This month we thought that we would look at a few books written by some famous people about their very public lives.
Leonard by William Shatner
Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner first crossed paths as actors on the set of The Man from UNCLE. Little did they know that their next roles, in a new science-fiction television series called Star Trek, would shape their lives in ways no-one could have anticipated. In seventy-nine television episodes and six feature films, they grew to know each other more than most friends could ever imagine.
Over the course of half a century, Shatner and Nimoy saw each other through personal and professional highs and lows. In this powerfully emotional book which Shatner refers to as ‘My Fifty-Year Friendship With A Remarkable Man’, he tells the story of a man who was his friend for five decades, recounting anecdotes and untold stories of their lives on and off set, as well as gathering stories from others who knew Nimoy well, to present a full picture of a rich life.
As much a biography of Nimoy as a story of their friendship, ‘Leonard’ is a uniquely heartfelt book written by one legendary actor in celebration of another.
an Autobiography by Brian Blessed
There is no one quite like Brian Blessed. He’s an actor, film star, trained undertaker, unlikely diplomat, secret romantic, martial artist and mountaineer. He’s also a brilliant storyteller who will – and you must brace yourself – simply leap out of the pages at you.
‘Absolute Pandemonium’ will take you on a riotous journey from Brian’s childhood, growing up the son of a miner in Goldthorpe, to finding fame in ‘Z-Cars’. You’ll see Brian falling for Katharine Hepburn on the set of ‘The Trojan Women’, suffering wires strapped round his private parts as he was hoisted into the heavens on ‘Flash Gordon’, almost causing an international incident when meeting the Emperor and Empress of Japan and getting the role of Boss Nass on ‘Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace’.
Brian takes secret revenge on headmistress Mrs Jarman and her very big bottom, punches Harold Pinter, loves and hates Peter O’Toole, woos his beautiful wife Hildegard Neil and braves the shocking death toll on cosy TV drama ‘My Family and Other Animals’. This is a funny, warm-hearted, life-affirming, LOUD and unique memoir from a much-loved figure.
The End of an Earring by Pam St Clement
In January 2012, one of Eastenders’ longest-serving and best-loved characters breathed her last when ‘Pat Butcher’ succumbed to cancer.
Pam’s mother died when she was a baby, leaving her with a father whose life didn’t really have space for a child. Pat had an itinerant childhood, with various stepmothers and foster families, before an advertisement in ‘The Lady’ took 11-year-old Pamela to the farm in Devon that was to become her true home, with the ‘aunts’ who became her surrogate parents. She discovered her love of animals there, alternated with life at The Warren boarding school in West Sussex, where she discovered her passion for acting.
On leaving school, Pam moved to London and worked on stage and television throughout the sixties and seventies, before her first appearance on EastEnders in 1986 and the offer of a permanent role a few months later. Pam recalls her involvement in the Women’s Movement of the 1970’s, her lifelong love of animals and the worries about her weight that have dogged her since her teenage years.
This incredibly warm memoir reveals the woman behind the popular Eastenders’ character, a woman who, apart perhaps from her earrings, couldn’t be more different from ‘Pat’.