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The Girl on the Balcony: Olivia Hussey Finds Life After Romeo and Juliet

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  310 ratings  ·  75 reviews
In 1968, at only sixteen years old, Olivia Hussey became one of the most famous faces in the world, immortalized as the definitive Juliet in Franco Zeffirelli's Romeo & Juliet. Now the iconic girl on the balcony shares the ups and downs of her truly remarkable life and
career ...

The part was an opportunity of a lifetime for a simple girl from Buenos Aires, Argentina. B
Paperback, 336 pages
Published August 27th 2019 by Kensington Publishing Corporation
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Sep 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Girl on the Balcony: Olivia Hussy finds life After Romeo & Juliet- by Oliva Hussy is a 2018 Kensington publication.

Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou, Romeo-

Sometimes, like with Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy, an actor or actress personifies a role to such an extent, that character sticks to them for evermore. I think it is fair to say this about Oliva Hussy’s portrayal of ‘Juliet’ in Franco Zeffirelli’s 1968 adaptation of Romeo and Juliet.

Junior High- a class trip to see the 1968 version of R
Jul 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thank you to the publisher Kensington Books who provided an advance reader copy via NetGalley.

Although I have a penchant for celebrity biographies, I knew nothing about the subject of this one, actress Olivia Hussey. All I knew was that she was famous for playing the iconic lead role in Franco Zeffirelli's "Romeo & Juliet" back in the sixties. I have never even seen the movie! However, after seeing her lovely smiling countenance as Juliet on the book's cover (when she was barely sixteen), I
Susan Kennedy
I didn't really know anything about Olivia Hussey going in, nothing at all. I read the synopsis of the book and I thought, why not give it a go. These type of books are not usually ones I would choose to read; I have never really enjoyed reading about someone else's life. I usually prefer to get away to a world that I can make my own.

I found this book well written and easily read. I give kudos to her and her son for doing such a great job telling her story. It wasn't over written with too much
``Laurie Henderson
If you have watched the 1968 Franco Zefferelli version of "Romeo and Juliet" then you might remember this 16 year old actress in the role of Juliet.

Considered one of the most beautiful women in the world at that time Olivia Hussey went on to star in films and several American miniseries.

With all that going for her I couldn't help but feel sorry for her as she related the sad tale of her childhood.

Olivia is very honest and forthcoming about her life and 3 marriages that I found fascinating to r
Sep 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hussey-olivia
I was 13 when Franco Zefferilli's "Romeo and Juliet" came out in 1968. I remember the controversy over the "nudity" in the movie (laughable by what we see today), all the boys falling in love with Olivia Hussey and all the girls falling in love with Leonard Whiting (myself included). Henry Mancini's "Love Theme from Romeo and Juliet aka A Time for Us" was the Number 1 song on the radio. Using two age appropriate unknowns for the roles was a novel concept and worked very well. Olivia Hussey was m ...more
Sean Peters
Sep 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you to Net Galley, the author Olivia Hussey and the publishers.

With apologies for the delay, as demand by many authors and publishers to read their books, seem to always fall behind.

An interesting and honest and detailed autobiography. Olivia speaks honestly about her tough life in films but more so in her private life.

Reading this book I learned so much about her life the many film greats she worked with and met, through her early life and marriage to Dino Martin.

I knew till I read this b
Nov 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, 2018
First let me say that years ago my neighbor took her daughter and myself to see Romeo and Juliet at the theatre. Guess she figured we needed a little culture. I'd like to say that viewing the movie changed my life by endearing me to Shakespeare and I've since become a scholar on the subject of his plays, but alas, the only memory I took away from the movie was seeing a boy's bum. :0

Anyway, I always thought the author was a sweet innocent. Funny how childhood impressions are so wrong sometimes. S
Susan Liston
Now if you, like me, were 13 when you saw Romeo & Juliet in a theatre and you bought the soundtrack album and still to this day have the whole thing memorized and remember when Olivia and Len Whiting were THE THING and you took Len's "Love Test" in "16" magazine and were disappointed that he sounded sort of like a jerk, (cynical even then, ay me) you will be unable to resist this book. I wondered what had happened to Olivia, she popped up here and there in the ensuing years, but not that oft ...more
I'm sorry to say that I came to this because, in connection with #metoo discussions, someone mentioned a nasty sexual assault on Olivia Hussey, taking place in the same house as the Manson murders only months afterwards. I'm also sorry to say that incident is indeed in this autobiography.

