Kay Thompson: From Funny Face to Eloise

Kay Thompson: From Funny Face to Eloise

by Sam Irvin
3.7 9

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Kay Thompson: From Funny Face to Eloise by Sam Irvin

Kay Thompson’s larger-than-life story is an effervescent toast to show business with a shot of Auntie Mame and a twist of The Devil Wears Prada.

A multi-threat entertainer and a world-class eccentric, Kay Thompson was the mentor/best friend of Judy Garland, the vocal guru for Frank Sinatra and Lena Horne, and the godmother/Svengali of Liza Minnelli (who recreated Thompson’s nightclub act in her 2009 Tony Award–winning event, Liza’s at the Palace).

She went to school with Tennessee Williams, auditioned for Henry Ford, got her first big break from Bing Crosby, trained Marilyn Monroe, channeled Elvis Presley, rejected Andy Warhol, rebuffed Federico Fellini, got fired by Howard Hughes, and snubbed Donald Trump.

She coached Bette Davis and Eleanor Roosevelt; she created nightclub acts for Marlene Dietrich and Ginger Rogers; and when Lucille Ball had to sing on Broadway, Kay was the wind beneath her wings, too.

Kay’s legion of fans included Queen Elizabeth of England, King Juan Carlos of Spain, and Princess Grace (Kelly) of Monaco. Danny Kaye masqueraded in drag as her; Noël Coward and Cole Porter wrote musicals for her; and The Beatles wanted to hold her hand. She was a charter member of the Rat Pack, costarred in a whodunit with Ronald Reagan, and directed John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Gala.

The dame cut a wide swath through the arts. After conquering radio in the 1930s she commandeered MGM’s vocal department in the 1940s, where she revolutionized the studio’s greatest musicals with her audacious arrangements, from The Harvey Girls to Ziegfeld Follies.

In the 1950s she became the highest-paid cabaret attraction in the world with her groundbreaking act "Kay Thompson and the Williams Brothers," featuring her young protégé—and secret lover—Andy Williams.

In a stunning feat of reinvention, Thompson next became the bestselling author of Eloise (first published by Simon & Schuster in 1955), chronicling the mischievous adventures of the six-year-old mascot of The Plaza, spawning an industry that is still going strong today.

Then Kay took the silver screen by storm as the "Think Pink!" fashion magazine editor in Funny Face, stealing the film right out from under Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire.

The Thompson saga swells from small town wannabe to international headliner, dissolving into self-destruction and madness—the storyline usually reserved for a rags-to-riches potboiler—yet with unexpected twists, outlandish turns, and a last-minute happy ending that, even by Hollywood’s standards, is nothing short of preposterous. But that is Kay Thompson. Fascinating. Frustrating. Fabulous!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781439176559
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 11/02/2010
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 752,349
File size: 62 MB
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About the Author

SAM IRVIN is a veteran filmmaker. After beginning his career as Brian De Palma’s assistant on Dressed to Kill, Irvin has directed a dozen movies, including Guilty as Charged, Elvira’s Haunted Hills, and Kiss of a Stranger (from his own original screenplay). Irvin’s other credits include co-executive producing Bill Condon’s Academy Award-winning motion picture, Gods and Monsters. Between projects, he teaches graduate courses on filmmaking at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts.

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Kay Thompson: From Funny Face to Eloise 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You spell like i talk with a cold and I experienced some pretty sucky things
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This booj sukes more then abything
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Missy stalked though the tall grass. Her nose twiched as she smalled a foul stench ahead. She saw what she had been stalking: a mouse. A large red monster roared by ruffleling her scarlet fur. Crubble crack click. The sound of her breakfast being poured in her bowl woke her. Her twoleg rubbed her back. Just the she liked it. She ate the tasteless crunchy food. She pawed at the door to let her twoleg let her out. The door opened and she made her dirt and burrued it. She leaped on her fence and a mouse caught her eye. She leaped off the fence and stalked it. Soon a loud screeth made the mouse scurrie away and her freeze. A white tabby limped out whith a fluffy gold tom and a calico she by her sides. "Who are you?" The tabby growled. Missy saw she was hurt but could still win a battle. "I live over there." She flicked her tail toward her house. "I havin't seen you in the neiberhood before. Where do you live?" The calico said;" we arn't kittypets. Right Goldpaw? Right Moonstar? She asked them. "Goldpaw? Moonstar? I want to go with you to see where you live." "You can join us tomorw. If you deside to come here at sun-high." The tabby called Moonstar said. By Butterflykit. (Dragonstars asleep) should I write more?
Eileen McGregor More than 1 year ago
The marvelous Kay Thompson writes so many adorable books about the one and only Eloise. When i was smaller and went to first grade,i used to sign "Eloise" on all my schoolwork. And the first big book i ever wanted was an Eloise book. So, for christmas i got the Eloise book from my parents and dad sat down in his big leather chair and read tome on his lap.Ever since then, we had every possible Eloise book and movie there was. We had a pug, though dad did not want to name it after Eloise's so we named it Ellen.