Conversion Stories of Hollywood Legends
by Mary Claire Kendall
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 18 Apr 2015 | Archive Date 03 Jan 2017
While taking nothing from their fame, Oasis: Conversion Stories of Hollywood Legends shows that even those who seem to have it all need the hope, strength, and fortitude provided by faith.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 14 members
As a non-Catholic person, the stories of conversion had less impact on me than had I been of a similar persuasion. I think there would have been additional resonance had that been the case. It did not impede my enjoyment of the stories. We all have heard those tragic stories of those who burned brightly and then imploded under the glare of stardom. Each of these stories to a greater or lesser degree could so easily been another one. What each story told was how that celebrity, often in the twilight of their lives, found peace and acceptance through a return to faith. They are all told with compassion but without hiding the personal flaws and tragedies that led the celebrities to the brink. Whether you are a religious person or not, you can appreciate the impact a caring heart and sympathetic ear can mean to a person who feels lost and abandoned. It makes the book accessible and enjoyable for all who choose to read it.
A very insightful book filled with stories from some of the people you admired growing up. A very entertaining inspirational book regardless if your Catholic or not. It is great to see a different side of those famed actors and see them as real people dealing with real struggles and looking for help and finding solace in their faith. Easy to read and a fast read.
Hollywood is a deeply spiritual place, surprisingly. This interesting and well-written book about stars who converted to Catholicism reflects this little-known aspect of a place commonly regarded as frivolous and silly. Mary Claire Kendall's book includes several fascinating anecdotes, such as Hitchcock's moving deathbed confession, Gary Cooper's dropping rosaries at the Pope's feet, and Bob Hope's wife praying for him every day. It is often harrowing to read, however, because the stories of these movie-stars include so many bad marriages, and several of them became addicted to drink or drugs. Mary Astor's tale of sorrow is especially upsetting. However, most of them overcame their troubles with the help of the Church and lived long lives. For example, Bob Hope lived until 93. This inspiring book is the perfect combination for people who like to read about Hollywood and Catholicism!
A fast and easy read. Twelve big Hollywood names with a chapter dedicated to each. Travels at light speed through their backgrounds and lives so don't expect any deep biographies here. Not too much depth around their conversion to Catholicism either. I had read other biographies on the names within but don't remember any of them (other than Spencer Tracy's) give more than a nod to their religion. The book may lightly refer to a few lightbulb moments but these can't actually be expanded upon as the author was not inside each subject's mind or heart at the time. Yes, some were introduced to mass by friends, some admired the faith of Catholic friends and acquaintances and were drawn towards it, some found that this was what was missing from their lives and conversion did fill a void ... but it's mostly impressions and stories from close friends and family. Nothing very deep at all ... which may also be why it was a fast and easy read. Foreword by Mother Dolores Hart (herself a prior Hollywood starlet who left it all behind to become a nun). I was given a free copy to review in return. I read it as an e-book in which there weren't any photos or pictures of any of the subjects which I missed. I like to have plenty of pics in Hollywood books as they're helpful to reference the era / timeline, age and others around the names being written about. Once started, I wanted to finish it though.