Cover image for A damned serious business
Title:
A damned serious business
Author:
Harrison, Rex.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Bantam Books, 1991.
Physical Description:
288 pages ; 24 cm
General Note:
"A Bantam book"--T.p. verso.

Includes index.
Language:
English
Personal Subject:
ISBN:
9780553073416
Format :
Book

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PN2598.H336 A3 1991 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this chatty, anecdotal look back at his career, the actor best-known for his portrayal of Professor Henry Higgins in the stage and film versions of My Fair Lady touches on personal aspects of his life only if they had an effect on his work, such as the poor career choices he made in an effort to keep busy after the death of Kay Kendall, his third wife. A devoted fan of Shaw and the naturalistic school of acting, Harrison, who died this past June at the age of 82, derides Method, which he calls ``the scratch and grunt school of acting,'' and notes that his major roles have all been of ``self-centered types.'' Many of his stories make the reader laugh aloud, such as his disastrous attempt at Shakespeare, the filming of Dr. Doolittle (``The animals behaved well in almost all respects. It was the animal trainers who should have been shot'') and the joy of working on My Fair Lady (``I began to discover that putting a musical together is riveting''), particularly as he developed the ``sing/speak'' style of singing that marked the role of Higgins. Harrison's enthusiasm and wry observations make this an endearing commentary on acting in general and his career in particular. Photos not seen by PW . (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

Harrison's remarkable career on both stage and screen found him doing eight shows a week on Broadway at age 82, shortly before his death in June 1990. In this memoir, he describes his professional, rather than personal, life which was covered in his autobiography, Rex ( LJ 5/15/75). Harrison sees his forte as high comedy, with a special penchant for Shaw's plays. He does not analyze acting technique in the way that Olivier did in On Acting (LJ 11/15/85), but theater lovers will enjoy the backstage glimpses offered in Harrison's inimitably flip manner. Of special interest are the descriptions of the making of My Fair Lady and his portrayal of Henry Higgins. There is very little bite to these amiable memoirs, but they are never boring despite their superficiality. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 10/1/90.-- Marcia L. Perry, Berkshire Athe naeum, Pittsfield, Mass. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.