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About Lee Server
Lee Server is the author of the best-selling and critically acclaimed biographies Robert Mitchum: Baby, I Don't Care (Faber) and Ava Gardner: Love is Nothing (Bloomsbury). Robert Mitchum was named a Book of the Year by the Los Angeles Times, 'The film biography of the year' by the Sunday Times and Book of the Year by Uncut magazine. A graduate of New York University film school, Server has worked as a screenwriter, documentary maker and journalist.
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A rich biography of the legendary figure at the center of the century’s darkest secrets: an untold story of golden age Hollywood, modern Las Vegas, JFK-era scandal and international intrigue from Lee Server, the New York Times bestselling author of Ava Gardner: Love is Nothing…
A singular figure in the annals of the American underworld, Johnny Rosselli’s career flourished for an extraordinary fifty years, from the bloody years of bootlegging in the Roaring Twenties--the last protégé of Al Capone—to the modern era of organized crime as a dominant corporate power. The Mob’s “Man in Hollywood,” Johnny Rosselli introduced big-time crime to the movie industry, corrupting unions and robbing moguls in the biggest extortion plot in history. A man of great allure and glamour, Rosselli befriended many of the biggest names in the movie capital—including studio boss Harry Cohn, helping him to fund Columbia Pictures--and seduced some of its greatest female stars, including Jean Harlow and Marilyn Monroe. In a remarkable turn of events, Johnny himself would become a Hollywood filmmaker—producing two of the best film noirs of the 1940s.
Following years in federal prison, Rosselli began a new venture, overseeing the birth and heyday of Las Vegas. Working for new Chicago boss Sam Giancana, he became the gambling mecca’s behind-the-scenes boss, running the town from his suites and poolside tables at the Tropicana and Desert Inn, enjoying the Rat Pack nightlife with pals Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. In the 1960s, in the most unexpected chapter in an extraordinary life, Rosselli became the central figure in a bizarre plot involving the Kennedy White House, the CIA, and an attempt to assassinate Fidel Castro. Based upon years of research, written with compelling style and vivid detail, Handsome Johnny is the great telling of an amazing tale.
"The most complete and engrossing biography yet of this exotic Southern girl...Excellent."—Liz Smith
She was the sex symbol who dazzled all the other sex symbols. She was the temptress who drove Frank Sinatra to the brink of suicide and haunted him to the end of his life. Ernest Hemingway saved one of her kidney stones as a sacred memento, and Howard Hughes begged her to marry him—but she knocked out his front teeth instead.
She was one of the great icons in Hollywood history—star of The Killers, The Barefoot Contessa, and The Night of the Iguana—and one of the few whose actual life was grander and more colorful than any movie. Her jaw-dropping beauty, charismatic presence, and fabulous, scandalous adventures fueled the legend of Ava Gardner—Hollywood's most glamorous, restless and uninhibited star.
In this acclaimed first full biography of Gardner, Lee Server recreates—with great style and vivid detail—the actress's life, from her beginnings as a barefoot North Carolina farm girl to her heady days as a Hollywood goddess. He paints the full spectacle of her tumultuous private life—including her string of failed marriages to Mickey Rooney, Sinatra and Artie Shaw—and Gardner's lifelong search for adventure and love.
Ava Gardner: "Love is Nothing" is both an exceptional work of biography and a richly entertaining read.
One of the movies' greatest actors and most colorful characters, a real-life tough guy with the prison record to prove it, Robert Mitchum was a movie icon for an almost unprecedented half-century, the cool, sleepy-eyed star of such classics as The Night of the Hunter; Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison; Cape Fear; The Longest Day; Farewell, My Lovely; and The Winds of War. Mitchum's powerful presence and simmering violence combined with hard-boiled humor and existential detachment to create a new style in movie acting: the screen's first hipster antihero-before Brando, James Dean, Elvis, or Eastwood-the inventor of big-screen cool.
Robert Mitchum: "Baby, I Don't Care" is the first complete biography of Mitchum, and a book as big, colorful, and controversial as the star himself. Exhaustively researched, it makes use of thousands of rare documents from around the world and nearly two hundred in-depth interviews with Mitchum's family, friends, and associates (many going on record for the first time ever) ranging over his seventy-nine years of hard living. Written with great style, and vividly detailed, this is an intimate, comprehensive portrait of an amazing life, comic, tragic, daring, and outrageous.