King of the Night: The Life of Johnny Carson

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9780060840990: King of the Night: The Life of Johnny Carson

Johnny Carson was a phenomenon, the most successful performer in the history of television. For the better part of three decades, the enormously popular host of "The Tonight Show" was welcomed into millions of American homes -- as a friend, an entertainer, and an inexhaustibly sage and witty commentator on our lives and times. But there was a dark side to this charming and inscrutable enigma that only those closest to Carson ever saw -- a sadness, mistrust, and cruelty behind the glitter and glamour, intensified by a lifelong pursuit of power, wealth, and fame.

Based on more than two years of intensive research including more than 700 personal interviews with ex-wives, ex-friends, colleagues, and celebrities -- with all-new, never-before-published material on Johnny's post-"Tonight Show" life, from his retirement through his final days -- Laurence Learner's King of the Night is an intimate and powerful portrait of an unforgettable personality, at once a tribute and a revelation.

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About the Author:

Laurence Leamer is the New York Times bestselling author of more than a dozen books, including The Kennedy Women and The Price of Justice. He has worked in a French factory and a West Virginia coal mine, and was a Peace Corps volunteer in Nepal. His play, Rose, was produced off Broadway last year. He lives in Palm Beach, Florida, and Washington, D.C., with his wife, Vesna Obradovic Leamer.

From Library Journal:

Why yet another Carson biography? Carson refuses to be interviewed (he's going to write his own book), so earlier efforts (by Paul Corkery, Carson: The Unauthorized Biography , LJ 9/15/87; and Ronald Smith, Johnny Carson , LJ 12/87) have suffered as biographers have had to rely on published material and interviews with friends and ex-wives. However, interest in Carson remains high, and though Leamer also had to rely on interviews (over 700) with others, his book is the closest thing to "definitive" until Johnny writes his own. The private Carson who emerges, cold and retiring, doesn't much resemble the public outgoing, clownish Carson. The life is all here; wives and relationships are explored. This is neither a flattering puff piece or Carson-bashing. The exhaustive research has culminated in a revealing and entertaining account. But despite how well done this is, we'll have to wait for Carson's book for the whole story.
- Rosellen Brewer, Monterey Cty. Free Libs., Seaside, Cal.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Leamer, Laurence
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