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So, You Want To Be In Pictures By: Tommy Garrett

book coverWhy is it that the classic stars were more fascinating than the current list of A-Stars? Surely they were addicts, they also went to jail and got into trouble. But maybe the bygone era of Old Hollywood would be a welcomed change.

Bette Davis used her talent to make herself the strongest actress on the silver screen. Lindsay Lohan uses hers to find every party and club to showcase her bad behavior. Bette Davis didn't lack discipline. She never forgot what she was in Hollywood for. It's not all Lindsay's fault. Her mom spends more time hanging out and partying with the young starlet than she does being a mother and raising her two other underage children, Bette also had Jack Warner keeping her in line, whereas Lindsay misbehaves with one producer, never to have to work with him again. She didn't listen to friends like Jane Fonda and Meryl Streep who warned her to get her life in order and now she faces jail time and an almost certain end to her once bright and shining career.

Then there is Lane Garrison's conviction for vehicular manslaughter. The star of "Prison Break" is heading to the pokey for at least three months, though I have a source in the Beverly Hills Court System that says he'll most likely be out next week. At least he took the blame and responsibility for his behavior. But what is it about such a young handsome man that makes me think of the great legendary actor Charlton Heston? They both have the same acting style, I think, but don't compare in character. Heston was a pillar of society and is now suffering from dementia, while Garrison spent his precious career time partying and driving drunk. These stars don't seem to realize today that stardom is fleeting. So they never take advantage of the time they have on screen to shine. Heston on the other hand lived his life and career to the fullest, and never put parties before his craft. Maybe having grown up with Joe Simpson, the manager of father of Ashlee and Jessica as his minister explains a lot.

Nicole Ritchie goes on ABC's "Good Morning America" to proclaim she's changed and admit her drug and alcohol use on that fateful day when she was stopped driving under the influence and going down the wrong side of an LA Freeway. Though she claims to now know better and to have grown from this experience, her interview came across as glib and a bit arrogant to me. It's my job as an entertainment publicist to watch body language.

My friend Loretta Young was with child out of wedlock once. But in 1935 she not only continued working, but hid her pregnancy and spent never a day in Jail. Where as Nicole Richie will have to spend at least four of her days pregnant behind bars. Surely she'll get sprung like costar and gal pal Paris Hilton did. But what's the difference? One, Loretta Young had dignity and self-respect, and raised her daughter with love and discipline;  Nicole, the pregnant daughter of a former pop star, lacked any real love and support, or she wouldn't be such a mess today.

Why the comparison of stars of Today and Yesterday? Maybe because the stars of today are so less interesting, so less talented and would have benefited from the old Hollywood Studio System which would have put them in ship shape. An actress the caliber of Lindsay Lohan would have been forced into better behavior and taking better care of herself by a Jack Warner or Louis B. Mayer. Instead they are free agents on the market with no one cultivating what could be incredible careers for all the young stars who really have talent. My recent book, "So, You Want To Be In Pictures" is a biographical piece of work that chronicles the lives and careers of 55 stars of yesteryear and is a road map for those who long to become stars today. I hope you'll check it out !  Click on the picture above to buy it from Amazon.com

A review of the book

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