Author, journalist, director, actor and broadcaster Sheridan Morley has spent his life working among the world's greatest stage and screen idols. In this extensively updated edition of his unique and bestselling study of British actors in Tinseltown, he chronicles the lives, loves, lavish parties and bitter rivalries of our last empire builders. This unique and comprehensive history of the 'dream factory' starts at the very beginning of cinema history with Brit Eadweard Muybidge, the inventor of moving pictures, and the founder of RADA Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree, who starred in a version of Macbeth filmed in a studio before the area was even called Hollywood. The book looks at the golden age of the 1930s, when expat life under the Californian sun revolved around cricket clubs and food parcels sent by family left behind, before analysing the impact of McCarthyism, the fragmentation of the studio system and how the growth of air travel has opened up the film industry. Every British mover and shaker of the silver screen is discussed, from James Mason, Christopher Isherwood and Vivien Leigh to Ian McKellen, Dudley Moore, Sam Mendes, Minnie Driver and Jude Law.
Morley discusses the paradox of establishing oneself as a Beverly Hills player without losing one's roots, Hugh Grant's arrest, Catherine Zeta-Jones' marriage into Hollywood royalty of the Douglas dynasty, and the numerous successes, disasters, murders, suicides, Oscars and scandals that epitomise the British experience in the place where dreams are made.
Sheridan Morley is a lifelong theatre critic and historian and the highly respected author of a number of stage and screen books including 'A Century of Theatre'. He lives in London SW11.