cover image Speedbumps: Flooring It Through Hollywood

Speedbumps: Flooring It Through Hollywood

Teri Garr, . . Hudson Street, $23.95 (244pp) ISBN 978-1-59463-007-1

As Garr describes growing up on the fringes of 1950s and '60s Hollywood in a "gypsy showbiz family," studying ballet, ignoring school and sneaking into auditions pretending to be older than she was, readers will realize hers is a pretty familiar Hollywood story. She didn't sleep with Elvis or one of the Beatles like Peggy Lipton did, but she was next door when her girlfriend went to bed with Elvis, and she sat in the recording studio during the making of Yellow Submarine . Garr worked her way from smaller parts (dancer in Viva Las Vegas and other Elvis movies) to bigger ones (Tootsie ; Mr. Mom ) until her career was finally on track. Alas, this is when she discovered she had no life—no husband, no baby—and started scrambling. She'd also developed a limp and some intermittent neurological tics. In 1983, a specialist diagnosed multiple sclerosis and prescribed the medication Garr has become a spokesperson for: Rebif, a form of interferon. When she's not crisscrossing the country talking about MS, Garr's taking life pretty slowly, enjoying time with her young daughter. As she says, one "of the only things we can control about any affliction—and life in general—is our attitude toward dealing with it." Readers who liked Lipton's or Hawn's memoirs should enjoy Garr's, too. (Nov.)