Books by Gloria Stuart

GLORIA STUART by Gloria Stuart
Released: Sept. 8, 1999

The elderly star of Titanic tells all—and then some. Dropping names and dripping exclamation points, Stuart, the oldest person ever nominated for an Academy Award, gives herself the full diva treatment, with the help of her daughter, a cookbook and gardening author. Stuart takes us briefly through her Santa Monica (Calif.) youth and relives her days as a B-movie beauty who starred in a slew of forgettable films with titles like Laughter in Hell, along with such James Whale movies as The Invisible Man. It's not that Stuart has led a dull life; she was instrumental in organizing the Screen Actors Guild, and with her second husband, writer Arthur Sheekman, she moved in social circles that at various times included Humphrey Bogart, Dorothy Parker, Groucho Marx, and M.F.K. Fisher. But because her ego seems about as big as that doomed luxury liner, Stuart treats all of these potentially interesting subjects in a cursory manner and lavishes a great deal of attention on her own artistic impulses—everything from bonsai to painting to silk-screening. Sometimes she is unintentionally hilarious: "Dead in the water. What to do? It was then that the art of decoupage came into my life." Other times, Stuart displays a childish need to shock, describing certain parts of her anatomy as a sixth-grade boy might and announcing (as though we had asked), "I am devoted to masturbation." Surprisingly, apart from fawning over director James Cameron, Stuart has comparatively little to say about Titanic; she does reveal that someone once spiked the crew's clam chowder with angel dust. True to form, the author spends most of her time chronicling her return to celebrity and agonizing over whether she would receive the Oscar for her role as Old Rose. When Stuart looks back at her earlier films, she wonders, "What had I done to deserve all this dreck?" Those who pick up this book will likely ask themselves a similar question. (Author tour) Read full book review >