She Married the Boss!: Actresses Who Wed Directors

BearManor Media. May 2024. 334p. ISBN 9798887714752. pap. $32. FILM
Malone (“The Misfits”: The Film That Ended a Marriage; Hollywood’s Second Sex: The Treatment of Women in the Film Industry, 1900–1999), a prolific writer on film history, offers a book about some of the actresses who have married their directors and how the director-actor power dynamics affected their relationships. He discusses the marriages of, among others, Judy Garland and Vincente Minnelli, Julie Andrews and Blake Edwards, Madonna and Guy Ritchie, and Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman. Malone examines the lives of these husbands and wives in front of the cameras and at home. His book shows that some of the women benefited from these relationships, while others didn’t. Malone attempts to show the link between sexual politics in Hollywood and marital dynamics when one’s husband is the boss, but these analyses are more inferred than direct when talking about specific marriages. One of the more shocking and troubling chapters concerns Gloria Grahame and Nicholas Ray, whose marriage broke up when she reportedly engaged in a predatory sexual relationship with Tony, Ray’s 13-year-old son from a previous marriage. When Tony turned 23, he became Grahame’s fifth husband. The scandal virtually ended Grahame’s career.
VERDICT Well-researched with 30 pages of notes and a 10-page bibliography, Malone’s book has a tabloid feel, and its juicy little-known stories will be devoured by Hollywood gossip and celebrity mavens.
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