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Honored Contributor
Posts: 29,065
Registered: ‎08-19-2010

Oznell Sounds like a good book

@oznell 

Van Johnson: MGM's Golden Boy by Ronald Davis.

 

Sounds like a good tell all book  from the squeaky clean life of Van Johnson

Behind the curtain type of read.

 

Honored Contributor
Posts: 12,925
Registered: ‎11-08-2014

Re: Oznell Sounds like a good book

Yeah, it probably is good, @sharke.  The studio had a strong vested interest in maintaining female fan interest in Van, "the boy next door".   So they either maneuvered Evie Wynn (Keenan's wife) into marrying him, or he decided it would be in his best interest to...

 

He was kind of an "open secret", much like Rock Hudson would be later on, although I don't think the public at the time knew much about his personal life.  If they had, it would have torpedoed his career, for sure.  He got along famously with Hollywood couple Evie and Keenan Wynn, so it might not have seemed like such a big step to marry her!  Especially after she was so kind to him after his accident.  I think he had his only daughter by her.  He always was appealing to women...

 

So a bio would be fascinating! 

Valued Contributor
Posts: 669
Registered: ‎06-04-2016

Re: Oznell Sounds like a good book

Although I am a sucker for books about old Hollywood, sometimes I feel like I would be better off not knowing too much about the people involved, thereby preserving the illusion... but my curiosity/interest generally gets the better of me.

 

In today's world, very little is kept under wraps, but back then, attitudes were so different, and men like Van Johnson and George Maharis (referencing a recent thread) likely lived in fear of private information being made public.

 

On the subject of Van Johnson and the Wynns, another interesting book is "We Will Always Live in Beverly Hills," by Ned Wynn (son of Keenan Wynn).

 

 

Honored Contributor
Posts: 12,925
Registered: ‎11-08-2014

Re: Oznell Sounds like a good book

@Highlands72, good recommendation.  I read excerpts of Ned Wynn's work in some magazine--  he's an excellent writer, and was able to vividly convey the extraordinary circumstances of his childhood in that family in Hollywood...