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The Entertainer (2012)

af Margaret Talbot

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9626287,727 (4.07)7
Using the life and career of her father, writer Margaret Talbot tells the story of the rise of popular culture through a personal lens. The arc of Lyle Talbot's career is in fact the story of American entertainment. Born in 1902, Lyle left small-town Nebraska in 1918 to join a traveling carnival. From there he became a magician's assistant, an actor in a traveling theater troupe, a romantic lead in early talkies, then an actor in major Warner Bros. pictures, then an actor in cult B movies, and finally a part of the advent of television, with regular roles on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet and Leave It to Beaver. In her impeccably researched narrative--a combination of Hollywood history, social history, and family memoir--Margaret Talbot conjures warmth and nostalgia for those earlier eras of '10s and '20s small-town America, '30s and '40s Hollywood.--From publisher description.… (mere)
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Viser 1-5 af 26 (næste | vis alle)
Anyone who loves the film industry would love this mixed biography (of the author’s father), history of the entertainment industry in the twentieth century, and glimpse into the Golden Age of Hollywood. It is unique and a pleasure to read. ( )
  Riverdeboz | Jul 25, 2021 |
In this incredibly well-written book, Margaret Talbot not only writes a biography of her father, actor Lyle Talbot, but also captures the zeitgeist of the first half of the twentieth century and the evolution of entertainment. Lyle was a Nebraska-born boy of Irish stock, raised by his grandmother in a boarding house. In his teens, he discovered his father--and the theater. He knew the life of an itinerant carnie/actor/magician through the twenties, and made his way to Hollywood soon after the advent of talkies. He acted in a wide variety of films, from great classics with Shirley Temple to classics-for-other-reasons like Plan 9 From Outer Space. In the end, he found a niche in character roles in the new medium of television.

Talbot is never worshipful as she describes her father's career and lover boy reputation; in fact, she's refreshingly blunt and analytical. She draws from numerous interviews and sources as she addresses many things her father never discussed with his children, such as his brief marriages with other women and even the claim of abuse by one ex-wife. She isn't defensive of her father, but gracefully explains the context of the times. This is a book that abounds in fascinating stories and trivia.

If you have any interest in early Hollywood or 20th century history, this enlightening book is well worth your time. I will certainly be keeping it on my research shelf. ( )
  ladycato | Apr 3, 2018 |
I highly recommend this book for Lyle Talbot fans and for fans of the Golden age of Hollywood. Being a huge classic movie lover I could not wait to read this book. A perfect blend of biography, memoir and history of the time period. Very well written and well researched. This book deserves a place in a classic film buffs collection. ( )
  Altarasabine | May 9, 2014 |
Excellent treatment of entertainment and film through an entertainer who was there. ( )
  TheLoisLevel | May 1, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Affectionate biography by Margaret Talbot of her father, actor Lyle Talbot. Nicely written, and contains more than just the facts of Talbot's life. In addition to the story of Lyle Talbot, this is also a story of America during the 20th century.
  owlie13 | Mar 19, 2013 |
Viser 1-5 af 26 (næste | vis alle)
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In loving memory of Paula Talbot
And for her grandchildren: Dash, Caitlin, Joe,
Nat, Gabriel, Grace, Eva, Ike, and Lucy,
who would have made her heart sing
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The boy grew up in a hotel for traveling salesmen across the street from the train station in a very small town.
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Using the life and career of her father, writer Margaret Talbot tells the story of the rise of popular culture through a personal lens. The arc of Lyle Talbot's career is in fact the story of American entertainment. Born in 1902, Lyle left small-town Nebraska in 1918 to join a traveling carnival. From there he became a magician's assistant, an actor in a traveling theater troupe, a romantic lead in early talkies, then an actor in major Warner Bros. pictures, then an actor in cult B movies, and finally a part of the advent of television, with regular roles on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet and Leave It to Beaver. In her impeccably researched narrative--a combination of Hollywood history, social history, and family memoir--Margaret Talbot conjures warmth and nostalgia for those earlier eras of '10s and '20s small-town America, '30s and '40s Hollywood.--From publisher description.

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