On the Other Hand: A Life Story

Fay Wray, Author St. Martin's Press $16.95 (270p) ISBN 978-0-312-02265-5
The former actress disarms readers at once with her fond letter to King Kong that opens this well-written, engrossing autobiography. She confesses that when told that her leading man in the 1933 Kong epic was Hollywood's ``tallest, darkest,'' she happily anticipated Cary Grant, not the great ape who ``had a pretty strong hold on me.'' Wray, born in Canada in 1908, was 17 when she first appeared in silent films; she made the transition to talkies and, ultimately, performed in some 75 movies between 1925 and 1958. Among her reminiscences of co-workers like Lillian Gish and Gary Cooper, her recollection of working with Erich von Stroheim in The Wedding March is the most vivid. Wray's personal life evokes sympathy. Her marriage to unstable screen writer John Monk Saunders ended badly. There are accounts of the actress's unfulfilling relationships with other menplaywright Clifford Odets, for onebefore her 1942 marriage to late screenwriter Robert Riskin. Photos not seen by PW . ( Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
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