WILLIAM HURT: The Actor and His Work by Toby Goldstein

WILLIAM HURT: The Actor and His Work

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The most pressing question among many that Goldstein leaves unanswered in this catchpenny bit of celebrity puffery is: Why a biography of a 37-year-old actor whose credits total a mere six movies, one Broadway hit, and a handful of Off-Broadway productions and TV dramas? The appearance of this gushing portrait of William Hurt seems premature at best--as well as platitudinous, pompous, and periphrastic. Almost completely uncritical of her subject, the author seems more the recording secretary of a fan club than an objective analyst of Hurt's talents and career. Personal details are kept to a minimum while the actor's rambling apercus on life and art are reported with Talmudic thoroughness. What Goldstein describes as Hurt's ""philosophizing"" many readers may dismiss as nothing more than show-biz ""attitudinizing."" in order to stretch her somewhat skimpy material to book length, the author falls back on extended synopses of the plays and movies in which the actor has appeared, and quotes from a variety of theater and film critics. The reader's confidence in Goldstein's erudition is somewhat shaken when she refers to William James as a ""British psychiatrist"" and helpfully identifies Aldous Huxley as ""a writer as well as a scientist."" A slipshod and opportunistic attempt to cash in on a boxoffice ""name."" Fine actor that he is, Hurt will undoubtedly survive even this.

Pub Date: Nov. 11th, 1987
Publisher: St. Martin's