CLOSE-UPS: CONVERSATIONS WITH OUR TV FAVORITES by Eddie Lucas

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978-1593931209

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Here is the Who’s Who of Classic American Television. Author Eddie Lucas tunes in to all the stars of 19 of the top series you remember from the 1950s to the 1980s.

“Best TV book of the year!” – Classic Images

"I love books like this because they bring us up to date on what stars of classic TV shows are doing presently. The author interviewed Tony Dow, Barbara Billingsley from Leave It to Beaver; Dwayne Hickman from The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis; Stanley Livingston from My Three Sons; Jon Provost from Lassie; Ernest Thomas and Heywood Nelson from What's Happening. There are many little tidbits for any fan and trivia buffs. For instance, June Lockhart did not come on the show until Provost's second season. Tony Dow talks about how the actors have never been paid for the boxed sets of DVDs, Stanley Livingston shows the differences in the industry from when he was doing the show and now. I think this would make a great series of books." – Midwest Book Review

“It’s an extraordinary assemblage that Lucas has in store for us . . . On the whole, the interviews are all terrific . . . you appreciate his enthusiasm and genuine love for these people and the shows they appeared on . . . it’s all very informative, easygoing fun. The photos are good, boasting some interesting shots, including what the stars look like today.

If you are a Baby Boomer, you will greatly enjoy this nostalgic trip into TV land. I know I did.” – Laura Wagner, Book Points

Content includes:

Bewitched/Designing Women: Alice Ghostley 
The Big Valley: Peter Breck 
Father Knows Best / The Andy Griffith Show: Elinor Donahue 
Hazel: Lynn Borden and Ray Fulmer 
I Love Lucy: Keith Thibodeaux 
The Jeffersons: Marla Gibbs 
Lassie: Jon Provost
Leave it to Beaver: Barbara Billingsley and Tony Dow

The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis: Dwayne Hickman
Mission: Impossible: Peter Lupus
The Mothers-In-Law: Kaye Ballard
My Three Sons: Stanley Livingston
The Waltons: Jon Walmsley
What's Happening!! / What's Happening Now!!: Ernest Thomas and Haywood Nelson

300 pages. Illustrated


"I love books like this because they bring us up to date on what stars of classic TV shows are doing presently. The author interviewed Tony Dow, Barbara Billingsley from 'Leave It to Beaver;' Dwayne Hickman, 'The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis;' Stanley Livingston, 'My Three Sons;' Jon Provost, 'Lassie;' Ernest Thomas and Heywood Nelson 'What's Happening.' There are many little tidbits for any fan and trivia buffs. For instance, June Lockhart did not come on the show until Provost's second season. Tony Dow talks about how the actors have never been paid for the boxed sets of DVDs, Stanley Livingston shows the differences in the industry from when he was doing the show and now. I think this would make a great series of books."

- Midwest Book Review

Kaye Ballard, whose autobiography, How I Lost 10 Pounds in 53 Years, with Jim Hesselman ($24.95, Back Stage Books/Watson-Guptill hardcover; 770 Broadway, New York, NY 10003 or www.watsonguptill.com), last month was named one of the best of 2007 here, is interviewed in the marvelously chatty Close-up: Conversations with Our TV Favorites by Eddie Lucas ($22.95, BearManor Media softcover). She shows the same humor and spunk here as she did in her own book.

Close-up is a proverbial who’s who of classic TV favorites. It’s an extraordinary assemblage that Lucas has in store for us. Here’s the complete line-up of interviews: Alice Ghostley (Bewitched/Designing Women), Peter Breck (The Big Valley), Elinor Donahue (Father Knows Best/The Andy Griffith Show), Lynn Borden (Hazel), Ray Fulmer (Hazel), Keith Thibodeaux (I Love Lucy), Marla Gibbs (The Jeffersons/227), Jon Provost (Lassie), Barbara Billingsley (Leave It to Beaver), Tony Dow (Leave It to Beaver), Dwayne Hickman (The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis), Peter Lupus (Mission: Impossible), Kaye Ballard (The Mothers-In-Law), Stanley Livingston (My Three Sons), Jon Walmsley (The Waltons), Ernest Thomas (What’s Happening!!/What’s Happening Now!!), and Haywood Nelson (What’s Happening!!/What’s Happening Now!!).

On the whole the interviews are all terrific. Above and beyond, Lucas is a fan, and it shows. At first, his fawning over his subjects is very distracting, but, after a while, you appreciate his enthusiasm and genuine love for these people and the shows they appeared on. As an interviewer, he’s no Tom Weaver or Tom Lisanti, but he gets the job done. Even though he asks many of the same questions from interview to interview, it’s all very informative, easygoing fun. The photos are good, boasting some interesting shots, including what the stars look like today.

If you are a baby boomer, you will greatly enjoy this nostalgic trip into TV land. I know I did.

- Laura Wagner, Book Points


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