However, I have some very tender memories of the Hussey/Whiting/Zeffirelli Romeo and Juliet, a film I saw (like so many of my generation) in my teens while studying the play, so I was very happy to read Olivia H
Sep 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who saw Olivia Hussey as Juliet in ‘68.
Romeo and Juliet is my favorite Shakespearean play, and I could not wait to see two young unknowns
playing the principle roles. I loved the movie, and I love it still. I have wondered many times what happened to Olivia Hussey after she married Dino Martin, but that was about all I knew. In Olivia Hussey’s memoirs with the assistance of her son, Alexander Martin, The Girl on the Balconey, Olivia Hussey Finds Life After Romeo & Juliet, Ms. Hussey tells her story. Her emotions are quite evident
Jim Dooley
Mar 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Franco Zeffirelli’s ROMEO AND JULIET was quite a phenomenon when it was released in 1968. Young folks who ordinarily wouldn’t be caught dead voluntarily going to a Shakespeare production lined up in theater queues ... and didn’t complain when their schools scheduled field trips to see the film again. It was the first time (to my knowledge) that the lead actors of the title roles were age appropriate. And there was that love theme, “A Time For Us,” that even showed up on Top 40 radio playlists.

This was absolutely wonderful. I've been a lifelong fan of Olivia Hussey and Zeffirelli's adaptation of Romeo and Juliet. My only real issue is that this wasn't as polished as it could have been, childhood, relationships, etc. were at times brushed over, or explained minimally, while subjects like Olivia's spiritual beliefs, and love of India (both country and daughter) were sometimes over done.

Still, very enjoyable. Loved the little tidbits about Olivia having to have her appendix removed the
Sep 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of those actresses that perhaps you haven't thought about in a long time but it's interesting to hear about their recent activities.

Cindy Dyson Eitelman
A little long, but always entertaining. The most unexpected thing about this television, Hollywood and theater star was her friendship with the guru she called Baba. He seemed to be the real deal--prayerful, insightful, loving and honest. I wish I'd known him.

If you're a person who is interested in Hollywood in the late 1960s and 70s, you have to read this book. Most of the name dropping was lost on me; of course I knew Dean Martin but not his son whom she married, and Elizabeth Taylor and Marlo
Gail Sacharski
Aug 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have fond memories of seeing Romeo & Juliet so this was an interesting book to me. I vaguely remember Olivia Hussey making further films/tv movies, but don't know that I saw many of them just as I was unaware of her personal life after R&J so this memoir was a revelation, & not always a pleasant one. It was shocking to learn that one of my actor "crushes" from my teens was her rapist. All in all it was a very interesting book bringing back memories of the times & events that we ...more
Phillip Oliver
Jun 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Olivia Hussey was just sixteen when she was chosen to play Juliet in Franco Zefferni’s lavish filming of “Romeo & Juliet” (1968). Following her stellar debut, an admitted lack of interest in a serious career resulted in a spotty film career highlighted with occasional cult B films and a few epic religious TV mini-series. Despite that, she did work with many legendary actors and she shares colorful anecdotes about Laurence Olivier, Bette Davis, Liza Minnelli, David Niven, Elizabeth Taylor and ...more
Cathy Branciforte
Jun 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Thoroughly enjoyable, easy to read autobiography of Olivia Hussey, who starred in Romeo and Juliet in 1968. I remember seeing this in the theater when it came out and falling in love with both Romeo and Juliet- they were the most beautiful actors who could’ve ever played those roles. As soon as I saw this book, I wanted to read it. In this book Olivia tells the story of the rest of her life after R&J. I can’t imagine anyone who hasn’t seen the movie or who doesn’t know who she is being terri ...more
The first time I ever saw Olivia Hussey was probably in "16" magazine. I was old enough to read "16" but too young to see Franco Zeffirelli's "Romeo & Juliet". (I still haven't seen it.) Ms. Hussey and Leonard Whiting of course became teen superstars when the movie was released, and started appearing in all the magazines. She became the most famous of the two, and I did see her in "Lost Horizon" and "Jesus of Nazareth". One reason this memoir was so interesting was because her name is recogn ...more
Rosemary Hazard
Aug 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biographies
This was a really quick, enjoyable read. Ms. Hussey, forever to be remembered as Juliet in Zefferelli's masterpiece, embraces this and acknowledges how the role changed her life. Her life is a bit like a movie itself, aren't all celebrities a bit like this? From a broken family, a move to another country, growing up and becoming a teenage actress, finding worldwide acclaim as a teenager, and then what the rest of life becomes is bittersweet. She has lived a full, varied life and yet, even with t ...more
Kiana Cook
Jan 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, geekery
Olivia Hussey will always be my Juliet. I love so many adaptations of Romeo and Juliet, and there are many characters where I can’t decide on a favorite or definitive portrayal, but Olivia Hussey is easily the best of the Juliets. I suspect that’s how everyone else feels, as well—as Hussey makes pretty clear throughout her autobiography, her name is forever associated with the image of her at sixteen, standing on a balcony in Italy and professing her love for Romeo.

