Sam Spiegel (1904-85), the Austrian-born Hollywood film producer, won Oscar after Oscar, particularly through his famous association with British director David Lean on THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI and LAWRENCE OF ARABIA. There was also THE AFRICAN QUEEN with Bogart and Hepburn, ON THE WATERFRONT with Brando and THE LAST TYCOON with De Niro. From the University of Vienna, Spiegel went to America selling Palestinian cotton. While there, he lectured on drama and was briefly hired by MGM to advise on foreign-language versions. He was fired and went to Universal. In 1929, they sent him to Berlin to work on German productions for them, before reappearing in America calling himself S P Eagle! This dazzling biography - and literary debut - does justice to an emigre who went to America selling cotton and ended up filming a F Scott Fitzgerald novel. It depicts the good and the bad of an extraordinary man: an illuminating account of both the golden age of Hollywood and one of its most infuriatingly brilliant individuals.
Born in 1963, Natasha Fraser-Cavassoni is a daughter of Lady Antonia Fraser. She worked as a company assistant on the set of Spiegel's BETRAYAL, his last picture. Since 1988 she has worked as a magazine journalist for among others, Interview and Harper's Bazaar. This is her first book.