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The Fat Lady Sang

The Fat Lady Sang

4.3 3
by Robert Evans

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From the legendary producer and author of The Kid Stays in the Picture—one of the greatest Hollywood memoirs ever written—comes a long-awaited second work with all the elements of a star-studded blockbuster: glamour and conflict, giddy highs and near-fatal lows, struggle and perseverance, tragedy and triumph.


From the legendary producer and author of The Kid Stays in the Picture—one of the greatest Hollywood memoirs ever written—comes a long-awaited second work with all the elements of a star-studded blockbuster: glamour and conflict, giddy highs and near-fatal lows, struggle and perseverance, tragedy and triumph.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 11/04/2013
In April of 1998, veteran film producer Robert Evans suffered a series of three debilitating strokes. In this brutal memoir, Evans revisits that time with the same insight and candor that made his previous memoir, The Kid Stays in the Picture, an immense success. Alternating between tales of his physical, mental and emotional recovery and the memories they triggered, Evans cannily gives readers a sequel better than any they could have anticipated.With his trademark patois in tow, Evans stories never cease to amaze. He recalls sharing a cab with Congressman Jack Kennedy to hobnob with a Bishop, going toe-to-toe with Frank Sinatra over Mia Farrow, and attending the premiere of An Affair to Remember with Cary Grant, all the while sticking to his narrative thread of recovery. Evans's romp veers towards the hard times too. The long road of regaining his physical faculties as well as the ever-present pills and medications loom large in his tale. It's a remarkable story of endurance, faith and determination, even readers who've never heard of Evans will find this to be both entertaining and inspiring. A harrowing but lively supplement to The Kid Stays in the Picture. (Nov.)
Michael Fleming
Praise for The Kid Stays in the Picture:“The best Hollywood memoir I’ve ever read!”
Janet Maslin
“Don’t even try to put it down.”
Entertainment Weekly
Top Three Greatest Hollywood Tell-Alls
“A compelling and, at times, deeply emotional memoir.”
Kirkus Reviews
The notorious kid is still in the picture. Former Paramount Studios head Evans (The Kid Stays in the Picture: A Notorious Life, 1994) suffered three strokes in quick succession in 1998, at the age of 68. This sequel to his raunchy autobiography begins with that crisis and moves back and forth in time as Evans recalls his eventful life as actor, head of Paramount, independent producer, and, lately, comedian and voice-over talent. Producing such iconic movies as The Godfather, Chinatown, Rosemary's Baby, Love Story and the 1974 version of The Great Gatsby--to name just a few--it's no wonder that Evans knows everyone who is anyone in the place he affectionately calls Tinseltown. Names drop like snowflakes in a blizzard: Frank Sinatra, ("Whatever Frank wanted, Frank got," Evans notes), Mia Farrow, Gene Kelly, Aristotle Onassis, Dustin Hoffman, Ali McGraw (one of seven former wives), Evans' good buddies Jack Nicholson and Warren Beatty, Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter, Barry Diller: a cast of thousands. Evans is not a man to cross, and he makes clear that he was determined to claw his way back after his strokes, with help from the often invoked "Guy Upstairs." In the first weeks, he allowed no visitors: "Call it ego, narcissism, self-pity, horrendous pain, shame at my distorted face"--he could not bear to see their reactions. He deeply resented his doctor, who cautioned him against resuming his former lifestyle, and the ministrations of his three therapists--physical, speech and occupational--but finally gave himself up to months of grueling rehabilitation. During that period, barely able to walk, he managed to persuade Catherine Oxenberg, a much younger actress, to marry him. That escapade--the marriage was annulled within a week--Evans blames partly on the drug cocktails he was taking for his ailments, which turned him "into one dangerously delusional junkie." Self-aggrandizing, self-promotional, self-satisfied: Evans has produced a quintessential Hollywood memoir.

