Her father and her uncle were US congressmen Her grandfather was a US senator Although born to privilege in Alabama and groomed in a convent school, Tallulah Bankhead resolved not to be just another southern belleQuickly she rose to the top and became an acclaimed actress of London s West End and on the Broadway stage Her performances in many plays of the s brought her to the notice of Hollywood She starred in such Paramount films as My Sin, Faithless, The Devil and the Deep, and Thunder Below Even though she won a New York Film Critics Circle Award for her leading role in Alfred Hitchcock s Lifeboat, she never achieved the prominence in movies that she enjoyed in the theater and on radio On the New York stage she originated the starring roles of Regina Giddens in Lillian Hellman s The Little Foxes and of Sabina in Thornton Wilder s The Skin of Our TeethTallulah, like Eudora, Flannery, and Coretta, was a southern woman identifiable by her first name Her flamboyant public personality may be the most fully realized and memorable character Bankhead ever played She became famous for her snappy repartee, candid quotes, and scandalous lifestyle She was disposed to remove her clothes and chat in the nude Overfond of Kentucky bourbon and wild parties, she was a lady baritone who called everybody DahlingIn Tallulah, first published inand a New York Times bestseller for twenty six weeks, Bankhead s literary voice is as lively and forthright as her public persona She details her childhood and adolescence, discusses her dedication to the theater, and presents amusing anecdotes about her life in Hollywood, New York, and London Along with a searing defense of her lifestyle and rambunctious habits, she provides a fiercely opinionated, wildly funny account of American stage at a time when the movies were beginning to cast theater into eclipse This is not only a memoir of an independent woman but also an insider look at American entertainment during a golden age Tallulah Bankhead headlined NBC s The Big Show, a ninety minute weekly radio extravaganza that aired fromtoInshe appeared in her last movie, a British film titled Fanatic Die, Die, My Darlingin US release


10 thoughts on “Tallulah: My Autobiography

  1. B.D. Roca B.D. Roca says:

    I bought this bio in an op shop, and loved it It was published in 1951 just checked which accounts for what I didn t love about it all of the incredible stories and self truths I am pretty sure this amazing woman have thrown in there but which were left out I think Bankhead was born around 1900, and by this point had become something of a sacred monster, known not only as a leading stage and occasional screen actress, but was also infamous for sex, drugs and outrageous behavior It s a 195 I bought this bio in an op shop, and loved it It was published in 1951 just checked which accounts for what I didn t love about it all of the incredible stories and self truths I am pretty sure this amazing woman have thrown in there but which were left out I think Bankhead was born around 1900, and by this point had become something of a sacred monster, known not only as a leading stage and occasional screen actress, but was also infamous for sex, drugs and outrageous behavior It s a 1950 s sanitised version of that life, scarcely hinting at her bisexuality, with a lot of the edgier facts of that life left out She was fiercely intelligent, opinionated, wholly self destructive and lived life with the velocity of a runaway train As it is there are a few bits and pieces on YouTube that only hint at what a true individual she was Kudos to Bankhead, even if way too much of that life gets left off the page You still get a sense of the woman she was and the times she lived through


  2. Jennifer Sciolino-Moore Jennifer Sciolino-Moore says:

    An autobiography Not the best, not the worst I was bored at times It was a bit like a listing of events Tallulah was bawdy and capricious and brash She seemed to downplay each of the major events in her life, almost as if to apologize for them Maybe the tamer version is the true version Who knows I m not above admitting that I prefer the picture in my mind to the watered down version she purported to be Isn t fantasy usually preferable to reality


  3. Norman Norman says:

    This book is a fun read She is a terrific wordsmith, and she had some wonderful stories.


  4. erl erl says:

    The only passage worth reading comes after 344 pages of drivel, when Tallulah discusses intellectualism Once a flattering term, the rabble rousers and reactionaries now use the word as an epithet Too many of our countrymen rejoice in stupidity, look upon ignorance as a badge of honor They condemn everything they don t understand A littleof that talk and I ll be branded a subversive Other than this passage, it s probably the silliest book I ve ever read.


  5. Richard Jespers Richard Jespers says:

    Not as sensational as it probably was in the early 1950s Interesting though, even if her prose sounds as if it has been transcribed from an audio recording she admits at much in the end.Ms Bankhead probably paved the way for many other female actors or women of independence She married only once, and it lasted four years She had, by her own admission, many affairs Most important, she lived the life of an artist Sometimes in the money many times not She loved acting onstagethan ma Not as sensational as it probably was in the early 1950s Interesting though, even if her prose sounds as if it has been transcribed from an audio recording she admits at much in the end.Ms Bankhead probably paved the way for many other female actors or women of independence She married only once, and it lasted four years She had, by her own admission, many affairs Most important, she lived the life of an artist Sometimes in the money many times not She loved acting onstagethan making money, eschewing for a long time the lure of film or radio or television But each time, her conservative traditional thinking would sway to the new medium, mostly because she was running low on funds.For as much as she tells all, she is not entirely forthcoming, particularly with regard to alleged alcoholism and other peccadilloes.Fifty years after her death, however, Bankhead is still remembered for her whisky tenor voice, her scathing remarks to those who cross her, and for her notable performances in films like Lifeboat.This particular edition published by the University of Mississippi Press, contains a number of typos Sad


  6. Drew Drew says:

    As you might expect from an actress for such a panache for extravagance, Ms Bankhead can be a bit long winded in her autobiography There were some very interesting stories, andthan a handful of moments that made me laugh out loud literally but there were just as many passages that bored me to tears Someone else made the comment that the book is written as if she s telling stories at a party, and that is spot on There are many parts where she goes off on tangents for pages, before r As you might expect from an actress for such a panache for extravagance, Ms Bankhead can be a bit long winded in her autobiography There were some very interesting stories, andthan a handful of moments that made me laugh out loud literally but there were just as many passages that bored me to tears Someone else made the comment that the book is written as if she s telling stories at a party, and that is spot on There are many parts where she goes off on tangents for pages, before reverting back to her original line of thinking But at the end of the book, I really felt like I had sat down and had a conversation with her, albeit a one sided one So with that in mind, I would recommend this book if you ve ever found her interesting


  7. Melinda Melinda says:

    Hamstrung by homespun digressions about long lost relatives and riddled with off putting inside jokes, this autobiography is a testament to the immensity of Tallulah s ego This is fine she was famous for it But it s a little much I feel like if her authorial intent was to cement her immortality, she succeeded the book of her life never ended because I never finished it Bravo, Tallulah


  8. Bryant Whelan Bryant Whelan says:

    This was a fascinating read, not a scholarly bio but interesting to read about a gal who hails from the south and becomes a name on the entertainment and social set in NYC Who could not be fascinated by a woman named Tallulah Bankhead


  9. Boris Cesnik Boris Cesnik says:

    Divine, witty, magnificent, funny, amusing, unputdownable, clever, contradictory, honest, straight, candid, dahling, raw, exposed, fabulous, entertaining, rich, brainy all at once and a book a simple name Tallulah


  10. Gaile Gaile says:

    This was first published in 1952 and went into another edition in 1953 and I think 1957 I read it in 1957.