This might better have been titled Martyrs of Stardom--or Starlets of Martyrdom--or. . . . Well, under any label, it's perfectly chilled, dry, topshelf movie writing and that rare book you hate to finish. On New Year's Eve 1933 six Hollywood stars were playing to packed houses in Times Square: Ginger Rogers, Miriam Hopkins, Ruth Etting, Kay Francis, Loretta Young--and Irene Bentley. Irene who? Irene, who seemingly faded from earth after three films, was then Victor Jory's leading lady in Smoky, ""the best horse picture ever made."" These ladies' talents and careers are examined mercilessly in a cliche-free movie journalism that bathes everyone in acid. On Loretta ""The Steel Butterfly"" Young's dewy piousness: ""At a roast for Variety's Jack Hellman, Hellman was presented with a bowl of water upon which Loretta Young had once walked."" Of heavy boozer Kay Francis in a London hotel: her male bodyguard found her ""obstreperous and totally nude, standing in the center of the drawing room, proclaiming, 'I'm not a star. I'm a woman, and I want to get fucked!'"" A brass monument that should outlive the more gilded masonry of other Hollywood biographers--and a must for Kay Francis alone.