In 2005, Anna Massey was awarded a CBE for services to drama. Daughter of the Canadian actor, Raymond Massey (perhaps best-known for his role as Dr Gillespie in the TV series "Dr Killdare"), and Adrianne Allen (also a very successful stage actress), drama was in her blood. Her brother, Daniel, was a much-acclaimed actor. And, even her godfather was one of the great film directors of all time - John Ford. Anna's first marriage was to Jeremy Brett, famous in his later years for his elegantly febrile performance on television as Sherlock Holmes. They had a son, David, together. But, it was not a happy relationship and ended in divorce. In fact, family life was never easy or straightforward. Raymond fled the roost for the United States when Anna was very little, and married again. Adrianne was the most marvellous hostess who filled the house with an exotic mixture of guests, but, as a child, crucial emotional support was supplied by Nanny, who remained with Anna until her death. From her stage debut in "The Reluctant Debutante" to her performance in Michael Powell's notorious film, "Peeping Tom", on through TV successes like "The Pallisers" and "Hotel du Lac" to a range of work in radio, Anna Massey has enjoyed the most remarkable career. And, a whole host of extraordinary, often highly eccentric characters make their entrances and exits during its course. On and off set or stage, there are encounters with the theatrical knights, Olivier, Redgrave, Richardson, and Gielgud. Noel Coward takes more than one bow. Great friendships are formed with fellow actors like Alan Rickman, Alec McCowen, Dame Judi Dench, and the playwright, David Hare. And, there are inevitable difficulties with directors like Otto Preminger. Anna also has to play the part of hostess to the Duke of Edinburgh - in real life. After all the inevitable vicissitudes and upsets, Anna Massey ends her book with the story of personal happiness, achieved without make-up, lighting or script. "Telling Some Tales" does not kiss and tell, or tell tales out of school. It is the candid, wry, funny, and emotional account of a life intensely lived.
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Very Good, signed book, x, 259 p., 16 p. of plates : ill. Signed by author, very good clean condition, with very good dust jacket.Review:
A hugely enjoyable read -- Hampstead & Highgate Express
Airy and funny, full of brilliant little apercus about famous actors and directors, but not weighed down with personal trauma. -- The Daily Telegraph
Charmingly self-deprecating autobiography … this autobiography is a fleet-of-foot delight, bathed in a refreshing honesty -- The Sunday Times
Hard to put down … shows that one cannot act unless one has lived and preferably lived well -- Observer
Interesting and amusing … I recommend it especially to all theatre enthusiasts -- Jonathan Cecil in the Spectator
Rarely can such enjoyable tales have been told with such affectionate delight -- The Daily Express
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