Biography Progress Report #30: A Couple More Convincing Blurbs

Year of Ann Dvorak: Day 255

A couple of weeks back, I was elated to find that authors Mark Vieira and Susan Doll had generously agreed to take a sneak peek at the Dvorak manuscript and provide pull quotes. This week, the last two quotes came in and are up on the Amazon website.

First is from Michelle Morgan, who accomplished the seemingly impossible task of writing a Marilyn Monroe biography that is neither sensational tripe or redundant. Getting a quote from Michelle is kind of cheating because we are friends, but I respect her tremendously as a writer and was happy that she said the following about my book:

Ann Dvorak: Hollywood’s Forgotten Rebel is a treasure trove of information about this under-mentioned star. The wealth of information is stunning and the writing is full of passion and warmth. Without doubt nobody but Rice could have ever written this book. This book is a fabulous tribute to someone who deserves to be remembered.

This last quote comes from Margaret Talbot, daughter of Ann’s frequent co-star Lyle, and writer for the New Yorker. Her own book The Entertainer: Movies, Magic, and My Father’s Twentieth Century, is an excellent read and I am grateful she contributed the following:

A scrupulously researched, consistently insightful and thoroughly welcome biography. Fans and students of Hollywood’s fascinating pre-Code era will particularly appreciate a chance to learn more about one of its most sophisticated, intelligent, and hauntingly beautiful actresses.

Thanks again to all four of these talented writers for taking the time to read the Ann Dvorak book and composing a few sentences. I hope none of them were humoring me!


  1. Scott September 12, 2013

    Close your eyes and picture somewhere up there in heaven — in the area reserved for all the Warner Brothers’s stars of the 1930’s …

    Lyle Talbot has been driving everyone to distraction over this past year, going around saying ‘Look at this wonderful book about me that my daughter has written’.

    Who knows … maybe Ann has kept kind of a low profile up there all these years.

    But now … we can imagine Ann saying “Yes, that is wonderful Lyle. But look at this book that this nice woman in California has written about ME! Look at the wonderful things they’re saying about it. And look what they’re saying about me: ‘sophisticated’! ‘intelligent’! ‘Hauntingly beautiful’! About ME!’ And look at this one: ‘Someone who desreves to be remembered’! And all this time I thought no one remembered me or even cared.”

    Joan Blondell then turns to Aline MacMahon and says ‘You know, I haven’t seen Ann this happy in ages!’

    If it hasn’t already, we can all sure hope something similar to that has happened.

    Or will.

  2. admin September 12, 2013

    Thanks Scott. In all honesty, that got me choked up a bit. I hope Ann would appreciate all this. And while I think she would like the fact that there are more and more people who are aware of her films, I sometimes think she would have been a bit irritated with someone prying into her life and uncovering the warts, even though they are probably smaller than a lot of her contemporaries.

  3. Mike September 12, 2013

    Oh so good post, Scott. I had nothing to do with this upcoming book, but still got a little teary eyed reading your words.

    IMO, most artists crave recognition for their work, but prefer keeping their “real” personal lives off limits.

    These pictures from the past few days of the young Ann truly are stunning. No Hollywood figures of the era had a keener eye for beauty than the two Howards – Hughes & Hawks – no surprise that they were instrumental in getting Ann’s career rolling. The sad thing, to me, is that she had the talent to go along with the beauty, but true stardom still eluded her.

    BTW, today’s post included no photo. You owe us another rare still of the young starlet.

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