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Who's There: The Life and Career of William Hartnell [Hardcover]

Jessica Carney
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
RRP: 19.99
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Book Description

1 Sep 2013
William Hartnell was a well-respected actor with a varied career behind him, which covered musical comedies, radio plays, 75 feature films and television dramas including "Doctor Who". This book contains previously unpublished photographs and reveals the life of this intensely private man.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Who's There: The Life and Career of William Hartnell + An Adventure in Space and Time [DVD] + Doctor Who - The Enemy of the World [DVD]
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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Fantom Films Limited (1 Sep 2013)
  • ISBN-10: 1781960992
  • ISBN-13: 978-1781960998
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 16.2 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 162,541 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fitting tribute by his granddaughter. 24 Mar 2001
By A Customer
William Hartnell's portrayal of "Doctor Who" remains one of the most charismatic, distinctive and memorable creations of British television. This book tells the actor's story. It details his troubled early life, his prolific film career through to his casting as the first incarnation of the beloved time-traveller. You can detect Miss Carney's profound sadness when she recalls in writing Mr. Hartnell's decline into terminal illness, forcing him to relinquish his role as the children's hero.
Hartnell has been remembered by many who worked with him as a difficult personality. Jessica Carney accepts this but we also learn that, despite his faults, he was a thoroughly good man and an actor who learned his trade the hard way.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
William Hartnell was the actor who breathed life into the character of "Doctor Who" and set the high standard for his successors to try and follow. However, his career amounted to much more than this.
Written by his granddaughter, the actress Jessica Carney, this is a caring and reverential account of his career which reveals much which many who worked with him would never have known themselves: personal revelations about his early life obtained from a secret diary Hartnell had written, which was the fortunate discovery of his granddaughter. He was an illegitimate child born in the slums of London (a secret he was to take to his deathbed) and as a youth fell into the wrong company and lived a life of crime. The book explains how he escaped from this lifestyle and embarked upon a long and fruitful film career, which eventually led to his role as the first "Doctor Who" on television when he was in his mid-fifties. Sadly, Hartnell left Doctor Who after three years on the grounds of diminishing health, and continued to deteriorate until his death in 1975.
Written by a family member who loved him dearly and clearly cherishes her memories of him, "Who's There?" avoids salaciousness and concentrates on the achievements, qualities and, indeed, flaws of a very fine actor and a truly professional, but difficult, person.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars so much more than doctor who. 12 July 2006
this book only proves what i have known for many years; that william hartnell was a brilliant character actor on stage and in films throughout the 30s, 40s, 50s and the early part of the 60s before becoming immortilized as the original and, in my opinion, best doctor who.

i have seen william hartnell in some of the best films that britain has to offer; "carry on sergent," "heaven's above," very good as the corrupt boss in "hell drivers," "brighton rock" and also giving a superb performance in "this sporting life."

written by one of the few people qualified for the task, his granddaughter has given a thoroughly detailed portrayal of a man dedicated to his job, but also describes the way "doctor who" changed his life. sadly, this was one of the last assignments for hartnell as illness gradually took over and he would be replaced by patrick troughton.

in the text, i was made aware of how hartnell started his acting career under difficult circumstances; struggling for years to be employed on a reasonably regular basis whilst learning to develop his craft on the stage and trying to bring enough money home to support his wife. makes you realize how determined he was to succeed. good for him.

copies of this biography are like gold dust, especially ones that are in very good condition. a considerable amount of money might be needed in order to obtain one, but worth the hassle i promise you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Biography 19 Mar 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Loved this book, also bought the audio version, William Hartnell was my favourite Dr Who and his granddaughter's biography provides a wonderful insight into the life and times of this fine actor. Some excellent personal photographs are included. A must buy for all Dr Who fans..
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