Cover image for Screen world presents the encyclopedia of Hollywood film actors : from the silent era to 1965
Screen world presents the encyclopedia of Hollywood film actors : from the silent era to 1965
Monush, Barry.
Physical Description:
xi, 820 pages : portraits ; 29 cm
v. 1. From the silent era to 1965.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PN1998.2 .S38 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize
PN1998.2 .S38 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize Non-Circ

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Monush is the associate editor of Screen World and a researcher at the Museum of Television and Radio in New York City. He brings ebullient enthusiasm to the profiles he's prepared of 1,125 major screen stars. Each entry includes a postage-stamp size b&w photo to accompany information about the acto

Reviews 4

Booklist Review

The first of a projected two-volume set, this encyclopedia provides biographical profiles of actors who worked in Hollywood between 1915 and 1965 (presumably the second volume will cover 1965 to the present). Author Monush, an associate editor of the annual publication Screen World, includes all Oscar-winning actors as well as performers who became prominent in film before the late 1960s, which is when, he notes, the demise of the studio star system occurred. Entries are arranged in alphabetical order (Bud Abbott and Lou Costello to George Zucco), include vital statistics, and note any higher-education institution the actor attended. Narrative capsules of the actor's career are accompanied by black-and-white photographs obtained from Screen World archives. Monush has done extensive research to compile the biographies, and the entries convey his love of moviemaking. Did you know that Yul Brynner was a trapeze artist before he became the King ? That the Wicked Witch of the West, Margaret Hamilton, ran a nursery school before heading to Hollywood? That Kojak (Telly Savalas) was once a writer for the State Department? There are fun anecdotes included in every entry, and readers will learn new trivia each time they peruse the encyclopedia. The capsules are followed by chronological listings of the actor's screen and stage work as well as credits for select television appearances. Data were compiled from a number of sources, and the Encyclopedia includes a bibliography of reference works that readers can use for additional research. There is no index. Although there are other reference sources that include film actors, such as the International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers (Saint James, 2000) and The New Biographical Dictionary of Film (Knopf, 2002), this is an item that academic libraries and specialized film libraries will want to add. It would also no doubt find an audience in public libraries. -- RBB Copyright 2003 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

This volume, appropriate for film buffs and novices alike, covers actors from Abbot & Costello to George Zucco. Monush, associate editor of the annually published book of filmographies, Screen World, here profiles actors who graced the silver screen through 1965 (a second volume, picking up where this one ends, is in the works). Monush includes information on each actor's career in his or her homeland (since some of the subjects aren't American), shares a photo from the Screen World archives and notes each actor's stage, television and film credits. Though the book lacks of an index, the brief bios are thorough and organized alphabetically. Monush has a distinct writing style that, while not always objective, lets his personality and sources-mainly Screen World and Films on Review magazine-shine through. (July 15) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

As associate editor of the Screen World annuals and a researcher for the Museum of Television and Radio in New York City, Monush has an excellent vantage point from which to view the era of Hollywood's great star system. In this first of a proposed two-volume set, he presents one-half to two-page, alphabetically arranged critical biographies of nearly 1200 performers who either achieved star status, were memorable character actors in their own right (e.g., Chill Wills), or received an Academy Award between 1915 and 1965. Monush also includes non-U.S. born performers who might not necessarily be considered Hollywood stars by everyone (e.g., Lionel Jeffries). Each entry features an often hilarious capsule description of the performer's career; birth name; U.S. film, New York theatrical, and television appearances; birth and death dates; education; often fascinating trivia; and, best of all, a small, black-and-white publicity photo of the performer, a rarity in film reference works. A good secondary bibliography completes the volume, but unfortunately there is no index, which would have greatly improved access and cross referencing. This work is also extremely browsable, with many "That's who that is!" moments. However, for the photos and commentary alone, all public and academic libraries (not to mention film fans) would do well to purchase this bargain volume, a fine companion to Halliwell's Who's Who in the Movies, 15th ed. Highly recommended.-Anthony J. Adam, Prairie View A&M Univ., TX (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

In the first of a two-volume set, Monush (associate editor, Screen World) offers this marvelously readable, opinionated work covering Hollywood film actors, Bud Abbott and Lou Costello to George Zucco, during the period that witnessed, among other things, the advent of sound and color and the end of the studio star system (1915-65). Because its tighter focus allows coverage of its subjects in greater depth, this volume is a fine complement to Ephraim Katz's stellar The Film Encyclopedia (4th ed., 2001). Monush intends to cover every individual who impacted the medium in the US, including those who were never household names (e.g., 1940s heavy Sheldon Leonard and the talented, often overlooked Virginia Bruce) and those largely known for their work in foreign films (e.g., Kurosawa collaborator Toshiro Mifune). Alphabetically arranged entries each include a black-and-white photo, biographical information, a thorough summary of the actor's career, and screen, New York stage, and selected television credits. Also included is an introduction by critic Jeffrey Lyons. Disappointingly, this excellent volume lacks both index and cross-references; to find, e.g., Larry Fine, one must intuitively navigate to the "Three Stooges" entry. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. All academic and public libraries. W. D. Walsh Georgia State University