A Girl’s Got to Breathe: The Life of Teresa Wright

Donald Spoto. Univ. Press of Mississippi, $35 (272p) ISBN 978-1-62846-045-2
Prolific celebrity biographer Spoto (The Redgraves: A Family Epic) paints an engaging and intimate portrait of Oscar-winning actor Teresa Wright. Her notable film roles included Shadow of a Doubt, The Best Years of Our Lives, and The Pride of the Yankees, in which she improvised her famous line, “A girl’s gotta breathe!”, after receiving a lengthy on-screen kiss from costar Gary Cooper. Spoto developed a friendship with Wright while writing a book about Alfred Hitchcock, one of her directors; following the actress’s death in 2005, he was granted exclusive access to her private papers and letters. Based on his research and personal experience, he depicts Wright as a unique and hardworking talent who shied away from the spotlight. As he describes her, she embodied the buoyant and determined spirit of mid-20th-century America, and her fresh-faced beauty was warmly embraced by contemporary audiences. Despite the author’s evident affection for his subject, few stones are left unturned as Spoto delves into the actor’s difficult childhood and troubled marriages to novelist Niven Busch and playwright Robert Anderson. Fond remembrances from family and friends provide further insight into Wright’s challenging personal and professional life. 43 b&w illus. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 12/07/2015
Release date: 03/01/2016
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 978-1-62846-046-9
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