Highlights From the 50 Juiciest Celeb Memoirs of All Time
50. Carole Bayer Sager, They’re Playing Our Song
When she was dating Paul Simon, the singer once overheard her mother tell her father: “Midgets! That’s what they’ll have. They’ll have midgets.”
49. Stewart Granger, Sparks Fly Upward
The actor on his dalliance with the very bossy Hedy Lamarr: "If only she'd shut up and stopped giving orders, the ordeal might have been consummated.”
48. Rob Lowe, Stories I Only Tell My Friends
The actor does omit some incidents from his memoir, but he’s quite forthcoming about his infamous sex-tape scandal: “Sometimes being a trailblazer is overrated. If the Kim Kardashians and Colin Farrells and all the like had let their video oeuvre out into the zeitgeist before me, mine may have been met with a mere titillated shrug.”
47. Martin Short, I Must Say: My Life as a Humble Comedy Legend
When Short was at a party at with both Mike Nichols and Warren Beatty, "Warren said, 'I met Eleanor Roosevelt.' Mike called out, 'Did you f--- her?'"
46. Katharine Hepburn, Me
The actress remembers her decades-long affair with Spencer Tracy: “We did what he liked. We lived a life which he liked. I struggled to change all the qualities I felt he didn’t like. Some of them which I thought were my best I thought he found irksome. I removed them, squelched them as far as I was able…”
45. Esther Williams, Million Dollar Mermaid
The actress’ kiss-off line to Jeff Chandler — who had a penchant for cross-dressing — was epic: "Jeff, you’re too big for polka dots."
44. Christina Crawford, Mommie Dearest
Joan Crawford’s daughter remembers her allegedly abusive mother: "From her throne in the eye of the hurricane, brandishing her wand of obsession, rules the queen of chaos herself: Mommie Dearest."
43. Richard Pryor, Pryor Convictions
"On television, people talked about having happy lives, but in the world in which I grew up, happiness was a moment rather than a state of being…. It never stayed long enough for you to get to know it good. Just a taste here and there. A kiss, a sniff, a stroke, a snort."
42. Carrie Fisher, The Princess Diarist
The beloved actress looked back fondly on her fling with Harrison Ford during the filming of Star Wars: "My affair with Harrison was a very long one-night stand."
41. Brandi Glanville, Drinking & Tweeting
The Real Housewife dishes on her husband’s then-affair with LeAnn Rimes on the set of Northern Lights: "LeAnn had 'accidentally' smeared some cake frosting on her top...[She] asked my husband, not realizing that I was standing behind the both of them, if he wanted lick it off her….This woman asked my husband if he wanted to eat the frosting mess she'd dropped on her nonexistent chest? ... He hadn't realized I was there, either, and he laughed with hungry eyes at the suggestion.”
40. Lauren Bacall, By Myself and Then Some
The actress famously describes being seduced by Humphrey Bogart on the set of To Have and Have Not: “About three weeks into the picture, I was sitting in the dressing room at the end of the day, combing my hair. Bogie came in to bid me good night. He was standing behind me, and we were joking as usual, when suddenly he leaned over, put his hand under my chin, and kissed me. It was impulsive. He took a worn pack of matches out of his pocket and asked me to put my phone number on the back. I did.”
39. Tab Hunter, Tab Hunter Confidential
The actor on his sexuality: "In my personal life, I was quite a different Boy Next Door that the one that Mr. and Mrs. Middle America — and their fan-club daughter — imagined me to be."
38. Brooke Shields, There Was a Little Girl
The actress spoke frankly about her mother’s alcoholism: "It would probably have been easier for me to admit to her disease if I was ever physically abused. My particular abuse was much more subtle and created a longer-lasting impact. Because every time Mom drank, she left me. … I felt abandoned by her when she drank, but as long as I wasn’t hurt and she was accounted for and alive, I could justify that everything was all right."
37. Shirley MacLaine, My Lucky Stars
Working with Debra Winger on the Terms of Endearment set was not easy. "Hey, Mom, get over here. These [placement marks] are yours.".... 'I heard you,' I said. 'I know marks when I see them.' 'Good,” [Winger] said. 'How's this for a mark?' She turned around, walked away from me, lifted her skirt slightly, looked over her shoulder, bent over, and farted in my face."
36. Ava Gardner, The Secret Conversations
The actress was contracted to write a memoir but after hours of conversation with her ghostwriter, changed her mind; this book is drawn from those tapes. On the time she nearly killed Howard Hughes: “I hit him with an ashtray. I think it was onyx. Anyway, it was heavy…. Louis Mayer nearly had kittens when he heard about it. He was convinced I’d killed the guy.”
35. Lena Dunham, Not That Kind of Girl
In her essay collection, the actress remembers her rape: "I also know that at no moment did I consent to being handled that way. I never gave him permission to be rough, to stick himself inside me without a barrier between us. I never gave him permission. In my deepest self I know this, and the knowledge of it has kept me from sinking."
