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Mar 24

Men from Hollywood's Golden Era

Posted on March 24, 2023 at 9:28 AM by Michael Lang

The men of Hollywood’s Golden Era could be considered the original heartthrobs of movies. They were polished to a shine by the rules and codes from the studios to show they were gentlemen off the screen and the debonair and charming side of Hollywood's film industry. While they were treated much better than the women of the time, they still had to adhere to the standards of their contracts to keep their jobs and status as leading men. Learn more about the men of the time with the following books.

Cary Grant a brilliant disguise book cover with Cary Grant wearing a coat and smiling.

DB 101087 Cary Grant: a brilliant disguise by Scott Eyman

Biography of famous actor born Archibald Leach (1904-1986). Drawing on Grant's own papers, extensive archival research, and interviews with family and friends, explores his career and personal life. Shows that despite his success, Grant remained deeply conflicted about his past, his present, and his basic identity. Some strong language. Commercial audiobook. 2020.

Tough without a gun book cover with Humphrey Bogart in a suit, holding a hat in one hand.

DB 72911 Tough without a gun: the life and extraordinary afterlife of Humphrey Bogart by Stefan Kanfer

Explores the career of actor Bogart (1899-1957), who starred in hit movies such as High Sierra, The Maltese Falcon, Casablanca, The African Queen, and The Big Sleep. Discusses his personal life, including marriage to and kids with Lauren Bacall, and his enduring posthumous fame. Some strong language. 2011.

Hank and Jim book cover with Henry Fonda and James Stewart sitting at a bar with a beers in front.

DB 86966 Hank and Jim: the fifty-year friendship of Henry Fonda and James Stewart by Scott Eyman

Author of numerous works about Hollywood delivers a dual biography focusing on the friendship between two of the biggest stars in film. James Stewart and Henry Fonda were roommates when they were getting started on the New York stage, and they remained friends their entire lives. Commercial audiobook. 2017.

Clark Gable a biography book cover with Clark Gable wearing a tuxedo on a stage with a spotlight.

DB 54530 Clark Gable a biography by Warren G. Harris

Life of "the king of Hollywood" Clark Gable (1901-1960) covering his family background, five marriages, numerous affairs, and children. Describes the actor's professional development--beginning in theater and vaudeville and continuing in the studio system as it existed in the early days of motion pictures. Some strong language. 2002.

Steps in time book cover with Fred Astaire, right arm and leg extended to side as he's dancing.

DB 19069 Steps in time by Fred Astaire

Beginning with his first childhood role as a dancing lobster, the author traces his life and career in show business.

Gary Cooper American hero book cover with Gary Cooper in a plaid suit and tie.

DB 48426 Gary Cooper, American hero by Jeffrey Meyers

Gary Cooper, raised in Montana by straightlaced British parents, describes how he discovered that money could be made as a movie extra and how his good looks and riding ability made him prime "star material." Recalls his numerous love affairs, his films, and his conservative convictions during the blacklist years.

Boulevard of broken dreams book cover with James Dean shirtless and wearing a cowboy hat.

DB 39712 Boulevard of broken dreams: the life, times, and legend of James Dean by Paul Alexander

In 1955 twenty-four-year-old actor James Dean died in an automobile crash. Although he acted in only three movies, Dean is considered by some to be "the greatest actor that ever lived." Alexander claims that Dean had multiple homosexual relationships and attributes Dean's popularity in part to his sexual appeal to both genders. Some strong language and some explicit descriptions of sex.

John Wayne American book cover with John Wayne in a cowboy hat, walking in a desert with dog beside

DB 44187 John Wayne: American by Randy Roberts

Life of one of Hollywood's most popular actors who appeared in nearly two hundred films over his fifty-year career. The authors detail his rise in Hollywood and his enormously successful roles in western and war films, as well as his three troubled marriages and criticism for his outspoken conservative views. Some strong language.

Frank the Voice book cover with Frank Sinatra in a suit and hat, head tilted to the side smiling.

DB 83116 Frank: The Voice by James Kaplan

Celebrity biographer covers the actor and singer Frank Sinatra's early years in Hoboken, through his first successes singing with big bands and acting in movie musicals. This volume ends in 1954 with the role that revived his career in From Here to Eternity. Violence, strong language, and explicit descriptions of sex. Commercial audiobook. 2010.

Gregory Peck a biography book cover with Gregory Peck sitting in a chair, leaning on one of its arms

DB 54226 Gregory Peck: a biography by Gary Fishgall

Biography of actor and philanthropist Eldred Gregory Peck, born in 1916 in La Jolla, California. Traces his family life, matriculation at Berkeley, and relocation to New York City where he began his professional career. Concentrates on his films including his Academy Award-winning performance in To Kill a Mockingbird. 2002.

Paul Newman a life book cover with Paul Newman shirtless, leaning one arm on pillow in front of him.

DB 69075 Paul Newman: a life by Shawn Levy

Chronicles the sixty-year career of leading man Newman (1925-2008), whose work included fifty-eight movies, five Broadway plays, and ten Oscar nominations. Also discusses his race-car driving, camps for ill children, fifty-year second marriage to actress Joanne Woodward, children from both marriages, and battle with cancer. Some strong language. 2009.

American Prince a memoir book cover with Tony Curtis wearing a light colored shirt.

DB 68389 American prince: a memoir by Tony Curtis

Eighty-three-year-old movie star Tony Curtis describes working with noted actors and directors in films such as Some Like It Hot and The Rat Race. He discusses his personal life, struggle with drugs, five marriages, six children--including actress Jamie Lee Curtis--and his side career as a painter. Some strong language. 2008.

Don’t forget you can download and read these books at your convenience using BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download). With BARD, there is no waiting on books to come in the mail or for the office to be open to order books. These books are available with just a few taps in the app on your mobile device or a few clicks of your mouse if using a computer. For more information, visit