A small subcategory of the Gleason collection is made up of books about celebrities and entertainers. Though unrelated to the Occult, these biographies and autobiographies are representative of Mr. Gleason’s career as an entertainer. Most of the books are about entertainers from Mr. Gleason’s era, but he kept a few books on older entertainment topics, such as 19th century theatre, and at least one book on Harry Houdini, who was himself a spiritualist.


Yes I Can: The Story of Sammy Davis, Jr.

Sammy Davis, Jr. and Jane and Burt Boyar

New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1965 [First edition.]

Summary: A biography of famed entertainer and member of the Rat Pack, Sammy Davis Jr. It includes an account of Davis’ career and rise to fame as well as the struggles he faced as an African-American celebrity.


Yes, Mr. DeMille

Phil A. Koury

New York: Putnam Sons, 1959 [First edition.]

Summary: A biography of Cecille DeMille, an Academy Award-winning filmmaker who is best known for directing The Ten Commandments, staring Charlton Heston.


Clowning Through Life

Eddie Foy and Alvin F. Harlow

New York: E. P. Dutton & Company, 1928 [First edition.]

Summary: A biography of American actor and Vaudevillian Eddie Foy, who lived from 1856 to 1928. “I can tell by the way some of the youngsters around there look at me that I seem like a tercententarian to them. But when I go out in the billiard room and now and then best fellows forty or fifty years younger than myself at either bankshot or three cushions, I don’t seem so ancient. At such times I tell them sagely that a man is only as old as he thinks he is.”


No Pickle, No Performance

Harold J. Kennedy                                                   

New York: Doubleday & Company Inc., 1978 [First edition.]

Summary: The author, Harold Kennedy, worked for decades as a theatre director. Each chapter is devoted to his memory of a different actress or actor, including Gloria Swanson, Ginger Rogers, and Charlton Heston.


Brando for Breakfast

Anna Kashfi Brando & E.P. Stein

New York: Crown Publishers, 1979. [First edition.]

Summary: A memoir written by Marlon Brando’s ex wife, Anna Kashfi, detailing her time spent with him. Kashfi comments on Brando’s extreme behavior in his personal life and takes an extremely critical approach to unraveling the actor’s personal life and childhood.


Struggles and Triumphs: Or, Forty Years’ Reflections

 P. T. Barnum

Buffalo, N.Y.: The Courier Co., 1879, c1876.

Summary: The “Author’s Edition” of P. T. Barnum’s autobiography. Barnum was an outspoken critic of spiritualism, particularly of mediums, whom he felt were taking advantage of the bereaved’s desperation to communicate with their loved ones.


Prince of Players

Eleanor Ruggles

New York: Norton, 1953

Summary: A biography of Edwin Booth, the famous 19th century American actor, well-known for his work acting in Shakespeare’s plays, and the brother of John Wilkes Booth.