David Niven appeared in films for over 50 years of his life, from swashbucklers such as The Prisoner of Zenda and The Guns of Navarone to the Pink Panther series. Despite his on-screen persona, Niven wasn’ t always the perfect gentleman. He was insecure both privately and professionally and used people to get ahead. But he did, he said, ‘ at least try to be a decent man.’ He knew he often failed, although it isn’ t easy to find people who ever had a bad word to say about him. In this fascinating biography of the star, Munn looks at the funny stories and the sad underlying truth, from his outrageous days with Errol Flynn and their irrevocable split – ‘ You always know where you are with Flynn. He always lets you down’ – and numerous affairs with stars and prostitutes, to an attempted suicide, his horrific experiences in war-torn France and the breakdown and blame of his second marriage. This compelling text includes interviews with his second wife, Hjordis, John Huston, Rex Harrison, Laurence Olivier, Loretta Young (they discussed marriage once), Niven’ s long-time friend Michael Trubshawe, Peter Ustinov, Ava Gardner and many more.
Funny, poignant and told with the compassion of one who knew him, this is a fascinating portrayal of a legend that really gets behind the screen and autobiographical persona.
‘ Reveals the actor’ s dark side and drastically changes the light-hearted self-portrait that Niven draws of himself in The Moon’ s a Balloon’ Sunday Express
Writer, actor, director and former journalist and Hollywood publicist, Michael Munn, has written 21 books, including the best selling John Wayne: the Man behind the Myth and the acclaimed Richard Burton: Prince of Players
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Even though I am only 50 I grew up watching old David Niven movies. I thought him just a cute, sweet English actor. Then I read the book! What a life for one person to live and in a relatively short span of time. I think the author captured the sense of who the re man was - caddy, but yet kind - funny, but yet sad. It left me wanting to know more about the man who seemed to be jovial and then you find darkness in his past.