The recent deaths of Charles Kuralt, Jimmy Stewart, Robert Mitchum and Jacques Cousteau prompted a flurry of book activity, with distributor Ingram experiencing increased demand for backlist books and audios by Kuralt, and for Turner and Arcade biographies on Stewart in particular over the July 4 weekend. Publishers are obviously hoping such interest continues. Other related releases:

  • Next month, Kensington will issue a 200,000 first printing of the Pinnacle paperback Jimmy Stewart: A Wonderful Life by celebrity biographer Frank Sanello, and Carol Publishing Group will do a 50,000-copy release of a now o.p. 1990 title, A Wonderful Life: The Films and Career of James Stewart by Tony Thomas. Scribner has moved up a December pub date for another Stewart bio, Pieces of Time by Gary Fishgall, to September 12. And PW also has learned that in response to account demand, next week Crown will release a rejacketed 10,000-copy printing of Jimmy Stewart and His P ms, which has sold more than 230,000 copies since its 1989 publication. Crown publicity v-p Andy Martin, who went on tour with Stewart back then, told PW he kept suggesting to Stewart that he do his autobiography but "the man was too modest."

  • By November, Cousteau fans can read the translated memoir Cousteau: My Testament, signed about a year ago by Clarkson Potter division v-p/editorial director Lauren Shakely and originally scheduled for sometime next year. Shakely told PW that an impetus to rush the book was that the French publisher has just released some 80,000 copies of the book, under the title Man, Octopus &Orchid. Clarkson Potter will offer a 50,000 first printing.

  • Putnam, publisher of Kuralt's last hardcover, Charles Kuralt's America, will issue another Charles Kuralt's America calendar for 1998, but has no other other books from Kuralt in the works. Kuralt's agent, Greg Bellon, expects there may be future Kuralt compilations.

  • And as for Mitchum, the biographies that have been done on him are o.p. Agent Frank Weimann told PW that Mitchum had at one point agreed to a multimillion-dollar autobiography deal with Doubleday and had asked to have Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis as his editor. Onassis died soon thereafter, however, and the project was dropped.