Picks and Pans Review: Limelight and After

updated 03/01/1982 at 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/01/1982 01:00AM

by Claire Bloom

It's hardly your standard actress-tells-all autobiography; anyone wanting to know, say, what kind of lover Bloom's ex-husband Rod Steiger was will have to look elsewhere. But there are some wonderful insights into acting from a woman who first gained worldwide attention as Charlie Chaplin's co-star in Limelight. She has played opposite everyone from Olivier and Gielgud to Burton and Newman. She does not reveal any secrets about them (though she does say that acting with Olivier "there was sex and excitement, the masculine drive, the electric vibrancy"). What the book lacks in titillation, though, it makes up for in the kind of honest grace that Bloom, now 51 and living with author Philip Roth (whom she doesn't mention at all), has shown in such films as Richard III, Charly, A Doll's House and, most recently, the BBC Hamlet shown on public TV in 1980. Of the actor's chronic insecurity in searching for work, she writes, "You don't even have to be offered King Lear, just something decent that makes you feel necessary, and generally that will restore your faith in yourself until the next time you're out of work." (Harper & Row, $13.95)

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