Sunday, November 18, 2007

Joan Blondell: A Life Between Takes

For those in the San Francisco Bay Area: Tuesday night, I will be hosting film historian Matthew Kennedy for a talk and booksigning to mark the publication of Joan Blondell: A Life Between Takes, the first major biography of the effervescent, scene-stealing actress (1906-1979) who conquered motion pictures, vaudeville, Broadway, summer stock, television, and radio. Frequent co-star to James Cagney, Clark Gable, Edward G. Robinson, and Humphrey Bogart, friend to Judy Garland, Barbara Stanwyck, and Bette Davis, and wife of Dick Powell and Mike Todd, Blondell was a true Hollywood insider. By the time of her death, she had made nearly 100 films in a career that spanned over fifty years. Blondell, as many of you may know, also appeared along with Louise Brooks in God's Gift to Women (1931).

Kennedy’s book offers extensive research and insights gained from the cooperation of Blondell’s friends, family, and colleagues – this new book is a must read for anyone interested in early Hollywood. I hope some of you can make it to this special event, which will take place at The Booksmith (1644 Haight Street) in San Francisco. Start time is 7 pm

Matthew Kennedy teaches anthropology at the City College of San Francisco and film history at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He is the author of Marie Dressler: A Biography and Edmund Goulding's Dark Victory: Hollywood's Genius Bad Boy.

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