34. Mario Lopez, Just Between Us
The TV host and actor on losing his virginity at age 12: “What happened next was mostly a blur. I remember a lot of kissing and touching, but past that, I was clueless. I knew nothing about a woman’s body. All I could do was try desperately to piece together the fragmented and unreliable information that I’d heard from my older cousins."
33. Jon Cryer, So That Happened
Two and a Half Men co-star Charlie Sheen told him that his fits of anger were induced by testosterone cream. "Three times a day you rub the cream on your thighs, and it's deceptive, because you feel the same, but suddenly you're flying into a rage."
32. Tatum O’Neal, A Paper Life
In her memoir, the actress claimed that her friend Melanie Griffith, then 18, "dragged me into an opium-fueled orgy" when she was 12.
31. Jodie Sweetin, Unsweetined
When she attended the LA premiere of New York Minute, a Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen film, in May 2004, she writes, “I knew I couldn’t last a New York minute without doing more meth. I had it in my purse, with a straw, in a little baggie inside a lip-gloss container. Often I would do meth quickly in public bathrooms, blowing the smoke into wet paper towels so you couldn’t see it. At the premiere, though, I just snorted it because I knew I couldn’t bring a whole pipe."
30. Mia Farrow, What Falls Away
The actress was not happy with former partner Woody Allen: "You’re not supposed to f--- the kids!"
29. Diahann Carroll, The Legs Are the Last to Go
On the possessiveness of Sidney Poitier, with whom she had a long affair: “Sidney called me at my hotel . . . ‘You b----, whore, tramp,’ he yelled. ‘I know he just left your bed. I won’t have you running around with other men. You belong to me!'"
28. Melissa Gilbert, Prairie Tale
The actress wrote that Johnny Depp once asked to feel her at-the-time lactating breasts at a party, and that she replied, "Yeah, do whatever you want."
27. Frank Langella, Dropped Names
The actor is frank about colleagues like Charlton Heston: "It was as if he had appointed himself the forever Numero Uno on the call sheet of life."
26. Scotty Bowers, Full Service
The longtime Hollywood pimp hardly held back, describing one actor who "liked what is commonly known as 'water sports' or a 'golden shower' ... On an even more provocative level, [he] occasionally enjoyed it when his sexual partners — especially young ladies — 'dropped a deuce' or defecated on him."
25. Patti Lupone, A Memoir
The actress and singer recalls actor Paul Sorvino, whom she worked with on the doomed production of The Baker’s Wife: "On the first day before he was officially introduced to us, whenever a new cast member would enter the rehearsal room, he would hit a high C. It was like having Howdy Doody at Auschwitz."
24. Tina Turner, I, Tina
The singer remembers her abusive husband Ike: "[He] grabbed one of those shoe stretchers and started beating me with it… And that was the beginning, the beginning of Ike instilling fear in me. He kept control of me with fear. Why didn’t I leave him? It’s easy to say now I should’ve."
23. Shirley Jones, A Memoir
The Partridge Family mom was definitely not as square as you might think: “We were all in the pool when Jack said, ‘Hey, let’s all take off our clothes, go inside, and have a foursome!'"
22. Tina Fey, Bossypants
The comedian and actress remembers an incident on the SNL set where Amy Poehler was goofing around: "Jimmy Fallon, who was arguably the star of the show at the time, turned to her and in a faux-squeamish voice said: 'Stop that! It's not cute! I don't like it.' Amy dropped what she was doing, went black in the eyes for a second, and wheeled around on him. 'I don't fucking care if you like it.' Jimmy was visibly startled."
21. Julia Phillips, You’ll Never Eat Lunch in this Town Again
The Hollywood producer called Goldie Hawn "borderline dirty, with stringy hair," David Geffen the "Donald Trump of show business," and agent Michael Ovitz "the Valley viper."
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Priscilla Presley, Elvis and Me
Elvis’ wife describes their version of a sex tape: "It was the era of the Polaroid… He was the director and I was the star acting out fantasies."
19. Leah Remini, Troublemaker
In her Scientology memoir, the actress has more than a few choice Tom Cruise anecdotes: When Tom Cruise’s longtime assistant resigned, “someone decided that she had done something wrong, and she had to undergo a sec-check* that she says cost her so much that she lost her house. Instead of viewing this…. as cruel injustice, she felt a huge sense of accomplishment when she finished her sec-check. She took pride in the fact that she left Tom in good standing with the church.”
18. Lee Grant, I Said Yes to Everything
The actress says she was being romanced by Warren Beatty at a party in 1975 when “I saw Warren’s eyes attach themselves to something in the distance. I turned around and saw in the next room, the dining room, Dolly Parton, quietly sitting at the table, alone, scribbling on a pad. In an instant, I could feel myself dropped as this new yummy dish was making Warren’s mouth water."
Barbara Walters, Audition
16. Jane Fonda, My Life So Far
The actress looks back at her marriage to Roger Vadim: "Then one night he brought home a beautiful red-haired woman and took her into our bed with me. She was a high-class call girl employed by the well-known Madame Claude. It never occurred to me to object. I took my cues from him and threw myself into the threesome with the skill and enthusiasm of the actress that I am. If this was what he wanted, this was what I would give him — in spades."
