Julie's Reviews > The Girl on the Balcony: Olivia Hussey Finds Life after Romeo and Juliet

The Girl on the Balcony by Olivia Hussey
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bookshelves: 2018, e-book, overdrive, memoir, non-fiction

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 Romeo & Juliet. My girlfriend’s and I sat in the theatre, eaten up with our jealousy of Olivia Hussy. She was so beautiful, and Romeo, played by Leonard Whiting, was hot, hot, hot.

By the end of the movie, though, we all had tears streaming down our cheeks and red puffy eyes. Reading Shakespeare was a little tedious, especially in Junior High, so the movie was much easier for me to understand. The movie had a big impact on me, and I never forgot Olivia’s performance. It was a career defining role.

Over the years, anytime the subject of Romeo and Juliet came up and I thought about this movie- (which was a hot topic back when my daughter was in high school because she was all about the Leonardo DiCaprio adaptation,) I would wonder about Olivia Hussy and whatever became of her.

So, when I saw this memoir, I knew I had to have it. Finally, I’d know all about Oliva Hussy and discovered what her career and private life has been like after becoming the face so many of us associate with ‘Juliet”.

Well, as it turns out, she was right under my nose all this time, playing in many movies and television shows, I’d watched- some of them numerous times, in fact- but somehow I never made the connection.

Everything in this memoir was a complete surprise to me. Her marriages, children, her philosophical and religious leanings, the challenges she faced personally and professionally, and her battle with serious health issues are recounted with pragmatism and in a voice that is real enough to draw the reader into her world.

Olivia has been through some dark periods of time, and suffered through some big disappointments, and made some pretty costly mistakes. Yet, her tone is practical, occasionally resigned, but mostly upbeat. In her youth, she battled challenges by becoming depressed or drinking too much, but the older she got, she faced adversity as with much more courage and strength.

The pacing of the book is a little too brisk, occasionally abrupt, only stopping to land briefly in each milestone of Olivia’s life. On the plus side, she wasn’t overly catty, vindictive or super gossipy about colleagues, or others she worked with, but did mention some on- set tensions- one of which was hardly surprising. She had mostly pleasant remarks to make about her ex-husbands and didn’t do a lot of finger pointing, which was refreshing.

After completing this memoir, I think Olivia’s life has been an interesting one. She was so young when she found fame and has lived a life within that bubble, which is the life of an actor, but her fame was not all consuming, and as a result her life wasn’t as intruded upon by tabloids or paparazzi, as it might have been. Many aspects of her life surprised me, especially her third marriage- which was hard to imagine, but it seems to be the most stable relationship she’s known.

She’s an excellent actress, with a strong spirit, having endured several monumental events, and lived to tell the tale.

Overall, this book was revealing and interesting and I’m glad to know Olivia is well, and still working. I still have wonderful memories of watching Romeo and Juliet and was reminded of what a wonderful job Olivia did with such a challenging role- but I’m still a little jealous!
4 stars
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Reading Progress

September 11, 2018 – Started Reading
September 11, 2018 – Shelved
September 11, 2018 – Shelved as: 2018
September 11, 2018 – Shelved as: e-book
September 11, 2018 – Shelved as: overdrive
September 11, 2018 – Shelved as: memoir
September 11, 2018 – Shelved as: non-fiction
September 18, 2018 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-50 of 51 (51 new)


message 1: by Sandra (new)

Sandra Lovely review Julie 😊


Julie Sandra wrote: "Lovely review Julie 😊"

Thank you, Sandra!! 😊


message 3: by KAS (new)

KAS What a lovely review, Julie ;) Really enjoyed hearing your personal feelings for this actress. Thrilled you enjoyed!! ❤️😘


Julie KAS wrote: "What a lovely review, Julie ;) Really enjoyed hearing your personal feelings for this actress. Thrilled you enjoyed!! ❤️😘"

Thank you, KAS!! 😊❤😊


message 5: by Nicola (new)

Nicola Gipson Julie you have brought back some fabulous memories. My friend made me sit through Romeo and Juliet so many times because of Leonard Whiting.He was so handsome in that lol. Franco Zeffirelli’s films are always so beautiful. Wonderful review!💕💕


message 6: by Zoeytron (new)

Zoeytron My first car date was at a drive-in movie that was showing Romeo and Juliet. Haven't thought of that in years. Nicely reviewed, Julie.


Julie Zoeytron wrote: "My first car date was at a drive-in movie that was showing Romeo and Juliet. Haven't thought of that in years. Nicely reviewed, Julie."

Thank you, Zoey!! Good times!! 😊😊


Julie Nicola wrote: "Julie you have brought back some fabulous memories. My friend made me sit through Romeo and Juliet so many times because of Leonard Whiting.He was so handsome in that lol. Franco Zeffirelli’s films..."
Thank you, Nicola!! I know, right!! He was very easy on the eyes. 😊😊


message 9: by Jen (new)

Jen Surprises are always good!
Great review, Julie


Julie Jen wrote: "Surprises are always good!
Great review, Julie"


Thanks, Jen!! 😊😊


message 11: by RedemptionDenied (new)

RedemptionDenied Excellent review, Julie!


Julie RedemptionDenied wrote: "Excellent review, Julie!"

Thank you, RD!! 😊


message 13: by Lynn (new)

Lynn Great review! Sounds like an interesting book!


message 14: by Shirley (new)

Shirley Revill Awesome review Julie 😊


message 15: by Julie (last edited Sep 22, 2018 05:42PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Julie Lynn wrote: "Great review! Sounds like an interesting book!"

