Cover image for Are you anybody : a memoir
Are you anybody : a memoir
Tambor, Jeffrey, 1944- , author.
[Large print ed.]
Publication Information:
[New York] : Random House Large Print, [2017]
Physical Description:
354 pages (large print) : illustrations ; 22 cm
It's rare that an actor embodies even one memorable character over the arc of a career. Jeffrey Tambor has managed to create three, beginning with Hank "Hey Now!" Kingsley on The Larry Sanders Show , the series created by Garry Shandling, Jeffrey's first mentor in television. He went on to find two more show creators, Mitch Hurwitz of Arrested Development and Jill Soloway of Transparent , who shared a love of actors and taught him a lot about acting along the way. Are You Anybody? is Tambor's chance to discuss his creative process and immense accomplishments from a life lived onscreen. Drawing from his formative childhood years, in which he describes himself as a fat Hungarian-Jewish kid with a lisp and a depressive father to how he drew inspiration from his life to create these characters, Tambor's memoir is funny, insightful, and uplifting, touching on comedy and the enduring chutzpah required to make it through life.
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PN2287.T155 A3 2017B Adult Large Print - Floating collection Floating Collection - Large Print
PN2287.T155 A3 2017B Adult Large Print Large Print

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You know him from his breakout role as Hank Kingsley on The Larry Sanders Show , his outrageous turn as George and Oscar Bluth on Arrested Development, and his Emmy Award-winning performance as Maura Pfefferman on Transparent. A Broadway star, a television legend, an accomplished screen actor whose singular wit and heartrending performances have been entertaining audiences for more than four decades, but the question remains: Who the hell is Jeffrey Tambor?

In his illuminating, often hilarious, and always honest memoir, Tambor looks back at the key moments in his life that taught him about creativity and play and pain and fear. The son of what you might call "eccentric" Russian and Hungarian Jewish parents, Tambor grew up in San Francisco a husy kid with a lisp, who suffered in his "otherness" and found salvation in the theater.

While he learned his art from the best of the best--Al Pacino, George C. Scott, Garry Shandling, Mitch Hurwitz, Jill Soloway--he also introduces his many unexpected teachers, from the nameless man in a Detroit bookstore who gave him the love of reading, to his young children who (at this ridiculously late stage in his life) have reintroduced him to play, bravery, and the simple joy of not giving a shit.

Tambor shares the triumph of landing his first Broadway role, but not before experiencing the humbling that is commercial work (and how even saying "my socks don't cling" can prove a challenge). He invites you behind the scenes of his wildly successful television shows, but he doesn't leave out the pit stops he made at addiction, Scientology, and what it feels like to get fourth billing after Sylvia the Seal on The Love Boat.

At last, Tambor answers the question "Are you anybody?" with a promise that success doesn't mean perfection and failure most definitely is an option.

Author Notes

JEFFREY TAMBOR is an accomplished actor known for his unforgettable comedic roles on HBO's The Larry Sanders Show , the long-running Fox series Arrested Development , and Amazon's award-winning Transparent , for which he has won Golden Globe and Emmy Awards. Tambor lives in New York.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Actor Tambor's charming memoir opens with a series of letters he wrote to the book editor and his reps, who were trying to convince him to pen his life story. Obviously, his answer was yes, as he goes on to recount his youthful struggles, his lifelong passion for the theater, and his film and television work, from his indelible role as Hank in HBO's The Larry Sanders Show. Tambor is candid about the unhappiness of his childhood as well as his own missteps, from admitting that taking a role onstage in the musical La Cage aux Folles was a mistake to delving into his time as a Scientologist, before his wife Kasia was deemed a suppressive person and he left the organization. Fans of Tambor's recent work on the small screen in Arrested Development and Transparent will enjoy the final chapters of the book, where Tambor details the madcap fun of playing the Bluth twins George Sr. and Oscar and the research he did in preparation to play Maura, the transgender character at the heart of Amazon's seminal show. Entertainment enthusiasts, readers interested in the history of TV, and, naturally, the many fans of Tambor's work will find much to delight in here.--Huntley, Kristine Copyright 2017 Booklist

Library Journal Review

Bookending actor Tambor's career is a question first posed by an autograph hound: "Are you anybody?" His answer: "No." This is not your average autobiography; instead, it is a series of emotional essays on formative events in the author's life. Years of work in repertoire theater led to Tambor's first film, And Justice for All, and later fame for television roles. He believes his most significant accomplishment is his building a home for himself that is better than his troubled upbringing. Now his answer to the titular question lies in fatherhood. "This is who I am. It's really tough.and I love it." Tambor writes with the conversational ease of a friend. Anecdotes abound of his professional contacts, often ending a chapter with a shout-out such as "Hi, Al!" to Al Pacino. Particularly poignant is a chapter relating his close friendship with costar Garry Shandling. When it is revealed that he finished this book the week Shandling died, readers, too, will mourn the death of their relationship. The volume concludes with essays by Tambor in character as George Bluth Sr. (Arrested Development) and Maura Pfefferman (Transparent). Verdict An insightful meditation on adversity and how it intrinsically shapes us all, this essential read will have broad appeal.-Jessica Bushore, Xenia, OH © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

1 Red Bowtiep. 1
2 Are You Anybody?p. 6
3 Bar Mitzvahed at Gunpointp. 15
4 My Storyp. 32
5 Sealed Ordersp. 53
6 Scrambled Eggsp. 59
7 Troubadourp. 68
8 Tambor's Big Breakp. 91
9 Lessons from Unexpected Mastersp. 104
10 Short Answers to the Question "Wow, What's It Like to Be You?"p. 158
11 The Twelve Most Embarrassing Moments of My Careerp. 163
12 Do It Badly, or Let's Wreck Itp. 176
13 Dailiesp. 183
14 You Must Failp. 189
15 In Thrallp. 199
16 Fuck 'Emp. 212
17 Make 'Em Laugh, Make Her Laughp. 227
18 No, No, Nop. 236
19 Old Mrs. Cohenp. 250
20 Squeeze the Cansp. 257
21 Reading at the Greyhound Bus Terminalp. 269
22 Unhappy Hourp. 276
23 Garryp. 281
24 George and Oscarp. 304
25 Waiting for Maurap. 317
26 Circlesp. 344
Acknowledgmentsp. 351
Photography Creditsp. 353