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Book details
  • SubGenre:Entertainment & Performing Arts
  • Language:English
  • Pages:382
  • eBook ISBN:9781617922978

Just Outside the Spotlight

Growing Up with Eileen Heckart

by Luke Yankee

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Rex Reed called this memoir of award-winning character actress Eileen Heckart, “Touching, hilarious, and completely enthralling”—and readers everywhere will call it fabulous! Written by Heckart’s son, this unusual biography tells all the tales that Heckart heard and saw in her fifty-year career in movies, theater, and TV. Oscar-, Emmy-, and Tony-winning actress Heckart worked with most of the greatest stars of the twentieth century. "Just Outside the Spotlight" is a remarkable memoir, packed with heartwarming family photos and never-before-seen images of stars, and with unforgettable anecdotes.
Did you ever wonder what it was like to be a part of showbiz history? Marilyn Monroe babysitting your brothers. Ethel Merman teaching you how to make martinis. Paul Newman giving you acting tips in your parents’ living room. Fielding all those annoying telephone calls from reporters the night your mom won the Oscar. Welcome to the world of Luke Yankee, son of Broadway and Hollywood actress, Eileen Heckart. In JUST OUTSIDE THE SPOTLIGHT, this masterful storyteller pulls the curtain aside to reveal a world you’ve only dreamed about - full of showbiz gossip and behind-the-scenes tales of all your favorite celebrities. This book includes never-before seen photos of stars like Marilyn Monroe, Sophia Loren, Lucille Ball, Clark Gable and Lyndon Johnson, plus scores of humorous and heartfelt stories. Luke Yankee, a director, actor and playwright in Los Angeles, wrote JUST OUTSIDE THE SPOTLIGHT after his mother, Oscar, Tony, Emmy winner and Theatre Hall of Famer, Eileen Heckart, passed away. She was one of the most respected character actresses in show business and worked with every major star of the past half century, from Lillian Gish to Ellen Degeneres. “I realized I had this incredibly rich legacy of Broadway and Hollywood memorabilia and I had to do something with it,” says Luke. “My mother was not a household name who never wanted to be. But everybody she knew and worked with was one.” Luke Yankee shares hilarious and touching moments, including: • How Marilyn Monroe saved Eileen Heckart from being trampled by an angry mob. • How Eileen Heckart inadvertently “outted” Ellen Degeneres. • How Luke and his mother were enraged by a local caterer named Martha Stewart. • How Marlene Dietrich berated Heckart two hours after winning the Oscar. • How Lucille Ball offered to buy off Heckart’s husband in order to make her a star. JUST OUTSIDE THE SPOTLIGHT is also a loving tribute to a bygone era. With a foreword by Mary Tyler Moore, this book will be a “must-read” for anyone who loves Broadway and Hollywood – and any son or daughter who loves their mother. JUST OUTSIDE THE SPOTLIGHT is a joyous and wonderfully entertaining book. It’s like a party with the biggest names from Broadway to Hollywood – and you’re invited!
About the author
Luke Yankee is a writer, director, producer, actor, teacher and guest speaker. He served as Producing Artistic Director of the Long Beach Civic Light Opera (one of the largest musical theaters in the U.S.) and the Struthers Library Theatre, an historic landmark in northwestern Pennsylvania. He has also directed extensively Off-Broadway and at regional theaters throughout the country. Luke has assistant-directed six Broadway plays and has also produced numerous award shows and corporate events around the country with all-star casts. He is the author the award-winning plays, "The Jesus Hickey" and "A Place at Forest Lawn". He has taught and guest-directed at universities across the country and abroad. Luke has toured the country with his multimedia one-man show, "Diva Dish!", a collection of anecdotes about growing up as the son of actress Eileen Heckart, which led to the writing of his book, Just Outside the Spotlight." For more information, go to
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