"A memoir as finely crafted as one of Lithgow’s performances."
Emmy Award-winner John Lithgow presents a charming, witty, and revealing memoir about his family, his work, and his life in Drama—an intimate story of insights and inspirational reflections from one of America’s most beloved actors. Lithgow pays tribute to his father, his greatest influence, and relives his collaborations with renowned performers and directors including Mike Nichols, Bob Fosse, Liv Ullmann, Meryl Streep, and Brian De Palma. A compelling reflection on the trials, triumphs, and changes across his long career, Lithgow’s Drama illuminates the inner life of a celebrated talent, and points the way forward for anyone aspiring to greatness in their own life.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
John Lithgow is a captivating storyteller. The actor’s memoir maps out his fascinating journey, starting with moving, candid anecdotes about how the young Lithgow observed and learned from his father, Arthur, a successful actor and director on the London stage. His stories make it clear why, even after starring on the hit ’90s sitcom 3rd Rock from the Sun, he returned to the theater again and again. We loved Lithgow’s ruefully funny descriptions of the nitty-gritty ’70s New York theater scene (teaser: he had lots of awkward run-ins with Meryl Streep!) and were awed by his raw honesty about the infidelity that ruined his first marriage. Every anecdote sparkles with empathy and humor. Our only complaint is that Drama ends in 1980, just before Lithgow became a movie star. On the other hand, that probably means there’ll be a sequel!
In this clever and heartfelt memoir, Lithgow, well-known for his role in the movie Terms of Endearment and TV's Third Rock from the Sun, tells of his life in the theater and the effect his father had on his formative years. Arthur Lithgow was himself an actor, director, teacher, and promoter of theater, and the family lived a vagabond life as the son became the proverbial new kid and "the good boy and not necessarily in a good way." As Lithgow writes, his talent propelled him to Harvard; he then studied at the London Academy of Dramatic Art and returned immersed in regional theater acting, designing and directing for his father. His father readily imparted words of wisdom early on, but as Lithgow grew up, his paternal guidance diminished. Their relationship was complicated: while Lithgow's Broadway career surged with a Tony Award, his father's career slid, which left Lithgow feeling guilty. With understated wit, Lithgow delivers insight into the difference between stage and screen acting and offers wonderful anecdotes of directors Brian De Palma and Terrence Malick.