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Kay Francis: I Can't Wait to be…

Kay Francis: I Can't Wait to be Forgotten - Her Life on Film and…

by Scott O'Brien

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Primarily a book dealing with the career of Hollywood film star Kay Francis, this book also examines her work on the stage and in radio and television. The book is profusely illustrated with photographs from her screen work. Fiilm summaries including story line, cast credits, reviews and release dates have been thoroughtly researched by the authors. Biographical data on the star plus information on the stage career and background of her mother Katherine Clinton is explored . . . While the career of Kay Francis was primarily involved in Hollywood movies and not radio, the book nonetheless is hard to put down. there is obviously a tremendous amount of research between the covers.
I meet lots of people who tell me they have a book idea or that they're writing a book or a book proposal, but few people ever go beyond the old "half a page of scribbled lines" that Pink Floyd talks about. Even if they do, they rarely have the talent and the relentlessness required to actually get published.
So far only two people who've told me they wanted to write a book actually did. One was a university lecturer and the other is Scott O'Brien.
I met Scott about nine or ten years ago, when I was researching my first book. Someone put me in touch with him because he had an extensive collection of Kay Francis films on video. He was also, clearly, an expert on Kay Francis and, according his account -- this part I don't remember -- I told him he should write a book. However, I didn't think he ever would for two reasons: 1) Few people do what they say they're going to do, even if they really, really want to; and 2) The market for a book on Kay Francis struck me as fairly non-existent. I thought there SHOULD be a book on Kay Francis, but I wasn't sure that such a book could ever be published.
Well, he's done it, and it's good: Extensively researched, considered, well-written. He talked to everybody. He nailed down facts (such as her real birthday: She was actually younger than some books have said), and he did right by his subject.
Kay Francis was an actress who said she couldn't wait to be forgotten, but she doesn't deserve to be forgotten, and thanks to Turner Classic Movies her films have found a new audience. She was one of the great pre-Code women, and if you're curious about her, Scott O'Brien has written the book that has everything you want to know.
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Quintessential Jazz Age woman in 1920s New York, highest paid star in Hollywood 1937--suddenly, she couldn't wait to be forgotten. In what appeared to be a downward spiral, Kay Francis insightfully redefined...her reason for living.

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