth Taylor in person, I suddenly found myself screaming like a teen at a Beatles concert. Mann deftly describes how, with great self-assurance, Taylor shrewdly and methodically orchestrated that reaction on a global scale. This is a smart book about a surprisingly savvy superstar. It's one of the best Hollywood biographies I've ever read."
—Ed Sikov, author of Dark Victory: The Life of Bette Davis

"William J. Mann's portrait is meticulous and delicious, capturing the essence of a great movie star, a woman who epitomized the old Hollywood glamour even as she was bucking the system—every system! Through shrewd and intriguing detail, this lively book brings fresh insight into why and how Elizabeth Taylor mesmerized the world she was helping to change."
—Julie Salamon, author of The Devil's Candy and Hospital

"This is a juicy telling of a screen idol who always did things her own way."—San Luis Obispo Tribune

"...a richly enjoyable biography..."—The Sunday Times (UK)

"William Mann has picked the perfect title for a biography of Taylor. She was, truly, the last great movie star."—The Oregonian

"...she knew by instinct, generations before today's crop of starlets, how to interface her personal and professional lives with the public, who adored her for it. Taylor lived out loud, and the world sang along to her tune."—EDGE New York

"...the sorts of details a reader craves...all are rendered with a verve and fluidity that keep the book moving along in a fleet fashion. [Mann] has clearly done his research and just as clearly adores his subject [...] Taylor was at the furious center of it all, and provides as handy and captivating a guide through [the era] as any star of the 20th century could."—The New York Times Book Review

"Mann's eminently yummy entry is pretty much everything you'd want in a Hollywood biography... What does make How to Be a Movie Star distinctive is its focus on the changing nature of personal fame as embodied by a woman whose life has consisted of one superlative after another."—Salon.com

"William J. Mann's ridiculously entertaining biography of Elizabeth Taylor in her Hollywood heyday is yummier than digging into a hot-fudge sundae and a stack of Us Weeklys."—USA Today

"William J. Mann dissects the crafty machinations of her stardom..."—Bookpage

"...wickedly entertaining biography..."—The Times (UK)

"Mann shows what all the fuss was about."—The New York Post

"Mann is carving out a niche for himself as a writer and historian capable of presenting fresh information about oft-covered subjects."—The Washington Blade

"This is an entertaining work, revealing much of the machinery behind star-building and star-maintaining back in the day. The trajectory of gossip queen Hedda Hopper's relationship with Elizabeth—from adoration to loathing—is deliciously conveyed. [...] Mr. Mann does an excellent job capturing the media/public frenzy of her greatest years..."—Liz Smith, for wowOwow.com

"...brilliant combination of history, criticism, and biography...Mann has found the perfect figure for an exploration of the seismic changes that took place in Hollywood—and in American pop culture—between the 1940s and the 1960s. It's a terrific read."—Connecticut News

"Mann's book underscores the fact that Elizabeth Taylor is—above all else—a survivor...Perhaps that is why she is so relevant and remains, even more than half a century later, one of the country's most fascinating celebrities."—Lincoln Tribune

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780547386560
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 4/1/2010
  • Pages: 528
  • Sales rank: 519,959
  • Product dimensions: 8.06 (w) x 5.32 (h) x 1.26 (d)

Meet the Author

WILLIAM J. MANN is the author of Kate: The Woman Who Was Hepburn , which was named a New York Times Notable Book, as well as several other acclaimed works of fiction and nonfiction. He divides his time between Provincetown, Massachusetts, and New York City.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 22 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(9)

4 Star

(6)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(3)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 22 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2011

    I wrote 1review and now i am going to write the real deal

    I wrote one review before and now im going to spell this book out for you, fantastic! A lot of you know me as the 11year old vintage read o holic. But im not kidding when i tell you this is a 5 star book, its the real deal. I encouridge everyone thats a liz taylor fan to read it and you wont be wasting you time or money!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 23, 2011

    check facts

    John Glenn did not orbit the moon!

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted January 23, 2010

    Wonderful biography

    This is a wonderful book for anyone fascinated with "old-time" Hollywood and especially the mystique of Elizabeth Taylor.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    "What the .... do you want?"

