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Publishers Weekly, 1994-09-19 Jackie Gleason originally rejected Meadows as too glamorous to pass as a Brooklyn bus driver's wife. When she ``dressed down'' to be Alice, he reversed himself and cast her in The Honeymooners. There are stories about Norton (Art Carney) and Trixie (Joyce Randolph), but the star of this book is Gleason, who could out-eat, out-drink and smoke more-up to six packs a day- than anybody. But he was also a brilliant actor and comic, a practical joker and, according to Meadows, a loyal and financially generous friend (in the last matter, Meadows runs counter to the contentions of most Gleason biographers). Gleason's penchant for the big hit or miss extended as well to the bottom line, where he could make the big score, like rediscovering the ``lost'' episodes of The Honeymooners, and let the big one get away, as when he turned down a 50% share in a young singer named Elvis Presley. Filled with anecdotes that capture the time (the 1950s) and the place (New York City), Meadows and freelancer Daley have written a book that will send fans of Ralph, Alice, Norton and Trixie straight to the moon. Photos not seen by PW. Author tour. (Oct.)
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