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biography
Ethel Merman: A Life
 
 
Author
Brian Kellow.
Publisher Penguin  
Format paperback
Product Dimensions 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
ISBN 9780143114208
Pages/Publication Date 326/2008
Daedalus Item Code 11315
This item is not available.
Description
More than 25 years after her death, Ethel Merman continues to set a standard for American musical theater. The stories about the supremely talented, famously strong-willed, fearsomely blunt, and terrifyingly exacting woman are stuff of legend. Brian Kellow's biography of the great Merman is superb, and examines both the artist and the woman with as much critical rigor as empathy. Through dozens of interviews with her colleagues, friends, and family members, Kellow traces the arc of her life, her four marriages, and her 30-year singing career to reveal many surprising facts about Broadway's biggest star.

"New interviews with friends, family and co-workers bringing vibrant life and clarity to even familiar anecdotes. Kellow (The Bennetts: An Acting Family) is less interested in digging for psychological insights and bluntly paints a more temperamental portrait of the Broadway belter, but readers will be swept up in the colorful eyewitness accounts of her stage triumphs (Anything Goes; Call Me Madam; Annie Get Your Gun; Gypsy; Hello, Dolly!) and her less successful attempts to move from stage to screen (There's No Business Like Show Business; It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World). With four failed marriages (including a legendarily short one to Ernest Borgnine—she flew back alone from their honeymoon after just two days), distant relationships with her son and daughter (who died of an accidental overdose in 1967), and volatile personality, there's plenty of diva drama. She found a younger audience with appearances on Love Boat and a show-stopping cameo in Airplane!, but an inoperable brain tumor finally silenced the bombastic singer in 1984. Testimonies from those who were there during her decline bring an emotional wallop to her final days."—Publishers Weekly

 
 
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