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Veronica Hardcover – 1 Jan 1969

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.9 out of 5 stars 7 reviews
33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars answers some questions about a sad story 28 May 2012
By J. Palmer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This memoir by Veronica Lake was written with the help of a ghost writer, Donald Bain. The copyright is 1969, it was published in 1971, Lake died in 1973. I think Bain interviewed her or took dictation. From the style I think Lake talked and Bain wrote it down or filled in the blanks.

The first half of the book deals with Lake's early life and movie career. The question everyone has about Lake is the same: How did one of the 40's most iconic actresses end up living in obscurity? Lake recounts her Hollywood days, failed marriages, and eventual ditching of Hollywood altogether. Alcohol as a curse is pretty apparent, and she's pretty frank about it. Sadly, a lot of the details of her movie career are glossed over. Her relationship with Alan Ladd, for example, is summed up in a paragraph, even though four of her best known pictures were with him.

The second half of the book is a bit bizarre. There are chapters devoted to her life after Hollywood, mostly doing off-Broadway and dinner theatre on the east coast. You get the sense that she was more proud of playing Peter Pan on Cape Cod than any of her film work. She talks a lot about a relationship she had with an alcoholic sailor who drinks himself to death, and about what sounds like a pretty weird, crazy cat lady life in Miami.

The book ends with her sounded optimistic about the future. She talks about how her trade is really her life, and how she'll keep acting. Sadly, she would die in only a few years at age 50.

Whatever else anyone can say, Veronica Lake took acting seriously and was proud of her craft. That really shines through in the book. That she was plagued with substance abuse and mental problems, that comes through also. I think this is a frank, honest look back at her life. It's tragic she couldn't find the help she needed.
41 of 45 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Disagree with first review....... 9 July 2004
By nativemsn - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I am almost finished reading this book which I got from the library. It was the only one on Veronica Lake. Well, I chose to read it even though I was not alive during her hay-day, but my mother was. She had always been a fan and admired Veronica Lake. When I was younger, my mother would say at times my hair looked like Veronica Lake's (it's thick and wavy), whomever that was, and like Veronica says in her book 'can't do a darn thing with it.' All I knew later is that she was an actress.
I think the book clearly expresses her alcoholism. She turned to drinking EVERY time she had a rough spot in her life--one of her marriages going bad, being out of money. In fact, she hung out with the merchant marinemen while dating Andy Elickson--and they all would drink for many hours.
I don't remember about the age thing, but I really think she was honest. She surprised me. She sounds tough, sarcastic and not real nice many times. So, I think you get a clear-cut view of a woman trying to make it from living with an over-bearing mother pushing her to be something she wasn't--she didn't really care about being a 'star'(her real father dying when she was very young).
There were a lot of 'honest' type remarks in there about herself and others, but it's not a show and tell like many other stars or biographers write about. Veronica knows when to name names and when not to. It's sad actually, her story. Her deepest love, Andy--she never married. She was a survivor and I admire her for many things she did even though she was a 'star'. It didn't go to her head at all. She went through a lot. She was a waitress at one time just to make ends meet. Fans sent her money after learning of this, but she returned all their money. A pride thing she said.
I'd like to know the rest of the story--this was written by her 2 years after I was born. I think it's very informative if you are a fan. I was more curious than a fan since I didn't know much about her and don't think I saw any of her films. Apparently, she had a natural gift for acting, especially in comdy, surprisingly. She tells it like it sounds as it was, that's for sure. And don't get me wrong---she seems nice enough, but seems to have a negative view of most things. I think her honesty speaks through loud and clear. Just reading the first chaper will tell you that! And she wasn't a fake.
24 of 31 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great book if you're a fan 8 Nov. 1999
By Quentin - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Being a Veronica Lake fan will help you get past this book's so-so writing and sometimes obvious exclusion of facts/details. Her alcoholism is mostly denied, the rumors of schizophrenia are not even mentioned, and she lists her birth date in 1922, although many say it's 1919.
The book is still a good read and offers a look at Hollywood as it was at the end of its golden era. Lots of behind the scenes stuff and interaction with other actors/directors/producers of the day.
Although listed as an "autobiography", the title page says "By Veronica Lake with Donald Bain".
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Talented Pretty Actress and a Life of Courage. 14 Nov. 2015
By Xenophon12 - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First of all, I completely agree with J. Palmer's review. And the other ones are not without interest, with their own hints. I just read the VERONICA, or VERONICA / Veronica Lake's book in 4 days, with first pleasure, curiosity, and intensity. A well written book (thanks to Donald Bain), easy to understand, even by the Frenchman I'am. Just now, after the carnage in Paris, you know, I am not in the real mood for a long and not necessary review. But this day, 14th November, is precisely Veronica Lake's birthday. Yes, that not matter very much, but it can be symbolic, even if death is death. So, here we learn a lot about V.L.'s life, Hollywood and anectodes, struggles, dire straits : a very courageous life of a courageous little girl and woman. We encounter successes, half failures, failures (injuries, lost of a baby boy), friends and ennemies...even husbands who don't like to be said : Mr Lake ...with psychological conséquences. Good times, and too much drinking, But she brought 3 beautiful children. The movies : let us see again Sullivan's Travels, I Married a Witch ...The Glass Key, The Blue Dahlia, even Namrod, even black and white and 1.37.... but now with some beautiful BLU-RAY(s), with the Veronica's warm voice. And then, the book. It reads like a roman, and it is real life, avec ses joies et ses peines : there is lot of sincerity in it. Long live short hair, as she said (last page,. 276). But ...all men do loved and love her magnificent hair.....even white/black : see, under others, the so called Photo in military uniform : what a pretty little soldier ! And what about the (navy) blue eyes ? : let us guess ! A talented beautiful young actress and a very human life of courage. Let us read Veronica. She deserves it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite actress gives a very honest self-appraisal (in fact she ... 23 Nov. 2014
By J. Wheeler - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My favorite actress gives a very honest self-appraisal (in fact she is very tough on herself). Such a sad ending to her life. She wanted very much to be portrayed on screen as more than just a sex symbol, wishing she had been offered more good comedic roles. As I think back on her roles, she clearly could deliver in dramatic situations (her final scenes in "I Wanted Wings", her breaking down to Claudette Colbert in "So Proudly We Hail"). The book contains many very fine photos of Veronica, taken of her as a child right through her later years. Such a beautiful gal.
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