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Judy & Liza & Robert & Freddie & David & Sue & Me...: A Memoir

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No star burned more ferociously than Judy Garland. And nobody witnessed Garland's fierce talent at closer range than Stevie Phillips. During the Mad Men era, Stevie Philips was a young woman muscling her way into the manscape of Manhattan's glittering office towers. After a stint as a secretary, she began working for Freddie Fields and David Begelman at Music Corporation o No star burned more ferociously than Judy Garland. And nobody witnessed Garland's fierce talent at closer range than Stevie Phillips. During the Mad Men era, Stevie Philips was a young woman muscling her way into the manscape of Manhattan's glittering office towers. After a stint as a secretary, she began working for Freddie Fields and David Begelman at Music Corporation of America (MCA) under the glare of legendary über-agent Lew Wasserman. When MCA blew apart, Fields and Begelman created Creative Management Associates (CMA), and Stevie went along. Fields convinced Garland to come on board, and Stevie became, as she puts it, "Garland's shadow," putting out fires-figurative and literal-in order to get her to the next concert in the next down-and-out town. Philips paints a portrait of Garland at the bitter end and although it was at times a nightmare, Philips says, "She became my teacher," showing her "how to" and "how not to" live. Stevie also represented Garland's fiercely talented daughter, Liza Minnelli, as well as Robert Redford, Paul Newman, Henry Fonda, George Roy Hill, Bob Fosse, Cat Stevens, and David Bowie. She produced both films and Broadway shows and counted her colleague, the legendary agent Sue Mengers, among her closest confidantes. Now Stevie Phillips reveals all in Judy & Liza & Robert & Freddie & David & Sue & Me..., a tough-talking memoir by a woman who worked with some of the biggest names in show business. It's a helluva ride.


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No star burned more ferociously than Judy Garland. And nobody witnessed Garland's fierce talent at closer range than Stevie Phillips. During the Mad Men era, Stevie Philips was a young woman muscling her way into the manscape of Manhattan's glittering office towers. After a stint as a secretary, she began working for Freddie Fields and David Begelman at Music Corporation o No star burned more ferociously than Judy Garland. And nobody witnessed Garland's fierce talent at closer range than Stevie Phillips. During the Mad Men era, Stevie Philips was a young woman muscling her way into the manscape of Manhattan's glittering office towers. After a stint as a secretary, she began working for Freddie Fields and David Begelman at Music Corporation of America (MCA) under the glare of legendary über-agent Lew Wasserman. When MCA blew apart, Fields and Begelman created Creative Management Associates (CMA), and Stevie went along. Fields convinced Garland to come on board, and Stevie became, as she puts it, "Garland's shadow," putting out fires-figurative and literal-in order to get her to the next concert in the next down-and-out town. Philips paints a portrait of Garland at the bitter end and although it was at times a nightmare, Philips says, "She became my teacher," showing her "how to" and "how not to" live. Stevie also represented Garland's fiercely talented daughter, Liza Minnelli, as well as Robert Redford, Paul Newman, Henry Fonda, George Roy Hill, Bob Fosse, Cat Stevens, and David Bowie. She produced both films and Broadway shows and counted her colleague, the legendary agent Sue Mengers, among her closest confidantes. Now Stevie Phillips reveals all in Judy & Liza & Robert & Freddie & David & Sue & Me..., a tough-talking memoir by a woman who worked with some of the biggest names in show business. It's a helluva ride.

