'A staggering parade of theater-world luminaries struts, swaggers and, yes, occasionally staggers through this compulsively readable memoir' - New York Times In this engaging memoir, celebrated actor Christopher Plummer recounts his life, and his journey from a privileged boyhood in Canada 'rich in Victorian gentility including steam yachts, rare ...
'A staggering parade of theater-world luminaries struts, swaggers and, yes, occasionally staggers through this compulsively readable memoir' - New York Times In this engaging memoir, celebrated actor Christopher Plummer recounts his life, and his journey from a privileged boyhood in Canada 'rich in Victorian gentility including steam yachts, rare orchid farms, and music lessons in Paris and Berlin' to the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. We glimpse glorious New York of the fifties, where, for Plummer the night began at midnight with the likes of Arthur Miller and Tennessee Williams. He made his Broadway debut at 25: 'It opened and closed in one night, but what a night!' Joining Peter Hall's Royal Shakespeare Company, Plummer performed with acting royalty such as Peter O'Toole and Michael Caine. He writes about his affairs and marriages, as well as his daughter, actress Amanda Plummer, whom he barely saw for 18 years. He has worked with everyone from Al Pacino to Heath Ledger, and recalls starring in movies including Up, The Insider, The Sound of Music, The Man Who Would be King, A Beautiful Mind, and many more. Seamlessly written, with laugh-out-loud stories, In Spite of Myself is an absorbing account of the fascinating, complex, exuberant adventure that has been Plummer's life.
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Publishers Weekly, 2008-09-08 Fans of Plummer's acclaimed Shakespearean performances or his stately film roles, from Captain von Trapp in The Sound of Music to the Klingon General Chang in Star Trek VI, may not recognize him in this breezy, bawdy memoir. Plummer drinks and parties his way through a six-decade career; beds starlets, prompters and wardrobe girls; and endures countless mid-performance indignities and pratfalls. (Lesson repeatedly learned: actors and stagehands should not get drunk right before the show.) Plummer is ebullient, a bit hammy ("I cried myself to sleep for weeks," he sobs, after his dog Toadie dies), full of canny insights into the actor's craft and prone to occasional stabs of self-reproach over his own failed marriages, aloof parenting and unjustified tantrums. Throughout, he's an enchanting observer of the showbiz cavalcade, drawing vivid thumbnails of everyone from Laurence Olivier to Lenny Bruce and tossing off witty anecdotes ("George C. Scott turned up at our doorstep one morning at 4:30 a.m. looking most sinister and as usual dripping blood from head to toe") like the most effortless ad libs. The result is a sparkling star turn from a born raconteur for whom all the world is indeed a stage. Photos. (Nov. 11) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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