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Timmy's in the Well is the story of Jon Provost, television's first child superstar, and the low-down on Lassie, one of television's most enduring shows. It is filled with celebrity anecdotes, rare photos, and ...
Timmy's in the Well is the story of Jon Provost, television's first child superstar, and the low-down on Lassie, one of television's most enduring shows. It is filled with celebrity anecdotes, rare photos, and memorabilia. Since his original seven-year run on the show, Provost has become a household name in 125 countries. His episodes continue to air in more than 50 countries, the checked shirt and jeans he wore as Timmy hang in the Smithsonian, and he has his own star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame.
Timmy's in the Well illustrates what happens to a middle-class American family touched by fame. Jon's first job came at age three, forever altering the course of his life and the lives of his family. With nearly a dozen film appearances in a mere five years, Provost was named the top child movie actor of 1958 by the New York Film Critics. Yet he could barely read, hardly knew his siblings, and had few friends under the age of 35.
At the age of twenty and on the verge of being swallowed up by Hollywood, Provost escaped to Northern California, only to learn that a "normal" life was not possible. Unprepared to make a living, he was gripped by depression and fell into a well that was deeper and darker than any he'd ever faced. But he found his way out of that well-on his own and without the dog.
More than 200 interviews add texture and humor to this thoroughly researched story. Among them are other child and teen stars, like Jay North and Jeanne Russell(Dennis the Menace), Keith Thibideaux (I Love Lucy), David Cassidy (The Partridge Family), Davy Jones (The Monkees), Paul Peterson (The Donna Reed Show), Stanley Livingston (My Three Sons), and many more.
Jon Provost's story includes a vivid portrait of the inner workings of Hollywood of the 1950s and '60s, and it is populated with some of the biggest names of the day: Grace Kelly, Bing Crosby, Jane Wyman, Jack Benny, Bob Hope, Kim Novak, Lucille Ball, Anita Eckberg, Rod Steiger, William Holden, June Lockhart, Natalie Wood, Sal Mineo, Sidney Pollack, Kurt Russell, Elvis, Nancy Sinatra, Dino Martin, Davy Jones, and Mr. Ed.
Posted February 11, 2008
This book is absolutely terrific, not just for movie and TV fans, but also for any adult who might be preparing for, or currently struggling with, success, challenge, frustration, or failure. Do you enjoy Hollywood movie history, or info about legendary stars and classic TV? Or perhaps when growing up, you watched a favorite child star perform and dearly wanted to be like him or her, thinking life would be so fun, rosy and glamorous to be so popular, cute, rich and famous. Perhaps you dreamed it would bring fast cars, beautiful living, smart clothes, endless friends and gorgeous dates. Well, now's your chance to personally experience what all this might have been like. But beware. Things are not always what they seem. Sometimes they are more. In this very special and unique autobiography, you'll become a member of Jon Provost's family, past and present. You'll feel right at home, following the young actor through all the ups and downs, hopes and dreams, thrills and chills (not to mention pains and strains), of a childhood spent working in 50's and 60's movies and television. You'll be transported into a wonderful, yet sometimes strange and even downright dangerous world of wild success, fame and fortune. Fame does bring great stuff, attention and privileges. It's all here in this book, with amazing, wonderful, unbelievable, incredible times. You'll meet many famous adult and kid stars backstage and in real life, as well as numerous regular friends and coworkers, too. Their impressions and perspectives, both positive and negative, are quite candidly included. Family and off-camera photos on practically every page help to set the period and mood. But fame and success bring even more. And the extra stuff is often not so good, seldom anticipated, or even understood, not only by the person at the center of the maelstrom, but also by family, friends, employers and fans. In this book, Jon Provost and his entire family circle confide their personal lives with a most rare honesty and openness. It's a deeply personal journey toward success of a different kind. You'll find it hard to stop reading. I recommend it very highly. Just as his character 'Timmy' did on Lassie, Jon Provost is still teaching us valuable lessons about life, but this time through his own.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 18, 2007
