A Difficult Actor
A definitive biography of one of the twentieth century's finest actors and directors, written with great insight and verve by Simon Callow, & reissued here with a new preface.
The creator of the Hunchback of Notre Dame, Henry VIII and Captain Bligh, Charles Laughton's career spans 50 films and 40 stage roles. This entralling biography follows him from his parents' hotel in Scarborough to his climactic assumption of the role of King Lear in Statford at the end of his life. Along the way we meet a galaxy of Hollywood greats - from Korda, Hitchcock and Billy WIlder to Gregory Peck, Robert Mitchum and Marilyn Monroe. We also discover a hugely talented and complex man - a legend in his own lifetime who nonetheless counted himself a failure.
“One of the very best theatre books ever”
“Remarkable...extraordinarily well written, perceptive and rivetingly sympathetic”
“Simon Callow is a writer - and a very good one too. Few people can match him in catching with words the physical excitement of a great performance”
“Callow’s emphatic biography certainly presents this complicated man in all his contradictory roles”
Sally Morris, Daily Mail
“a fine character actor’s tribute to the king of the tribe. The numerous insights show Callow to be that rarity, an actor who can write about acting”
Jake Kerridge, Sunday Telegraph