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: 198
  • 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.

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    • [PDF] Download ↠ A Talent for Genius: The Life and Times of Oscar Levant | by ✓ Sam Kashner Nancy Schoenberger
      198 Sam Kashner Nancy Schoenberger
    • thumbnail Title: [PDF] Download ↠ A Talent for Genius: The Life and Times of Oscar Levant | by ✓ Sam Kashner Nancy Schoenberger
      Posted by:Sam Kashner Nancy Schoenberger
      Published :2018-07-18T09:43:35+00:00

    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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