A Talent for Genius: The Life and Times of Oscar Levant

A Talent for Genius The Life and Times of Oscar Levant Oscar Levant was the Amadeus of Hollywood the Oscar Wilde of Broadway and the most wildly self destructive personality ever to become a household name An astonishingly gifted concert pianist compose

  • Title: A Talent for Genius: The Life and Times of Oscar Levant
  • Author: Sam Kashner Nancy Schoenberger
  • ISBN: 9781879505391
  • Page: 118
  • Format: Paperback
  • Oscar Levant was the Amadeus of Hollywood, the Oscar Wilde of Broadway and the most wildly self destructive personality ever to become a household name An astonishingly gifted concert pianist, composer, film and stage presence, radio and television raconteur, insult wit, and bestselling author, Levant steered a maniacally masochistic course through seven glorious decadOscar Levant was the Amadeus of Hollywood, the Oscar Wilde of Broadway and the most wildly self destructive personality ever to become a household name An astonishingly gifted concert pianist, composer, film and stage presence, radio and television raconteur, insult wit, and bestselling author, Levant steered a maniacally masochistic course through seven glorious decades His death in 1972, at the age of 65, left the entertainment community shocked largely with amazement that a four pack a day smoker with a history of drug abuse and mental illness had lasted as long as Levant did He made a national reputation for himself in the late 30s as a brash, brilliant expert on radio s famed quiz show Information, Please , and as a fine concert pianist and the premier interpreter of George Gershwin s concert works He appeared in 13 films, usually as a best friend Oscar Levant type He played Gene Kelly s sidekick in An American in Paris and a lovable hypochondriac in The Band Wagon, and in the film biography Rhapsody in Blue, he literally played himself Oscar Levant, best friend to George Gershwin, a role he knew all too well His hero worship of Gershwin stunted his confidence as a songwriter and a serious composer, though one of his pop songs, Blame It on My Youth, has become a standard, and Arnold Schoenberg, Aaron Copeland, and Virgil Thomson all thought Levant an immensely gifted composer Levant s addiction to Demerol following a heart attack in the early 50s led to nearly a decade of drug dependency Already hobbled by complex superstitions meant to ward off the terrors of performing, Levant was almost destroyed by his addictions But his intense neurosisdidn t keep him from appearing on television to talk about it His uncensored comments on The Jack Paar Show and on his own local Los Angeles talk show made national news A Talent for Genius, the result of exhausting research and hundreds of hours of interviews, is a profoundly revelation.

    Talent definition of talent by The Free Dictionary talent t l nt n a A marked innate ability, as for artistic accomplishment has a rare talent for music b Natural endowment or ability of a superior quality The play has a cast of immense talent c A person or group of people having such ability The company makes good use of its talent A variable unit of weight and money used in Talent Definition of Talent by Merriam Webster Her artistic talent has been obvious ever since she was a child They sang a duet in the talent show She has a job that makes the most of her talents His experience, skills, and talents make him perfectly suited for the job There are many good players on the team, but she s a special talent. What Is a Talent Bible Weights and Measures A talent was an ancient unit of weight and value in Greece, Rome, and the Middle East In the Old Testament, a talent was a unit of measurement for weighing precious metals, usually gold and silver In the New Testament, a talent was a value of money or coin. talented at in for WordReference Forums Dec , As you ve noted, for is the ordinary preposition to use after the noun talent She has a talent for languages In sounds possible, but I d expect to see it used before a noun that covered some large field of knowledge He s talented in mathematics. A Talent for Talent strategy business Creating unconventional talent acquisition strategies to look ahead and act with prescience In tight labor markets, accurately forecasting and buying into future talent needs is an essential skill. A Talent for Temptation by Sabrina Jeffries A Talent for Temptation by Sabrina Jeffries is Book . in The Sinful Suitors series This is the story of Meriel Vyse and Quinn Raines I have read the other books in this series and Loved Them but feel this is easily a standalone book Also be warned this is a Novella with around pages long. Midsomer Murders A Talent for Life TV Episode Jan , A Talent for Life signalled the first time, and one of not many times, in the history of Midsomer Murders where the identity of the murderer was not that surprising and easily guessable too early personally suspected them very strongly before the halfway mark. ATALENT Home ATALENT has extensive talent search experience in a wide range of industries, including sales and business development, communications and technology, corporate secretarial, customer service, finance and accounting, financial technology, human resources, and senior management. How to Find a Talent Steps with Pictures wikiHow Jun , How to Find a Talent In this Article Article Summary Looking For Talents Getting Creative Building on Talent Community QA It s time to rethink talent Talents may be artistic or technical, mental or physical, personal or social You can be a talented introvert or a talented extrovert. A Talent for War A Talent for War is a science fiction mystery novel by American writer Jack McDevitt, the story of a search by Alex Benedict, the protagonist, to discover the nature of a mysterious project Alex s uncle had been working on at the time of his death.

