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In Theda Bara's Tent

In Theda Bara's Tent

by Diana Altman
In Theda Bara's Tent

In Theda Bara's Tent

by Diana Altman


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In Theda Bara's Tent follows the adventures of a spirited orphan who makes his way into the burgeoning movie business in the days when the screen was silent and the moguls were just small-time theater owners. Harry Sirkus is so brave and lovable everyone wants to help him including a struggling theater owner named Louis B. Mayer who, at age 22, living in Haverhill, Massachusetts, is years away from being studio head at MGM. Harry runs away from Haverhill at age 13 and must make his way in the world alone. After many adventures and heartbreaking struggles he goes to New York to work for the avaricious William Fox, founder of Fox News, a newsreel company. In his search for love and prosperity, Harry encounters screen stars, Tin Pan Alley song pluggers, bootleggers, dare-devil cameramen, movie moguls, and a young gossip columnist who steals his heart. Rich in historical context, with a cast of characters real and imagined, this page-turner follows Harry Sirkus as he makes a mark in the flourishing film industry and goes on to become a famous news broadcaster. Harry's personality is so captivating and vivid readers will be hard-pressed to remember that the author made him up. Written by Diana Altman who grew up in the movie business, this is fictionalized history at its best.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780615343273
Publisher: Tapley Cove Press
Publication date: 10/25/2010
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.73(d)

About the Author

Diana Altman is the daughter of the late Al Altman, the MGM talent scout who discovered Joan Crawford, Jimmy Stewart, Ava Gardner, Celeste Holm, Franchot Tone, Dean Stockwell and dozens of other unknown actors who became stars. Altman's first book, the non-fiction Hollywood East: Louis B. Mayer and the origins of the studio system (Carol Publishing '92) continues to be quoted if books of film history and movie star biographies. In Theda Bara's Tent feels so authentic because it is based on the research Altman did for her first book and it reflects all that she learned growing up in the movie business. Altman's work has appeared in ForbesWoman, Yankee, New York Times, Boston Herald, American Heritage, StoryQuarterly, Chronicle of the Horse, and many other places. She is the past president of the Boston chapter of the Women's National Book Association and current member of the New York Chapter. She was the first married woman in Massachusetts to retain her maiden name without going to probate court, and was the co-founder of BirthDay, an organization responsible for legalizing midwives in the 1970's. She lives in Manhattan with her husband and can be contacted at

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