The Life and Inebriated Times of Richard Burton, Richard Harris, Peter O'Toole, and Oliver Reed
By Robert Sellers
(Thomas Dunne Books, Hardcover, 9780312553999, 304pp.)
Publication Date: December 8, 2009
List Price: $25.99*
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The Boozy Biography of the Four Greatest Actors to Ever Walk--Or Stagger--Into a Pub. Richard Burton, Richard Harris, Peter O’Toole, and Oliver Reed: On screen they were stars. Off screen they were legends!Hellraisers is the story of drunken binges of near biblical proportions, parties and orgies, broken marriages, riots, and wanton sexual conquests. Indeed, acts so outrageous that if you or I had perpetrated them we could have ended up in jail. Their mercurial acting talent and love from the press and the public allowed them to get away with the kind of behaviour that today’s film stars could scarcely dream of. They were truly the last of a breed, the last of the movie hellraisers.This book traces the intertwining lives and careers of Burton, Harris, O'Toole, and Reed, plus an assortment of other movie boozers who crossed their path. It's a celebratory catalogue of their miscreant deeds, a greatest-hits package, as it were, of their most breathtakingly outrageous behavior, told with humor and affection. You can’t help but enjoy it—after all, they bloody well did.
"God put me on this earth to raise sheer hell."--Richard Burton
"I don't have a drink problem. But if that was the case and doctors told me I had to stop I'd like to think that I would be brave enough to drink myself into the grave."--Oliver Reed
"I was a sinner. I slugged some people. I hurt many people. And it's true, I never looked back to see the casualties."--Richard Harris
"Booze is the most outrageous of drugs, which is why I chose it."--Peter O'Toole
ROBERT SELLERS is the author of eight books. He contributes regularly to Empire, Total Film, Cinema Retro, and The Independent. A former stand up comedian, he lives in the United Kingdom with his wife and daughter.
A hard-drinking actor? Hardly a novel phenomenon. But four of the 20th century's greatest actors — Richard Burton, Richard Harris, Peter O'Toole and Oliver Reed — were also possibly its greatest drinkers. In Hellraisers, biographer Robert Sellers tells tales from the intersection of talent and wretched excess. More at NPR.org
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