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6 July 1995
Katharine Hepburn 
by Barbara Leaming.
Weidenfeld, 549 pp., £20, March 1995, 0 297 81319 6
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... hands in ecstasy and says, “what divine natives! what divine morning glories!” Brother, your brow goes up ... is this something from The Philadelphia Story?’ In her biography of Orson Welles, BarbaraLeaming quotes his phrase ‘in life’ (‘Rita [Hayworth] in life’), and states that what she wants to show is Welles ‘in life’. This would seem to be what she wants to show of Katharine ...

Sabotage

Gavin Millar

13 September 1990
Citizen Welles: A Biography of Orson Welles 
by Frank Brady.
Hodder, 655 pp., £18.95, January 1990, 0 340 51389 6
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If this was happiness: A Biography of Rita Hayworth 
by Barbara Leaming.
Weidenfeld, 312 pp., £14.95, September 1989, 0 297 79630 5
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Norma Shearer 
by Gavin Lambert.
Hodder, 381 pp., £17.95, August 1990, 0 340 52947 4
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Ava’s Men: The Private Life of Ava Gardner 
by Jane Ellen Wayne.
Robson, 268 pp., £14.95, November 1989, 0 86051 636 9
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Goldwyn: A Biography 
by Scott Berg.
Hamish Hamilton, 579 pp., £16.95, September 1989, 0 241 12832 3
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The Genius of the System: Hollywood Film-Making in the Studio Era 
by Thomas Schatz.
Simon and Schuster, 514 pp., £16.95, September 1989, 0 671 69708 0
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... fails from time to time to set the record straight aggressively enough, and falls victim to what we should regard as the received malice. Although an admirer, Brady remains a touch less devoted than BarbaraLeaming in her 1986 biography, based as it was on long personal sessions with Welles. Brady never met Welles. They communicated by phone and letter, and so important and detailed – important if ...

How to be a wife

Colm Tóibín: The Discretion of Jackie Kennedy

6 June 2002
Janet & Jackie: The Story of a Mother and Her Daughter, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis 
by Jan Pottker.
St Martin’s, 381 pp., $24.95, October 2001, 0 312 26607 3
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Mrs Kennedy: The Missing History of the Kennedy Years 
by Barbara Leaming.
Weidenfeld, 389 pp., £20, October 2001, 0 297 64333 9
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... set next to a 2.8 carat engagement ring, an archbishop performing the ceremony, and a fifty-yard silk wedding dress.’ The relationship between Jack and Jackie, as outlined in lurid detail in BarbaraLeaming’s Mrs Kennedy, takes Jackie from her role as Maisie to the role of Maggie Verver in The Golden Bowl. She had her prince and her life of luxury. When she went every day to classes in ...

Pamela

Alan Brien

5 December 1985
Orson Welles 
by Barbara Leaming.
Weidenfeld, 562 pp., £14.95, October 1985, 0 297 78476 5
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The Making of ‘Citizen Kane’ 
by Robert Carringer.
Murray, 180 pp., £8.95, October 1985, 0 7195 4248 0
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Spike Milligan 
by Pauline Scudamore.
Granada, 318 pp., £8.95, October 1985, 0 246 12275 7
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Nancy Mitford 
by Selina Hastings.
Hamish Hamilton, 274 pp., £12.50, October 1985, 0 241 11684 8
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Rebel: The Short Life of Esmond Romilly 
by Kevin Ingram.
Weidenfeld, 252 pp., £12.95, October 1985, 0 297 78707 1
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The Mitford Family Album 
by Sophia Murphy.
Sidgwick, 160 pp., £12.95, November 1985, 0 283 99115 1
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... confused, irritated or bored by him, classic reactions of age to the heroes of youth. Robert Carringer’s sharp-eyed, dispassionate post-mortem on what actually happened in the making of Kane, and BarbaraLeaming’s almost embarrassingly intimate monitoring of the variations in the maker’s oft-told tales during what turned out to be the last five years of Welles’s life, finally extinguish the ...

St Marilyn

Andrew O’Hagan: The Girl and Me

6 January 2000
The Personal Property of Marilyn Monroe 
Christie’s, 415 pp., $85, September 1999, 0 903432 64 1Show More
The Complete Marilyn Monroe 
by Adam Victor.
Thames and Hudson, 339 pp., £29.95, November 1999, 0 500 01978 9
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Marilyn Monroe 
by Barbara Leaming.
Orion, 474 pp., £8.99, October 1999, 0 7528 2692 1
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... Of all the hundreds of biographies this really comes down to two: Norma Jeane: The Life of Marilyn Monroe by Fred Lawrence Guiles (1969), and Marilyn Monroe: The Biography by Donald Spoto (1993). Barbara Learning’s new book adds to a sense of Monroe as someone in constant struggle with fictionality and mental illness, with the demands of men, and with an overwhelming wish to be taken seriously as ...

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