NO BED OF ROSES by Joan Fontaine


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No shrinking violet either: in her attempt to right the ""misconceptions"" about her embattled life, Fontaine is always dumped on, never dumping. Sister Olivia, at one year, three months, ""was still too young to accept the arrival of a competitor"" and the unwise disclosure of Fontaine's higher I.Q. sealed her enmity. Boulevardier father Walter de Havilland and drill-sergeant stepfather ""Danny"" Fontaine both, she intimates, had lascivious designs on her (""The washcloth would tarry too long in intimate places""); and even her darling, perfect-snob mother, to whom the book is dedicated, snaps ""You're nothing but a whore"" when Joan lets a young man take her hand during a Beethoven trio. Cut to the set of Rebecca, and a rude, crude Laurence Olivier--who really wanted Vivien Leigh to co-star--taunts her for marrying Brian Aherne. Well, like her professed dismay when she, not Olivia, wins an Oscar--maybe, maybe not. But the men standing in line are dazzling, beginning with Conrad Nagel (who ""surprised"" her out of her virginity) and including Adlai Stevenson, Prince Al), Khan, and cartoonist Charles Addams. In later years she's been forced to do summer stock and TV game shows and world tours--but the ""inevitable bottle of iced champagne"" rides in the back of adoring Dr. Noh's convertible on her arrival home. Vinegar and fiat fizz.

Pub Date: Sept. 11th, 1978
Publisher: Morrow