30 review for Judy & Liza & Robert & Freddie & David & Sue & Me...: A Memoir

  1. 4 out of 5

    Joe Hartman

    It doesn't surprise me that a memoir about Judy in the early sixties, as told by someone "who was there", is loaded with pills and wine. It doesn't surprise me that Garland was emotional, needy, and mercurial. What does surprise me, is how unkind she comes across and how ungenerous. Whatever I've read about Garland's neediness, it's always been coupled with the fact that her generosity was equal to her need. So many people have spoken about what a giving stage partner she was, a giving friend, t It doesn't surprise me that a memoir about Judy in the early sixties, as told by someone "who was there", is loaded with pills and wine. It doesn't surprise me that Garland was emotional, needy, and mercurial. What does surprise me, is how unkind she comes across and how ungenerous. Whatever I've read about Garland's neediness, it's always been coupled with the fact that her generosity was equal to her need. So many people have spoken about what a giving stage partner she was, a giving friend, thoughtful to her fans, and her staff. Incidentally, her household staff, her chorus dancers, and collaborators which could certainly tell tales, have proven to be fiercely loyal to her. So why does Stevie Phillips lack this loyalty? Why does she speak of such callous treatment from Garland? I was confused. First, let's assume that what she says is factually true, as much as 40 year old memories can be; skewed, somewhat callous, and definitely biased, but true. Well, think of Stevie from Garland's perspective. Stevie Phillips was not Garland's Agent (responsible for booking Garland, promoting her, negotiating her appearances) in spite of what some of the press has claimed. She was not her personal assistant (someone Garland hired, whom she trusted and depended on to help with her daily life) as has also been claimed. She was a hired hand from Garland's talent agency making sure she got to her appointments. She was someone who served, and reported stories back to CMA. Surely the agency's very desire for someone to keep her on track, and the fact that they didn't care to do it themselves would stir up resentment. Phillips was forced upon Garland, and even if she eventually came to depend upon her and confide in her, there was never any forgetting that she couldn't be trusted. In short, to Garland, she was a spy who might play at being on her side, but was using her just like everyone else. And she did use Garland. Ms. Phillips admits to it. She saw terrible abuse, misuse, thieving, and stood by, let it happen to Garland, and protected herself. She was naive, didn't like Garland as a person, no matter how much she loved her as a performer (Phillips is effusive in her praise for Garland's talent), and in truth, nothing she could have done would probably have done much good, partial because it seems Garland had very little respect for Phillips, and because Garland may very well have been beyond saving at this point. I can see this portrait as one small piece of who Garland was, and leave it at that. Interestingly enough, there is not an ounce of kindness to Phillips mentioned in this memoir from Garland. Selective memory? Certainly. It doesn't serve her narrative, and Phillips IS crafting a narrative here. So if something doesn't fit in with the picture she's trying to paint??? Leave it out. The reader is, after all, reading the account of someone who wants to set the record straight and have her say after a long silence. Stories of kindness would just muddy the waters. The picture of Liza seems much closer to capital T truth. Of course, there's a much different context here. Phillips WAS Minnelli's agent, and she served her when she was on the way up, and could take partial credit in her rise. Phillips describes a girl who is guileless, naive, socially awkward, loved by her mother but barely parented, and loaded with talent. Is it a page turner? Yes. Is it jaded and self serving? Yes, but all memoirs are self serving and prone to selective recollections. What I ultimately grew exhausted with was all the negativity. Not just in what was done to Phillips, but the negativity in her view of people, her intepretations of their motives, and her vindictiveness. Hollywood will do that to you, I suppose.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Russell J. Sanders

