Lee J. Cobb: Characters of an Actor

Product Details
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Publish Date
6.33 X 9.03 X 1.21 inches | 1.41 pounds

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About the Author
Donald Dewey has written hundreds of magazine stories and articles, many about the film industry. He is the author of more than thirty books, including Marcello Mastroianni: His Life and Art (1993), James Stewart: A Biography (1997), and Ray Arcel: A Boxing Biography (2012).
Lee J. Cobb is, unfortunately, another one of those great actors whose name now, nearly 40 years after his death, is less familiar than it should be. But just look at some of the classic films he was in: Golden Boy, The Three Faces of Eve, On the Waterfront, 12 Angry Men. And, of course, he originated the role of Willy Loman in Broadway's Death of a Salesman. Cobb was a character actor, a man of many faces--rarely the star but frequently such an important part of a film that it would be hard to imagine him not being there. This excellent biography spans the actor's life and career, including his early years as part of the Group Theatre, a New York stage troupe whose members included such future luminaries as Elia Kazan, Stella Adler, John Garfield, Clifford Odets, and Lee Strasberg. The author is critical of Cobb's testimony before the House Un-American Activities Committee, during which he named names, but overall this is a solid, perceptive, compassionate biography of a man who spent all of his adult life pretending to be other people.
This splendid, beautifully produced biography is an in-depth account of the life and richly varied career of an immense performer of the stage (notably 'Death Of A Salesman' on Broadway) and screen, working tirelessly until his early death from heart problems in 1976, aged only 64 . . . . This well-illustrated, 300-page biography deals with all aspects of the life and fascinating career of Lee J.Cobb - who worked alongside almost every major star of his time - and this book is indeed an overdue but very worthy tribute to such a fine actor. I certainly recommend it.
[Lee J. Cobb: Characters of an Actor is] at its best when discussing his films, his character and particularly the complexities of the McCarthy witch hunts. The book is not afraid to delve into Cobb's neuroses and insecurities, something the actor himself was also not afraid to explore.