But Juliet was just a brief m
Russell Sanders
Olivia Hussey, by her own admission, has not managed her career well. All too often, she went through periods where she simply didn’t care about working or not. Her biggest success, as most know, was as Juliet in the film Romeo and Juliet. In the autobiography The Girl on the Balcony, she milks that memory for everything it’s worth. She devotes almost a hundred pages to this experience. And rightly so, not only because it was her initial triumph but also because it was a life-changing experience ...more
This is a somewhat good memoir that is more successful in the first half when focusing on her career than in the last half, which includes weird allegiance to a "guru" who appears to her in dreams and bad decisions that she can't seem to take accountability for. It is filled with some surprising details for those of us that know her work but nothing about her personal life.

The biggest surprise is that she is Latina, born in Argentina, and not British. Her mother takes her and her brother to Engl
Jul 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am probably biased since, like many, I fell in love with Olivia during my high school English class. Also like many, when I become a fan of someone, I do a lot of research on them via the internet. Not creepy stuff like trying to find out their address or telephone number, but stories about them. You want to know if they are worthy of your admiration. I couldn’t find much on Olivia, but everything I did find only increased my fangirl heart for her.

I found out she has a daughter the same age as
Nov 19, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
While not the worst memoir I have ever read, it's pretty close to the bottom of the list! By nature of it being a memoir, of course the author has to show a little narcissism to write it, but she REALLY thinks a lot of her talent and her beauty, especially considering, I would challenge almost anyone to name more than two other projects she did beyond starring in 'Romeo and Juliet'! What really bothered me tho, was the poor woman can't do simple math! She starts the book with giving her birth da ...more
Lafourche Parish Library
In 1968, an unknown fifteen-year-old was cast in one of the greatest acting roles ever written, to star in Franco Zeffirelli’s movie version of William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet. That fifteen-year-old was Olivia Hussey, an Argentinian-born actress (she was born Olivia Osuna) who with this one role literally became an overnight sensation. But troubles with agoraphobia (which plagued her throughout her life) hampered her ability to take advantage of the stardom she had gained.

Even so, Olivi
Cheryl Thompson
Jan 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved Olivia Hussey’s memoir—every page of it. Her heartbreakingly honest telling of her story kept me fascinated and almost dreading the last page. She bravely shares her life story, from her days as a little girl living with a single “mum” in Argentina to her family’s move to London where she began the acting classes that would lead to Juliet.

Olivia says in the beginning, ”Juliet: it’s the defining role of my life, and most likely the reason you’re reading this book.” That’s exac
Mary Sisney
Sep 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Because she was briefly married to Dino Martin and worked with such legendary actors as Laurence Olivier, Bette Davis, and Burt Lancaster, Ms. Hussey, aka Juliet, led an interesting life. Through Dino, she not only met Dean Martin and his wife Jeanne, but also Lucille Ball, Liza Minnelli, who dated Dino's best friend Desi Arnaz Junior, and Elizabeth Taylor. Hussey reminds me of Mary Louise Parker, a woman who measures her life by the men in them (including for Hussey a guru) and who seems to acc ...more
Nancy  Miller
Feb 16, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
This memoir answers the question: what happens to a girl who becomes world-famous at age 15 for being drop-dead gorgeous and who lacked a solid family foundation of normalcy? The answer is: she makes many poor choices of boyfriend, marries three times, does not have the good sense to manage and safeguard her money, and succumbs to Hollywood name-dropping to fill up her memoir. Like most other teens of 1968, I saw Romeo and Juliet multiple times and remember it vividly to this day. No question Ol ...more
Aug 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-read-2018
When I was a tween I had posters of Olivia Hussey and Len Whiting as Romeo and Juliet all over my walls. I thought they were both perfectly beautiful and romantic, and this film probably triggered my undying love for all things Shakespeare. Later during the 8 years I was a high school teacher, I showed the film every spring (several times a day) when I taught Romeo and Juliet. In the years since, I had not thought much about the two stars or followed their careers. They seemed to have disappeare ...more
Cat Jenkins
Memoirs are hard, especially if they are written by someone other than the subject. Even more so if the writer is a relative of the this case, Ms. Hussey's son. I always wish that such works could be written in the third person; that we could see the main character moving through life from that vantage point that might lend them a bit more freedom and cohesion.

Clearly, I would not have even picked up this book were I not already a fan of Olivia Hussey. Her performance as Juliet was
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