    A legendary talent agent. One of the first women to crack the male-dominated agenting world. The personal handler of Judy Garland. The agent who first signed Liza. The agent who handled Robert Redford. What’s not to like? Especially if you, like I, feed on show biz stories. So I hungrily began reading Stevie Phillips’s memoir Judy and Liza and Robert and Freddie and David and Sue and Me…. That’s eight hours of my life I’ll never get back. Half the book is her account of how she babysat Judy Garl A legendary talent agent. One of the first women to crack the male-dominated agenting world. The personal handler of Judy Garland. The agent who first signed Liza. The agent who handled Robert Redford. What’s not to like? Especially if you, like I, feed on show biz stories. So I hungrily began reading Stevie Phillips’s memoir Judy and Liza and Robert and Freddie and David and Sue and Me…. That’s eight hours of my life I’ll never get back. Half the book is her account of how she babysat Judy Garland as Judy worked to make a comeback late in her career. Garland, as has been widely reported, was drug-addled and insecure. But I firmly believe there are icons that we, mere mortals, don’t want or need to know thoroughly. It’s best that we not know the details of Liberace’s homosexuality (after all, he lived in an era when being gay was not accepted, and he worked diligently to keep his “secret,” one that was thinly veiled, but he was such a great performer, even those with deep-seated prejudices overlooked the reports about him; now, I must point out, he would most likely thrive being openly gay, but this is a different era); it’s best we not know of Elvis’s controlling personality, his drug use, his bizarre behavior; it’s best we not know of Marilyn’s extreme insecurities, and it’s best we not know the deep details of JFK’s affair with her. No, these are people whose legacies loom so large that we should revere them for their contributions to our lives and not have those memories sullied. Phillips, however, must not think this is so. She tells every sordid detail about Judy, and when she is through—although she wants us to believe she understands Judy’s insecurities and motivations—the Judy Garland whom we all love is a little bit, or a lot, harder to love. Phillips does the same to a lesser degree with Liza and Al Pacino. As for her three marriages, she doesn’t name names for the first two men—and, in fact, admits that she treated the first badly. But the third, film composer Dave Grusin, she not only names, but she trashes royally. And all the while, she paints herself as deserving of sympathy for her own peccadilloes, for after all, as she tells it, she did what she did because she was a woman in a man’s world and wanted a career. That’s admirable to an extent, but she totally lost me when she told of an affair she had with someone she despised. And yet, she managed, in her eyes, to justify her actions. The last section of the book is a lame attempt to wash herself clean by showing us she has been through a twelve-step program that showed her the light. Hogwash! What she has done is write a trashy book to further her bank account when her career is virtually over. I finished the book with no respect for the woman. One caveat: Phillips produced the Broadway production of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. I thoroughly enjoyed the two chapters about that experience, largely because there was no extreme drama, no backbiting, no tale-telling. Those two chapters were just accounts of what happened without rolling in any mud.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    Besides being crass and mean-spirited, the book needed a decent editor. This was just a slamfest against many celebrities but the one person who came out the worst was the author herself.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Lily

    This was damn juicy. WOW did Judy Garland have a depressing life! This memoir was written by Stevie Phillips, Judy's personal assistant cum enabler cum ambitious climber cum biggest fan. She really pulled no punches in describing herself as part of the problem, and shedding some very depressing light on an American treasure. I always knew about the constant pill-popping and her overall desperation, but I had no idea Judy was suicidal, and dabbled in self-immolation like burning and cutting, only This was damn juicy. WOW did Judy Garland have a depressing life! This memoir was written by Stevie Phillips, Judy's personal assistant cum enabler cum ambitious climber cum biggest fan. She really pulled no punches in describing herself as part of the problem, and shedding some very depressing light on an American treasure. I always knew about the constant pill-popping and her overall desperation, but I had no idea Judy was suicidal, and dabbled in self-immolation like burning and cutting, only when Stevie was around to save her. Stevie tells horrifying story after horrifying story-- Judy passing out onto a glass coffee table, cutting a deep gash across her face hours before a show, Judy throwing a friggin butcher knife at Stevie for allowing the doctor to take away all her pills, putting out fires both literal and figurative. The way that everyone around her treated her as this inhuman commodity! It was so painful to read. All she wants is for someone to love her for who she is, but they only love her for her talent! When Judy slit her wrist (also hours before a show), her lover/agent/svengali just instructs Stevie to go out and by a thick bracelet. Dark. Meanwhile, the Liza parts painted her as exactly the kind of waif-like, desperate for love and affection Pookie that we all think of her as. Poor Li! (as Stevie affectionately refers to her.) She didn't get nearly as much real estate in the book as Judy, maybe because Stevie was only her agent for a handful of years, but still, I would have loved some more stories from the set of Cabaret or The Sterile Cuckoo. Apart from the Liza and Judy parts, I wasn't that into the rest of the anecdotes in this book. Save for a one-off mention of David Bowie, it was mostly relaying details of famous Hollywood deals Stevie made in the 60s and 70s, which frankly weren't that interesting to read about. And I wasn't that into her own career journey from wide-eyed lackey to ball-busting Hollywood agent. That's probably what dragged this down to a two star rating. I did find the Mad Men office culture to be especially repugnant and fascinating though. Just closing in on those gaps in my Hollywood historical knowledge!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Spencer Blow

    overall 3, the part with Judy I give a 5. I don't know how much is true and how much is exaggerated, as is the case with any book on Judy's life, but the book definitely delivers an interesting glimpse into her world. overall 3, the part with Judy I give a 5. I don't know how much is true and how much is exaggerated, as is the case with any book on Judy's life, but the book definitely delivers an interesting glimpse into her world.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jeff

