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Charlotte Greenwood: The Life and Career of the Comic Star of Vaudeville, Radio and Film

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Charlotte Greenwood never intended to become a comedienne, but she was unfashionably tall at 5' 10" and her early aspirations to become a great dramatic actress eventually led her to the field of comedy. Greenwood, whose early life had taught her nothing if not how to be optimistic, stifled her disappointment and used her considerable skill to become one of the greatest co Charlotte Greenwood never intended to become a comedienne, but she was unfashionably tall at 5' 10" and her early aspirations to become a great dramatic actress eventually led her to the field of comedy. Greenwood, whose early life had taught her nothing if not how to be optimistic, stifled her disappointment and used her considerable skill to become one of the greatest comedic actresses of the early twentieth century. Based on Greenwood's unpublished memoirs, this biography presents a personal, detailed look at her colorful life. Beginning with her early years in Philadelphia, Boston and Norfolk, it relates her struggles with ill health, her social difficulties caused by her then unusual height and her realization of her ambition to become an actress. The main focus of the work is her career, which spanned more than 50 years and ranged from vaudeville to the dramatic stage and, finally, to films (during the World War II years she starred in Twentieth Century Fox musicals with Cesar Romero, Betty Grable, Edward Everett Horton, Jack Haley, Don Ameche, and Carmen Miranda). Her roles in a variety of works including The Passing Show of 1912, So Long Letty (both stage and film), and I Remember Mama are also discussed. Special emphasis is placed on her career-defining (and best-known) role as Aunt Eller Murphy in the 1955 film adaptation of Oklahoma! Charlotte Greenwood's performance history, a list of her known recordings, and a filmography for her husband Martin Broones are also included, along with a collection of rare photographs and memorabilia.


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Charlotte Greenwood never intended to become a comedienne, but she was unfashionably tall at 5' 10" and her early aspirations to become a great dramatic actress eventually led her to the field of comedy. Greenwood, whose early life had taught her nothing if not how to be optimistic, stifled her disappointment and used her considerable skill to become one of the greatest co Charlotte Greenwood never intended to become a comedienne, but she was unfashionably tall at 5' 10" and her early aspirations to become a great dramatic actress eventually led her to the field of comedy. Greenwood, whose early life had taught her nothing if not how to be optimistic, stifled her disappointment and used her considerable skill to become one of the greatest comedic actresses of the early twentieth century. Based on Greenwood's unpublished memoirs, this biography presents a personal, detailed look at her colorful life. Beginning with her early years in Philadelphia, Boston and Norfolk, it relates her struggles with ill health, her social difficulties caused by her then unusual height and her realization of her ambition to become an actress. The main focus of the work is her career, which spanned more than 50 years and ranged from vaudeville to the dramatic stage and, finally, to films (during the World War II years she starred in Twentieth Century Fox musicals with Cesar Romero, Betty Grable, Edward Everett Horton, Jack Haley, Don Ameche, and Carmen Miranda). Her roles in a variety of works including The Passing Show of 1912, So Long Letty (both stage and film), and I Remember Mama are also discussed. Special emphasis is placed on her career-defining (and best-known) role as Aunt Eller Murphy in the 1955 film adaptation of Oklahoma! Charlotte Greenwood's performance history, a list of her known recordings, and a filmography for her husband Martin Broones are also included, along with a collection of rare photographs and memorabilia.

8 review for Charlotte Greenwood: The Life and Career of the Comic Star of Vaudeville, Radio and Film

  1. 4 out of 5

    Margaret

    Ignore the cover linked to this book -- it is NOT about Mrs. Ziegfeld, but is about Charlotte Greenwood. If you would like to read a history of entertainment from vaudeville through the modern film musical, this is your book! Focusing on Charlotte Greenwood's career, you'll run across the names of just about everyone in Hollywood and a good chunk of British theatrical royalty as well. Although most remembered as Aunt Eller in the film "Oklahoma!" she had many solid performances on stage, radio, Ignore the cover linked to this book -- it is NOT about Mrs. Ziegfeld, but is about Charlotte Greenwood. If you would like to read a history of entertainment from vaudeville through the modern film musical, this is your book! Focusing on Charlotte Greenwood's career, you'll run across the names of just about everyone in Hollywood and a good chunk of British theatrical royalty as well. Although most remembered as Aunt Eller in the film "Oklahoma!" she had many solid performances on stage, radio, and screen. Highly recommended for anyone who wants an over-arching, but readable and enjoyable history of 20th century entertainment.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Brian

    Ms. Greenwood could do a leg lift over my head any day.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jami

  4. 5 out of 5

    Beth Ann

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jbondandrews

  6. 5 out of 5

    McFarland

  7. 5 out of 5

    Michael Osman

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kaye Batolina

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