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Gertrude Lawrence Hardcover – 5 Feb 1981

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 228 pages
  • Publisher: Littlehampton Book Services Ltd; 1st edition (5 Feb 1981)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 029777882X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0297778820
  • Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 15 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,278,412 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

London published Biography

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Graceann Macleod on 21 April 2009
Format: Hardcover
Sheridan Morley has written an informative and readable book on the life of Gertrude Lawrence. She was present at the beginning of many stellar careers - most notably Leslie Howard, Danny Kaye and Yul Brynner, and she was larger than life herself. In pre-war London, when she was entertaining the West End with Noel Coward in his superb Private Lives and Tonight at 8:30, she was the toast of the town and seen on the arm of a different gorgeous man every night. She continued her fame in the United States with Lady in the Dark and The King and I (which was written for her). She was also generally believed to be the inspiration for All About Eve (though the role of Margo Channing was a bit too close to home for her to be able to accept it).

Morley doesn't skimp on the details that make Miss Lawrence less than likable. She was not the most attentive mother, and didn't have any inclination to work at a positive marital relationship until very near the end of her life. Money ran through her fingers like water from a tap - when her accountant questioned the logic of purchasing an estate when she was nearly bankrupt, she responded by instructing him to find out how much it would cost to install a swimming pool.

On the other side of that coin, however, she could be generous to a fault, and she was extremely supportive of her friends. Beatrice Lillie and Noel Coward have especially fond memories, and even those who were infuriated by her occasional tantrums remember her with a smile in this volume.

Morley does a credible job of putting together a life story that is even-handed, honest and still respectful. The fact that he does this while offering an entertaining, page-turning read is admirable.
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