You Can’t Fall Off the Floor: And Other Lessons from a Life in Hollywood

Rosetta. Jun. 2019. 272p. ISBN 9781948122399. $27.99. TV
Harris Katleman’s superb memoir, cowritten with his grandson, screenwriter Nick Katleman, is the proverbial Hollywood Horatio Alger story of a bygone era when moxie and chutzpah were compensatory qualities for experience and Ivy League pedigrees. The author’s 65-year career in the entertainment industry began in the early 1950s, in the mailroom of the famed Music Corporation of America (MCA), where he eventually became the assistant and mentee of the iconic Lew Wasserman. He made upper-echelon stops at game show titans Goodson Todman Productions and Four Star Productions and served as president of MGM Television and the head of Fox Television. Here Katleman chronologically wends his way through an illustrious career with a nonstop succession of stories, each of which is followed by a headlined title with a subsequent explanation of the lesson learned or moral to be applied. For a man whose forte was finding good writers and storytellers, Katleman is no schlemiel himself at spinning an industry yarn, and famous names fall like manna from Hollywood heaven on every page.
VERDICT This work doesn’t have the gravitas of Robert Evans’s The Kid Stays in the Picture or Julia Phillips’s You’ll Never Eat Lunch in This Town Again, but it is fun, breezy, and instructive; for fans of Hollywood tales

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