Julia: Her Life by James Spada

This is a biography of Oscar-winning film star Julia Roberts.  She grew up in Georgia, where her parents taught acting lessonsjulia to young people, including the children of Martin Luther King, Jr.  Julia grew up in a dysfunctional family with little money.  In fact, Julia’s parents couldn’t pay the hospital bill for Julia’s birth, and Coretta Scott King paid it for them!  Julia’s parents divorced when she was only four years old, and her father died when she was ten.

As a teenager, Julia did not consider herself attractive, and her high school did not offer a drama club or acting classes.  Nevertheless, as soon as Julia finished high school, she left home to become an actress.  She rose to the top amazingly quickly; before her 25th birthday, she had two Oscar nominations: best supporting actress (“Steel Magnolias”) and best actress (“Pretty Woman”).

The biography includes plenty of information about Julia’s films.  One fact which I found interesting:  the original script of Pretty Woman was a dark story with a very sad ending, requiring several rewrites before it became the joyous comedy which fans loved.

Julia’s first husband was musician Lyle Lovett.  She dated many other men, including well-known movie stars, before meeting her present husband, Danny Moder.  For years, tabloids and other magazines were filled with articles about Julia’s love life!  The book provides the gossipy details.

The last chapter of the book ends soon after Julia’s marriage to Moder in 2002.

(Helen Snow, retired from Information Services)

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