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Celebrity memoirs are plentiful, but they aren’t always good. Just because an actor lived through a particularly salacious event doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll reveal any details about what occurred — though it’s always fun when they do. The best movie star memoirs don’t even have to contain much gossip — often, the most entertaining books are the ones that simply shed light on a star’s experiences and an outlook that we’d never get from even the best journalistic profiles.
Now that fall has arrived and winter’s right around the corner, it’s a great time to get your reading list together. That’s why we put together a list of some of the best celebrity memoirs to add to your library. From the juiciest and most salacious stories, but also the most revealing and wise — covering a wide range of your favorite celebs.
Below, find our list of celebrity memories from the likes of Lana Wood, Danny Trejo, Carrie Fisher, Cicely Tyson, Sharon Stone, George Takei, Michael J. Fox, and more.
What really happened to Natalie Wood? Actress Lana Wood, investigates her older sister’s mysterious drowning death in “Little Sister.” The memoir clears up myths and misconceptions surrounding Natalie’s death, details new information into the investigation, and reveals secrets that have been tucked away for decades. “Little Sister” is Lana’s second memoir following the New York Times best-seller “Natalie Wood: A Memoir by Her Sister,” which was originally published in 1984.
Danny Trejo is telling all. From being raised in an abusive home, to his struggles with heroin addiction, stints in some of the country’s most notorious state prisons (including San Quentin and Folsom), to starring in beloved movies such as “Heat,” “From Dusk till Dawn,” and “Machete,” Trejo’s new memoir, “Danny Trejo: My Life of Crime,” takes readers through the incredible ups and downs of his life, including meeting one of the world’s most notorious serial killers in prison, to working with legends such as Charles Bronson and Robert De Niro. Trejo also opens up about his struggles to help his children battle their own addictions, and to build lasting relationships.
A deeply candid and intimate picture of the Oscar-nominated actress, “The Beauty of Living Twice,” chronicles Stone’s steps to rebuild after suffering a stroke, and illustrates how motherhood and her humanitarian efforts aided in the spiritual recovery that led to a personal rebirth; in addition to outlining pivotal roles, life-changing friendships, biggest disappointments, and greatest accomplishments. The memoir showcases Stone’s resilience in not only overcoming health issues, but surviving a violent and traumatic childhood only to enter an industry that somewhat mirrored the traumas of her past.
“Just as I Am: A Memoir,” details Tyson’s fascinating life and extraordinary career, a body of work that spanned more than six decades. This captivating biography of a Hollywood legend was released just two days before Tyson died at age 96, and offers a “plain and unvarnished” serving of personal truth, sans the “glitter and garland.”
Anyone remotely familiar with MacLaine, knows that being outspoken and unabashed is part of her charm. The ‘New York Times’ best-selling memoir, “My Lucky Star: A Hollywood Memoir,” was republished in 1996 and details MacLaine’s insights from decades in Hollywood, along with the people who impacted her life, including Frank Sinatra, Jack Nicholson, and Robert Mitchum.
“Greenlights” invites readers to travel through the honest and remarkably candid stories and insight learned during McConaughey’s life. The Texas native spent 52 days in the desert while writing the book, which features a collection of stories as well as “prayers, poems, people, and places and a whole bunch of bumper stickers.”
The late actress and writer got plenty personal in her breakout 1987 novel “Postcards from the Edge,” but it’s her trio of memoirs where she gives a true peek behind the curtain of her celebrity. The literary adaptation of her one-woman stage show, “Wishful Drinking,” kicks things off, followed by “Shockaholic,” and the erstwhile Princess Leia closes the trilogy with some juicy gossip about her brief affair with “Star Wars” costar Harrison Ford in “The Princess Diarist.” Reading these will remind you of the great wit and talent gone far too soon.
The “Star Trek” trailblazer, along with Justin Eisinger, Steven Scott, and illustrator Harmony Becker, documented his imprisonment in a Japanese American internment camp during World War II in this graphic novel that switches back and forth from his perspective as a terrified five-year-old child to an adult looking back on the impact the experience had on him, his family, and the country as a whole.
“A Story Lately Told” shares the story of Houston’s childhood: the Irish estate where her director father John Huston would bring film icons between projects, her late teens in London, her mother’s tragic death, and ultimately her move to New York at the start of her film career. It’s follow-up, “Watch Me,” chronicles Houston’s film career — including her 17-year relationship with Jack Nicholson.
While Andrews’ first memoir, “Home,” recounted her difficult childhood and the early years of her storied career, it’s this second one, co-written with her daughter Emma Walton Hamilton, where she details her rise to fame, her personal milestones, and the classic films she made throughout her Hollywood career.
The actress’ 1978 memoir, “By Myself,” gave a candid look at her career — and relationship with Humphrey Bogart — and this 2005 edition comes with new material and an even wiser, introspective look at her life in the 30 years since its initial publication.
Cumming’s appearance on the genealogy series “Who Do You Think You Are?” in 2010 sparked a series of events that led him on a hunt for information on the fate of his maternal grandfather, and also inspired a breathtaking deathbed confession by his violent father.
There’s a reason the Rat Pack leader’s autobiography became a bestseller upon its publication in 1965 and has remained so since: Not only does he chronicle his rise to fame, but he doesn’t shy away from the racism he faced throughout his entire career, and the effect it had on his whole life.
The Brat Packer’s book can definitely be placed in the “dishy” category of celebrity memoir, as the now-sober actor gets brutally honest about his most debaucherous days of excess (yes, including his sex tape) through a very self-aware lens.
File this under the “buzzy” category too: The star reveals plenty of juicy details about her relationships with Emilio Estevez, Bruce Willis, Ashton Kutcher, and even Jon Cryer — she writes that she took his virginity, though he clarified after the book’s publication that although inexperienced, he wasn’t a virgin at the time — as well as her struggles with addiction and disordered eating and her lifelong body image issues.
The year before the multi-Emmy nominee debuted “Insecure” on HBO, she published a memoir named after her successful web series that inspired the show. The book is a conversational, relatable take on everyday struggles and the importance of finding your own voice.
Two years after publicly revealing his Parkinson’s diagnosis, Fox got even more personal with this memoir about his life in Hollywood, his personal struggle with the disease, and his newfound passion to spread public awareness about the degenerative neurological condition.