Saturday, October 25, 2008

Rage and Glory: The Volatile Life and Career of George C. Scott

George C. Scott created some of the 20th century’s most memorable performances on stage and screen—the cunning prosecutor in “Anatomy of a Murder,” the manipulative gambler in “The Hustler,” the buffoonishly warmongering chief of staff in “Dr. Strangelove,” and, of course, the brilliant and rebellious Patton. He also played Willy Loman, Richard III, Mussolini, Scrooge, Fagin, and countless others. But his offstage life was as filled with drama and controversy as any of the lives he portrayed with such intensity.

He refused the Oscar for “Patton,” battled with TV networks to include realistic elements in his series “East Side/West Side,” invested (and lost) his own money on Broadway and in the scandalous film “The Savage Is Loose,” married five times (twice to Colleen Dewhurst) and had a tempestuous affair with Ava Gardner, traveled to Vietnam at the height of the war to write an article for Esquire, and weathered a damaging sexual harassment suit.

In the first complete biography of this actor, David Sheward documents Scott’s artistry as well as his roller-coaster career. Featuring interviews with numerous colleagues including Nathan Lane, Karl Malden, Piper Laurie, and Eva Marie Saint, as well as friends and family members, Rage and Glory pays tribute to one of our finest and fieriest actors.

David Sheward is the executive editor and theatre critic for Back Stage, the weekly publication for actors. He is also the author of It’s a Hit: The Back Stage Book of Longest-Running Broadway Shows and The Big Book of Show Business Awards, and he is a contributing correspondent on NY1’s program “On Stage.” Sheward lives in New York City.

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