The Fabulous Lunts: A Biography of Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne

Jared Brown, Author Atheneum Books $24.95 (523p) ISBN 978-0-689-11648-3
For 40 years, Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne were the most acclaimed stage actors in America. From 1928 (six years after their marriage) until their retirement in 1960, they appeared only togethermost notably in drawing-room comediesperfecting the subtle team playing that became their hallmark. In this comprehensive biography, Brown, theater professor at Western Illinois University, meticulously documents the couple's lives. Describing the perishable art of stage performance (the Lunts made few film or TV appearances) is difficult, but Brown succeeds in explicating the couple's nuanced technique. Though generally adulatory, the author criticizes the Lunts' increasingly ""unadventurous'' taste in their later years, when they appeared in plays that were little more than star vehicles. Dedicated to their craft, the team rehearsed long hours even after performing a play hundreds of times; their perfectionism continues to inspire theater people. Photos not seen by PW. (July)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
Paperback - 528 pages - 978-0-689-70740-7
Paperback - 628 pages - 978-1-4208-5470-1
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