"BEEN THERE, DONE THAT" by Eddie Fisher


An Autobiography
Email this review


The teen idol, singer, former husband of Elizabeth Taylor, Debbie Reynolds, and Connie Stevens, father of actresses Carrie and Joely Fisher, pens a tell-all memoir with the help of celebrity profiler David Fisher (no relation and co-author with George Burns of All My Best Friends, 1989, among others). Fisher is quick to point out his many successes, saying on the second page, "I had more consecutive hit records than the Beatles or Elvis Presley, Ike loved me, Jack Kennedy and I shared drugs and women, and [my voice] transformed me from a shy little boy into a man who attracted the most famous and desirable women in the world." That sets the tone for the rest of the book, as he goes on to name-drop brazenly, particularly about his numerous romantic conquests. In addition to writing about Reynolds ("A self-centered, totally driven, insecure, untruthful phony"), Taylor ("Among them all she stood alone—), and Stevens, he discusses affairs with Marlene Dietrich ("To have been seduced by Marlene Dietrich is to have been taught how to make love by the expert"), Mamie Van Doren, Dinah Shore, Kim Novak, Juliet Prowse ("granted" to him, he claims, by Frank Sinatra), and Ann-Margret. He also opens up about mobster Sam Giancana, Marilyn Monroe, producer Mike Todd, Audrey Hepburn, Richard Burton, and practically everyone else in Hollywood during that era. Underneath all that bravado, however, is a surprising amount of remorse, particularly for the money he wasted and his 30-year battle with drug addiction. At no point is his regret stronger and more poignantly recounted than when he discusses his kids. "I was their father only biologically," he admits. Though all of Fisher's misfortunes were self-inflicted, he does become a sympathetic protagonist when writing about his children with love and pride. An aptly titled tale of a lecherous, often narcissistic, star run amok—yet by the end readers will end up rooting for, and even liking, Eddie Fisher. Now that's talent.

Pub Date: Sept. 14th, 1999
ISBN: ---
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Dunne/St. Martin's