Sal Mineo: His Life, Murder, and Mystery

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9780786710126: Sal Mineo: His Life, Murder, and Mystery
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This long-overdue biography chronicles the dramatic ups and troubled downs of a career that won 1950s teen screen idol Sal Mineo two Oscar nominations—for Rebel Without a Cause (with James Dean) and Exodus—before he was twenty-one and ended with a movie has-been’s shocking death, at thirty-seven, by a stab wound in the chest. As this carefully and caringly researched biography shows, Sal Mineo’s talents far exceeded the limits typecasting imposed upon a career that saddled him with the nickname, The Switchblade Kid. It also demonstrates that Mineo’s decline had less to do with the loss of the baby-face good looks that quickened the heartbeat of teenage girls than it did with his unwillingness to deny his homosexuality. Investigating the mystery that continues to surround Sal Mineo’s tragic death and sifting the facts from the fictions that shroud his private life, this serious study of the man and the star sympathetically chronicles the thirty-seven years that made an “erotic politician” and gay icon of a street kid and teen idol. 24 pages of black-and-white photographs are included. “Literate, anecdote-rich biography.”—Boston Globe “An excellent biography.... A thoroughly readable book.”—Associated Press “With an easy style and sound reporting, Jeffers has recreated the performer’s life with verve and insight.” — Publishers Weekly

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About the Author:

H. PAUL JEFERS has published biographies of Theodore Roosevelt and Grover Cleveland as well as true-crime books on Scotland Yard, the FBI, and the CIA. He knew Sal Mineo intimately during the last seven years of his life.

From Publishers Weekly:

Small, sinuous and sensuous, Mineo is best remembered for his Academy Award- nominated performance as Plato, the troubled gay teen in love with James Dean in the famed 1955 cult film Rebel Without a Cause, though Mineo's career was far more extensive. His life, which ended in a mysterious street stabbing in 1976 when he was 37, is an emblematic story of early childhood success and a faltering later career. Born in 1939 to immigrant Italian parents in the Bronx, Mineo possessed extraordinary star quality. At age 11, he landed a Broadway role with one line in Tennessee's William's The Rose Tattoo; two years later, he was the understudy for the part of the Crown Prince of Siam in The King and I. After just two films, he was catapulted into stardom in Rebel. But except for an Academy Award nomination for his performance in Exodus in 1960, Mineo's film career was spotty and didn't build momentum. With an easy style and sound reporting, Jeffers (a personal friend of Mineo's and author of numerous books including An Honest President: The Life and Presidencies of Grover Cleveland) has recreated the performer's life with verve and insight. He also provides delicious, though sometimes extraneous, gossip (16-year-old Mineo most probably had affairs with both James Dean and director Nicholas Ray on the set of Rebel). Jeffers's insights into the complicated Hollywood politics that controlled Mineo's up-and-down career will appeal to older film buffs and Rebel fans who will recognize him in the movie still on the jacket, while gay (and straight) readers will be wholly absorbed by his account of how homophobia impeded the search for Mineo's murderer. Targeted marketing to gay readers should boost sales (as it will the title reviewed directly below.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780786707775: Sal Mineo: His Life, Murder, and Mystery

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ISBN 10:  0786707771 ISBN 13:  9780786707775
Publisher: Running Press, 2000
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9780786231676: Sal Mineo: His Life, Murder, and Mystery

Thornd..., 2001
Hardcover

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