SHELF LIFE

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The Independent Culture
2 Volume three of Sarah Miles's memoirs, Bolt From the Blue (Orion pounds 18.99), opens just after Miles's one-time lover David Whiting has been found dead on the bathroom floor of her Arizona motel room. She returns to England and leaves her husband, the playwright Robert Bolt, but visions, portents and psychic episodes ensure that eventually the two will get together again. Meanwhile there are assignations with a variety of old lovers (Mitchum and Olivier, for example), problems with her small son who wants his "winkie" circumcised, and the occasional job: TV mini-series, St Joan in Hollywood - "not one of Shakespeare's better plays" (LA Times) and movies Hope and Glory and White Mischief. Finally, she and Bolt move into a haunted house next to a Buddhist monastery, where he eventually dies. Deeply dippy, but deeply moving too.

2 "Barbra Streisand, singer - file and forget," said the New Yorker of an early cabaret performance. Variety told her to get a "schnoz bob", a suggestion which enraged the 19-year-old's manager: "You can say nose job or have the nose fixed, but where do you come off saying 'schnoz bob'? It's vulgar and tasteless." Anne Edwards' slightly over-earnest Streisand: It Only Happens Once (Weidenfeld pounds 20) collects some similarly great quotes. Predatory hairdresser Jon Peters introduced himself with the frank appraisal: "You're a cute little thing with a very foxy body and a great ass" (reader, she married him). Others weren't smitten. After co-starring in Hello, Dolly! Walter Matthau said: "I'd like to work with her again in something appropriate. Perhaps Macbeth." The pics show a glorious succession of bad hair days.

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