The Girl on the Balcony: Olivia Hussey Finds Life After Romeo and Juliet

Olivia Hussey. Kensington, $26 (320p) ISBN 978-1-4967-1707-8
In this chatty memoir, Argentinian actress Hussey, best known from Romeo & Juliet, describes what happened after she hit the cinematic equivalent of the lottery in 1966. She was just 15 when director Franco Zeffirelli cast her as Juliet in his eagerly awaited film adaptation of Shakespeare’s tragedy. After long days of shooting in Italy and “magic nights, shot through with stardust,” the film premiered in 1968, and the movie’s teenage stars “suddenly had two of the most recognizable faces in the world” (16-year-old Leonard Whiting was cast as Romeo). At 20, Hussey married the son of singer Dean Martin, and, for the next four decades, through motherhood and two more marriages, she built a Hollywood career, described in brief anecdotes about famous colleagues from Bette Davis to Laurence Olivier. Hussey credits yogi Swami Muktananda, whom she met in the 1970s, for helping her “feel an ocean of compassion” despite working in an industry that “floats on a vicious undercurrent of slime.” Hussey touches on the various problems she’s faced with alcohol addiction, agoraphobia, and cancer, and how she came to believe, “We are built to heal.” With a light touch, Hussey beautifully sketches the life that followed her memorable turn as “that girl on the balcony.” Agent: Rob Kirkpatrick, the Stuart Agency. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 04/16/2018
Release date: 07/31/2018
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-5385-5598-9
MP3 CD - 978-1-5385-5600-9
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-1-4967-1708-5
Compact Disc - 978-1-5385-5599-6
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