Friday, November 4, 2016

W.C. Fields: His Follies and Fortunes

W.C. Fields: His Follies and Fortunes - Robert Lewis Taylor

ISBN 0312034504 

This 1949 biography of great comedian remains a wonderful and informative read. Taylor takes Whitey Dukinfield from an abused runaway to national fame as W.C. Fields, showman of the stage, screen, and radio. Fields’ early adversity made him into a wary, suspicious skinflint as if being a comic genius isn’t trial enough to any human being (see Bert Lahr, Lenny Bruce, John Belushi, Jackie Gleason, etc.). This was written before the “tell all” biographies of the 1970s but Taylor does not flinch from stories that make his subject look disagreeable. Any reader who is interested in comedy, vaudeville, and classic Hollywood should do herself a favor and read this very funny -- and sad – book.

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