Drugs, booze, syphillis and sex and more sex, kinky and otherwise, made Ms. Del Mat's pursuit of a Hollywood career pathetic when not laughable. More perils than Pauline here as this never-a-star, always-a-starlet fights her way up to feature billing. However, there is a moral in this biography and a certain naivetâ€š--good girl loses her way in tinseled Gomorrah, but finds God in the end. Aspiring actresses in the 1940's are symbolized in this story of a girl from the midlands who goes to Hollywood and shops herself around. Passed from sponsor to sponsor, she is always reaching for a dream that evades her grasp. Maria is a voluptuous, shrewd cookie who, whatever her troubles, has a generous heart, so it's easy to forgive her a certain mindlessness. The underside of movie land is depicted in a way that is probably accurate even when viewed through Marla's whiskey bottle. The heroine is refreshing, even insightful, as when she quits psychotherapy, quipping it takes too long, and then years later, seeks out another healer of grade-B ingâ€šnues, only to find the shrink has committed suicide. No doubt a victim of one tale too many of celluloid woe. Del Mar said ""Hi"" to Randolph Scott, had one earth-shattering phone chat with Gable, lunched twice with Roz Russell and name-drops enough for any fan. She is probably the only remaining link between two of Hollywood's great legends: she slept with both John Garfield and James Dean. She rates them both pretty high on her Eros scale. Marla's truth is too convenient and conventional. Yet, it is hard to knock this energetic woman who is never harder on anyone than she is on herself. She is vulgar, but never petty, and perhaps in the end, that's better than the boring old truth.