My Life in Hollywood
Ecco, Hardcover, 9780061647420, 336pp.
Publication Date: March 1, 2009
For the first time, the granddaddy of all Hollywood animals tells his remarkable story, from the golden age of the silver screen to the lounge chairs of palm springs. Cheeta the Chimp, star of the Tarzan films, bares allas only a primate can.
In 1984 Johnny Weissmuller, Hollywood's true Tarzan, passed away. His coffin was lowered into the ground to the recorded sounds of his famous jungle call. Maureen O'Sullivan, his Jane, followed him in 1998. But their co-star, Cheeta the chimpanzee, the greatest animal actor in the history of the silver screen, lives on. At seventy-six, he is by some distance the oldest chimp ever recorded.
Now, in his own words, Cheeta finally tells his extra-ordinary story.
Plucked from millions of swinging hopefuls in the jungles of Liberia, Cheeta became an international screen icon from the moment of his debut in 1934's Tarzan and His Mate. He went on to star in a further nine Tarzan pictures and later in Doctor Dolittle, with the supercilious Rex Harrison, until finally his battles with substance abuse forced him into early retirement. But back in the day, this magnificent star cavorted (and occasionally snorted) with all the Hollywood greats.
We are privileged, indeed, that such a legendary entertainer should grant us intimate access to the lives of the most glittering stars. Well aware that no animal has ever been successfully sued for libel, Cheeta shares fascinating revelations about a lost Hollywood.
Funny, moving, and searingly honest, this is unquestionably the greatest celebrity autobiography of our time.
“As a premise, Me Cheeta is glorious. What wouldn’t be entertaining about the memoir of a chimpanzee, ghostwritten by James Lever, who witnessed Hollywood’s Golden Age and is more than willing to spill? Cheeta is one articulate primate, and he’s not afraid to dish.”
A “lyrical and profane memoir-cum-love-story. The book is hilarious, catty, melancholy and, occasionally, deep.”
“A rude, hilarious and infectious memoir of Hollywood’s golden age. . . . The Hollywood spoofing is certainly entertaining, but Me, Cheeta evolves into something grander: a broad, cutting satire on the differences between man and beast.”