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Hollywood Legends Series

Biographies of classic stars from the silver screen to the present day.

Series editor: Carl Rollyson, Independent Scholar

For more information or to submit a proposal, contact associate editor Emily Snyder Bandy.

Showing 1-10 of 29 titles.
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She Damn Near Ran the Studio

Best known as the woman who “ran MGM,” Ida R. Koverman (1876–1954) served as talent scout, mentor, executive secretary, and confidant to American movie mogul Louis B. Mayer for twenty-five years. ...

José Ferrer

José Ferrer (1912–1992) became the first Puerto Rican actor to win the Best Actor Academy Award for the 1950 film version of Cyrano de Bergerac. His portrayal of the lovelorn poet/swordsman had already ...

Dan Duryea

Dan Duryea (1907–1968) made a vivid impression on moviegoers with his first major screen appearance as the conniving Leo Hubbard in 1941's classic melodrama The Little Foxes. His subsequent film and ...

The Life of Dick Haymes

There was a time when no one would have left Dick Haymes (1918–1980) out of the top class of such contemporaries as Frank Sinatra and Perry Como. But now the Argentine-born baritone is known only to ...

The Lost World of DeMille

As only an accomplished author, consummate collector, and savvy insider can, John Kobal tells the story of the man who invented Hollywood, Cecil Blount DeMille (1881–1959). Kobal narrates the story ...

The Brothers Mankiewicz

Herman J. (1897–1953) and Joseph L. Mankiewicz (1909–1993) wrote, produced, and directed over 150 pictures. With Orson Welles, Herman wrote the screenplay for Citizen Kane and shared the picture’s ...

Winnie Lightner

Winnie Lightner (1899–1971) stood out as the first great female comedian of the talkies. Blessed with a superb singing voice and a gift for making wisecracks and rubber faces, she rose to stardom in ...

Madeline Kahn

Best known for her Oscar-nominated roles in the smash hits Paper Moon and Blazing Saddles, Madeline Kahn (1942-1999) was one of the most popular comedians of her time--and one of the least understood. ...

She Could Be Chaplin!

Alice Howell (1886-1961) is slowly gaining recognition and regard as arguably the most important slapstick comedienne of the silent era. This new study, the first book-length appreciation, identifies ...

Van Johnson

Van Johnson's dazzling smile, shock of red hair, and suntanned freckled cheeks made him a movie-star icon. Among teenaged girls in the 1940s, he was popularized as the bobbysoxer's heartthrob.

He won ...