A Real American Character: The Life of Walter Brennan

Carl Rollyson (Author)
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Product Details

University Press of Mississippi
Publish Date
September 10, 2015
6.2 X 1.1 X 9.1 inches | 1.3 pounds

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About the Author

Carl Rollyson is professor emeritus of journalism at Baruch College, CUNY. He is author of many biographies, including The Last Days of Sylvia Plath; American Isis: The Life and Art of Sylvia Plath; Amy Lowell Anew: A Biography; Hollywood Enigma: Dana Andrews; and Marilyn Monroe: A Life of the Actress, Revised and Updated. He is also coauthor (with Lisa Paddock) of Susan Sontag: The Making of an Icon, Revised and Updated. His reviews of biography have appeared in The Walt Street Journal, The Washington Post, The New Criterion, and other major periodicals.


"Here at last is an impassioned tribute to the Hollywood character actor Walter Brennan. From the counter at Dad Kelly's Corned Beef Parlor, where he hung out as a silent extra, to the sound sets of William Wyler, Frank Capra, and Howard Hawks, the man and actor come vibrantly alive in this thoughtful biography. Meticulously researched and written in Rollyson's always fluent and engaging prose, A Real American Character analyzes the many shades of Brennan's Hollywood persona while giving a clear-eyed view of the actor as both a fanatic anti-communist and family man par excellence."

--Diane Jacobs, author of Christmas in July: The Life and Art of Preston Sturges and, most recently, Dear Abigail, a biography of Abigail Adams and her two sisters

"Unsung character actors finally get a long-overdue close-up in A Real American Character, Carl Rollyson's authoritative portrait of Walter Brennan. A real Hollywood success story, Brennan and his extraordinary career, which included winning three Oscars, are presented with great sympathy, sensitivity, and admiration."

--Marion Meade, author of The Unruly Life of Woody Allen and Buster Keaton: Cut to the Chase