Save the dates for the weekend of Oct. 25th and 26th--Scott O'Brien, author of the recently published "George Brent: Ireland's Gift to Hollywood and its Leading Ladies" (BearManor), will be welcomed back to The Silver Screen Oasis to answer your questions about his most recent book. The Q & A with Scott O'Brien will take place here at the SSO on Sat. evening, Oct. 25th and all day Sunday, Oct. 26th. All are welcome.
An actor in 89 feature films, Brent was especially in demand for his ability to support a series of leading ladies in the studio era, showcasing everyone from Bette Davis to Greta Garbo to Hedy Lamarr and even Diana Dors. Occasionally, when given the opportunity to tackle a role with a good script or an inspiring director, the actor also proved himself a capable performer on his own merits in such films as Dark Victory, The Rains Came, and The Spiral Staircase. His off-screen adventures, while inflated by erroneous studio-padded biographies, were also notable. Born George Brendan Nolan in Ireland in 1899, Brent's early life was part of the Irish diaspora as his family dispersed across the ocean. Prior to emigrating permanently, he was involved with Irish revolutionary Michael Collins as a youth, but was reluctant to discuss the details of his experiences. While often credited with appearing at the Abbey Theater in Dublin and pursuing a university education, the truth of this is far more complex and poignant. Eventually as a young actor emerged even found his way to Broadway, sharing the stage with Alice Brady, Glenda Farrell and a certain Mr. Gable in a 1930 play, Love, Honor and Betray, which opened just before he turned 31.
Married five times (among his wives were actresses Ruth Chatterton and Ann Sheridan), he also romanced Bette Davis and Greta Garbo off-screen, and pursued a variety of hobbies, which included flying, hunting, fishing and other fairly solitary pursuits--though these all seemed to take second place to his lifelong interest in horses and thoroughbred racing. Despite a lifetime in the public eye, Brent remains a bit of an enigma, in part because of his ability to blend into a cast as part of an ensemble.
As those familiar with Scott O'Brien's past books know, he uncovered facts about his subjects and has an even-handed but honest approach to writing about the lives of such noted figures as Kay Francis, Virginia Bruce, Ann Harding, and Ruth Chatterton. As a result, the portrait he created humanized and helped to revive interest in their contributions to classic film--and now will undoubtedly help to reassess George Brent's interesting career and life with this new book.
Below are links to purchase Scott O'Brien's new book about George Brent and to past discussions with Scott O'Brien at the SSO. Please plan on visiting the message board to participate in the Q & A on Sat. evening, Oct. 25th and all day Sunday, Oct. 26th. All are welcome!
George Brent: Ireland's Gift to Hollywood and its Leading Ladies Links:
Barnes & Noble and other online vendors
Below are links to past conversations with Scott O'Brien about his books on such topics as Kay Francis, Ann Harding and Ruth Chatterton at The Silver Screen Oasis:
A Conversation about Kay Francis: I Can't Wait To Be Forgotten
A Conversation about Ann Harding - Cinema's Gallant Lady
A Conversation about Ruth Chatterton: Actress - Aviator- Author
Please note: Virginia Bruce - Under My Skin (BearManor) was also written by Scott O'Brien (and is highly recommended).
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