The singer, dancer, and film actor recounts his life, describing his restless youth in Marseilles, his first work on stage, his music hall career, his film career, and his relationships with Edith Piaf and Marilyn Monroe. 35,000 first printing.
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Richly intelligent (auto)biography by Montand (1921-91), who said yes to French journalists Hamon and Rotman when they offered to write his biography. He gave candid interviews and is quoted at length about his life and career, while his biographers interviewed pals and enemies and fill in the blanks. Montand rose from hairdresser's apprentice to French music- hall star before being claimed by the movies and becoming the embodiment of the sensitive French male with the working-class background. Born in Italy to a Communist family, he remained a leftist throughout life, though during his last decades, when many hoped he would run for president of France, he was deeply disaffected with Communism. He had triumphed as a mock American singing cowboy when France's greatest star, Edith Piaf, took him under her wing during WW II, let him open her act, and empowered him as star and lover. The Little Sparrow, however, grew jealous as Montand's legend flowered, and she took flight, leaving the young star wounded. In film, Montand's first big moment came when he replaced Jean Gabin in Marcel Carne's Les Portes de la Nuit (1946), then shined in Henri-Georges Clouzot's The Wages of Fear (1953). Montand married fellow star Simone Signoret, remained with her for nearly 40 years, and was with her in Hollywood when she took the Best Actress Oscar for Room at the Top--while he filmed Let's Make Love with Marilyn Monroe. The Monroe-Montand affair was a steaming earthquake of scandal, with Signoret asking the press, ``Do you know many men who would sit still with Marilyn Monroe in their arms?''; here, Montand speaks frankly and tenderly about MM. The marriage turned tragic during its last decade as Signoret self- destructed physically, aging Montand flirted with power, and daily the couple acted out Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Smart and revealing. Celebrities don't write 'em like this in America, sad to say. (Twenty-four pages of photographs--not seen.) -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Publishers Weekly:
This appropriately entertaining book about the French music-hall singer and actor, who died last November at age 70, combines the best qualities of autobiography and biography. Occasionally Montand reminisces about his past, but for the most part Parisian journalists Hamon and Rotman offer a sometimes serious, sometimes lighthearted narrative that gives as much weight to the recollections of his family and friends as it does to Montand, making for a balanced portrait. The book also captures the excitement and surprise of its subject's unusual background: his childhood as the son of political refugees from Fascist Italy, his early years as a manual laborer in Marseilles, his rapid rise to stardom as a singer, then an actor. Of equal interest are his painful, gradual shedding of the family commitment to Communism, his famous love affairs--with Edith Piaf ("She hurt me, with such honesty, such laughter and grace, that I took several years to heal") and Marilyn Monroe ("I encountered a woman who was strong, full of good sense, with the vitality of a peasant")--and his marriage to actress Simone Signoret, who died in 1985. Photos not seen by PW .
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Knopf, 1992. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0679410120
Book Description Knopf. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0679410120. Bookseller Inventory # C4-360
Book Description Knopf, 1992. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110679410120
Book Description Knopf, 1992. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0679410120
Book Description Knopf. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0679410120 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW6.0338184