An Intimate Portrait
By (author) Rena Fruchter
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Dudley Moore by Rena Fruchter
Book DescriptionRena Fruchter was Dudley's concert piano partner, and the friend who looked after him in the final years of his life until his death at the age of 66. This is her intimate portrait of the extraordinarily brilliant, complex character that was Dudley Moore. During the last ten years of his life Dudley changed. He stepped off the podium and into real life. Physically life was difficult, professionally it was turbulent, but during his final years he blossomed, and in the midst of his illness from the debilitating effects of Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, he found peace. Rena writes beautifully of Dudley's final years but also takes us back through his life story - conveying his inimitable talent, humour and vibrancy; evoking the atmosphere of a working-class upbringing in 1940s Britain, life in 1950s London and his relationship with Peter Cook, and the excesses of 1980s LA. With style and precision she unravels his personality, looks back at his childhood and career, weaving a moving and compelling story of a unique man.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780091900809
(198mm x 126mm x 27mm)
Imprint: Ebury Press
Publisher: Ebury Publishing
Publish Date: 5-May-2005
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
US Kirkus Review » Musician and journalist Fruchter recalls 15 warm, happy years with actor/musician Dudley Moore. How refreshing that "Intimate" in the subtitle of this show-business memoir refers not to sensational revelations, but to personal, often tender recollections the author shares about her subject. Fruchter does relate that Moore seduced women, suffered four troubled marriages and was uncircumcised-the latter, however, noted only because he and Fructer considered producing a documentary about circumcision. Otherwise, Fruchter offers a charming, endearing account of Moore's work as an actor and musician. A former music critic for the New York Times and an accomplished pianist, Fruchter first spoke to Moore by phone for an article she was writing in 1987. Drawn together by their love of music, they eventually met for lunch, the first of a series of witty, sometimes loopy conversations they shared-many of which Fruchter reconstructs here in delightful detail. Soon, Fruchter and Moore toured the world in a series of classical concerts. Along the way, turbulence from Moore's fourth marriage unnerved the actor, making his Platonic relationship with Fruchter, married and the mother of four, a tranquil refuge. Late in the '90s, Fruchter observed Moore falter as pianist ("My fingers feel like sausages," he complained). His speech began to slur and he often lost his balance, misleading many to think he was just like Arthur, the alcoholic title character of his most successful film. Ultimately, Moore was diagnosed with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, an incurable, degenerative neurological condition. Fruchter and her family drew close to Moore, as does the reader, following their visits to a cabin in Nova Scotia, Moore's farewell journey to England and his heartbreaking demise in 2002. Gracefully written, keenly observed, Fruchter's portrait limns the joys of friendship and of lives devoted to art. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Rena Fruchter
Rena Fruchter is a classical concert pianist and one-time music journalist. She toured with Dudley Moore and also recorded several classical albums with him. In the last decade of his life she became his closest friend and confidante, and it was in Rena and her family's care that Dudley spent his last months.
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