If you read only one biography this year, make it Colleen Dewhurst/Her Autobiography, written with and completed by Tom Viola, producing director of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, who was her assistant when she was president of Actors Equity.
The late actress, who died on August 22, 1991, was be-loved by the theatrical community not only for her memorable acting, especially in the plays of Eugene O'Neill, but also for her generosity and humane regard for others. All of these qualities are admirably captured in this brilliant work, which should be required reading for anyone who wishes to become an actoror simply loves the theatre.
Viola, who completed the book after Dewhurst succumbed to cancer, has embellished the actress's memoirs with comments from such close friends and colleagues as José Quintero; Maureen Stapleton; Elizabeth Wilson; Edward Albee; Ken Marsolais; Jason Robards; Zoe Caldwell; her two sons, Campbell and Alex Scott; and many others and has vividly etched the sweetly remembered laughter, radiant smile and compassionate personality that made her one of the treasures of the American theatre (Scribner, $27.50).
-- By Louis Botto