    Yes she had the mouth of a sailor. She could curse like a plumber but acting before a camera she could do better than anyone in Hollywood circles will forever be her most outstanding legacy.
    Mann entertains. I love his writting style. Everything about Elizabeth can not be written in one book however for one who was aware of her but too young to follow her life I have certainly been informed here.
    Oh the actress! I want to see every film now. Mann's little extras surrounding certain films will aide my attention to them.
    The photographs supplied visually inform as well. Elizabeth at 17 was one knockout as well as in so many years following.
    Once underawy reading I picked the book up at least three times a day. I have to qualify that nearly every page held my interest. There was something everywhere that kept my intrigue on a continuum. It was a lot of fun.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 5, 2010

    How to Be A Movie Star

    A very interesting account of Elizabeth Taylor's rise to stardom. There are some nice insider references to her friendships among the actors she worked with at the time, and a good overall picture is presented of the machinations of the Hollywood studios of the time,down to orchestrating marriages for the sake of publicity

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 14, 2010

    ANOTHER TAKE ON THE LEGEND OF LIZ

    ALTHOUGH I HAVE READ SEVERAL BIOS AND AUTOBIOS ON LIZ, THIS BOOK POINTED OUT ASPECTS OF HER INNER PERSONALITY I WAS NOT AWARE OF. THE BOOK ALSO MADE REFERENCE TO THE FACT LIZ WAS THE ORIGINAL MOVIE STAR BEING
    PURSUED BY THE PRESS- SHE KINDA GOT IT ALL STARTED. I COLLECT AND ENJOY STORIES BY AND ABOUT REAL PEOPLE AND THIS ONE WAS ONE OF THE BETTER ONES I HAVE READ . I WAS THRILLED TO GET IT AS A CHRISTMAS GIFT.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 9, 2010

    How To Be A Movie Star's Bug-eyed Sycophant

    If the author of this book was ever the subject of a biography, the above would be a good title based on the over-admiring but very well-documented writing about a real movie star. Whether you love Miz Liz and her art, or believe her to be a somewhat nutty and slutty figure who can't act, the author provides a wonderful and engaging background of her life in Hollywood and beyond.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 22, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    How To Write A Delicious Movie Star Biography!

    "How to Be a Movie Star" is another in depth and delicious movie star biography by writer William Mann. This book focuses on the woman who rose higher and plummeted lower than any other star in Hollywood : Elizabeth Taylor. This book is a page turner that is written in Technicolor! One almost feels as if one were reading a supremely intelligent but also funny graduate thesis written by Pedro Almodovar. (Elizabeth Taylor directed by Pedro Almodovar, now wouldn't that have been something?)

    The Elizabeth Taylor we discover within these delicious pages---stunningly well lit by millions of paparazzi through the decades---is a talented actress with a voracious appetite. An appetite for fame, for men, for diamonds, for food, for booze, for privacy, for motherhood and finally for more men. What Elizabeth seems to have little appetite for is what first made her famous: her acting.

    Reading Mann's gorgeous book I got an inkling of why Elizabeth became such devoted friends with Michael Jackson. Both were thrust into the limelight against their will by bullying parents (her mother/his father) at an impossibly early age. Both tasted fame at that early age but then began to lose their fame as they aged. Both then became even more monstrously famous. In different decades, but very similarly, Elizabeth and Michael each were the most talked about person on planet earth.

    Ms. Taylor's lack of true love for acting and her insatiable need for baubles, bust-ups and booze caused her to make some truly, truly dreadful late-in-her-career films. But her fans must be thankful that she never followed other screen divas down the horror movie path. (Paging Trog!) And we fans can be truly thankful for the many good movies Ms. Taylor did grace the screen in. And Elizabeth's late-in-life AIDS philanthropy (not really dealt with in this book) in many ways outshines even her greatest screen performances.

    Thank you, William Mann, for hitting another home run out of the park. I can't wait to read your next beautifully-researched and delicious bio. Could I interest you in a book about 60's British Female Stars? I believe Vanessa, Glenda and Julie are awaiting your discerning eye and pen. Bravo!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 20, 2009

    Another trash biography from Mann

    William J. Mann is definitely getting into the business of writing trash celebrity biographies joining the likes of Darwin Porter, David Bret and Marc Eliot. The book is full of anonymous sources, misinformation and fictionalized events. There's plenty of books about Taylor around. Skip this one.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted January 3, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 22 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)