Picks and Pans Review: A Star, Is a Star, Is a Star!

updated 11/17/1980 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/17/1980 AT 01:00 AM EST

by Christopher P. Andersen

Edythe Marrener grew up poor in a Brooklyn tenement with a domineering mother and a father who flew kites from the rooftops. An older sister was her mother's favorite. Edythe became a successful model, went to Hollywood in 1937, dumped her Brooklyn accent and turned herself into Susan Hayward. This is a classic Hollywood tale. Hayward took pills and drank too much. She was not above using anyone who could further her career and was a tempestuous wife (to actor Jess Barker) and erratic mother (to their twin sons). Hayward's final years were pitiful as she battled cancer. Andersen, a PEOPLE senior editor, never sits in judgment. If anything, he is sympathetic to his subject even though some see her as a coarse, cruel, ambition-ridden shrew. He has packed his book with all the details that make such a woman—and this fascinating life story—compelling. (Doubleday, $12.95)

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