Otherwise Engaged: The Life of Alan Bates

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9780091797355: Otherwise Engaged: The Life of Alan Bates

In 1956, at the age of 22, Alan Bates was cast in John Osborne's controversial play, "Look Back in Anger". The play changed the course of British theatre - and of Alan's life. With a sudden rush of fame, he became a member of a new circle of actors at the Royal Court: the English Stage Company. He also worked steadily in major films, from "A Kind of Loving" and "Zorba the Greek to Women in Love" - and he won international acclaim for his performance as Guy Burgess in the television adaptation of "An Englishman Abroad". During his career, he appeared in more than 80 plays, 45 films and 32 television dramas, including major works by Simon Gray, Harold Pinter and Alan Bennett, and "Spoto" chronicles his achievements as a performer against the backdrop of a complicated personal life. Alan's friends, family and fellow actors provide rich, poignant and often astonishing anecdotes. His twenty-year marriage to the clever but disturbed Victoria Ward, an unconventional union which resulted in shared child-rearing but separate homes and lives, provides a contrast to his hitherto hidden, sometimes passionate and often tortured liaisons with other women and with men. Despite this, he and Victoria never divorced, and family was very important to Bates. In 1990, tragedy struck when, at 19, his son Tristan died under mysterious circumstances. Not long after, Victoria also died, leaving Tristan's twin, Benedick, and Alan suddenly alone. Drawing on dozens of interviews with Alan Bates' family, his lovers, colleagues and friends, and with people who knew and worked with him - and mining a rich store of primary research - this exclusively authorised biography paints a portrait of a complex and remarkable personality.

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Product Description:

Otherwise Engaged, hardcover, Fine, item in perfect conditions, as new

Review:

"The actor who emerges in this biography is a compassionate man who was drawn to troubled souls, who disliked the passivity he detected in himself but was capable of communicating and understanding psychological subtleties." ( Observer)

"Major new biography of a brilliant actor" ( Daily Mail)

"Judicious critical appraisal" ( The Times)

"Serious and sympathetic" ( Literary Review)

"Spoto's authorised biography, anchored by extensive interviews with family and friends, portrays a complicated and intriguing man." ( Good Book Guide)

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SPOTO, DONALD
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