THE ACTRESS by Henry Denker


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You can guess how old-fashionedly awful this Denker dunker is going to be from the title and the leading lady's name--Kit Lawrence. (Kit Cornell? Gertrude Lawrence?) Anyway, superbly talented Kit has gone bananas and has been incarcerated in a chic nuthouse called Silvermine, where she's just about through having an affair with Ross, her married psychiatrist. Yes, Ross is unprofessional. Yes, Ross is a bore to listen to ("And there was the special way she brushed back her hair. As she exercised, a wisp of golden hair had come loose from the pinnedup mass. It adhered to her damp cheek, covering her left eye. She brushed it back and at the same moment she saw me and smiled. And it. . . it. . . just. . ."). But Ross gets this neat idea: Kit can only be cured via a reunion with her two great loves, playwright Steve and director Jeff. So, hey, kids, let's put on a play! That's just what they do, this noble, self-sacrificing trio, they put on a Broadway play--a play for Kit to act out her illness in, full of her problematic past: abortions, bad mother, acting nerves, etc. Believe that and you'll believe anything; most folks would have laughed this one off the screen even 40 years ago, even with Bette Davis (who'd have refused to say lines like "You gave me your beautiful shiny play and I broke it"), even when Broadway stars really did have names like Kit Lawrence.
Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1978
ISBN: 0671819585
Page count: 356pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 1978


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