Considering America’s longtime obsession with Hollywood celebrities, you might think that movie stars would be the subjects of many interesting novels. But that does not appear to be the case. I had trouble digging out a list, and it includes two entries from the “Women in Hollywood” post. Only Ideal, incidentally, takes place over a few days. The others look at whole careers and cover many years. The books are in chronological order by the year they were written.
1. Roman Holiday by Don Ryan (1930). An unusually complicated and self-sufficient actress experiences dramatic swings in her career.
2. Ideal by Ayn Rand (1934). A famous movie star discovers what her screen image means to her most dedicated admirers.
3. Remember Valerie March by Katherine Albert (1939). A movie director recounts the career and personal relationships of the actress who was once his protégé.
4. The Golden Sorrow by Oliver Pratt (1952). Childhood experiences explain the unruly nature of a young leading man.
5. Catch a Falling Star by Reed Marr (1956). A relationship much like the one attributed to Judy Garland and Louis B. Mayer lurks behind an actress’s downfall.
6. Love Affair by Robert Carson (1958). Influential women guide the career of a weak-willed actor.
It was quite a while since I’d checked the availability of the four books not on the recent list. In general, the numbers both in libraries and from internet booksellers seem to be slowly decreasing. Still, at least a few copies should be available for all the books. Ideal, published only a few months ago, is in print and easy to find. The Golden Sorrow and Catch a Falling Star, on the other hand, only came out in paperback editions and are unlikely to be circulating through interlibrary loan.