Female Brando: The Legend of Kim Stanley

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9780823088478: Female Brando: The Legend of Kim Stanley
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Elizabeth Taylor and Joanne Woodward were inspired by her work. Arthur Penn called her the American equivalent of Eleanora Duse. She was the greatest stage actress of a generation that included Julie Harris, Geraldine Page, and Colleen Dewhurst. Between 1949 and 1964, Kim Stanley created starring roles in twelve Broadway productions, including Cheri, the nightclub singer in Bus Stop. Then, after fifteen years of stardom, Stanley walked away from the theater, never to return. What happened? Female Brando answers that question with a meticulously researched, empathetic biography that traces Stanley’s childhood, her early training, her stardom—and her tragic descent into alcoholism and loneliness. Much more than a mere cautionary tale, Female Brando is a clear-headed examination of Kim Stanley’s brilliance that places her in the pantheon of great American artists.

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About the Author:

Jon Krampner, the author of The Man in the Shadows: Fred Coe and the Golden Age of Television, has written about entertainment history for the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and many other publications. He lives in Los Angeles.

From Publishers Weekly:

A legend of stage, small and big screens, actress Kim Stanley (1925-2001) is vividly brought to life in this biography. Krampner (The Man in the Shadows) unravels many of the false stories surrounding Stanley's fabled life and career (several of which were perpetrated by Stanley herself) as he gets inside the head of the talented but troubled and difficult icon. As famous for her stage roles (Millie Owens in Picnic or Cherie the failed singer in Bus Stop) and film work (The Right Stuff and Frances) as for her affairs and heavy drinking, Stanley, an Actors Studio member and Method disciple, was often compared to fellow Methodist Marlon Brando and had an equally tumultuous off-screen life. Krampner lays out the facts but stops short of passing judgment on the mother of three who was married four times before turning 40, concluding, "Kim's story is either the tragic tale of someone who failed to tame her demons or the exasperating story of someone who indulged them and expected others to pay the freight." This well-researched account of a scandalous icon will find a welcome audience among the actress's fans; refreshingly not the stuff of tabloids. 45 b&w photos.
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