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Tallulah!: The Life and Times of a Leading Lady

3.39  ·  Rating Details ·  109 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
Outrageous, outspoken, and uninhibited, Tallulah Bankhead was an actress known as much for her vices -- cocaine, alcohol, hysterical tirades, and scandalous affairs with both men and women -- as she was for her winning performances on stage. In 1917, a fifteen-year-old Bankhead boldly left her established Alabama political family and fled to New York City to sate her relen ...more
Hardcover, 592 pages
Published October 26th 2004 by It Books
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Boris Cesnik
May 16, 2015 Boris Cesnik rated it really liked it
It would be more a 3.5 than a 4 but happy to exaggerate my good will.

It is detailed and sometime journalistic. I doubt pretty much of his narrative skills. It was one of the driest biogs (and possibly books) I have ever read. It's true, it does not convene the full potential of such a devouring personality...but who could with a subject like Talulah! Difficult to describe and pin down on stage and screen, absolutely impossible on paper. One big mistake - her wit does not come out successfully.Y
V. Briceland
Few biographies can rival the sheer comprehensiveness of Tallulah!. Unlike the too many celebrity tell-alls that skimp on career to get to the juicy affairs and gossip, Lobenthal has extensively researched and documented every production with which the giant of the stage was involved, from her first obscure appearances as an ingenue to her late-career camp roles. There's abundant information on the rehearsal process for just about every play in which Bankhead appeared. Lobenthal does a terrific ...more
Sep 02, 2013 Matt rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
"Tallulah Bankhead was one of the most lively, outsized personalities of the 20th century. Although one sees a bit of the real Tallulah in Joel Lobenthal’s impeccably researched bio, the book was a huge slog to get through. If there was ever a book that can’t see the forest for the trees, this is it. Every single project in Bankhead’s voluminous stage career gets a comprehensive going-through here. A good idea in concept, maybe, but one must read through long and detailed descriptions of forgott ...more
Chriser123 Dittman
Mar 25, 2010 Chriser123 Dittman rated it liked it
After seeing a play called "Looped" in NYC which is about Tallulah Bankhead, I became interested in this book. It is heavy and goes into detail about every play she was in, but Tallulah was a fascinating character and I found her life sad and interesting. This book shows tat appearances can be different from the real person. Tallulah & her sister were very sad people, yet under the surface Tallulah was kind to people and a good friend to everyone but to herself.
Apr 20, 2009 Lauren rated it really liked it
Engagingly written and even-handed treatment of a scandal-ridden and misunderstood figure. If anything, a little *too* even-handed in its attempt to avoid a salacious slant... only one passing mention of Patsy Kelly? But it's a great study of the woman's demons and motivations, well-grounded in the cultural, theatrical & cinematic environments in which she rampaged, flourished, entertained and ultimately did herself in.
Like a gown with a tight fit, this book is unforgiving, bulky in the right places, and high on compliments. To read, I enjoyed it most when I was able to hear Tallulah's voice through it, rather than the opinions of friends, family, or the painstakingly gathered synopses of her films and stage appearances.
Jun 22, 2011 Rachel rated it it was ok
This was an interesting book about a fascinating woman. However, it is almost a day by day account of Tallulah from birth to death. It was a slow read with an over-abundance of detail, and a disappointing biography for such an fabulously interesting person with a outrageous life.
Anais Maria
Sep 21, 2014 Anais Maria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Probably one of the best Tallulah Bankhead biography out there. the author took time to do his research and included Tallulah personal letters and point of view instead of just re-telling us her scandals or juicy gossip. A must read book for Tallulah/Old hollywood fans
Mark B.  Perry
Sep 02, 2014 Mark B. Perry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well-researched and deliciously thorough! The attention to detail is admirable. It's a must-read if you love Tallu, and highly recommended as a companion piece to Miss Bankhead's own white-washed memoir! (I actually read the hardcover but for some reason it's not listed here.)
Oct 11, 2011 Margie rated it did not like it
Hated it. It was way too long of a story about one woman. I mean Tallulah is a total hot mess sex maniac. And that is why I wanted to read about her. Way too much info about other stuff. I skipped that stuff.
Apr 13, 2010 Linda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dishy in some parts but goes into too much detail about all the plays she starred in. This makes it a hard read for me to get through.
Mar 23, 2013 Ronald rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting, well written.. a little scholarly in the sense that it goes into much detail about her plays, etc.
Laura Lee
Was a little slow but did learn a few new things.
Mar 26, 2014 Kendra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Glorious read!
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