A Talent for Genius the Life and Times of Oscar Levant Oscar Levant was the Amadeus of Hollywood the Oscar Wilde of Broadway and the most wildly self destructive personality ever to become a household name An astonishingly gifted concert pianist compose

  • Title: A Talent for Genius: the Life and Times of Oscar Levant
  • Author: Nancy Schoenberger
  • ISBN: 9780679404897
  • Page: 295
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Oscar Levant was the Amadeus of Hollywood, the Oscar Wilde of Broadway and the most wildly self destructive personality ever to become a household name An astonishingly gifted concert pianist, composer, film and stage presence, radio and television raconteur, insult wit, and bestselling author, Levant steered a maniacally masochistic course through seven glorious decadOscar Levant was the Amadeus of Hollywood, the Oscar Wilde of Broadway and the most wildly self destructive personality ever to become a household name An astonishingly gifted concert pianist, composer, film and stage presence, radio and television raconteur, insult wit, and bestselling author, Levant steered a maniacally masochistic course through seven glorious decades His death in 1972, at the age of 65, left the entertainment community shocked largely with amazement that a four pack a day smoker with a history of drug abuse and mental illness had lasted as long as Levant did He made a national reputation for himself in the late 30s as a brash, brilliant expert on radio s famed quiz show Information, Please , and as a fine concert pianist and the premier interpreter of George Gershwin s concert works He appeared in 13 films, usually as a best friend Oscar Levant type He played Gene Kelly s sidekick in An American in Paris and a lovable hypochondriac in The Band Wagon, and in the film biography Rhapsody in Blue, he literally played himself Oscar Levant, best friend to George Gershwin, a role he knew all too well His hero worship of Gershwin stunted his confidence as a songwriter and a serious composer, though one of his pop songs, Blame It on My Youth, has become a standard, and Arnold Schoenberg, Aaron Copeland, and Virgil Thomson all thought Levant an immensely gifted composer Levant s addiction to Demerol following a heart attack in the early 50s led to nearly a decade of drug dependency Already hobbled by complex superstitions meant to ward off the terrors of performing, Levant was almost destroyed by his addictions But his intense neurosis didn t keep him from appearing on television to talk about it His uncensored comments on The Jack Paar Show and on his own local Los Angeles talk show made national news.A Talent for Genius, the result of exhausting research and hundreds of hours of interviews, is a profoundly revelation.

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      295 Nancy Schoenberger
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      Posted by:Nancy Schoenberger
      Published :2018-05-23T23:10:25+00:00

    One thought on “A Talent for Genius: the Life and Times of Oscar Levant”

    1. Oscar Levant was this weird, quirky eccentric who hung out with people like George Gershwin in the 1930s. This book really shows just how weird, quirky, and eccentric he really was. It's a fascinating look into a man who felt the pressure of being who he was and often times let that pressure win.

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