How to Be A Movie Star

  • by William J. Mann
  • Narrated by Mark Boyett
  • 15 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Elizabeth Taylor has never been short on star power, but in this unprecedented biography, the spotlight is entirely on her - a spirited beauty full of magic, professional daring, and wit.
Acclaimed biographer William Mann follows Elizabeth Taylor publicly as she makes her ascent at MGM, falls into (and out of) marriages, wins Oscars, fights studio feuds, and combats America's conservative values with her decidedly modern love affairs. But he also shines a light on Elizabeth's rich private life, revealing a love for her craft and a loyalty to the underdog that fueled her lifelong battle against the studio system. Swathed in mink, disposing of husbands but keeping the diamonds - this is Elizabeth Taylor as she lived and loved, breaking and making the rules in the game of supreme celebrity.
In the 60s, Elizabeth Taylor's affair with the married Richard Burton knocked John Glenn's orbit of the moon off front pages nationwide. Yet, despite all the gossip, the larger-than-life personality and influence of this very human woman has never been captured. William Mann, praised by Gore Vidal, Patricia Bosworth, and Gerald Clarke for Kate, uses untapped sources and conversations to show how she ignited the sexual revolution with her on-and off-screen passions, helped kick down the studio system by taking control of her own career, and practically invented the big business of celebrity star-making. With unputdownable storytelling he tells the full truth without losing Taylor's magic, daring, or wit.
Listeners will feel they are sitting next to Taylor as she rises at MGM, survives a marriage engineered for publicity, feuds with Hedda Hopper and Mr. Mayer, wins Oscars, endures tragedy, juggles Eddie Fisher, Richard Burton and her country's conservative values. But it is the private Elizabeth that will surprise - a woman of heart and loyalty, who defends underdogs, a savvy professional whose anger at the studio's treatment of her led to a lifelong battle against that very system. All the Elizabeth's are here, finally reconciled and seen against the exciting years of her greatest spirit, beauty, and influence. Swathed in mink, staring us down with her lavender eyes, disposing of husbands but keeping the diamonds, here is Elizabeth Taylor as she was meant to be, leading her epic life on her own terms, playing the game of supreme stardom at which she remains, to this day, unmatched.

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Audible Editor Reviews

Elizabeth Taylor's career marked a turning point for American celebrity culture: old-fashioned modesty and feminine docility receded into the past, as Taylor assumed an image - not always intentionally - marked by pluck, sexuality, and unapologetic honesty. Publicly, Taylor was infamous for spats with studio executives, multiple marriages, and adulterous affairs. At the same time, Taylor was widely recognized as a talented and cooperative worker, a warm and humane personality, and a charitable champion of civic causes. Striking a tone worthy of the "good bad girl" herself, actor Mark Boyett delivers this exhaustive biography with homespun authenticity and intimacy, nevertheless infusing the actress' glamorous exploits, groundbreaking successes, and enduring legacy with an almost lyrical, prosaic intonation - a fitting ode to one of cinema's most remarkable icons.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

An enlightening journey with Liz and Dick

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would, as long as my friend was very interested in the Hollywood of the forties and fifties, as I am.


What did you like best about this story?

The detail with which the book is filled shows that the research was very thorough.


Have you listened to any of Mark Boyett’s other performances? How does this one compare?

I don't believe so.


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Well if that had been possible, but a little too long for that.


Any additional comments?

For a Hollywood nut, like me, this was essential listening, lots of small detail and scene setting brought this to life, I have read lots of books on Elizabeth Taylor before but still found this to have lots of information I had not discovered , fascinating .

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- Sandor "My name is Julie and I'm a middle aged woman who enjoys good writing, and good narration."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 24-11-2013
  • Publisher: Audible Studios