Hardback
November 22, 2022
9780813196190
English
402
44 b&w illustrations
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
1.5 Pounds (US)
$34.95 USD, £25.50 GBP
v2.1 Reference
Electronic book text
November 22, 2022
9780813196213
9780813196190
English
408
44 b&w illustrations
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
$34.95 USD, £25.50 GBP
v2.1 Reference
Electronic book text
November 22, 2022
9780813196206
9780813196190
English
408
44 b&w illustrations
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
$34.95 USD, £25.50 GBP
v2.1 Reference
Paperback / softback
March 5, 2024
9781985900387
English
402
44 b&w illustrations
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
1.45 Pounds (US)
$30.00 USD, £27.00 GBP
v2.1 Reference

A Front Row Seat

An Intimate Look at Broadway, Hollywood, and the Age of Glamour

From her idyllic childhood in the American Midwest to her Oscar–nominated performance in Sunset Boulevard (1950) and the social circles of New York and Los Angeles, actress Nancy Olson Livingston has lived abundantly. In her memoir, A Front Row Seat, Livingston treats readers to an intimate, charming chronicle of her life as an actress, wife, and mother, and her memories of many of the most notable figures and moments of her time.

Livingston shares reminiscences of her marriages to lyricist and librettist Alan Jay Lerner, creator of award-winning musicals Paint Your Wagon, Gigi, and My Fair Lady (which was dedicated to her), and to Alan Wendell Livingston, former president of Capitol Records, who created Bozo the Clown and worked with legendary musical artists, including Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, the Beach Boys, the Beatles, the Band, and Don McLean. One of the last living actors of the Golden Age of Hollywood, Livingston shares memorable encounters with countless celebrities—William Holden, Billy Wilder, Bing Crosby, Marilyn Monroe, and John Wayne, to name a few—and less pleasant experiences with Howard Hughes and John F. Kennedy that act as reminders of women's long struggle for equality.

Entertaining and engrossing, A Front Row Seat deftly interweaves Livingston's life with her observations of the artists, celebrities, and luminaries with whom she came in contact—a paean to the twentieth century and a treasure for readers enamored with a bygone era.

About the Author

Nancy Olson Livingston, nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Sunset Boulevard (1950), has appeared in several films, including Union Station (1950), Battle Cry (1955), Pollyanna (1960), The Absent-Minded Professor (1961), and Airport 1975 (1974). She has also starred in three plays on Broadway: Tunnel of Love, Send Me No Flowers, and Mary, Mary, and guest-starred in a number of television shows. She lives in Beverly Hills, California.

Reviews

"Nancy has been an active participant and witness to many of the major cultural turning points of the twentieth century. Inspiring the line "I've grown accustomed to her face," hosting the Beatles in her home, and interacting with William Faulkner, Bennett Cerf, and John Kennedy. And that is before she shares the stories of her film career alongside Gloria Swanson, Billy Wilder, William Holden, Walt Disney, Fred MacMurray, Hayley Mills—the list is long, the vignettes revelatory and all so wonderfully told."—Cari Beauchamp, author of Without Lying Down: Frances Marion and the Powerful Women of Early Hollywood

"The life of Nancy Olson Livingston continues to be the stuff that dreams are made of.  Beyond her impressive stage and screen career, Nancy was an intimate observer of the politicians, show biz giants, and society glitterati who held sway during the latter half of the twentieth century.  A singular account by an extraordinary woman who is still going strong, A Front Row Seat is a delectable feast of a memoir that I couldn't put down and had to consume in a single sitting."—Alan K. Rode, author of Michael Curtiz: A Life in Film

"If luck is a lady, like the song says, that lady must be Nancy Olson Livingston—an Academy Award-nominated actress (Sunset Boulevard) and muse to her first husband, lyricist Alan Jay Lerner (My Fair Lady), and to the Capitol Record impresario Alan Livingston. Her life has been a banquet. A Front Row Seat is a vivid, illuminating record of all the high-rolling stars of music, film, theatre, and politics who found a seat at her glamorous table."—John Lahr, theater critic, writer, and author of Notes on a Cowardly Lion

"A thoughtful and absorbing memoir filled with fascinating anecdotes about Hollywood, the movers and shakers in the film industry, and the actors who were in the films during Hollywood's Golden Age, literally providing the reader with the best seat in the house."—Mark Kappel, Newsnotes Dance Blog

