My First Time in Hollywood

My First Time in Hollywood

Cari Beauchamp

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My First Time in Hollywood is a collection of intimate stories about coming to Southern California by forty-one legends of the film business, which also includes over sixty vintage photographs and illustrations. Actors, directors, set decorators, screenwriters, cinematographers, and editors—half of them women—give their initial impressions of Hollywood, tell of their struggle to find work, and recall their enduring love for making movies. Drawn from letters, speeches, oral histories, and autobiographies, each story is unique, but all speak to the universal struggle to discover our place, follow our passions, and become members of a community that will feed our soul. Some of these notable individuals include: Mary Pickford, Harold Lloyd, Cecil B. DeMille, Gloria Swanson, Hedda Hopper, Myrna Loy, Norma Shearer, Mary Astor, Ben Hecht, and Noel Coward.


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 “Through the first-person voices of some of the most fascinating, insight­ful, funny, ego-maniacal, and brilliant people, Cari Beauchamp’s My First Time in Hollywood chronicles the years when Los Angeles became the Hollywood of the world’s imagination and movies our internationally shared mythology. Essential reading for anyone interested in film history.”

John Landis, director of National Lampoon’s Animal House, The Blues Brothers, Trading Places, and Michael Jackson’s Thriller


“A delight and a revelation. Cari Beauchamp, one of the great writers on early cinema, helps us re-see Hollywood. Its creation is between these pages. Its early days come alive like never before. My First Time in Hollywood is a treasure, and a fascinating read.” 

Mark Cousins, writer and director of The Story of Film: An Odyssey and A Story of Children and Film 

“If ever a book could act as your own personal time machine and make you feel the Tinseltown dust beneath your feet, it’s My First Time in Hollywood. In their own words, actors, directors, writers, and others give vivid accounts of arriving in a young town to create and work in a brand-new industry, and at least half of them are women. As entertaining as it is informative, this is a book I will refer back to forever.”

Allison Anders, director of Orange is the New Black, Sex in the City, and Gas Food Lodging 

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