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Leslie Caron memoir - 'Thank Heaven'


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#1 dirac

dirac

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Posted 03 December 2009 - 10:50 AM

Should be interesting reading.

After she was discovered by legendary French choreographer Roland Petit and asked to join his Ballet des Champs-Elysees (which also included pre-Balanchine muse Violette Verdy and an unknown Brigitte Bardot), Caron was once again whisked away by Gene Kelly to star in one of the greatest movie musicals of all time, An American in Paris.



#2 dirac

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 02:19 PM

Nice book. Caron has interesting things to sayabout her upbringing and the displacements caused by World War II in France, as well as the conditions of deprivation in Europe after the war. Her ballet studies began with Preobrajenska during the war. She joins Petitís company, dances with Babilee, and rooms with one Nelly Guillerm and her mother on tour. (Apparently Mama Guillerm was not your dream roomie.)

In its later stages the book suffers from a certain sameness that tends to affect most showbiz bios/autobios and can make many of them heavy going unless you have a rooting interest in the star or some other particular reason for reading. The rise to fame, time on the top, decline and fall, inappropriate liaisons, substance abuse, recovery, itís all here, but Caron is cleverer and writes better than many and sheís come up with a pretty good book. I enjoyed the account of her time married to Peter Hall, then but a beardless boy, and her famous-people-I-have-known stories (Jean Renoir, Isherwood, Truffaut, et al.). The book has some typos, especially where names are concerned Ė itís Nelly Guillerm, not Nellie, etc.




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