In I Loved Her In The Movies, actor Robert Wagner wrote about the women he interacted with during his life and career in Hollywood. The book’s description led me to believe that this book would focus on a few famous women in Hollywood that Wagner actually knew and interacted with. While he knew several of the stars discussed, he did not know all of them. Instead, this book was more like a snapshot of every well known actress in Hollywood from the 1930’s to the present.I thoroughly enjoyed reading a small biography of all of my favorite stars, but I didn’t get what I thought the book would provide. Namely, an intimate look at these glamorous women through Wagner’s own interactions with them. I expected that by focusing on only a handful of women, he would really delve into his experiences with them. I looked forward to reading about their time on set together or how he spent his time with the women in an informal setting. There weren’t many of those stories, and when they were present, they were told quickly and without much substance.
For each female described, Wagner talked about their background, rise to fame, and approach to acting. Basically he summarized their lives down to just a few pages while focusing on the details that defined their career. For some actresses it was a desire to be a great actress for others it was their never ending quest to be a star. When he could, he mixed in his personal interactions with them and the impact they had on his life. Those were my favorite parts of the book because I got to know the women in a more personal light.
Even though I had read biographies about many of the stars mentioned here I found the content to be fresh, and thought Wagner’s unique approach to retelling their biographies was interesting. This would be an excellent book for someone to pick up who wants to know more about Classic Hollywood starlets but isn’t sure whose biography they should start with. I liked this even though it was more expansive and superficial than I anticipated.