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    1 thought on “A Talent for Genius: The Life and Times of Oscar Levant”

    1. One of the best biographies I've ever read: thorough, balanced, and compelling. I have always loved Oscar Levant, and this work does him justice.

    2. Added 9/6/09. Read in January 2016.It took me over six years to get around to reading this book. I'm glad that I had saved it on my "To Read" shelf. I re-discovered it while I was looking around for something to read.This is a compelling biography about pianist, wit, and performer, Oscar Levant. He suffered from many anxieties which prevented him from fulfilling all his potential but, as the bio shows, he was quite an accomplished musician, performer and wit. He's noted for his witticisms and th [...]

    3. I first learned of Oscar Levant in Harpo Speaks!, which led to me reading Oscar's first book, A Smattering of Ignorance (one of the greatest titles ever, by the way). After all of this, I was totally intrigued by the man, and so immediately checked A Talent for Genius out of the library.It's a well-written and engrossing biography about a fascinating figure, written with a good deal of empathy. It can be hard to find a well-balanced biography- I find that they are often either hostile or defensi [...]

    4. Oscar Levant's Biography is a great read on a great "man about town."Quotes:Behind the phony tinsel of Hollywood lies the real tinsel.I am no more humble than my talents require.I can remember Doris Day before she was a virgin.I don't drink. I don't like it. It makes me feel good.I envy people who drink - at least they know what to blame everything on.I think a lot of Bernstein - but not as much as he does.I'm a study of a man in chaos in search of frenzy.Schizophrenia beats dining alone.There i [...]

    5. I've read many very well-written biographies about many different people - one I remember is Elsa Lanchester's, "Elsa Lanchester Herself". I read this book about Oscar Levant shortly after it was released in 2005 and know I will read it again. "A Talent For Genius: The Life and Times of Oscar Levant" left me almost spellbound. I had always liked, enjoyed, and admired Oscar Levant, and this biography is, by far, the best I've read. Many of my much younger friends may not have heard of Oscar Levan [...]

    6. The authors of 'A Talent for Genius' do a rip roaring job of extensively unloading the very interesting life of Oscar Levant. Probably anyone who does not know of Levant would wonder why anyone would read 431 pages about an obscure wit. Those people should not read this book. I'll go so far to add those who remember him fondly should read, at least, one of Levant's book prior to reading this book.This is a terrific biography! One of the best things of this book is that the reader can always know [...]

    7. I'm nearly 66 and I well remember talk and talk about Oscar Levant while we lived in New York.The way he grew up, the burdens he bore,the messes he created, the people with whom he lived and partied, the hopes and dreams and travels and travails, the music he played and wrote and orchestrated, his presence on TV and radio and in movies, his devotion and obsessions and addictions and recoveries and the scope of Kashner's and Schoenberger's research - amazing and riveting. My father often said he [...]

    8. A great biography on the 'Oscar Wilde' of Broadway/Manhattan. The pil addicted wit had a sharp mouth as well as being a talented piano player. Famous for going over to new friend Harpo Marx's house for dinner and not leaving for months, sounded like a nightmare of a man to know - yet hysterical. Everything said outside his mouth was quotable and he was truly one-of-a-kind figure in the showbiz world of Broadway and Hollywood.

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