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Starmaker: Life as a Hollywood Publicist with Farrah, the Rat Pack and 600…

by Jay Bernstein

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Revealingly candid, this Hollywood memoir is the story of Jay Bernstein, an entertainment industry fixture who helped launch and sustain the careers of many celebrities including Farrah Fawcett and Suzanne Somers. From his childhood in Oklahoma City and his first job in a Hollywood mail room to the ownership of his own public relations firm and his work as a personal manager and television producer, Bernstein's life is chronicled in his own words. Bernstein also describes the relationships he had with stars and relates the stories behind some of the crazy stunts he pulled to garner attention, such as paying women to throw hotel keys at Tom Jones, having Entertainment Tonight host Mary Hart's legs insured for one million dollars, and getting married underwater for an episode of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.--From publisher description.… (more)
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In 1960, Jay Bernstein came to Hollywood, hoping to make his fortune. He had no idea what he was going to do, and no idea how he was going to do it. But he did have determination, confidence and the ability to work as hard as it took. With guts and grit, he became a publicist to many stars, including Farrah Fawcett and her then husband Lee Majors, and The Rat Pack. He later branched out into managing stars, and producing, directing and writing for movies and television. This book is his memoir of his long career in Hollywood, with the highs and lows, triumphs and let-downs, and of course, what life was like with such icons of the day.

I enjoyed the book a lot. Bernstein is an engaging and very witty narrator; he’s also very frank, not only about the people who he worked with, but also about himself, being more than willing to admit when he made mistakes and bad decisions. He also pulls no punches when it comes to his opinions on others (Frank Sinatra does NOT come out of this book well!!)

The book concentrates mainly on Bernstein’s work for Farrah Fawcett (the story of her rise to stardom, thanks to the hard work of Bernstein, is fascinating), Suzanne Somers, The Rat Pack, and Stacey Keach on the Mike Hammer television productions (based on Mickey Spillane’s books about Hammer). Sadly, Jay Bernstein passed away while the book was being written, and a note at the end points out that there were far more stories he wanted to share, but his death meant that they are not in the book.

For anyone who is interested in movies or television, and the truth behind the glamorous facade of the industry, this book is enjoyable, easy to read, eye-opening and funny. I highly recommend it! ( )
  Ruth72 | May 12, 2012 |
For readers interested in what a career in public relations in Hollywood is like and in celebrity culture.
added by Christa_Josh | editLibrary Journal, Barb Kundanis (Oct 15, 2011)
 
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Revealingly candid, this Hollywood memoir is the story of Jay Bernstein, an entertainment industry fixture who helped launch and sustain the careers of many celebrities including Farrah Fawcett and Suzanne Somers. From his childhood in Oklahoma City and his first job in a Hollywood mail room to the ownership of his own public relations firm and his work as a personal manager and television producer, Bernstein's life is chronicled in his own words. Bernstein also describes the relationships he had with stars and relates the stories behind some of the crazy stunts he pulled to garner attention, such as paying women to throw hotel keys at Tom Jones, having Entertainment Tonight host Mary Hart's legs insured for one million dollars, and getting married underwater for an episode of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.--From publisher description.

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ECW Press

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