Colorful, charismatic star of stage and screen recounts 50 years of the Hollywood life, with the assistance of veteran co-author Stadiem (Too Rich: The High Life and Tragic Death of King Farouk, 1991, etc.).
After Hamilton dishes out some spicy insider information from his stint on Dancing with the Stars in 2005 (steroid use, allowing his partner to blatantly mask his lack of dancing acumen), the actor dives right into his turbulent, nomadic childhood. After his parents divorced, Hamilton’s Christian Scientist mother swiftly moved the family to Hollywood, where many years earlier she had unsuccessfully attempted a film career. The random relocations continued as she discovered better ways to live—and better men to live with. In 1950, when Hamilton was not yet 12, he was shipped off to live with his father, a bandleader in New York City. His urban “adult education” prospered by way of illicit sex with his stepmother, time spent at military school in Mississippi and a short-lived stay in Boston with his newly remarried mother. Following her from there to Washington, D.C., Acapulco and Palm Beach, he realized at an early age that he could garner attention with “the smile I had learned to use to cover all my fears.” His love of the stage took hold at Palm Beach High School, and once he was back in Los Angeles Hamilton’s career mushroomed from smaller roles into a prestigious contract with MGM. From this moment on, he drops Old Hollywood names with wild abandon. Some of the narrative reads like tabloid fodder, with Hamilton right in the middle of all the Tinseltown commotion. (The 69-year-old actor has two sons nearly 30 years apart in age.) His bountiful life has had its share of blunders, the dapper “silver fox” admits, but he is still able to “laugh at myself.”
Flashy and funny, with flamboyance to burn, just like Hamilton.