Stock Image

The First King of Hollywood: The Life of Douglas Fairbanks (Hardcover)

Tracey Goessel

101 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 1613734042 / ISBN 13: 9781613734049
New Condition: New Hardcover
From Grand Eagle Retail (Wilmington, DE, U.S.A.)

AbeBooks Seller Since October 12, 2005

Quantity Available: 1

Buy New
List Price: US$ 34.95
Price: US$ 37.51 Convert Currency
Shipping: Free Within U.S.A. Destination, Rates & Speeds
Add to basket

30 Day Return Policy

About this Item

Hardcover. Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 560 pages. 1.089. Bookseller Inventory # 9781613734049

Ask Seller a Question

Bibliographic Details

Title: The First King of Hollywood: The Life of ...

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:New

About this title


Silent film superstar Douglas Fairbanks was an absolute charmer. Irrepressibly vivacious, he spent his life leaping over and into things, from his early Broadway successes to his marriage to the great screen actress Mary Pickford to the way he made Hollywood his very own town. The inventor of the swashbuckler, he wasn’t only an actor—he all but directed and produced his movies, and in founding United Artists with Pickford, Charlie Chaplin, and D. W. Griffith, he challenged the studio system.

But listing his accomplishments is one thing and telling his story another. Tracey Goessel has made the latter her life’s work, and with exclusive access to Fairbanks’s love letters to Pickford, she brilliantly illuminates how Fairbanks conquered not just the entertainment world but the heart of perhaps the most famous woman in the world at the time.

When Mary Pickford died, she was an alcoholic, self-imprisoned in her mansion, nearly alone, and largely forgotten. But she left behind a small box; in it, worn and refolded, were her letters from Douglas Fairbanks. Pickford and Fairbanks had ruled Hollywood as its first king and queen for a glorious decade. But the letters began long before, when they were both married to others, when revealing the affair would have caused a great scandal.

Now these letters form the centerpiece of the first truly definitive biography of Hollywood’s first king, the man who did his own stunts and built his own studio and formed a company that allowed artists to distribute their own works outside the studio system. But Goessel’s research uncovered more: that Fairbanks’s first film appearance was two years earlier than had been assumed; that his stories of how he got into theater, and then into films, were fabricated; that the Pickford-Fairbanks Studios had a specially constructed underground trench so that Fairbanks could jog in the nude; that Fairbanks himself insisted racist references be removed from his films’ intertitles; and the true cause of Fairbanks’s death.

Fairbanks was the top male star of his generation, the maker of some of the greatest films of his era: The Thief of Bagdad, Robin Hood, The Mark of Zorro. He was fun, witty, engaging, creative, athletic, and a force to be reckoned with. He shaped our idea of the Hollywood hero, and Hollywood has never been the same since. His story, like his movies, is full of passion, bravado, romance, and desire. Here at last is his definitive biography, based on extensive and brand-new research into every aspect of his career, and written with fine understanding, wit, and verve.

About the Author:

Tracey Goessel is on the board of directors of the San Francisco Silent Film Festival and is the founder of the Los Angeles–based Film Preservation Society. She has published numerous articles on silent film history and has lectured widely on Douglas Fairbanks. She is a major collector of silent film ephemera, and her purchase of the Pickford-Fairbanks love letters started an eight-year quest to write the definitive biography of America's favorite swashbuckler. 

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Store Description

Visit Seller's Storefront

Terms of Sale:

We guarantee the condition of every book as it¿s described on the Abebooks web sites. If you¿ve changed
your mind about a book that you¿ve ordered, please use the Ask bookseller a question link to contact us
and we¿ll respond within 2 business days.
Books ship from California and Michigan.

Shipping Terms:

Orders usually ship within 2 business days. All books within the US ship free of charge. Delivery is 4-14 business days anywhere in the United States.

Books ship from California and Michigan.

If your book order is heavy or oversized, we may contact you to let you know extra shipping is required.

List this Seller's Books

Payment Methods
accepted by seller

Visa Mastercard American Express