Thank you, Lynn! It really was very interesting! 😊


Julie Shirley wrote: "Awesome review Julie 😊"

Thank you, Shirley!! 😊


Mackenzie - PhDiva Books Wonderful review, Julie!! 💕


Julie Mackenzie - Traveling Sister wrote: "Wonderful review, Julie!! 💕"

Thank you, Mackenzie!! 😊😊


message 19: by Valerie (new)

Valerie Best The Leonardo DiCaprio R&J was an important one, but the Zeffirelli version will always be my #1!


Julie Valerie wrote: "The Leonardo DiCaprio R&J was an important one, but the Zeffirelli version will always be my #1!"

Mine too, Valerie. I only watched the LD version because my daughter kept going on and on about it. LOL! ❤❤


message 21: by Jaline (new)

Jaline I loved your personal account of seeing "Romeo and Juliet" 'way back when! I am the same age as Olivia Hussey, and I recall that movie as one of the best I had ever seen. 😊 Fabulous review, Julie! 💖


Julie Jaline wrote: "I loved your personal account of seeing "Romeo and Juliet" 'way back when! I am the same age as Olivia Hussey, and I recall that movie as one of the best I had ever seen. 😊 Fabulous review, Julie! 💖"

Thank you, Jaline!! I've seen that movie many times over the years and every time it astounds me. The score was magnificent as well. 😊


message 23: by Jaline (new)

Jaline I agree about the music score, Julie! I remember going out and buying the sheet music as soon as I could! I think I taught myself how to read music with the Love Theme - hahaha


message 24: by Maureen (new)

Maureen This is a trip down memory lane Julie, such a lovely personal review 👏🏻


Carolyn I am so glad you liked the book. I was amazed, myself, how she never really had anything catty or mean to say about anyone she encountered in her long career. (There was one exception, but I would have had him arrested and put away for life. Even recounting that horror, she was not that harsh in her comments.) Excellent review, as always!


Julie Jaline wrote: "I agree about the music score, Julie! I remember going out and buying the sheet music as soon as I could! I think I taught myself how to read music with the Love Theme - hahaha"

Wow!! That's awesome!! Wonder if Amazon Prime has that soundtrack? Think I'll check it out. 😊


Julie Maureen wrote: "This is a trip down memory lane Julie, such a lovely personal review 👏🏻"

Thank you, Maureen!! It does bring back memories! 😊


Julie Carolyn wrote: "I am so glad you liked the book. I was amazed, myself, how she never really had anything catty or mean to say about anyone she encountered in her long career. (There was one exception, but I would ..."

Thank you, Carolyn!! Yes, she should have reported that guy! So many bad men in that business. Her story is very interesting, and brought back fond memories.


message 29: by Theresa Alan (new)

Theresa Alan I remember that movie, too. (Although I saw it as a freshman in 1986). Interesting review!


Julie Theresa wrote: "I remember that movie, too. (Although I saw it as a freshman in 1986). Interesting review!"

Thank you, Theresa!! It was a very interesting memoir!


message 31: by Paula (new)

Paula Kalin Loved the movie and remember her well. Enjoyed reading your review, Julie!


Julie Paula wrote: "Loved the movie and remember her well. Enjoyed reading your review, Julie!"

Thank you, Paula!! 😊❤😊


message 33: by Mackey (new)

Mackey I adored her as Juliet. What a great review Julie.


Julie Mackey wrote: "I adored her as Juliet. What a great review Julie."

Thank you, Mackey!! She truly does personify the role. She claims to have struggled with the balcony scene, but it looked flawless to me.


message 35: by Deanna (new)

Deanna Great review!! :)


Julie Deanna wrote: "Great review!! :)"

Thank you, Deanna!! ❤


message 37: by Suzanne (new)

Suzanne My favorite Juliet!


message 38: by Meredith (new)

Meredith Fantastic review, Julie! This sounds interesting!


Julie Suzanne wrote: "My favorite Juliet!"

Mine too, Suzanne. 😊😊


Julie Meredith wrote: "Fantastic review, Julie! This sounds interesting!"

Thank you, Meredith!! It was very interesting! 😊😊


message 41: by Anna (new)

Anna Oh how I loved that movie. I was in high school when it came out and yes we swooned over Romeo, and were in awe of Juliet. Thanks for this review. I hadn't thought of this movie in years.


Julie Anna wrote: "Oh how I loved that movie. I was in high school when it came out and yes we swooned over Romeo, and were in awe of Juliet. Thanks for this review. I hadn't thought of this movie in years."

Thank you, Anna!! This book has brought back so many memories!! The best film adaptation of R&J ever! 😊😊


Kaceey - Traveling Sister Wonderful review Julie!💕


Julie Kaceey - Traveling Sister wrote: "Wonderful review Julie!💕"

Thank you, Kaceey!! 😊😊


message 45: by Tina (new)

Tina Wonderful review Julie! :)


Julie Tina wrote: "Wonderful review Julie! :)"

Thank you, Tina!! 😊😊


message 47: by Sandra (new) - added it

Sandra Terrific review Julie, I'll have to check this book out! I've always liked Olivia Hussey, she was also really good as the Virgin Mary in the tv mini-series "Jesus of Nazareth". :)


Julie Sandra wrote: "Terrific review Julie, I'll have to check this book out! I've always liked Olivia Hussey, she was also really good as the Virgin Mary in the tv mini-series "Jesus of Nazareth". :)"

Thank you, Sandra!! I agree. I didn't even realize that was her until I read this book. She didn't get as much recognition for that role, but she did a terrific job with it. 😊


*TUDOR^QUEEN* Wonderful review! 😘💕


Julie *TUDOR^QUEEN* wrote: "Wonderful review! 😘💕"

Thank you, TQ!! 😊😊


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