Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Praise for Mary Wickes: I Know I've Seen That Face Before

The June issue of ALA Booklist has a nice review of Steve Taravella's Mary Wickes: I Know I've Seen That Face Before. Moviegoers will remember Wickes as the housekeeper in White Christmas, the nurse in Now, Voyager, and the crotchety choir director in Sister Act. This new biography is the full story of one of Hollywood’s most accomplished character actresses and is filled with never-published behind-the-scenes stories from Broadway and Hollywood. 

Reviewer Carol Haggas writes that Taravella "delivers a scholarly, affectionate, and vivid biography." The full text of the review is below. 

Mary Wickes: I Know I've Seen That Face Before is now available. 

Whether donning a nun’s habit opposite Whoopi Goldberg in Sister Act or a nurse’s uniform in Now, Voyager with Bette Davis, Wickes’ appearances in dozens of the most beloved plays, films, and television shows of the twentieth century ensured that she would be forever recognizable, if not identifiable, to even the most casual cineast. Noticeably tall and blessed, or cursed, with a prominent nose and recessive chin, Wickes would not be any casting director’s first call for a romantic lead. But her quick wit, abundant charm, and professional dedication made her their dream choice for many iconic supporting roles. Though she became typecast portraying nuns, nurses, and maids, Wickes brought a queenly demeanor and quirky humor to even the most quotidian characters, an ethic that won her the respect and friendship of many Broadway and Hollywood celebrities, most notably Lucille Ball, who considered Wickes her dearest friend. Divulging the kind of insider details that entertainment buffs adore, Taravella also delivers a scholarly, affectionate, and vivid biography of a legendary actress.— Carol Haggas

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