Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A welcome from James Spada

Thank you for helping me celebrate my brand-new website (www.jamesspadashollywood.com)  and my first-ever blog! I’m excited to let everyone know that many of my out-of-print books are being re-issued as eBooks, beginning with Peter Lawford: The Man Who Kept the Secrets.

Many people have asked me why I chose Peter Lawford to write a biography of. After all, he wasn’t as big a movie star as my other subjects. I explain that for me as a Marilyn Monroe fan, Peter’s name kept coming up. I also have followed the Kennedy family, and there was Peter again. Sinatra’s Rat Pack—Peter again! So I thought, Who is this guy, and why was he close to so many powerful people? I started researching his life, and to my delight I found that his life was a great story, above and beyond his associations.

This is one of my books that I’m most proud of. It was the first full-length, exhaustively researched book on Lawford (and remains so to this day). It was such a joy to research and do interviews for, especially since there had not been any books on Lawford previously, so I was uncovering new information wherever I went. I spent a month in London researching his childhood, then Palm Beach for his teen years and then, of course, Los Angeles for the bulk of his life. I did hundreds of interviews, most notably with Peter’s long-time manager and best friend, Milt Ebbins. Ebbins was there for everything in Peter’s life after 1954, and Peter told him many stories about the years prior.

Milt generously gave me hours of his time to be interviewed, and he opened many doors to me. Milt has passed now, but I will always be indebted to him and I will always remember his gentlemanly demeanor and warmth.

Lawford’s life story is fascinating—“more Dickensian than Dickens,” as the Los Angeles Times put it in reviewing the book. He inhabited so many worlds—London in the twenties, Palm Beach in the late thirties (where he parked old Joe Kennedy’s car!), the MGM factory in the forties, television in its early years, life as a Kennedy in-law and Sinatra confidante in the fifties, and close friend of Marilyn Monroe in the early sixties. Las Vegas, France and Hawaii also figure prominently in Peter’s life. Much of it couldn’t have been invented by the most imaginative novelist or screenwriter—truth is indeed stranger than fiction.

In the next year my Grace Kelly, Barbra Streisand and Marilyn Monroe books will be available as eBooks, and I’ll be doing blogs about them as well. I’ll also be writing occasionally about people and events in show business, beginning with the Oscars next week.

I hope you’ll continue checking out my blogs, and I welcome hearing from you with your thoughts and reactions.

--James Spada, February 22, 2012

1 comment:

  1. Hello Jimmy! I can call you that because we go way back! I have had a James Spada shelf in one of my bookcases for over 30 years. My Marilyn is looking a bit weary as she still comes off the shelf quite a bit. Grace still has a damn good looking dustcover, even after all these years. (It's a prized posession). Believe it or not, we still sit down to every meal at the beautiful cherrywood dining table I bought from you back in the late 80's. The sideboard is here as well. Jillian has requested that both pieces never leave our home and that it becomes hers someday. This is a beautiful website. Looking forward to your blog postings starting tonight. I love you. Martie