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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Buddy Beaverhausen Book Nook: Illeana Douglas' Tell-All Memoir

I've always admired actress Illeana Doulas at the movies. Some may not know she is Melvin Douglas' granddaughter, so she is from Hollywood royalty.

She was in my very home in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, at a New Year's Eve party to which I was invited but could not attend. This was well before I moved here from Manhattan. She was a guest of our friend, Marcus and the party was in my friend Kevin's apartment.

I was especially smitten with Ms Douglas, at the movies, in the 1996 film directed by Allison Anders, Grace of My Heart. So I was as pleased as punch to read her recent memoir, I Blame Dennis Hopper: and a Life I Lived in and out of the Movies, now in hardcover from Deckle Edge and -- of course -- on Kindle. Available at Barnes & Noble and other fine bookstores, and on and audio cd.

Douglas devotes an entire chapter, gratefully, to her starring role in Grace of My Heart. This Allison Anders film is one of my favorites from the 1990s. Douglas has only positive things to say about Ms Anders, though she speaks candidly throughout her book -- really a collection of personal essays -- about others, so there's no shortage of gossip in these pages.

I Blame Dennis Hopper was released in November and takes its title from the fact that Illeana's parents were inspired to move to a hippie commune from their comfortable upper-middle class home, and that's where Illeana was raised. She talks about her longtime romantic relationship with Martin Scorsese and about working with Robert DeNiro. She is a wonderful name-dropper, discussing her meetings with other celebrities, like Marlon Brando and Peter Sellers.

I highly recommend this tell-all, probably the best book of its kind since Grace Jones' memoirs.

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