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I'm a sucker. $25 for self-indulgent, crass, tacky, bitter, icky schlock. I thought the book might have some new insight into Judy Garland, a subject that makes for an entire shelf of books in my apartment. Apparently, Stevie Phillips hasn't read any of them. Not only does she seem to believe that horror stories about Judy are news to anyone but she psychoanalyzes and summarizes them falsely. Judy's addiction with amphetamines and sleeping pills began as a young girl when introduced to them by h I'm a sucker. $25 for self-indulgent, crass, tacky, bitter, icky schlock. I thought the book might have some new insight into Judy Garland, a subject that makes for an entire shelf of books in my apartment. Apparently, Stevie Phillips hasn't read any of them. Not only does she seem to believe that horror stories about Judy are news to anyone but she psychoanalyzes and summarizes them falsely. Judy's addiction with amphetamines and sleeping pills began as a young girl when introduced to them by her mother, MGM studio doctors and fellow performers. This well documented fact somehow alluded Ms. Phillips all these years. She believes Judy turned to drugs and a alcohol as a result of her "addiction to pain," the author's phrase for a person drawn or addicted to depression....or something like that. Who knows. This may be true of Liza, also throughly trashed in the book, but not Judy. The worst offense, however, is that someone at St. Martins Press thought that the trashing of celebrities combined with the autobiography of this poor dear, who treated her own severe depression by going to Al Anon meetings (bizarre, considering no drug or alcohol abuse was involved), would be interesting to anyone. It isn't.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    This book was interesting; however, I thought the author was not very sympathetic to Judy and much of her wording was in a way, " raunchy". Judy is not here to defend herself and I thought that while truthful facts can be given, this book lacked a large sense of " class" and I thought it could have been written with more compassion. It was an interesting book, but I wouldn't recommend it to others especially those who have a love for Judy Garland. Truth is truth, but truth can be presented witho This book was interesting; however, I thought the author was not very sympathetic to Judy and much of her wording was in a way, " raunchy". Judy is not here to defend herself and I thought that while truthful facts can be given, this book lacked a large sense of " class" and I thought it could have been written with more compassion. It was an interesting book, but I wouldn't recommend it to others especially those who have a love for Judy Garland. Truth is truth, but truth can be presented without the need to degrade. Maybe it's just that I adore Judy Garland but I didn't like how her struggles were presented. They could have been presented, but how they were just seemed insensitive.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Marianne Meyers

    Dirt-filled, sad, horrifying, ironic, and powerful glimpses into the 1960s world of Judy Garland, Liza, agents, talent, building into the author's becoming a successful female agent into the 1970s and beyond. Dirt-filled, sad, horrifying, ironic, and powerful glimpses into the 1960s world of Judy Garland, Liza, agents, talent, building into the author's becoming a successful female agent into the 1970s and beyond.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Robin

    At times interesting memoir with sad portrayals of Judy Garland and Liza Minnelli.

  10. 5 out of 5

    J C

    One of the best Memoirs that I have ever read! It is a page turner! The book is informative, touching , humorous and beautifully written.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Leigh

    Borderline meanspirited, tells stories that probably should have gone untold. I love a good celeb memoir but this one left me cold and disgusted.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Mediaman

