David Niven: The Man Behind the Balloon
David Niven appeared in films for over 50 years of his life, from swashbucklers such as The Prisoner of Zenda to playing the part of the ‘bogus gentleman’ (which, he claimed, was his only acting talent) in Paper Tiger. Despite his on-screen persona, Niven would later admit that he wasn’t always the perfect gentleman. He was insecure both privately and professionally. He used people for his own ends, which was something he learned in Hollywood, but he did, he said, ‘at least try to be a decent man.’ He knew he often failed, although it isn’t easy to find people who ever had a bad word to say about him.In this fascinating biography of the star, Munn looks at the funny stories and the sad underlying truth, from his outrageous days with Errol Flynn and their irrevocable split –‘You always know where you are with Flynn. He always lets you down’ – and affairs with stars such as Ava Gardner, to admissions of infidelity, an attempted suicide and the breakdown and blame of his second marriage.Funny, poignant and told with the compassion of one who knew him, this is a fascinating portrayal of a legend that really gets behind the screen and autobiographical persona.Writer, actor, director and former journalist and Hollywood publicist, Michael Munn, has written twenty-one books, including the best selling John Wayne: the Man behind the Myth and the acclaimed Richard Burton: Prince of Players
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