In this startling candid and poignant memoir, the legendary Emmy Award-winning star of The Young and The Restless, America's #1 soap opera, chronicles his amazing life, from his birth in World War II Germany to his arrival in America to his rise to humanitarian and daytime superstar for the past thirty-five years.
For nearly four decades, fans have welcomed the star of television’s number-one daytime show, The Young and the Restless, into their living rooms. While they’ve come to know and love the suave Victor Newman, few truly know the man behind the character, the supremely talented Eric Braeden. I'll Be Damned is his story—a startling and uplifting true tale of war, deprivation, determination, fame, and social commitment that spans from Nazi Germany to modern Hollywood.
Braeden’s journey from a hospital basement in Kiel to the soundstages of Los Angeles has taught him more about joy, heartbreak, fear, dignity, loss, love, loneliness, exhilaration, courage, persecution, and profound responsibility to the global community than he could have hoped to learn in several lifetimes. Growing up in the years after Germany’s defeat, Braeden knew very little about the atrocities of his parents’ generation, until he arrived in America as a teenager—a discovery that horrified and transformed him. Trying to redress the wrongs of his homeland, he has dedicated his life to humanitarian work—even forming the German American Culture Society—working for decades to show the world that what we share as humans is far more important than what separates us from one another.
Told with openness, candor, humor, heart, and occasional raw vulnerability, I’ll Be Damned reveals a man committed to making the world a better, more loving place. Filled with sixteen pages of photos from his decorated life and career, I’ll Be Damned will be a treasured keepsake for Y&R fans, and is an inspiring testament to the goodness within us all.
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About the Author
Since February 2, 1980, ERIC BRAEDEN has starred in the iconic television series The Young and the Restless, winning a Daytime Emmy for his role as the complex self-made billionaire Victor Newman. He has many other television credits to his name, and has starred in films, in numerous theater productions, including Shakespeare recitals, and on Broadway. Braeden has won two national championships in two different sports: In 1958, he won the German Youth Team Championship in Discus, Javelin, and Shot Put, and in 1973, he won the U.S. National Soccer Championship with the Los Angeles Maccabees.
Table of Contents
Foreword Stephen A. Smith, ESPN vii
1 Beginning and Endings 5
2 Coming to America 25
3 From Parking Cars to Broadway 41
4 The Sins of the Father 59
5 Becoming Eric Braeden 83
6 Christian 105
7 My Ten Years as a Bad Guy 121
8 Meeting Victor Newman 139
9 "I'm Going to Make You Proud" 157
10 "Victor! Victor! Victor!" 167
11 The Good, The Bad, and the Mortifying 191
12 Titanic and the Man Who Came Back 205
13 But I Digress 225
14 Thank You, Y&R 241
15 In Closing … 255
Appendix A Thoughts on Being German 265
Appendix B The Gorbachev Speech 273
Q&A With Eric Braeden 277
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
It is nice to read about someone I have watched for many years. It is a great book and very interesting biography.
Your the best. Your book is good.
This book has forever endeared me to this fine human being, actor, activist..and above all, survivor.. May God Bless him for many, many more years to come. Thank you for sharing your story, a great read..great writing and above all, you are truly fine human being. LOVED IT!!
A very thought provoking insight into this remarkable man's life and career.
(I voluntarily reviewed this library eBook) I am one of those people who can almost tell you where I was the day I saw the suave, cavalier Victor Newman on Young and the Restless over 40 years ago. And I also remember an exchange student from Germany telling a bunch of us that the last time she'd been back in Germany, that Eric Braeden, virtually unknown in his home country, had passed her sitting on the grass in front of her house. SHE knew who he was, and after a short conversation where she got his autograph, they parted company. I'll never forget her face...it mirrored the rest of ours.... Victor Newman was supposed to be a three month stopgap gig for Braeden while he pursued other acting jobs. However, by his own admission, fourth plus years have gone by and he still loves him, as do all of us Y+R diehards. He's the "guy you love to hate with the heart of gold". However, this memoir gives us a "backstory", much as he requests history on all the characters he's ever played. Hans Jorg Goudegast was the third of four boys born to an upper middle class Germany family. His father was the mayor of a small town, dying early in Hans' life. Forced into poverty, his mother did what she could. Hans excelled in acting out and got himself into trouble a time or two. After graduating, he came to America and rarely looked back. Typecast in shows and movies, he'd been told that he was "too German" and chose to change his name professionally to Eric Braeden to honor his hometown. With that came more opportunities in film. Now married, when the guarantee of a steady income to support his family, he signed on as the now iconic character. And he doesn't take it for granted, working and supporting his cast mates and his audience. Braeden obviously loves what he does. He recounts stories around Young and the Restless, but also his respect for producing directing and performing outside of the walls of Genoa City. He has chosen and been connected with notable artists over his career. He waxes almost poetically around his friends and cast mates, especially the late Jeanne Cooper, who, in her own memoir did the same for him, and George Kennedy who in one of his last appearances guested as Victor's father. IF you have grown up with the Newmans and the Abbots, this is a MUST read. If you are a student of memoir, this is a fine example. All I know is it made me laugh, cry and understand why Eric Braeden is who and how he is.
I really enjoyed this book! Surprised me with how interesting his life before the Young and the Restless was. Highly recommended!
Loved every page, well written, organized, very interesting!