Meredith has had a distinguished career as an actor on stage and in film, radio, and television, first as a genuine leading man, then as a sensitive and solid character actor. If you only know him as The Penguin or from Rocky , you are in for a treat with this exuberant memoir. Working steadily since 1930, he has seen the stage and media change, not always for the best. He has met and worked with major artists in American theater: Katharine Cornell, Tallulah Bankhead, Jimmy Stewart, Orson Welles, Paulette Goddard, Charles Laughton, and many others. They pass through this book with grace and joy. Without a nasty bone in his body, Meredith is generous with all, toughest on himself, and delighted with the whole experience. All readers will enjoy.-- Thomas E. Luddy, Salem State Coll., Mass.
Most famous for his television and film roles in later life, first as the Penguin on the "Batman" series and then as the trainer in the Rocky films, Meredith had an earlier, up-and-down stage career as well. His memoir tracks his life from parochial schools through several stints in the armed forces and onto the stage and screen. Meredith drops a lot of names and at times sounds pleading--as if to say, yes, I was a star, I really was. He recalls his friendships and associations with Jimmy Stewart, Charlie Chaplin, Marlene Deitrich, John Steinbeck, Paul Robeson, and others. And his recollections of his many and various marriages are notable for their revelation that Meredith and other male actors gave Elizabeth Taylor a run for the revolving-door marriage title. Engaging and chatty, Meredith's memoir will bring about no great insights, but it offers easy access to a life led just in or outside of the spotlight.