Gordon MacRae was the handsome, velvet-voiced heartthrob of Oklahoma! and a dozen other Hollywood musicals. Sheila was his loving wife, and theirs ...Show synopsisGordon MacRae was the handsome, velvet-voiced heartthrob of Oklahoma! and a dozen other Hollywood musicals. Sheila was his loving wife, and theirs was a storybook romance. They hady and fabulous friends, yet behind the glitz and the glamour lurked tragedy. Now she reveals how their marriage fell apart--and how she put her life back together. 16 pages of photographs.Hide synopsis
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Written by Sheila MacRae, first wife of movie star Gordon MacRae, this book is an interesting compilation of life in Hollywood, with anecdotes on the well-known stars they both mixed with (Lucy and Desi, Jackie Gleason, Jane Powell, Shirley Jones to name a few) as well as daunting descriptions of her life with an alcoholic and gambling addict. Often the inclusions in the book are surprising in their candour, such as Gordon's asides on his co-stars: On the magical Dinah Shore: "Hell, she can't sing at all!"(p.73) and Kathryn Grayson: "She doesn't want me to put my hand on her waist because she thinks it makes her look too thick." "Don't hold her too tight because your arms obscure her boobs." "I don't know how long I can put up with all this."(p.31) He couldn't stand Joan Crawford, liked Tyrone power, loved Bette Davis and Gary Merrill. There's a small doubt the couple were as entrenched socially as the book suggests, and it could be said that there are too many comments from others on the beauty of Sheila MacRae, her legs, her body, her charms, but the lady was a 'looker'.
Gordon MacRae's downward plunge into drink and gambling is hard to understand and together with his suffering children, lends a poignancy to the story. He fades out halfway through when they separate, but the book keeps up its momentum with Sheila's own showbusiness story and her affairs with Francis Albert Sinatra, Albert Finney, Bob Fosse, and the mysterious JP, never named.
If you want a book on the Hollywood at its most glamorous, with quick peeks into the lives of the stars, then this will satisfy. It's not a great book, but certainly one of the more interesting and enjoyable ones.
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