This is a wonderful, engrossing autobiography of Jon Provost, who charmed America and the world as Lassie's master Timmy Martin on TV in the '50's and 60's. It isn't every young tyke who can be a TV star for nearly a decade, and the story of how Jon became and remained the famed collie's cohort is an endearing one, gloriously told. Yet, it wasn't all unvarnished good times. The book is unflinchingly honest about how Jon's stardom sometimes adversely affected the lives of his parents and, especially, his siblings and how, in the end, he rebelled against his goody-goody image without self-destructing. Helping to give the book an especially fascinating perspective are the direct quotes supplied by those Jon encountered along the way: fellow child actors, show biz veterans, family members, and even inveterate fans. Along the way, the reader can glean invaluable tips of how to pursue 'and not pursue' a career in entertainment. In short, this is as complete a portrait as one can get of a child star who soared high, encountered the usual adolescent turbulence, sought a new path, and ultimately survived with honor. The copious photos on almost every page add to the suprb package. Special kudos to Jon's co-writer (and wife) Laurie Jacobson for helping make this a most enjoyable read.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 5, 2008
The fantastic biography 'Timmy´s in the Well', by Laurie Jacobson and her husband Jon Provost, describes the very complexed life of being a child star, in this case Jon Provost himself. The very idea of going through a movie career at the age of seven and up, is so remote for most of us, but with this great book, it is revealed to us on the 'outside'! Actually, for Mr. Provost, it started already in 1953 at the age of three, with him acting as the little toddler in Edna Ferber´s filmatized novel 'So Big' (with the recently departured Jane Wyman) Jon Provost describes with emotion all the impact this kind of childhood had upon him and his family. How it affected his relationship to his sister and brother who he seldom saw during all the seasons at the recording studios during the seven 'Lassie'-years he was contracted. Later, he also vividly tells us about his teen years, trying to break free from his mother´s influence and seeking a free life as Jon Provost and not 'Timmy'. This seeking for freedom and adulthood lead him into both good and bad experiences in Los Angeles. To remember, this was also a very special time in California and the U.S. as a whole. The liberation among youngsters, the fear of being drafted to serving in 'Nam' and above all drugs, sex and rock´n´roll! This was in particular noticeable in 'the summer of love' (1967). But being the person he was, he withstand all the worst temptations, sort of always landing on his two feet. But sure, he was marked. Who wouldn´t be? This and other personal experiences with leaving Hollywood in his later teens, left him in a very serious crisis - what to do with his life in the future. 'Timmy' managed to survive which many other child and teenage stars didn´t - many of his colleauges ended up with psychotic conditions, severe drug and alcoholic consumption or other serious problems with adapting to normal life within or outside the Hollywood 'factories' You may think, I describe this autobiography as a very dark description of his life, but no - the book´s overall impression to me is light, positive and very catching! The book is a unique and very detailed description of all this and other interesting facts of people and occurrences around Jon Provost. Numerous photos of Jon, his family and friends are illustrating the tellings. An extra plus, is the 'timelines' getting you the right apprehension of time and events during those years described! This book is a fantastic achievement by Laurie Jacobson, the excellent author of several documentaries on television of and books on how Hollywood worked way back to the ´20s and forward to present days, describing the stories of actors/actresses, many times with tragic endings of their careers and lives. This is a must in every American home I dare to say even though I´m not American - I´m Swedish! Lassie and Timmy were also a big part of young kids life in Sweden in the late ´50s and early 60´s! Chris Lindstrom, StockholmWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 2, 2008
Jon Provost came into our home as Timmy every Sunday night, not as a Movie/TV star but more like a friend. This behind the scene story of Jon's life is wonderfully told. Laurie's writing style is like a conversation, so Jon and all the other stars mentioned in the book are talking to you, telling you of their experiences. Life was not always good. Some tough moments for the entire family. Great photo's fill the pages. Enjoyed this book very much.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 2, 2007
This great book took me back in time, and gave me a glimpse at the stories behing not only 'Timmy,' but many of the classic child actors in the 1950s and 1960s. The format is great, and the many photos bring back so many memories of my childhood.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.