Academy Award–winning actress Grant recounts the ups and downs of her professional and personal lives.
Grant (born Lyova Haskell Rosenthal) was practically raised on the stage. Beginning at the Metropolitan Opera House, 4-year-old Grant was chosen to play a kidnapped child in L’Oracolo, but she broke scene during the opera’s climax as the star tenor was killed onstage. Grant’s precocious and heartwarmingly earnest attempt to warn the actor that he was about to be stabbed in the back won the affection of the audience. The author’s misstep, however, proved that she had a natural stage presence and that she was fearless and headlong, even if, as in this instance, it was foolhardy. After an unsuccessful attempt at a singing career, Grant truly found her footing at the Neighborhood Playhouse, where she learned method acting from Herbert Berghof, a student of Sanford Meisner. She even did a stint at the famed Actors Studio. Though Grant may not be a household name today, the resilience of her career outlasted the 12-year period when she was blacklisted by HUAC for her political affiliations (her first husband, playwright Arnold Manoff, was a registered communist), and she became one of the most respected actresses of her generation. Among her most well-known roles were in Valley of the Dolls, In the Heat of the Night, Portnoy’s Complaint and Shampoo, which earned her an Oscar for best supporting actress, though she’d previously been nominated for her motion picture debut, Detective Story, in 1951. Rife with appearances from some of Hollywood’s biggest names, including an unsuccessful date with Marlon Brando, Grant’s career proves that the elusive and oft-sought-after second chance can not only be had, it can be triumphantly redeeming.
An insightful, sharp Hollywood memoir that will appeal to fans and newcomers alike.