    The first half is a fascinating inside look at the sad life of Judy Garland; the rest is incomplete details about somewhat bland associations the author has with a few other famous people but never enough to make it special. Overall it's worth reading for the shocking specifics about Garland repeatedly trying to take her own life and some of the still-alive famous people the author throws under the bus. But be prepared to go through many pages where almost nothing interesting happens and you wan The first half is a fascinating inside look at the sad life of Judy Garland; the rest is incomplete details about somewhat bland associations the author has with a few other famous people but never enough to make it special. Overall it's worth reading for the shocking specifics about Garland repeatedly trying to take her own life and some of the still-alive famous people the author throws under the bus. But be prepared to go through many pages where almost nothing interesting happens and you want a lot more information. Beyond the amazing details of the years spent along side Garland, how can the author be Liza Minelli's agent and give no details about the singer's career beyond mentioning a few credits? Readers would be interested in knowing how Oscar-winning Cabaret was negotiated and shot, but there's not one tidbit. How can the author eventually sign Robert Redford as a client but offer not one detail about any of the 3 or 4 times a day they talked together on the phone? She's the one that got him Butch Cassidy yet doesn't offer one detail about the making of that movie nor others. And there is one funny scene with her client David Bowie making out with a man in front of her, but beyond that she says nothing about the musician. Her first husband is mostly ignored. Her second husband only gets a coupe sentences. I think she had two children with him but the kids are such an aside I'm not sure (there's more about Judy Garland's kids in the book than about the author's children). Her third husband gets some pages near the end, maybe because he was a famous musician who took her for all she was worth in the divorce? But none of it is adequate for a memoir. She also ends the book back in the 1980s, with only a quick wrap-up that mentions a safari and mountain climbing expedition a long time ago. So what happened in the last 25 years of her life? The book leaves no questions about Judy Garland--the woman was needy, manipulative, crazy, and self-destructive. Some of it is almost hard to believe. The book however leaves a lot of questions about Stevie Phillips, including why she put up with Garland's antics for years and where her inner lack of self-esteem came from while outwardly she was aggressive. While the author brags a lot about herself, tries to claim to have been a leader in the women's liberation movement, and includes a quick nod to Al-Anon near the end, she seems to have a difficult time understanding how self-destructive she was in the poor choices she made. It wasn't just the celebrities and studio heads that had major problems--while she spends the book focusing on them she fails to really see how she caused many of her own problems in life. It just reinforces how people in the entertainment industry are out of touch with reality, immoral, selfish, abusive, and not to be admired.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jess | The_Afterword

    Whew! I have been waiting to review this book because it was A.) Kinda tough to listen to B.) Not really what I expected Stevie Phillips was a young woman in the 1960's trying to make her mark in Manhattan when she landed the job as a secretary at the Music Corporation of America (MCA) then later Creative Management Associates (CMA). It was there that Stevie met the legendary Judy Garland and become her (somewhat) assistant - and then basically all hell broke loose for the next 6 hours. 𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗜 𝗲𝗻𝗷𝗼𝘆 Whew! I have been waiting to review this book because it was A.) Kinda tough to listen to B.) Not really what I expected Stevie Phillips was a young woman in the 1960's trying to make her mark in Manhattan when she landed the job as a secretary at the Music Corporation of America (MCA) then later Creative Management Associates (CMA). It was there that Stevie met the legendary Judy Garland and become her (somewhat) assistant - and then basically all hell broke loose for the next 6 hours. 𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗜 𝗲𝗻𝗷𝗼𝘆𝗲𝗱: I loved having an inside scoop of the music industry in the 1960's (anything "old Hollywood" and I am there). 𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗜 𝗱𝗶𝗱𝗻'𝘁 𝗲𝗻𝗷𝗼𝘆: This is tough - and I'm slightly hypocritical with myself in this so hang tight (I did warn you with an opener of "whew"). While I appreciated the idea of the book, someone from Judy's "insider" circle sharing their part in a bigger picture, the whole book just seemed to be a giant complain-fest. However (and here's where I contradict myself), if that's Stevie's truth and story - who am I to judge that? Parts of this book were 𝙩𝙤𝙪𝙜𝙝 to hear. Stevie discusses Judy's drug and alcohol habits, yes, but also reveals her struggle with severe depression and self-mutilation. All in all, I can't say I loved the book, but I also can't disregard it. If you are looking for a feel-good book about the late, great Judy Garland (like I thought I was), this book 𝒊𝒔 𝒏𝒐𝒕 for you. However if you are curious about mental health issues, depression, and addiction (and how a brilliant starlet dealt with those issues), take a look at it. 𝗖𝗪: alcoholism, drug addiction, self-mutilation, depression, mental health issues, family dynamics