15. Keith Richards, Life
The Rolling Stones legend remembers falling in lust with Anita Pallenberg on an epic road trip to Morocco: “In the back of the Bentley, somewhere between Barcelona and Valencia, Anita and I looked at each other, and the tension was so high in the back seat, next thing I know she’s giving me a blow job… For a week or so it’s boinky, boinky, boinky, down in the Kasbah."
14. Corey Feldman, Coreyography
The actor discusses what he called the pervasive problem of pedophilia in Hollywood: "I stood up and said there is a bigger problem, that I’d lost Corey [Haim] and that I didn’t want to see any more kids lost to these sick perverts."
13. Alec Baldwin, Nevertheless
When filmmaker John McTiernan told Baldwin that Paramount was negotiating with Harrison Ford to replace him as Jack Ryan in the Red October movies, "John told me he spoke with Ford and asked him if he was aware that Paramount was in an active negotiation with me. Ford’s reply, according to John, was ‘F— him.’"
12. Caitlyn Jenner, The Secrets of My Life
In her transition memoir, Jenner says she was upfront with Kris about everything when they met. "All I know is I told her there had been a woman inside me all my life. I told her I dressed as a woman, and I did it several times in front of her. I also told her I had been in hormone therapy. It was obvious that the hormones had caused something — two somethings. To me they were breasts, size 36B. To Kris they were man boobs caused by my being out of shape."
11. Anne Heche, Call Me Crazy
The actress reveals she had split personalities. "No one in LA had any idea that I had completely split from myself and become another entity inside called Celestia. No one could tell from the way I walked or talked that I was from the fourth dimension. And certainly no one had any idea that I was getting messages from my planet every day."
10. Clive Davis, The Soundtrack of My Life
With dish on Kelly Clarkson, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Kenny G, Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Simon & Garfunkel, and Britney Spears, it’s hard to pick single anecdote from the music mogul’s memoir — but this one from Janis Joplin will do. "You know what Janis would really like to do?" her manager asked. "She thinks it would be only fitting and proper that she ball you to cement the deal. That would be her way of showing this is a more meaningful relationship." (Davis respectfully declined.)
9. Anthony Kiedis, Scar Tissue
The lead singer of the Red Hot Chili Peppers is frank about addiction: "Once you put that first drug or drink in your body, you don't have to worry about the girlfriend or the career or the family or the bills. All those mundane aspects of life disappear. Now you have one job, and that's to keep chucking the coal in the engine, because you don't want this train to stop. If it stops, then you're going to have to feel all that other s---."
8. Debbie Reynolds, Make 'Em Laugh
“One day, I went over to [comedian] Buddy and Sherry Hackett’s house to pick up my children, Carrie and Todd, after school. While our kids played in the next room, Buddy put one hand up my skirt and the other down my blouse at the same time. I had never known anyone so rude or sexually crazy. He thought it was funny. I didn’t. I told him off but I should have slugged him. Maybe I didn’t because the children were so close by."
7. Mayte Garcia, The Most Beautiful: My Life with Prince
Prince's first wife recalled the musician's alleged drug use: "I want to be clear. In all the years we were together, I never actually saw Prince doing drugs. He didn’t want me to see it… But there were a few disturbing incidents that happened when we were together… occasions when he told me he was ‘sick’ or that he had a ‘migraine.’ Looking back, I can see it was something else. I didn’t see it then. Maybe because I didn’t want to."
6. Drew Barrymore, Little Girl Lost
The actress began experimenting with alcohol and drugs at a shockingly early age: "When I was ten and a half I was sitting in the back seat of a car driven by a friend’s mother. She started smoking pot. I’d wanted to try marijuana for a long time, but I was afraid that if I asked, she’d say, 'No way, Drew. You’re too young.' However, she offered me some and I said, 'Sure, I’ll try it.'"
5. Richard Burton, The Richard Burton Diaries
The actor on his then-wife Elizabeth Taylor: "Elizabeth is an eternal one-night stand. She is my private and personal bought mistress. And lascivious with it."
4. Mackenzie Phillips, High on Arrival
The One Day at a Time actress allegedly had a years-long incestuous relationship with her dad: "If sex happened between a father and a daughter, and nobody protested, there was no problem. If it felt good, it could be done, and if nobody put a stop to it, it could happen again, and again, as often and whenever it was convenient for him."
3. Janice Dickinson, No Lifeguard on Duty
The supermodel remembers Liam Neeson... fondly: “He unzipped his pants and an Evian bottle fell out. It was insane! Wouldn't you just go gaga? He was amazing!"
2. Ozzy Osbourne, I Am Ozzy
He’s every bit as outrageous as you might expect in his memoir — especially when he recalls biting off the head of that bat onstage: "My mouth was instantly full of this warm, gloopy liquid, with the worst aftertaste you could ever imagine."
1. Anjelica Huston, Watch Me
In the second volume of her memoirs, the actress alleged she was beaten by then-boyfriend Ryan O’Neal in the 1970s: "He turned on me, grabbed me by the hair and hit me in the forehead with the top of his skull," she wrote.