Other Side of the Moon: Life of David Niven (Coronet Books)

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9780340396438: Other Side of the Moon: Life of David Niven (Coronet Books)

Profiles the great British expatriate who ruled the movie studios of Hollywood from 1920 to 1960, drawing on in-depth interviews with relatives and friends including Cary Grant, Lauren Bacall, Blake Edwards, and Claudette Colbert

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About the Author:

Sheridan Morley (1941-2007) was the third generation of a celebrated theatrical family. His father was Robert Morley, the character actor, and his grandmother was Gladys Cooper, in her youth one of the great beauties of her day and a much sought-after actor in Britain and Hollywood. Sheridan was also a cousin of the actress and presenter Joanna Lumley and brother-in-law of the actor Robert Hardy.

Morley joined The Times as deputy features editor in 1973, and then Punch in 1975 as drama critic and arts editor, remaining with the magazine until 1989. In the late 1980s, he became a regular arts diarist for The Times and was its TV critic from 1989 to 1990. He worked as drama critic for the Spectator from 1990 to 2001, and after a short period at the New Statesman, he joined the Daily Express in 2004.

He married his first wife, Margaret Gudejko, in 1965, and they had three children together. He married his second wife, Ruth Leon, in 1995.

He authored a number of books including A Talent to Amuse: A Life of Noel Coward (1969); Gladys Cooper (1979); The Hollywood Raj (1983), The Other Side of the Moon: The Life of David Niven (1985), Odd Man Out: James Mason (1989) and Robert: My Father (1993). These are now all republished by Dean Street Press.

From Publishers Weekly:

The title is a play on David Niven's first bestseller, The Moon's a Balloon, a memoir that Morley maintains tells about other people, not the actor himself. With help from Niven's friends and professional associates, the distinguished biographer (Gertrude Lawrence, etc.) has written a compassionate account that goes past the blithe persona Niven presented, into his failings, disappointments and tragedies. Born in London in 1910, the future suave performer tempted expulsion with schoolboy devilry; he later served in the British army before emigrating to the U.S. His film career started in 1934 and lasted nearly to his death in 1983, but he failed to achieve "stardom." The terrible sorrow of Niven's life was the death of his wife Primula, killed in a fall during her 20s when their sons were babies. His second marriage, to a Swedish model, was unhappy. There were other romantic involvements in Niven's life and many facets to his career that Morley reveals. During World War II, for instance, he gave up Hollywood and returned to his homeland to fight for England; he was self-seeking and so afraid of poverty that throughout his career he accepted demeaning parts in many movies. The moon's other side was darkest at the end when Niven succumbed to sclerosis, the Lou Gehrig disease. And yet, there is much humorthe actor's and his biographer'sin this notable book. Photos. 25,000 first printing; author tour. October 30
Copyright 1985 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Morley, Sheridan
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