MIA by Edward Z. Epstein


The Life of Mia Farrow
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 Uninspired life of the little-girl-lost actress, by the authors of Paul and Joanna, Brando, Loretta Young, Jane Wyman, etc., etc. Here's a book as shallow as any scissors-and-paste job, with as little fresh material. Heavy attention is paid to mother Maureen O'Sullivan, Tarzan's Jane in the Weismuller series, and father John Farrow, a writer and director (The Big Clock). Mother retired from films for several years to raise a very large family, made a splash on Broadway, was less successful on TV, where her gift of gab fell short opposite Hugh Downs on the first Today show. Papa Farrow instructed Mia never to take up acting, but after his death she began acting school, then off-Broadway (triumphing as Cecily in The Importance of Being Earnest), was ushered into 20th Century-Fox by Vivien Leigh, began making movies, and crashed into the public mind as Allison McKenzie in TV's hit series Peyton Place. Then she crashed into Frank Sinatra, later accepting his proposal despite their 29-year age split. (When the authors have Sinatra singing with ``trumpet player'' Tommy Dorsey, all hope fades.) Farrow's later big roles in Roman Polanski's Rosemary's Baby and as Daisy Buchanan in The Great Gatsby are covered skimpily and her excellence as Daisy brought heavily into question. Meanwhile, Sinatra had been replaced by AndrÇ Previn, with whom she had three children and began the adopting mania that, with Woody Allen's Satchel, has given her mÇnage a total of nine. Her ten years and nine pictures with Allen get shortchanged with fewer than 40 pages. Not in any sense a companion volume to Eric Lax's richly researched, intimate Woody Allen (p. 457). (Sixteen pages of b&w photographs--not seen.)

Pub Date: July 9th, 1991
ISBN: 0-385-30446-3
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 1991


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