Encyclopedia of Hollywood Film Actors, Vol. 1: From the Silent Era to 1965

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9781557835512: Encyclopedia of Hollywood Film Actors, Vol. 1: From the Silent Era to 1965

(Applause Books). For decades, Screen World has been the film professional's, as well as the film buff's, favorite and indispensable annual screen resource, full of all the necessary statistics and facts. Now Screen World editor Barry Monush has compiled another comprehensive work for every film lover's library. In the first of two volumes, this book chronicles the careers of every significant film actor, from the earliest silent screen stars Chaplin, Pickford, Fairbanks to the mid-1960s, when the old studio and star systems came crashing down. Each listing includes: a brief biography, photos from the famed Screen World archives, with many rare shots; vital statistics; a comprehensive filmography; and an informed, entertaining assessment of each actor's contributions good or bad! In addition to every major player, Monush includes the legions of unjustly neglected troupers of yesteryear. The result is a rarity: an invaluable reference tool that's as much fun to read as a scandal sheet. It pulsates with all the scandal, glamour, oddity and glory that was the lifeblood of its subjects. Contains over 1,000 photos!

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From Booklist:

The first of a projected two-volume set, this encyclopedia provides biographical profiles of actors who worked in Hollywood between 1915 and 1965 (presumably the second volume will cover 1965 to the present). Author Monush, an associate editor of the annual publication Screen World, includes all Oscar-winning actors as well as performers who became prominent in film before the late 1960s, which is when, he notes, the demise of the studio star system occurred.

Entries are arranged in alphabetical order (Bud Abbott and Lou Costello to George Zucco), include vital statistics, and note any higher-education institution the actor attended. Narrative capsules of the actor's career are accompanied by black-and-white photographs obtained from Screen World archives. Monush has done extensive research to compile the biographies, and the entries convey his love of moviemaking. Did you know that Yul Brynner was a trapeze artist before he became "the King"? That the "Wicked Witch of the West," Margaret Hamilton, ran a nursery school before heading to Hollywood? That "Kojak" (Telly Savalas) was once a writer for the State Department? There are fun anecdotes included in every entry, and readers will learn new trivia each time they peruse the encyclopedia.

The capsules are followed by chronological listings of the actor's screen and stage work as well as credits for select television appearances. Data were compiled from a number of sources, and the Encyclopedia includes a bibliography of reference works that readers can use for additional research. There is no index.

Although there are other reference sources that include film actors, such as the International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers (Saint James, 2000) and The New Biographical Dictionary of Film (Knopf, 2002), this is an item that academic libraries and specialized film libraries will want to add. It would also no doubt find an audience in public libraries. RBB
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

From Publishers Weekly:

This volume, appropriate for film buffs and novices alike, covers actors from Abbot & Costello to George Zucco. Monush, associate editor of the annually published book of filmographies, Screen World, here profiles actors who graced the silver screen through 1965 (a second volume, picking up where this one ends, is in the works). Monush includes information on each actor's career in his or her homeland (since some of the subjects aren't American), shares a photo from the Screen World archives and notes each actor's stage, television and film credits. Though the book lacks of an index, the brief bios are thorough and organized alphabetically. Monush has a distinct writing style that, while not always objective, lets his personality and sources-mainly Screen World and Films on Review magazine-shine through.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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