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Born Natasha Zakharenko, Natalie Wood continues to haunt us 20 years after her tragic and mysterious death. Her dark hypnotic beauty and passionate performances made her a movie star legend, appearing in over fifty films including West Side Story and Rebel Without a Cause for which she was Oscar nominated. The story of her life is tinged with tragedy and drama. Pushed by her domineering, frustrated mother - an alcoholic determined to make her child a star at whatever cost, Natalie grew up fast - lonely and a misfit, uncertain of her identity. At fifteen she had embarked on an affair with a director 30 years her senior, she was brutally raped by a leading Hollywood star when she was sixteen -an attack which her mother forbade her to report. Her leading men frequently became her lovers including Elvis Presley, James Dean , Warren Beatty and the real love of her life, Robert Wagner whom she eventually married twice. Her fear of being alone and the years of exploitation and abuse led to an addiction to sleeping pills and several suicide attempts and for the first time, this book looks at evidence, yet to be published, surrounding her premature and controversial death - drowning at the age of 43. Suzanne Finstad has spent 3 years researching this, the first substantive biography of Natalie Wood, conducting over 400 interviews with friends, family, lovers, co-stars and the police officials who investigated her death.
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"Whatever you have read or heard about me through articles or gossip, forget it. I am nothing like that Warren Beatty. I am nothing like what you have read." --Warren BeattyWarren Beatty guarded his privacy even before he became a movie star, when he burst onto the screen in 1961 as the earnestly handsome all-American boy in Splendor in the Grass. When he started acting, Beatty kept secret the fact that actress Shirley MacLaine, already a star, was his older sister. Over time, he has cultivated a mystique, giving few interviews and instructing others not to talk about him. Until now. Through years of groundbreaking research, lauded biographer Suzanne Finstad gained unprecedented access to Beatty's family, close friends, and film colleagues, including such luminaries in the arts and politics as Jane Fonda, Goldie Hawn, Leslie Caron, Robert Towne, Mike Nichols, and Senators John McCain, George McGovern, and Gary Hart. Weaving hundreds of these candid interviews, photographs from private albums, personal letters, diaries, and the previously unpublished papers of the late Natalie Wood and mentors such as directors Elia Kazan and George Stevens, playwrights Clifford Odets and William Inge, and agent Charles Feldman, Warren Beatty unveils the real Beatty--a complex, sensitive visionary torn between the "fairly puritanical, football-playing boy" from Virginia and his Hollywood playboy image. Finstad paints a rich, fascinating portrait f the secretive film legend, taking us back to the "unrealized genius" parents who molded arguably the most famous brother and sister in Hollywood history, tracing the family influences and events in Beatty's past that directly inspired McCabe & Mrs. Miller, Shampoo, Heaven Can Wait, Reds, Ishtar, Dick Tracy, Bugsy, Love Affair, and Bulworth, and led to his political activism, culminating in a near-bid for the White House. Finstad constructs the definitive, myth-shattering account of Beatty's evolution from Hollywood's enfant terrible to producer of the revolutionary Bonnie and Clyde, launching him as the premier actor/director/writer/producer of his generation, the only person to twice earn Oscar nominations in all five major categories.Here also is the truth about Beatty the lover, setting the record straight on his storied relationships with such iconic actresses and beauties as Jane Fonda, Joan Collins, Natalie Wood, Leslie Caron, Julie Christie, Goldie Hawn, Michelle Phillips, Diane Keaton, Isabelle Adjani, and Madonna. Finstad's astute insights illuminate Beatty's private struggle to attain happiness, his complicated bond with his sister, Shirley, and the deeper reasons why, at fifty-four, the archetypal bachelor married actress Annette Bening. Stunningly researched, engrossing, and exquisitely detailed, Warren Beatty: A Private Man gives us a new understanding of the enigmatic, fiercely intelligent star who embodies the American dream.From the Hardcover edition....