The First Lady of Hollywood: A Biography of Louella Parsons

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University of California Press, Sep 8, 2006 - Biography & Autobiography - 417 pages
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"This significant book is the first full length biography of one of the most influential women in Hollywood. It spans a momentous time in terms of the film industry and, with superior scholarship, examines that era through a different and important lens."--Cari Beauchamp, author of Without Lying Down

"This book makes an important contribution to the study of the relationships among journalism, publicity, and celebrity, skillfully connecting issues that have impact on Parson's life and career and thoroughly documenting her rise to extraordinary power. The research is extensive and fills in details that will interest even those who know parts of the story well."--Charles Affron, author of Lillian Gish: Her Legend, Her Life

"More than just an addictively engrossing study of the infamous gossip columnist, Barbas' The First Lady of Hollywood: A Biography of Louella Parsons, is a deftly written historical, political and cultural chronicle of the United States during the first half of the 20th century."--Susan King, Los Angeles Times

"Who speaks for Louella Parsons? Now nearly forgotten, she was once the most powerful woman in Hollywood, the vehicle through which the stars spoke to the world. Samantha Barbas' enviably thorough and readable biography restores Parsons' voice and her position in the movie firmament. It's about time."--Kenneth Turan, columnist for the Los Angeles Times
  

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The first lady of Hollywood: a biography of Louella Parsons

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Set within the framework of evolving American popular culture, this insightful first biography of legendary Hollywood columnist Louella Parsons is also a fascinating look at the world of movies ... Read full review

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Contents

Prologue
1
Early Years
7
Essanay
28
The Column
44
New York
61
The Lovely Miss Marion Davies
77
On the Way to Hollywood
93
Hollywood
108
The First Lady of Hollywood
193
Raising Kane
213
The Gay Illiterate
237
War and Peace
259
Scandal
283
The End of an Era
308
Eclipse
332
Notes
347

Feuds
127
Radio
148
The Best and the Hearst
170

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About the author (2006)

Samantha Barbas has a Ph.D. in American History from the University of California, Berkeley, and is the author of Movie Crazy: Fans, Stars, and the Cult of Celebrity (2001).

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