by Tallulah Bankhead
About The Book
Tallulah: My Autobiography by Tallulah Bankhead In her own words, the life of the inimitable actress known for her daring ways and distinctive foghorn voice Her grandfather was a U. S. senator. Her uncle was a U. S. congressman. Her father was Speaker of the House. Although born to privilege in Alabama and groomed in a convent school, Tallulah Bankhead resolved not to be just another southern belle. Quickly she rose to the top and became an acclaimed actress of London’s West End and on the Broadway stage. She originated the starring roles of Regina Giddens in Lillian Hellman’s “The Little Foxes” and Sabina in Thornton Wilder’s “The Skin of Our Teeth.” Her Broadway performances brought her to the notice of Hollywood, and in 1944 she won a New York Film Critics Circle Award for her leading role in Alfred Hitchcock’s “Lifeboat.” Yet her flamboyant public personality may be the most fully realized and memorable character Bankhead ever played on stage, screen, radio, or television. Tallulah was famous for her snappy repartee, candid quotes, and scandalous lifestyle. Overfond of Kentucky bourbon and wild parties, she was a lady baritone who called everybody “Dahling.” In her autobiography, first published in 1952 and a New York Times bestseller for twenty-six weeks, Bankhead’s literary voice is as lively and forthright as her public persona. She details her childhood and adolescence, discusses her dedication to the theater, and presents amusing anecdotes about her life in Hollywood, New York, and London. Along with a searing defense of her lifestyle and rambunctious habits, she provides a fiercely opinionated, wildly funny account of the American stage at a time when the movies were beginning to cast theater into eclipse. This is not only a memoir of an independent woman but also an insider look at American entertainment during a golden age. Tallulah Bankhead (1902-1968) headlined NBC’s “The Big Show,” a ninety-minute weekly radio extravaganza that aired from 1950 to 1952. In 1965 she appeared in her last movie, a British film titled “Fanatic” (“Die, Die, My Darling!” in U. S. release).
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