In this anecdotal memoir, Deutsch recounts the many sports, film and media figures and even a few criminals he has known during his charmed life. The grandson of one-time Sears, Roebuck chairman Julius Rosenwald, Deutsch was raised in great wealth in Chicago. (In an eerie chapter, he tells of the plan by neighborhood acquaintances ``Dickie'' Loeb and ``Babe'' Leopold to murder him for thrills; he had a dental appointment that day and they killed Robert Franks instead.) After a stint in investment banking, Deutsch became a movie producer. Here he etches appealing portraits of, among others, Robert Taylor, Billy Wilder, Bennett Cerf, Walter O'Malley, Jimmy Stewart, Walter Annenberg and Orvil Dryfoos. One tires, however, of the Hollywoodish tone, in which everyone is ``my good friend''--despite the title, Deutsch barely knew Humphrey Bogart--and of his lavish praise of pals Frank Sinatra and the Reagans, with barely a mention of the traits that have made them less praiseworthy to others. (May)
Though not a well-known Hollywood figure, Deutsch has lived a charmed life, and he recaps its highlights in this delightful memoir. As the grandson of Sears, Roebuck scion Julius Rosenwald, he was raised among the wealthy of Chicago. At the age of nine, he escaped a horrible fate by barely eluding the infamous murderers Leopold and Loeb. After becoming a Hollywood producer through a casual conversation with writer/producer Dore Schary, he moved in the upper echelons of both New York and Hollywood societies. Though only an acquaintance of Humphrey Bogart, Deutsch counts Robert Taylor, Billy Wilder, Nancy Reagan, and Frank Sinatra among his closest friends. Each chapter is a separate vignette centered around one incident or personality, told with humor and affection by an accomplished raconteur. Consider for biography/film/theater collections.-- Marcia L. Perry, Berkshire Athanaeum, Pittsfield, Mass.