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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Father issues., 30 Sep 2011
By 
Jill Meyer (United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Luck and Circumstance: A Coming of Age in Hollywood, New York, and Points Beyond (Hardcover)
What's it like to grow up fatherless in a family with a surfeit of fathers? Michael Lindsay-Hogg writes about never knowing who was his father in his fascinating memoir, "Luck and Circumstance". Lindsay-Hogg, now in his early 70's was the son of the Irish actress Geraldine Fitzgerald and...someone. Maybe Fitzgerald's husband at the time, Edward Lindsay-Hogg, or possibly director Orson Welles. Michael's mother never quite told the story of his conception and admitted and denied facts all he life. Edward Lindsay-Hogg, divorced from Fitzgerald after WW2 was the "distant father", Orson Welles was the "fantasy father", and Geraldine's second husband, "Boy" Scheftel, was the "acting father" who raised him.

Between writing of both physical and psychological search for his father, Michael Lindsay-Hogg tells of growing up the son of a famous Hollywood actress who then segues into theater acting. He, too, gets initiated into the theater world early, skipping out on organised school classes to work as a professional behind the stage. He became a noted director and worked with the Beatles and the Rolling Stones on videos in the 1960's and 1970's. He also directed movies and many stage plays in his long career. He moved from being Geraldine Fitzgerald's and - maybe - Orson Welles's son to being a remarkable producer, director, and writer, famous and successful in his own right.

Lindsay-Hogg is an excellent writer and tells his story with a quiet intensity that belie the many questions he has about his own identity. Was Welles Michael's real father? Certainly there was a physical resemblance of sorts and Welles dropped in and out of Michael's life at odd times. Michael's mother hinted at his true parentage but stepped back from firmly identifying the man. Maybe she didn't know herself; she was married to Edward Lindsay-Hogg while - possibly - having an affair with Welles. However, in the end, does it matter who Michael Lindsay-Hogg's true father was? I suppose it does, to Michael, but to the reader, Michael Lindsay-Hogg emerges as a man with a full life. And what more can a person ask for than that.
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Luck and Circumstance: A Coming of Age in Hollywood, New York, and Points Beyond
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