THE CONFESSIONS OF PHOEBE TYLER by Ruth with Don Preston Warrick


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A more riveting autobiography from one of soap opera's queen bees than Mary Stuart's recent Both of Me (p. 901), but there's an interesting parallel: both women identify so strongly with the character they play that the characters play a strong part in their self-definition (Warrick happily signs autographs as both Ruth and Phoebe). Otherwise the ten-year veteran of All My Children had, quite simply, a more scintillating career: film buffs may remember her as the first Mrs. Kane in Citizen Kane (and she hints that romance with Orson Welles was hers for the asking); there followed a string of similar parts as the ""reserved, poised, competent wife, loving but rarely passionate""--a role she never quite mastered in any of her five marriages. Two of the five were to alcoholics; the first of these, to radio personality and would-be leading man Erik Rolf, formed a kind of parody of A Star Is Born: as her career soared, his plummeted and he sought solace in drink. Warrick mothered three children--firmly, not obsessively--but never found the man who could handle both her strong will and ambition, and her need for emotional support: the kind of dilemma fans will devour. Some may find the back-and-forth maneuvering of the narrative disconcerting--from girlhood in Missouri to the intricacies of rehearsing and taping the show and back again to Hollywood--but the lady comes across as gracious and genuine, a far cry from the character that prompted fan Lillian Carter to exclaim (on meeting Warrick): ""How come you ah such a bee-utch?

Pub Date: Sept. 15th, 1980
Publisher: Prentice-Hall