Picks and Pans Review: Pardon Me, but You're Eating My Doily

updated 03/07/1983 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/07/1983 AT 01:00 AM EST

by Robert Morley

The British actor, commercial pitchman and raconteur was inspired to ask famous people to recount their most embarrassing moments, and the result is this amusing collection. Some of those moments are on the mundane side (such as Joan Baez admitting that bits of tissue once fell out of her triple-A bra in seventh-grade gym class). There are plenty of funny ones, though. Lucille Ball auditioned for the Scarlett O'Hara role in Gone With the Wind on her knees because she was so nervous she couldn't stand ("I didn't get the part," she notes). Ann Landers, at a swank dinner party, tried to cut into a lace doily she thought was a coconut dessert. Ronald Reagan, as a radio announcer in Des Moines, solemnly ended an interview with evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson by announcing that an interlude of recorded music would follow. It did, in the form of Minnie the Moocher's Wedding Day. (St. Martin's Press, $8.95; Morley has a friend with an autistic child and has stipulated that all royalties go to the British and American societies for autistic children.)

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