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Burt Lancaster: An American Life

Burt Lancaster: An American Life
Your Price: $26.99 CDN
Author: Kate Buford
Publisher: Da Capo Press
# of Pages: 496
Pub. Date: 2001
ISBN-10: 0306810190
ISBN-13: 9780306810190

About the Book:

Startlingly handsome, witty, fanatically loyal, charming, scary, and intensely sexual, Burt Lancaster was one of Hollywood's last bigger than life stars. He was a genuine article – he did his own stunts, his name was his own, his screen height was his real height. Running his own production company, at a time when few actors did, meant he controlled his career. He was, as well, a private man, and he authorized no biographies in his lifetime. Kate Buford brings to life his vivid, memorable on-screen presence as well as the off-screen life he kept intensely private. The first writer to win cooperation from Lancaster's widow and close friends, Kate Buford has written the intimate story of one of the last great unexamined Hollywood lives, capturing both the legendary star and the husband, philanderer, and sometime bisexual. Kate Buford's portrait is compelling, comprehensive, intelligent – and definitive.

Here is Burt Lancaster, bolting from tough East Harlem – where he spent his teenage years – for a life as a circus acrobat, and navigating his way through the world of New York vaudeville to reach Hollywood. There he dazzled audiences around the world as the electrifying performer of Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, From Here to Eternity, The Sweet Smell of Success, Birdman of Alcatraz, Atlantic City, and Field of Dreams among many others. He proved to be both a master of commercial films and an actor who pushed himself beyond stardom into cinematic art, earning Academy Awards as actor and a producer, all the while maintaining the progressive ideals that attracted the attention of anti-Communist witch hunters in the 1950s.

Kate Buford has written a dynamic biography of a passionate and committed star, and a comprehensive, intelligent, and compelling portrait of a golden boy and a hauntingly complex man.

What people say:

"A superb biography ... Lancaster virtually leaps off the page." — Variety magazine

"A splendid biography." — New York Times Book Review

"Kate Buford's Burt Lancaster is a beautifully written, precisely observed, and shrewdly insightful account of a life that turns out to be daunting in its achievements, haunting in its contradictions. Lancaster was never more fascinating on the screen than he is in these pages." — Steven Bach, author of Final Cut

About the Author:

Kate Buford is an American author. She has written for The New York Times, Architectural Digest, Film Comment, and Bluegrass Unlimited, among other publications. She has been a commentator on NPR's Morning Edition and American Public Media's Marketplace, and on Virginia's NPR affiliate, WMRA. Her biography of Burt Lancaster was named one of the Best Books of 2000 by The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and The Washington Post.