Salad Days

Douglas Fairbanks, Author Doubleday Books $19.95 (431p) ISBN 978-0-385-17404-6
The actor's stylish, gently humorous autobiography recreates Hollywood in its early glories, but it is even more appealing as the story of an extraordinary life and career. Fairbanks, son of the screen's definitive swashbuckler and stepson of Mary Pickford, ""America's Sweetheart,'' relates incidents that deeply affected him after his parents' divorce in 1917 when he was seven. There are stories about the author's famous friends (Olivier, Edward G. Robinson, Noel Coward, etc.) and lovers (Gertrude Lawrence, Marlene Dietrich and others), as well as a portrait of his first wife, Joan Crawford. It is particularly interesting to follow the steps related here in Fairbanks' career, starting in the silents of the 1920s (Stella Dallas) and continuing in the talkies that brought him starring roles in Little Caesar, The Prisoner of Zenda, Gunga Din and other epics of the 1930s. The book ends with the author's enlistment in the U.S. Navy in 1940 at age 30with the promise of a second volume that readers will welcome. Photos. (April)
Reviewed on: 03/01/1988
Release date: 03/01/1988
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