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A very minor-league celebrity memoir--as onetime movie star Todd (The Seventh Veil, The Paradine Case) chats about her acting career, her later work as a country-hopping documentary-maker, and her reincarnation/UFO beliefs. Well-born to an old Scottish family, Ann was a reluctant, sickly debutante whose disapproving mother finally sent her to drama school (to be a teacher) out of desperation. But with legendary, tough teacher Elsie Fogerty, Ann blossomed: lots of stage work followed, then English stardom with splendid James Mason in Seventh Veil, then Hollywood for Hitchcock's Paradine Case (long, grueling takes), three films for second husband David Lean, and a return to the theater--with rep at the Old Vic and Duel of Angels with Vivien Leigh (""ill, spoiled and sometimes hysterical with jealousy""). Then, however, after being mugged in Brighton, Todd, spurred on by a vision, traveled to Nepal and vowed to film that spiritual country in a documentary. She eventually did just that--and a series of short semi-fictional films followed, in Egypt, Iran (the Shah's family was featured), Greece, Jordan, and the isle of Iona in the Hebrides (""This tiny island, so strong with its secret spell . . .""). Plus--sighting a UFO near her village-pub: ""There it was in front of my eyes. Beings from another planet . . . here one moment, gone the next."" Todd writes about everything here with blandly amiable sketchiness, so there's no strong pull or personality in any of it. But, if virtually without interest or spice in the show-biz sections, armchair travelers may enjoy the brief, vicarious journeys to a handful of scenic spots.

Pub Date: Oct. 5th, 1981
Publisher: Putnam