  14. 5 out of 5

    Heather McC

    As an avid Judy Garland fan (my book and library shelf has included multiple biographies and memoirs centered on her life), I was excited to read with agent Stevie Phillips had to say about working with the legendary Ms. Garland. My attention was brought to this book due to the ShowTime documentary 'Sid and Judy' and it was a very worthwhile read. There were sections of the book that were simply captivating - a young Stevie going on (mis)adventures with Garland all over the world, serving her own As an avid Judy Garland fan (my book and library shelf has included multiple biographies and memoirs centered on her life), I was excited to read with agent Stevie Phillips had to say about working with the legendary Ms. Garland. My attention was brought to this book due to the ShowTime documentary 'Sid and Judy' and it was a very worthwhile read. There were sections of the book that were simply captivating - a young Stevie going on (mis)adventures with Garland all over the world, serving her own career and Garland in the process until the price became too high. Having not read a great deal (yet) about Garland's oldest daughter Liza (or 'Li' as she was often referred to), I was fascinated by Stevie's accounts as a roommate to the starlet, as her champion until she was unceremoniously let go. There is a lesson in not putting all of your eggs in one basket (or making all of your business about one person), and Phillips seemed to learn this lesson the hard way. The politics of being a female in a male-dominated industry (a talent agency) was also riveting. Phillips, who learned at the feet of the masters, was eventually able to give as good as she got and call her own shots, paving the way for other women in the industry. Where the book fell apart (for me) was when Phillips delved into her personal life, which is while very meaningful, not quite as compelling as the rest of the book.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Tom Holehan

    Thanks to my friend Joe Meyers for recommending this five-year old memoir that i had never heard about. Stevie Phillips, a high-powered talent agent in NYC, had some big clients in her career and this page-turning, gossipy memoir doesn't mince words on her personal opinions about each and every one of them. Chief among them is Judy Garland who takes up nearly half the book and it remains the strongest section. Phillips love/hate relationship with the legendary singer relates some jaw-dropping in Thanks to my friend Joe Meyers for recommending this five-year old memoir that i had never heard about. Stevie Phillips, a high-powered talent agent in NYC, had some big clients in her career and this page-turning, gossipy memoir doesn't mince words on her personal opinions about each and every one of them. Chief among them is Judy Garland who takes up nearly half the book and it remains the strongest section. Phillips love/hate relationship with the legendary singer relates some jaw-dropping incidents that are hard to forget once you've finished the book. She moved on from Judy to become a surrogate mother of sorts to daughter Liza Minnelli and it also did not end well. This is closer to a 3.5 star memoir especially near the end where she seems to wade into self-pity mode with stories about her personal life that, frankly, isn't as interesting as life with the stars. Still, this is a most memorable read stuffed with juicy revelations.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Joe Meyers

    How did I not know about the memoir by agent and producer Stevie Phillips until I got an e-book sale notice? It’s terrific. I don’t know how it flew under my radar five years ago. The stuff on Judy & Liza & Redford is so honest without being mean. I also loved her account of producing ‘Best Little Whorehouse’ on Broadway and then watching Hollywood wreck the movie version. Grab it if you enjoy honest Hollywood books.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lea Columbus

    this was an interesting story of a women I had never hear of before. Actually, I should have heard of her, she produced the Broadway Play-Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. prior to that, she was an agent and she worked for/with Judy Garland and Liza Minelli.It was an unvarnished look at celebrities and fame. I enjoyed it. BTW, she is not Julia Phillips ( some reviewers on another site had them confused)

  18. 4 out of 5

    Alex Simons

    I read this straight through A good memoir is enthralling and entertaining, and this one has those qualities in abundance. Lots of great dish, but never mean (unless someone deserved it). An interesting memoir from an intelligent and observant woman. Really terrific ang highly recommended.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Robin

    Horrid, negative book I didn't finish this one, and I'm going to return it. Yuck! What could have been an interesting tale was instead whiney, neurotic and dismal. There's no need to say such horrid things about people, even if they were "true," and this woman put herself squarely in every situation she so verbosely complains about. Horrid, negative book I didn't finish this one, and I'm going to return it. Yuck! What could have been an interesting tale was instead whiney, neurotic and dismal. There's no need to say such horrid things about people, even if they were "true," and this woman put herself squarely in every situation she so verbosely complains about.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Anne Wilson

    An interesting story This story is about growing up in the entertainment world. It shows the pitfalls and successes and failures of several characters. It also shows developing strength and the ability to survive. it opens the door to see the real lives of larger than life entertainers. I learned a lot.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lorraine Hughes