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Read an Excerpt

The Fat Lady Sang

By Robert Evans

HarperCollins Publishers

Copyright © 2013 Robert Evans
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-06-228604-8

Date: May 6, 1998
Place: 1033 Woodland Drive, Beverly Hills
Time: 8:06 P.M.
Wes Craven has just arrived, Mr. Evans,” whispered
my major domo through the intercom. “Shall I es-
cort him to the projection room?”
“Try to stall him. I'm running late. Give him the 'A' tour of
the house— anything. I'm on the phone with my fucking agent.
There are three offers for the book and he's pressing me to take
one of them. He's got the wrong author— I don't like any of 'em.
I'm holding aces, not deuces. And if he doesn't agree, it's divorce
time. Get me on an eight o'clock flight to New York tomorrow
I made my entrance into the projection room, where dinner

{ 2 }
was to be served— a full half hour late. Perfect way to start with
the wrong foot forward.
There awaiting me was the King of Scream himself, Wes Cra-
ven. Bellinis were served. Apologizing for my late arrival, I lifted
my glass and made a toast to my guest.
“To you, Wes, one of the few directors in town who is an
above- the- title star. Welcome to Woodland.”
A bolt of lightning shot through my body. Like a pyramid of
wooden matchsticks, I crumbled to the floor.
I was dying.
Lying flat, my head facing the ceiling, I wasn't scared at all.
Not in pain. No, I was smiling. In the distance, Ella Fitzgerald
echoed: “It's a Wonderful World.”
Wes stood over me, ashen. The King of Scream? He was
scared shitless. As he bent down to my motionless body, my eyes
opened. “Told you, Wes,” I slurred in his ear. “It ain't ever dull
around here.” Then I passed out.
It was only a matter of minutes before I was awakened by a
barrage of paramedics. With my blood pressure hitting the lot-
tery, 287 over 140, I knew this wasn't fly me to the moon time.
Rather, it was looking like fly me to Heaven.
In the ambulance, one of the attendants screamed to the
driver: “That traffic's gotta move to the side! Put the goddamn
sirens on! If we don't get to Cedars ASAP, we got a DOA on
our hands.”
The multicolored flashing light began blasting away. Moments
ago I had heard the fat lady sing. Now, strapped to the ambu-
lance stretcher, I was mesmerized by that flashing light. Through
it, I saw the white light zoom toward the sky.

{ 3 }
I'm on my way, I thought. At last I've achieved what I've been
looking for all my life: Peace of Mind.
Hours later, I awakened. Was I in Heaven? No. I was only half
right. I did not die. I was reborn. Not Robert Evans, rather Qua-
simodo, the Hunchback of Notre Dame.
The hours that followed were ER at its best. Hallucinogenic,
certainly. I knew that Robert Evans's life, as it had been, was
one of the past. White coats by the droves came and went. I was
totally immobile, a statue on a marble slab. Not a smile graced a
face. It was only a matter of time.
Suddenly, the scan graphs surrounding my cot started oscil-
A second stroke attacked my brain.
Most think, Why did this have to happen to me?
Not me! I was thinking, Why didn't this happen to me sooner?
Like a shot out of Hell, my mind flashed back almost a half
century, to the day.
I was not in Cedars in Los Angeles, but rather at St. Mary's
Hospital in West Palm Beach, Florida, a scrappy, hell- bent kid
actor not yet touching his eighteenth birthday. This was no bad
dream, but a living nightmare coming back to haunt me.
At that moment, in May 1998, I was lying supine, eyes to the
ceiling, in the exact position I'd been fifty years earlier, in May


Excerpted from The Fat Lady Sang by Robert Evans. Copyright © 2013 Robert Evans. Excerpted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Robert Evans, the former chief of Paramount Studios, produced many of the most acclaimed and successful films of all time, including The Godfather, Chinatown, Rosemary's Baby, Love Story, Marathon Man, and Urban Cowboy. He lives in Beverly Hills, California.

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The Fat Lady Sang 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
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