THE LEADING LADIES by James R. & Don E. Stanke Parish


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Parish and Stanke dish up six lengthy studies of leading ladies who hardnosed their way to the top (Bette Davis: ""I survived because I was tougher than everybody else"") and managed to stay there. Aside from persistence, each had magnetic glamor: Joan Crawford, Davis, Olivia de Havilland, Rosalind Russell, Joan Blondell, and Barbara Stanwyck. Of the lot, only de Havilland traded on demureness and delicacy, which gave a nice edge to having a baby during the burning of Atlanta; she later overcame some of her saccharine for the demented girl of The Snake Pit and the faded spinster of The Heiress. Mostly, these girls had fight. Bette Davis hopes ""not to leave this planet doing junk. . . . Hell, I could do a million of these character roles. But I'm stubborn about playing the lead. I'd like to go out with my name above the title."" Perhaps the most crazed by her image was Joan Crawford: ""A Star will last always, as in the heavens. A personality will go down just as quick as it appears."" What imperial self-assurance! what grit! As Hedda said of her: ""She's courageous and thinks like. a man. She labors 24 hours a day to keep her name in the pupil of the public's eye."" Complete filmographies, 280 eyeball-binding photographs--the works.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1977
Publisher: Arlington House