"Reading Olson Livingston's new autobiography A Front Row Seat: An Intimate Look at Broadway, Hollywood, and the Age of Glamour, you get the sense of a life of celebrity and struggle, of you-are-there moments blended with relatable family challenges. But you also get the story of a life told by someone who, at age 94, still is grounded in a Midwestern sensibility — something Olson Livingston takes pride in."—Chris Foran, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

"A Front Row Seat chronicles Livingston's life, career, and marriages to Alan Jay Lerner and Alan Livingston. Her life reads like a road map to the arts and politics of the 20th Century. (She) tells many amazing stordies regarding encounters with such figures as William Holden, John Wayne, JFK, Walt Disney and The Beatles."—NPR

"A Front Row Seat, which she penned in longhand and then dictated to a typist, is far more than just another celebrity reminiscence of the glory days of old Hollywood. It is the testament of woman who finds herself in the crosswinds of American cultural history, dealing with personal struggles while interacting with many of the tastemakers of the twentieth century. Livingston's honesty shines through the book. It's what makes it a page-turner. Betty Schaefer would be proud."—IndieWire

"Nancy Olson Livingston is one of the last surviving stars of the studio era, known best for her Oscar-nominated turn as aspiring screenwriter Betty Schaefer in Sunset Boulevard. In this memoir, Olson Livingston recounts not only her time working with the likes of William Holden and Billy Wilder, but memories of her childhood and encounters with many of Hollywood's most notorious, glamorous figures."—Entertainment Weekly

"In her new memoir, A Front Row Seat: An Intimate Look at Broadway, Hollywood and Glamour, Nancy Olson Livingston describes how as an acting student at UCLA, she is signed by Paramount and packs in a series of roles, some more appropriate to her age and ethnicity than others. Her work includes several films with William Holden as well as Billy Wilder's Sunset Boulevard, for which she receives an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actress. But Nancy, still in her early 20s in 1950, is frustrated with spending six days a week in dark sound studios and wants to experience a full life. She marries the renowned lyricist Alan J. Lerner who, along with his co-writer Fredrick "Fritz" Loewe, won fame for Brigadoon and Paint Your Wagon. However, they had broken apart by the time we enter Nancy's story here, as Alan is struggling creatively while she, a rising star who has turned her back on Hollywood, is trying to thrive as a supportive 1950's wife raising two young daughters. [featured excerpt]"—Vanity Fair

"The 94-year-old Sunset Boulevard star is ready for her close-up. Here, she chronicles her path from the Midwest to Hollywood, reminisces on her marriages to lyricist Alan Jay Lerner (who dedicated the musical "My Fair Lady" to her) and Capitol Records' Alan Wendell Livingston (who worked with Sinatra, Judy Garland, Nat King Cole and the Beatles), and shares her musings on various celebrities, including William Holden, Marilyn Monroe, John Wayne, Howard Hughes and John F. Kennedy."—New York Post

"They don't make lives like Nancy Olson Livingston's anymore. She earned an Oscar nomination for Sunset Boulevard, married at least one mastermind (Alan Jay Lerner, who dedicated his My Fair Lady to her), and survived Hollywood's Golden Age with the battle scars (and stories) to prove it. Her memoir is a charming, revealing look at a life lived in and out of the spotlight, including brushes—pleasant and, sometimes even more fun, not—with the likes of Billy Wilder, Marilyn Monroe, and Frank Sinatra."—Town & Country

"Nancy Olson Livingston's life has been full of pretty big moments and big personalities since she left the west side of Milwaukee to become an actor. Her second movie, the 1950 classic "Sunset Boulevard," earned her an Oscar nomination for best supporting actress. Her first husband wrote, during their marriage, "Paint Your Wagon" and "My Fair Lady" (and she helped on the latter). Her second husband ran the record label that guided (and sometimes sparred with) Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra and the Beatles. For more than three decades, she earned accolades for her performances on the big screen, the small screen and the stage."—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

"Still going strong in her 90s, the first-time author exhibits tremendous, affectionate recall about her past."—YES! Weekly

9780813196190 : a-front-row-seat-livingston
Hardback
402 Pages
$34.95 USD
9780813196213 : a-front-row-seat-livingston
Electronic book text
408 Pages
$34.95 USD
9780813196206 : a-front-row-seat-livingston
Electronic book text
408 Pages
$34.95 USD
9781985900387 : a-front-row-seat-livingston
Paperback / softback
March 5, 2024
$30.00 USD

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