Reviews for My Mother Was Nuts : A Memoir


Booklist Reviews 2012 September #2
On the heels of her brother Garry's memoir, My Happy Days in Hollywood (2012), comes Marshall's own recounting of her career as an actress and a director. The youngest of three, Marshall grew up in an apartment in the Bronx and reluctantly attended her mother's dance school. Her college career was cut short by pregnancy, which led to a brief marriage. After her marriage fell apart, Marshall found her way to Hollywood to give acting a shot. A guest-starring role in her brother's hit show Happy Days turned out to be fortuitous, leading to Marshall's own show, Laverne & Shirley, a big success that ran for eight seasons and made Marshall famous. When the show ended, Marshall added directing to her credits, taking her first gig with the Whoopi Goldberg movie Jumping Jack Flash and going on to helm classics such as Big, Awakenings, and A League of Their Own. Hollywood aficionados will get a kick out of Marshall's anecdotes about her circle of friends, including Albert Brooks, John Belushi, and Carrie Fisher, all told in a funny, down-to-earth manner. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

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Kirkus Reviews 2012 September #1
Actress, producer and director Marshall's frank and funny memoir about the path that led her from an ordinary childhood in New York City to Hollywood stardom. Marshall never planned to get into acting. But her mother, who ran a neighborhood dance and acrobatics school for children in the Bronx, always believed that "every child should know what it feels like to entertain." So she began teaching her daughter the rudiments of physical movement before she was 1 year old. By the time Marshall was a teenager, she and the other girls her mother taught had performed at churches, charity events and telethons; they had even appeared on the Jackie Gleason Show. Dancing, however, was not Marshall's passion. A mediocre student with no idea what she would do with her life, she went to the University of New Mexico, a college that "accepted anyone from out of state." A few years later, Marshall was a divorced UNM dropout who had lost custody of her child, but she had also started to find her niche as an actress through involvement in community theater. She went to Hollywood to join her brother Garry, who was building a career as a comedy writer for TV and got bit parts in such classic TV shows as That Girl and The Odd Couple. She finally came into her own in the mid-1970s as the star of the hit sitcom Laverne & Shirley, and then in the '80s and early-'90s as the director of the hit films Big and A League of Their Own. Marshall is as candid about her failures (which include a painful second divorce from writer/comedian Rob Reiner) and her weaknesses (like the one she developed for drugs) as she is about her successes. With gratitude for a life lived on her own terms, she writes, "I've been given my five minutes…and then some." Bold and irrepressibly sassy. Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Library Journal Express Reviews
Yes, she's Laverne, but Marshall is also the first woman to direct a movie that grossed more than $100 million (Big), a skilled dancer, and something of an expert when it comes to summer camps. In this fast-paced survey of her life, Marshall details her dysfunctional Bronx, NY, upbringing that led--via her mother's dance school--to appearances on The Jackie Gleason Show and ultimately to Hollywood and stardom. Along the way, she talks Jack Klugman into doing her brother Gerry's television version of The Odd Couple, parties with John Belushi and Carrie Fisher, motorcycles across Europe with Art Garfunkel, and shrugs off a robbery by ninjas. And, as the title promises, her mother is nuts: how else to describe a woman who skimmed pills from family members' prescriptions for her "suicide jar." Verdict Marshall offers everything readers want in a celebrity memoir: an honest account of a life, filled with hilarious anecdotes and poignant reflections. She has the remarkable skill of being able to drop names like Calvin Klein in a down-to-earth way, reflecting their friendship's origins in junior high school. Recommended.--Terry Bosky, Palm Beach Cty. Lib. Syst., FL (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 September #3

From tap-dancing under her mother's tutelage in the Bronx, to Laverne and Shirley's blockbuster TV run, and on to the big screen--both in front of and behind the cameras-- Marshall guides readers through it all in this down-to-earth memoir. Featuring a vibrant cast of characters and myriad candid anecdotes, Marshall credits her mother with giving her the confidence she needed to make it big: "She rehearsed us on subway platforms. People stared. She didn't care." It paid off--Marshall has had an illustrious career and exciting life, having worked with the likes of Robert DeNiro and Whitney Houston, motorcycled across Europe with Art Garfunkel, and enjoyed close friendships with Carrie Fisher and John Belushi; of her disbelief regarding the latter's tragic death by overdose at the age of 33 she writes, "John always said he was indestructible, and we believed him. He was John." There's as much practical, hard-won advice here as there is Hollywood gossip, and Marshall's boundless energy and no-nonsense attitude make for a fun read. Photos. (Sept.)

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Publishers Weekly Annex Reviews

From tap-dancing under her mother's tutelage in the Bronx, to Laverne and Shirley's blockbuster TV run, and on to the big screen--both in front of and behind the cameras-- Marshall guides readers through it all in this down-to-earth memoir. Featuring a vibrant cast of characters and myriad candid anecdotes, Marshall credits her mother with giving her the confidence she needed to make it big: "She rehearsed us on subway platforms. People stared. She didn't care." It paid off--Marshall has had an illustrious career and exciting life, having worked with the likes of Robert DeNiro and Whitney Houston, motorcycled across Europe with Art Garfunkel, and enjoyed close friendships with Carrie Fisher and John Belushi; of her disbelief regarding the latter's tragic death by overdose at the age of 33 she writes, "John always said he was indestructible, and we believed him. He was John." There's as much practical, hard-won advice here as there is Hollywood gossip, and Marshall's boundless energy and no-nonsense attitude make for a fun read. Photos. (Sept.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC

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