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W.C. Fields: His Follies and Fortunes
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W.C. Fields: His Follies and Fortunes

3.77  ·  Rating Details  ·  64 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
In this now-classic biography of America's great funnyman, first published in 1949, award-winning author Robert Lewis Taylor captures the cantankerous charm that has made Fields revered by generations of helplessly laughing viewers. 16 pages of photos.
Paperback, 340 pages
Published September 1st 1989 by St. Martin's Press (first published 1949)
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Dec 03, 2008 Andy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mahatma Kane Jeeves and Edgar Souse (accente grave on the "e")
Shelves: hollywoodbabylon
Pretty good bio on Fields that touches on his vaudeville years as much as the legendary comedies that made him a star. Seems like Fields was always "on", making jokes about mogo on the gogogo to his doctor after being diagnosed with TB. His life was one big drunken comedy!
Nov 23, 2010 Barry rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
What an amazing life and character. Fields was so much more than the Hollywood image and pop-culture icon he became. This is the first bio written after Fields death and as such may not be as "honest" as later entries (lots of anecdotes are reported as factual when they may have been more than a little exaggerated), but it also benefits from that very immediacy. The author was writing as a contemporary of the man instead of a revisionist biographer.
Jan 14, 2009 Yofish rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Yofish by: WaPo review
Shelves: read-biography

Written a ways back (1951, 10ish year after Fields' death). Not at all in an academic style; more like a sequence of magazine articles. Supposedly not all that accurate---depended on Fields' own stories too much, or something. But quite entertaining. I did not know that he was such an accomplished juggler. He was just the right age (born in 1880) for Vaudeville, and then just the right age for the early talkies.

Really 4.5.
Aug 31, 2009 Jeff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Strongest when talking about his childhood and early vaudeville days; after W.C. hits Hollywood, the book devolves into a series of loosely related anecdotes. But they are pretty damn good anecdotes, such as the miniature bar Fields had installed under the soap dish in his shower (so he could drink away from the watchful eyes of his personal trainer).
Apr 12, 2013 Tony rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It didn't really bother me that some of the stories in this book might be exaggerated,or even made up, I still found it a very interesting read, although I still don't know whether I like the guy or not, he was a mass of contradictions.

Fields aficionados like to bash this book for bending the facts and at the same time not-so-secretly enjoying the shit out of it. It's the most fun of all the Fields bios, and for a long time it was the only show in town.
May 20, 2012 Rich rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
captain america
May 28, 2008 captain america rated it liked it
entertaining but the author took as fact every tall tale fields ever told about his life, which were in fact every tale fields ever told about his life.
Dec 23, 2011 Karl rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
One of my favorites from my youth. I can't remember another book as capable of making me laugh out loud.
Jennifer Conner
Nov 20, 2009 Jennifer Conner marked it as to-read
W. C. Fields His Follies and Fortunes by Robert Lewis Taylor (1949)
Joy H.
Sep 03, 2011 Joy H. marked it as keep-in-mind
Recommended to Joy H. by: Arnie
Added 9/3/11.
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