"Magnificent" ("The Sunday Times")--a fascinating portrait of one of the great love affairs of show business and a compelling account of a woman coming into her own Sian Phillips and Peter O'Toole were one of the theater's most fabulous couples--a marriage perhaps rivaled only by that of Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor in terms of glamour, ...
"Magnificent" ("The Sunday Times")--a fascinating portrait of one of the great love affairs of show business and a compelling account of a woman coming into her own Sian Phillips and Peter O'Toole were one of the theater's most fabulous couples--a marriage perhaps rivaled only by that of Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor in terms of glamour, power, and public fascination. In her exceptional memoir, Phillips reveals in thoughtful detail their tumultuous life together. She describes the mad and impulsive times with the infamous hellraiser alongside the tempestuous, insecure, and often lonely periods in their marriage. When O'Toole's career took off with "Lawrence of Arabia," Sian found life increasingly difficult in her parallel roles as wife, mother, and actress, and watched as her own career became progressively sidelined. Against all expectations, though, their union endured for twenty years. When it ended, incredibly, even to herself, Sian plunged straight into another marriage, to a much younger man. Ultimately she emerges alone--triumphant and unrepentant--and the story she recounts here ranks alongside the very best in show business.
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Publishers Weekly, 2003-05-01 "After a roller-coaster life of much happiness and many troubles, a woman of a certain age makes a break for freedom," writes noted actor Phillips at the end of this honest, heartfelt and often witty memoir. Indeed, when the author takes a younger lover as an alternative to her marriage, readers will feel great relief. Phillips, a critically praised and popular performer, charts her professional, domestic and familial lives. Even though she has her own theater career, the bulk of the book chronicles her decades-long, volatile-but at times very satisfying-marriage to Peter O'Toole. As O'Toole becomes increasingly famous in the 1960s, his histrionics, caused mostly by excessive alcohol consumption, balloon out of control. By 1975, O'Toole's drinking has brought him close to death (a situation shockingly told in the book's opening chapters) and Phillips has to seriously examine her life. While there's plenty of theater lore and gossip here-much of it quite wonderful, such as Katharine Hepburn calling Liz Taylor and Richard Burton "those fat pigs"-this memoir is really a frightening, potently written "scenes from a marriage" and a story of how the author finds her own way. B&w photos. (May) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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