Once billed as ""The Most Beautiful Woman in the World"" for her deadpan parody film Salome, Where She Danced (1945), De...


YVONNE: An Autobiography

Once billed as ""The Most Beautiful Woman in the World"" for her deadpan parody film Salome, Where She Danced (1945), De Carlo lets everything hang out in this recital of her films and lovers Though writing in the usual blank style of celebrity bios, De Carlo does keep a page wiggling through her varied and colorful tours of libido land. The first third of her bio balances on the dilemmas of virginity. Front Vancouver and named Peggy Yvonne Middleton. Yvonne took her De Carlo stage name from her mother's family. Mother Matte early led Yvonne to Los Angeles and show business, namely dancing jobs. For the Florentine Gardens nightspot, Yvonne worked her way out of the chorus line by developing specialty acts to Ravel's ""Bolero"" and becoming an explosive exotique. For five years or more her virginity gave her pains in the neck and elsewhere. She went to a doctor for this pain and, in effect, he told her ""to do what came naturally."" What follows are a lot of happy bedsprings and less happy films. She manages to ""consummate a relationship"" with young Howard Hughes, a not passionate but ""expert"" lover (""What he did was calculated to please, and it was important to him that whatever he did was done right. He also liked to theorize about sex as we lay next to each other, before and after making love. He would get into the differences between the male and the female orgasm. . .The female climax, he explained, was an himplosion, a reaction to the male explosion. He went in for extended foreplay while all the yakking was going on. . .""). Gentle brute Burt Lancaster took her on her mink coat in the backyard under the oleanders. And there was the half-brother of the Shah of Iran, And there was Robert Taylor. And Aly Khan, who would ""make animated love"" stark naked at high noon on the deck of his yacht in the Mediterranean (""Aly was an expert lover, adept in every nuance of pleasure. . .He didn't take a woman, he tasted and taunted. . .""). And so on. A not altogether distinguished career, she admits, including one 16-year unhappy marriage to a stunt man, but a sex life that--when it was good--was very, very good.

Pub Date: April 6, 1987


Page Count: -

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1987