Dearest Annette,I have read your book voraciously since Sunday evening and finished it this morning. You write very well and I think you’ve been very clever in all departments there’s enough there to whet everyone’s whistle, without it becoming top heavy, so there is a perfect balance and a fascinating story, extremely well told. You are a clever puss.Julian Holloway
“The beautiful actress Annette Andre has for me created the showbiz memoir of the year, sharp , wistful and yet told in such a brilliant easy manner you will return time and again -From Liz Taylor to Sir Roger Moore and Hollywood stars galore – It’s a life worth reading about and not just once !”
Neil Sean – Westminster Live
“A crisply written autobiography which sparkles with anecdotal nuggets of literary gold throughout . The pace and overall delivery delivers from start to finish and leaves the reader with a wealth of perceptive and fascinating knowledge about the entertainment industry which provide the ingredients for an outstanding and informative text. Bring on the sequel !”
Alex Lewczuk – Mid-Week Drive, Siren FM
“Where has my old friend Annette Andre been all her life? This delightful memoir tells us in honest, amusing, and often moving detail. A difficult childhood in Australia, a starry career in Europe, the highs, the lows, the loves and the love-notes — all are chronicled, no punches pulled, and all add up to a life in this beautifully written page-turner. I’m grateful dear Annette that your long term memory is in better shape than mine!”
Barry Creyton. Actor, playwright, director
“Just finished reading this superb book. Thanks to Rick and Alan for their work. But especially to Annette for such an open and honest account of her life.”
Roobarb Forum. Darren Allen
“I ordered this book for pure nostalgia, having directed Annette in the past and becoming a friend across the years. She is an exceptionally intelligent woman who has worked hard for her success in an industry that’s been famously unfriendly to women. I appreciated her honesty in a lot of ways, Annette came off as a friend telling me her story. When I first heard about her book, I thought oh Annette Andre has written her autobiography and it will be a great read because I am a friend and fan. After reading this book, I rated it five out of five stars because I will reread this book over and again. This book is interesting, giving behind the scenes looks at the world of show business and what it takes to make it. I love the laugh out loud moments as well as the thoughtful reflections on many parts of her journey. I like her perspective on appreciating the opportunities she has had. Gratefulness is always in style.”
INFORMATION ABOUT THE BOOK…
For someone who has professed “terminal shyness,” Annette André has written her memoir with arresting honesty and generosity. From a lonely childhood in Sydney, Australia, and overcoming a chronic illness to become a professional ballet dancer, Where Have I Been All My Life? reveals the truth behind her storybook romance with a famous bullfighter, how Benny Hill proposed marriage, and why a chance conversation with Prince Charles helped to change the course of her life.
Guest starring with Roger Moore in more of The Saint episodes than any other actress, Annette quickly became one of the most popular TV actors of Britain’s “Golden Age,” in such classic series as The Avengers, The Prisoner, The Persuaders! and her most memorable role of all, as Jeannie in Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased). From her fly–on–the–wall view of Burton and Taylor’s romance while filming Cleopatra to the perils of shooting A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum, and her appearances on the West End stage, Annette found writing the story of her life “excruciatingly hard work, but like a good orgasm, damn well worth the effort.”
From Chapter 1
I never saw the blow coming but when his fist hit my cheek, I vividly recall seeing the shocked face of the man with a small black moustache seated in the front row. Catapulting toward the bed upstage, I felt as if my brain was exploding with blinding daggers of light. But incongruous as it seems, what stands out the most from that violent moment all these years later, was wondering what Oliver Hardy was doing at the Bush Theatre without Stan Laurel?
If this incident which happened on opening night of The Collector, in 1972, seems an arbitrary start to the story of my life, I assure you that it’s not. Who is to say with any certainty where, in the long corridor of years and incidents, is the single defining moment that separates all that went before and was to come after; where a door opened that changed a path to the future?
What is remarkable to me about the choice I’ve made where to begin this narrative, is the surprise of what it turned out to be and the indelible effect that it had on the rest of my life. Now, in retrospect, I believe that punch delivered the most unlikely of turning points imaginable – the befuddled, baggy–pants bit of business with Laurel and Hardy notwithstanding.
From Chapter 16
This 1:00am in the Beverly Hills Hotel’s Polo Lounge set the scene that has since defined Hollywood for me as a land of eternal youth disguised as a well–polished, greying–at– the–temples casting couch.
In most professions, job interviews take place during normal business hours but for the actor leading a catch–as– catch–can existence, there are no norms. And so it was that I found myself seated in a plush banquette, a plate of scrambled eggs and smoked salmon between me and a famous film director. His assistant had called to say that this late hour was the only time he could see me before leaving for New York in the morning. He’d been in casting sessions all day and evening but was interested in meeting me for his new film.
If I had any doubts about his sincerity, they were somewhat diluted by his bringing a script of the film and placing it in front of me while he described in detail its plot and the character I might play. He was a charming man, surprisingly modest and disarmingly proud of his two college–aged children. By the time my nocturnal breakfast dishes were cleared it was 2:30am and I was feeling hopeful that I had given a good enough account of myself to win a shot at testing for the role. He glanced casually at his watch. “So, what are your plans for the rest of the night?” “What rest of the night?” I laughed, “It’s almost daylight.” “Exactly, no reason to trek home when my suite’s two floors up.” His hand was on the script before I’d recovered from the ambush. He’d no doubt played–out this charade many times before, yet he managed to make it seem fresh and unrehearsed. I was barely out of the banquette when I heard him say without rancour, “It was a pleasure meeting you.” Is it just my imagination or was that farewell a bit like a hit– man assuring his victim, “Nothing personal?”
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