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Primetime TV Book Reviews
So, You Want to be in Pictures: The Making Of Hollywood Idols
by Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Review by Temperance Goody
They just won’t go away, will they? We move on, our lives are crowded
all their current replacements, but we can’t get them out of our minds,
in many cases, our hearts.
They are the old movie stars, the ones who peopled the old silver screen,
the glittering stars we stared up at hour after endlessly happy hour in
double features, cartoons and news included, watching their passions and
sorrows, horrors and problems.
We’re lucky. Really lucky. Author Tommy Garrett has put together a
remarkable book (we hope the first of many) where he chronicles the lives
of so many
of “those who went before” and we cannot stop reading. The old
of whom are still with us, are talked about in an easy breezy way by Mr.
Garrett and we find ourselves engaged in a conversation with him about
people he loves and respects. After all, Tommy knows and knew many of
and he treats them all fairly and with a clean honesty. This is not
tabloid stuff; this is a solid history book, the history of American
films that greatly influenced America (and the world) from the 1920s on
Tommy Garrett shows us that the hard, hard work put forth by these
actors , most straight out of vaudeville or off any stage anywhere gave
actors and actresses the huge salaries, great working conditions, rights,
privileges and the very good lives they live and enjoy today. They owe it
the blood sweat and tears of the great actors and actresses of the good
Mr. Garrett’s book grabs, even before the biographies begin. His
introductions give the reader much information, but not enough to keep us
devouring the pages. The remarks sent over by his Australian “boss”
Radio personality Ernie Sigley (Tommy is his favorite star) tell us that
Tommy’s weekly appearances on his radio show are Australia’s most
Mr. Garrett’s most moving tribute to our women and men in Afghanistan
Iraq at the start of this book is genuinely heartfelt, words written by a
learned man, a man who cares about these people in our military.
Now lest you think this book of Mr. Garrett’s is written only about
s dearly departed, you’d be wrong. His tributes to the very living
Towers Gavin, Debbie Reynolds, Ann Blyth, Lena Horne, Ruta Lee, Tab
Doris Day amongst many others, are lively, funny and most au courant.
Perhaps one of the finest things about this remarkable book is the fact
while Mr. Garrett really dishes the dirt, it’s never “dirt” in the
negative, painful sense. Mr. Garrett is not on any big vendetta quest
out to hurt or
embarrass anyone. He tells it the way it is; he has wonderful stories
these stars, many of which he himself were a part of. He gently removes
these people from the firmaments and makes them human --- perhaps a bit
different from the rest of us, but very human nonetheless.
The photos, most of which are his, signed over to him with love, are
scattered about the short, sharp biographies in interesting non-patterns,
the reader’s attention, satisfying our need to stare at length at
astonishing faces and figures.
No great clumps of photos stuck in the
this book; no, they appear suddenly and surprisingly all through the
making us know these people around which so many of our film memories
Kate Hepburn, Bob Hope, Henry Fonda, Boris Karloff, John Wayne, and these
scratch the surface.
Fear not readers. If you do not see your favorite stars of yesteryear
even your current favorites,) just wait a while. Tommy Garrett has
many more books, all filled with fascinating tales of these glittering
people, all filled with their beautiful photos. Imagine! You will love
this first book and all the while you’re doing that, you’ll be
all the next ones. Mr. Tommy Lightfoot Garrett will not disappoint. Keep
reading! And reading!
Tommy's Web Site
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