    Not even worth commenting on... :(

  22. 5 out of 5

    cindy dwyer

    Firsthand Look at Judy In depth portrait of realizing that being a a Judy confidant would be an utterly exhausting experience. “Never meet your idols” rings so true

  23. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    A no-holds barred look behind the scenes by the woman who experienced it all firsthand..as she carved out a career for herself in the male-dominated field that she loved.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Coleen

    Unfortunately for entertainers such as our beloved Judy Garland, who never had a moment to herself growing up- the effects of the studio business took a toil on her personality and psyche. By the time the author Stevie Phillips came on aboard as Judy's "handler" late in the star's career, Judy had lost all sense of self control and had morphed into a wickedly selfish needy diva. Phillips, who starts out as a secretary for the talent agency that would become MCA falls into the job of shadowing Unfortunately for entertainers such as our beloved Judy Garland, who never had a moment to herself growing up- the effects of the studio business took a toil on her personality and psyche. By the time the author Stevie Phillips came on aboard as Judy's "handler" late in the star's career, Judy had lost all sense of self control and had morphed into a wickedly selfish needy diva. Phillips, who starts out as a secretary for the talent agency that would become MCA falls into the job of shadowing Judy Garland in the 60's as the power brokers staged Garland's comeback. This is the story of Phillips' rise as an agent for Judy, then Liza, and on to Redford and Pacino. I had always wondered why Liza never became the star she should have been - and according to Phillips' we find out how the behind the scenes handlers can easily make or break a star's career by blindly milking the cash cow without any thought for future endeavors. The stories make for a good, quick read- discovery that her childhood idol Judy is something totally different than what she envisioned from her movie roles and that close friendships are not to be trusted as in Liza's betrayal. There is redemption in the finale as Philips acknowledges her own selfish ambition and her carelessness in choosing husbands. Her description of herself as a codependent to her husbands and her loss of self-worth hit pretty close to home for this reader. Been there, done that myself. Finally, Phillips acknowledges that Judy, Liza, and all have contributed to her success as a person.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jerry

    WOW! What a great read. What I know about Judy Garland I know mostly from movies, but to hear Stevie Phillips first-hand stories about being Judy's handler for four turbulent years in the sixties gives a whole new meaning to "front row seat". And Phillips own coming-of-age-story as she tries to control the whirlwind that is Judy Garland, while building her own career as one of Hollywood's first female super-agents, makes this a total page turner. Plus an inside look at how ICM was formed in Mad- WOW! What a great read. What I know about Judy Garland I know mostly from movies, but to hear Stevie Phillips first-hand stories about being Judy's handler for four turbulent years in the sixties gives a whole new meaning to "front row seat". And Phillips own coming-of-age-story as she tries to control the whirlwind that is Judy Garland, while building her own career as one of Hollywood's first female super-agents, makes this a total page turner. Plus an inside look at how ICM was formed in Mad-Men era Hollywood, up close and personal stories about Robert Redford, Liza Minelli, and the inside scoop on being a Broadway producer as Phillips ends up producing the Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. If you want an emotional, funny, fast-paced look inside the entertainment business, told from the point of view of a woman who did her best to keep her integrity through all the insanity, you need to read this book.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Terri

    This is a memoir by Stevie Phillips, who was one of the first female talent agents. She started out working with Judy Garland, who was trying to make a comeback. Stevie learned a lot about "show business"...the good, the bad and the ugly. She took every opportunity to learn more and worked her way up the ladder. She represented Judy Garland, Liza Minnelli and Robert Redford for many years. She worked with Henry Fonda, Bob Fosse, Cat Stevens and David Bowie and Al Pacino. This is a tough book to This is a memoir by Stevie Phillips, who was one of the first female talent agents. She started out working with Judy Garland, who was trying to make a comeback. Stevie learned a lot about "show business"...the good, the bad and the ugly. She took every opportunity to learn more and worked her way up the ladder. She represented Judy Garland, Liza Minnelli and Robert Redford for many years. She worked with Henry Fonda, Bob Fosse, Cat Stevens and David Bowie and Al Pacino. This is a tough book to read. She does reveal the sad lives of both Judy Garland and Liza Minnelli (whom she took into her own home for many years). She was involved in movie making, concerts, stage plays, producing, the music business and all other forms of entertainment. She traveled all over the world with Liza Minnelli and took care of Liza's career for a very long time.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Burris

