Warren William

Magnificent Scoundrel of Pre-Code Hollywood

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SKU: 9780786448784 Categories: ,

About the Book

On the motion picture screen, Hollywood star Warren William (1894–1948) was a magnificent rogue, often deliciously immoral and utterly callous, yet remarkably likable in his wickedness. Off-screen, the actor was as humble and retiring as his film characters were mean and heartless. This biography examines William’s life and career in detail, from his rural Minnesota roots through his service in World War I, his Broadway stage success, and his meteoric rise and gradual fall from Hollywood fame in the 1930s and 1940s. Also analyzed are his film persona and the curious mechanisms by which our culture “selects” certain film personalities to remember and others to forget. Featured is a wealth of biographical material never before available, including rare candid photos of William’s early years. Interviews with his surviving nieces provide intimate family details and personal remembrances.

About the Author(s)

John Stangeland has been a free-lance comic book artist for Marvel, DC, Image, Comico, Malibu and Now Comics. He owns and operates Atlas Comics, a retail comic book store in Norridge, Illinois.

Bibliographic Details

John Stangeland
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 240
Bibliographic Info: 65 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2011
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4878-4
eISBN: 978-0-7864-6182-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Preface      1
Introduction      3

1. The First Hundred Years      5
2. Stage Struck      20
3. Skyscraper Souls      27
4. The Lone Wolf Takes a Chance      31
5. Madame X      38
6. One Dangerous Night      41
7. The Lone Wolf Keeps a Date      43
8. Times Square Playboy      48
9. The Secret Bride      56
10. Go West, Young Man      85
11. Living on Velvet      99
12. The Town That Forgot God      131
13. Smarty      144
14. The Man in the Iron Mask      152
15. Imitation of Life      173
16. The Lone Wolf Strikes      181
17. Outcast      195
18. Bedside      200
19. Veils      208
20. Nocturne      211

Chapter Notes      213
Bibliography      221
Index      227

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “I cannot recommend this volume too highly. His research is impeccable, and he has done his subject proud…fills in the blanks of William’s previously “mysterious” personal life while tackling his films. A very worthwhile biography.”—Classic Images
  • “An absorbing biography…revealing a wealth of fascinating details about this sensitive, thoughtful actor”—Movie Magazine International.