Actress Marsha Mason charts the road to her success in film and theatre in a new memoir, "Journey: A Personal Odyssey," being released Oct. 4 by Simon and Schuster. Ex-wife of Neil Simon and inspiration for Simon's 1978 play, Chapter Two, Mason recently starred opposite Richard Dreyfuss in a London revival of Prisoner of Second Avenue. With Dreyfuss, she starred in Simon's original film, "The Goodbye Girl," and earned an Oscar nomination.
Stories about her experiences with Mike Nichols, Robert DeNiro, Paul Newman and others punctuate the 336-page book. The journey she takes is both physical and spiritual: The book opens with the 1993 day she left Los Angeles for her new home in New Mexico. As she travels, she looks back at her life.
She writes about her dysfunctional family and her St. Louis upbringing in a strict home, and how she escaped it by pursuing acting — and eventually embracing Eastern Spiritual Meditation.
Mason's work over the years has included stints with American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco, Off-Broadway plays such as The Deerpark and The Indian Wants the Bronx and Broadway's The Cactus Flower.
Three weeks after she met Simon, they married, and the relationship continued 10 years.
She now teaches and acts occasionally ("Frasier," Off Broadway's Amazing Grace) and is settled in Abiquiu, NM, where she owns and runs a medicinal herb farm.
— By Kenneth Jones