    There's no doubt that Judy Garland was a drug addict and an alcoholic. Phillips' first-hand accounts confirm that. The problem with this memoir, however, is that Phillips can't seem to decide if it's a tell all about her famous clients or if it's a book about her life. Her overplayed vocabulary and lack of relatability are what cripple this memoir. Phillips says of Judy Garland that the star wanted desperately to be loved for herself, not for her stardom, but that Phillips found Garland personal There's no doubt that Judy Garland was a drug addict and an alcoholic. Phillips' first-hand accounts confirm that. The problem with this memoir, however, is that Phillips can't seem to decide if it's a tell all about her famous clients or if it's a book about her life. Her overplayed vocabulary and lack of relatability are what cripple this memoir. Phillips says of Judy Garland that the star wanted desperately to be loved for herself, not for her stardom, but that Phillips found Garland personally abhorrent. It wasn't that she disliked Garland's actions, but could forgive her as a person. She just didn't like Garland as a person. In reading this book, I feel the same way about Phillips. I read the book for it's juicy tidbits and, though I didn't revel in them, what threw me was Phillips' voice. I just don't like her as a person.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Randy

    The stories about Judy Garland's behavior late in life I had never read before, clearly behavior of a late stage addict. As true as they may be, the stories and the telling of them seemed cruel. Likewise the stories of Liza Minnelli. There is something judgmental and self justifying in this memoir that didn't sit well with me, especially as the author puts herself forward as a recovering adult child of alcoholics person. However, her insights late in the book about co-dependency and addiction to The stories about Judy Garland's behavior late in life I had never read before, clearly behavior of a late stage addict. As true as they may be, the stories and the telling of them seemed cruel. Likewise the stories of Liza Minnelli. There is something judgmental and self justifying in this memoir that didn't sit well with me, especially as the author puts herself forward as a recovering adult child of alcoholics person. However, her insights late in the book about co-dependency and addiction to pain which come from her own therapeutic experience were very interesting and thought provoking.the first part of the book reads like an issue of the National Inquirer; the last part like a personal memoir of recovery. I also thought she was harsher about the women she encountered in her life than the men.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Deborah Poston

    Stevie Phillips has dealt with many professionals and prima-donnas in the world of show business. This book tells the story of her relationships with the people she has worked with and how their own insecurities often led to their downfall. Judy Garland was one such talent, who had the world in the palm of her hand. She began to believe her own PR and allowed her excesses to fill the voids in her life until her tragic suicide. Stevie Phillips tells the story of some of these performers and partic Stevie Phillips has dealt with many professionals and prima-donnas in the world of show business. This book tells the story of her relationships with the people she has worked with and how their own insecurities often led to their downfall. Judy Garland was one such talent, who had the world in the palm of her hand. She began to believe her own PR and allowed her excesses to fill the voids in her life until her tragic suicide. Stevie Phillips tells the story of some of these performers and participants, with compassion and heart. She truly cared about her clients and tried, sometimes unsuccessfully, to protect them from themselves. During this time, Stevie Philips became a well-known talent agent and paved the executive road in Hollywood for women.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Glen

    I won this book in a goodreads drawing. An autobiography of a very successful female Hollywood agent. She spent much of her life babysitting Judy Garland and Liza Minelli, and witnessing their sad spirals into the depths of addiction and insanity. The only decent person in the whole book, (Phillips is definitely not one of them) is her first husband, whom she left due to boredom, and so she could have an affair with a man she knew was a psychopath. For whatever reason, the only person she goes out I won this book in a goodreads drawing. An autobiography of a very successful female Hollywood agent. She spent much of her life babysitting Judy Garland and Liza Minelli, and witnessing their sad spirals into the depths of addiction and insanity. The only decent person in the whole book, (Phillips is definitely not one of them) is her first husband, whom she left due to boredom, and so she could have an affair with a man she knew was a psychopath. For whatever reason, the only person she goes out of her way to bash is Burt Reynolds, because he was "tasteless." It struck me as bizarre. Burt has his many faults, but he seemed extremely loyal to Liza Minelli. A grotesque and rather bizarre biography.

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