Saturday, 2 July 2016

life is a banquet

On Wednesday 22 June I finished Life Is A Banquet, Rosalind Russell's autobiography (cowritten with Chris Chase). I bought it secondhand off Amazon, a 1p plus p&p job from a seller in the US. I bought it because I'd seen a couple of quotes from her here and there and she seemed intelligent, witty and self-deprecating. It was an enjoyable read, which lived up to what she'd seemed. She claims, plausibly, to have had a hand in contributing lines to both her biggest hits, His Girl Friday and Mame.

First line: For a long time I didn't want to write a book.
Last line: I've had a good ride.
Dedication: To my son Lance and my new daughter Patricia With love

The cover of my 1979 Ace paperback US edition is a fairly typical mass-market actor autobiography; if anything's unusual it's that the photo (which I'd guess is Mame era rather than His Girl Friday era - the title is a quote from the former) seems a little soft and small. The quote is from Frank Sinatra, who the cover makes clear was a close personal friend. (The copyright line indicates that it was published - in 1977 - after her death.) Title in inlaid gold, author in red signature. Publisher, book no and price on the front; don't know how unusual that would have been.