Sometimes celebrities write books that get an awful lot of publicity for the scandal value, or others write books about them for the gossip. Rarely do these books add anything of value and just rehash stories that have been making the rounds for years. I don’t buy them because that type of celebrity book doesn’t really interest me. I’m not so impressed with who celebrities sleep with, nasty divorces and I don’t care about their sexual orientation, but I still have a great fascination with everything connected to movies and television, especially when it comes from the horse’s mouth. I also think it’s wonderful when celebrities share their time and knowledge to impart something of real value. With that in mind, here is a list of 10 celebrities I would most definitely buy a book from if it had some historical, social or educational value:
Morgan Woodward, Character Actor: He has appeared in so many movies and television roles, Mr. Woodward has to think a bit when someone compliments him on a role he did 20 or 30 years ago. Morgan began acting in in the 1950s. He was in just about every TV Western you can name, and is listed as having had the most guest starring roles in both “Gunsmoke” and “Wagon Train”. He also did quite a few Bonanza episodes. In the 80s, he was “Punk” Anderson on the night time soap, “Dallas.” With some 27 films and almost 100 television shows to his credit, what tales he could share if he sat down to write “Memories of a Prolific Character Actor.” He did share some of his memories with fans who run the site www.morganwoodward.net a couple of years ago. In one segment entitled “name dropping,” he talks about roles he turned down. When he mentions Lee Marvin and Richard Burton, he is talking about the 1974 film “The Klansman.” He also mentions turning down a part where he could have worked with John Wayne in a movie, rather than on “The Lucy Show.” Morgan Woodward has truly had an awesome career. Although he never accepted a role just to get to work with a famous star, he certainly has worked with many big names like Jimmy Stewart, John Cassavetes, Ben Gazzara, James Garner and just about everyone in television, even Jay Silverheels, famous for his role as Tonto, kemosabe. The value here is not only in the historical sense, but also would show the very interesting lives character actors lead even though they are not in the gossip columns and don’t get followed around by droves of paparazzi.
Maximilian Schell, Swiss Actor, Director, Writer: This Renaissance man has led a most fascinating life. He wrote a book about his sister, Maria Schell, and also made a documentary about her last years, called “My Sister, Maria.” But what about himself? In addition to being one of the most successful foreign actors in America, Maximilian has sat in the director’s chair on 8 films, 2 of which he produced himself. He is also an accomplished pianist and conductor. Some of his concert credits include Claudio Abado and the Berlin Philharmonic, The Vienna Symphony, and Leonard Bernstein. Maximilian received an honorary Doctorate from Chicago University in 1992. Maximilian Schell is a guy with real class, a great sense of humor and a wealth of knowledge that needs to be shared. I would elect him to write an advice type book for aspiring actors and directors, the differences between foreign films and American films, and how it ain’t all fun and games. It’s not, is it? On a side note, Mr. Schell is Angelina Jolie’s godfather.
Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, Superstars: Well, guys, as the last two surviving Beatles, it might be a good time to think about sitting down and filling in any gaps in the Beatles’ legacy. How about relating your proudest moments when you were Beatles for yourselves and each individual member? Of course, there are more books out there on the Beatles than you can shake a stick at, but each of you must have some photographs and memories that no one’s managed to pry out of you all these years. A collaboration between the two of you, sharing some of the laughs and not-so-funny moments would be a wonderful gift to all your many fans. You wouldn’t have to dwell on too much negativity, but as two fellows who have lived most of their lives in the public eye, telling us about some of the most outrageous invasions of your privacy would be cool, too.
Queen Latifah, Singer, Actress, Producer: With two books already under her belt on self-empowerment, Queen Latifah has shown that she is not only a strong woman, but that she has a genuine interest in helping young girls. In her first book “Ladies First: Revelations of a Strong Woman,” Queen Latifah talked about her own struggles and how she chose to deal with them, including being abused as a young girl, how she learned from her mistakes concerning sex and drugs and transformed herself into a strong, successful and positive woman. Her second book “Put on Your Crown: Life-Changing Moments on the Path to Queendom” is aimed at helping young women develop strong self-esteem. What I would like to see Queen Latifah address is bullying. I am sure she knows that the situation in many public schools has really gone downhill to the point where many have metal detectors. Queen Latifah has given a lot back to her community and addressing this terrible problem would be a really great thing. Tell those bullies they are not cool, Queen.
Jay Leno, Tom Cruise, Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Lopez: The one thing these 4 celebrities have in common is that they do not drink alcohol. Now, isn’t that a rarity in the entertainment world? Well, we don’t really know how rare it is because we are constantly bombarded with stories of addiction and recoveries, or death due to substance abuse and we hardly ever hear about the stars who do not touch demon rum. I think it would be great for these 4 celebrities to team up and write about how they all managed to become successful without getting caught up in the world of wild partying that Hollywood is so famous for.
I believe that the addiction and recovery books, as well as survivor of abuse stories, had a genuine purpose when they first emerged. People never talked about these problems but scorned and ridiculed people who were thus affected. But by now, the pendulum has swung too far in the other direction even to the point where we have reality shows and rehabs for every social problem under the sun. The reality shows are jokes and we are back where we started, only people hold themselves up for ridicule now. There is far too much focus on how to cure these problems and not enough on how to avoid them.
I also think that celebrities should use their influence for more than just to support political candidates. We all know the power of a celebrity to deliver votes, but it would be really good if celebrities who choose to be politically active would expand upon their beliefs and write about how they came to decide what party they would support, because many of their young fans only follow them out of blind loyalty. I would buy a book from will.i.am, (of the Black Eyed Peas) if he has a good story to tell about his motivations for becoming politically active, especially as a way to motivate young people to become involved in their own communities, learning about their own local government.
Wikipedia and IMDB