When you've attained a certain amount of success in the entertainment industrysay, as a third-string cast member of a once-popular sit-com nearing cancellationcan there be any doubt that the world yearns to hear your life story? Of course not! You undoubtedly have many, many important lessons to impart to the worshipful fans who've followed your Horatio Alger-like rise to the lower rungs of the ladder of success. Or, at least that's the mistaken belief of many book editors who unquestioningly publish the autobiographies of any person with even the barest hint of celebrity. We're not talking about superstars like Danny Bonaduce, Larry Hagman, or Carnie Wilsontheir timeless achievements demand that their personal stories be recorded for posterity. No, we mean celebrities whose names you can't even recall without several strong hints. It doesn't really take remarkable talent, memorable accomplishments, or even a modicum of writing ability to be awarded a book contract to tell your storyjust an exceedingly minor taste of fame. Here are some of the least-needed autobiographies currently available.
The Cast of Everybody Loves Raymond
Granted, the CBS sit-com is popular, and a book (Everything and a Kite) by star Ray Romano is a given. (Though considering his seven-figure book deal, it's worth reveling in the fact that his mighty tome now goes for $1.75 at Amazon.com.) But do we really need the rest of the cast sharing their special life-lessons? Especially when they filter these homilies through their onscreen characters? Particularly when said doctrines are unrelentingly dull?
Searing Personal Revelation: Heaton offers her own Top 20 confessions, including this typical Hollywood tale of chemical substance abuse: "I add MSG to everything."
Words of Wisdom: "[A]s much as we'd like to believe otherwise, we're all going to be forgotten somewhere down the line. We'll certainly be forgotten by the world, and eventually by our own families. I mean, who can name their great-great-great grandmother?"
Searing Personal Revelation: Roberts is often mistaken for her TV character by adoring fans. "When fans come up to me on the street to hug me these days, I'm not sure that they love me, or my television alter ego, Marie Barone. The popularity of the show proves that Everybody Loves Raymond, but I know that just as many of them love Marie, the woman who has come to personify everything we adore and dread about family."
Words of Wisdom: "If you want life to surprise you, you've got to be open to it rather than defending against it."
This New Age minstrel grew up in Greece, came to America, and wooed easy listening audiences with his vaguely exotic features and soporific piano music. That's pretty much the whole story to be found in Yanni's "book about a life of challenges, lessons, dreams, and obstacles."
Searing Personal Revelation: Before finding gold with New Age Muzak, Yanni was a member of several rock bands, indulging in groupies and cocaine. He also dated Linda Evans.
Words of Wisdom: "As a rule I also avoid the establishment. I don't follow schools of thought. I'm open enough to study any religion, to go to temples, churches, and mosques, and to listen to ideas. There's beauty in every path. Buddhists belive that there are as many paths to Enlightenment as you care to take. I'm not Buddhist, but I like that concept."
Ward, an Emmy Award-winning actress from such middle-aged-yet-still-kicky TV series as Sisters and Once & Again, grew up in Meridian, Miss. Later in life, she began to miss it, so she and her husband bought a second home there as a "retreat" from Los Angeles. Thus, a book about her highly dramatic personal journey to not quite return home was born.
Searing Personal Revelation: Ward was homecoming queen at the University of Alabama. Oh, the irony!
Words of Wisdom: "We have strayed too far from the humble things that endure, and given short shrift to the rituals and traditions that give meaning and continuity to our lives. "
Now, you may ask yourself: "What, exactly, does a 20-year-old girl from Long Island know about life, love, and loss that I don't?" Well, you see, Sigler plays Meadow Soprano on the hyperactively worshipped HBO series, The Sopranosso she must be an expert on life, yes? Indeed, Sigler has packed a lot of living in those 20 years, and now we can share in the triumphs and the tragedies of community theater, not to mention a discussion of her favorite Sopranos scenes!
Searing Personal Revelation: Sigler had anorexia. "With my self-image so fragile, the door was wide open for problems to develop. My eating disorder just snuck up on me, but once it was there, it was like Alice falling down the white rabbit's hole."
Words of Wisdom: "Everybody knows me as Meadow Soprano, but there's a real girl behind that character."
No, no, nonot Wendy O. Williams, the trailblazing punk rocker who took her own life, but rather Wendy Williams, the radio disc jockey who's fairly well known in the New York City area. Thus, a certain number of WBLS listeners in Manhattan at long last have the unexpected opportunity to read about Williams' breast implants and liposuction treatments, as well as assorted addictions and divorces.
Searing Personal Revelation: Growing up, Williams felt like a racial outsider. "I was the black girl in a practically all-white school. And among the handful of blacks, I was the 'white girl,' the outcast." Fortunately, "I knew that one day my being different would pay off," and an important lesson was learned: Different is Good.
Words of Wisdom: "Getting high with muthafuckas doesn't do anything for you except give people something to talk about or worse. Nobody's going to stick around if something goes down. And nobody's got your back."
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