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Customer Review

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A detailed and fascinating account of a wonderful actor., 21 Mar. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Who's There?: Life and Career of William Hartnell (Hardcover)
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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