cover image Hollywood at Home

Hollywood at Home

Richard Schickel, Sid Avery. Crown Publishers, $30 (144pp) ISBN 978-0-517-57696-0

This entrancing collection of chez-moi photos of TV and movie stars captures a self-consciousness that fits its times. Shots of Debbie Fisher at play with toddlers Carrie and Todd, or Rock Hudson serving hamburgers at a backyard barbecue only emphasize the stars' remoteness from ordinary life: they are icons imitating normalcy. Film critic Schickel notes that mid-century Hollywood, beset by uncertainties such as the rise of TV and the decline of the studio moguls, assumed a cultural consensus that ``grotesquely, even tragically, misrepresented reality.'' Avery's masterful Saturday Evening Post photographs (here sepia-toned) include Ernest Borgnine chopping onions in his kitchen and Ida Lupino at the dinner table with husband Howard Duff; there are glimpses of Eve Arden, James Garner, Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart, all en famille , and others of James Dean, Lawrence Welk, Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward in relaxed moments on the set. (Nov.)