The Girl with the Bee-Stung Lips
Published by: The University Press of Kentucky
Mae Murray (1885--1965), popularly known as "the girl with the bee-stung lips," was a fiery presence in silent-era Hollywood. Renowned for her classic beauty and charismatic presence, she rocketed to stardom as a dancer in the Ziegfeld Follies, moving across the country to star in her first film, To Have and to Hold, in 1916. An instant hit with audiences, Murray soon became one of the most famous names in Tinseltown.
However, Murray's moment in the spotlight was fleeting. The introduction of talkies, a string of failed marriages, a serious career blunder, and a number of bitter legal battles left the former star in a state of poverty and mental instability that she would never overcome.
In this intriguing biography, Michael G. Ankerich traces Murray's career from the footlights of Broadway to the klieg lights of Hollywood, recounting her impressive body of work on the stage and screen and charting her rapid ascent to fame and decline into obscurity. Featuring exclusive interviews with Murray's only son, Daniel, and with actor George Hamilton, whom the actress closely befriended at the end of her life, Ankerich restores this important figure in early film to the limelight.
"A most compelling, detailed chronicle of the meteoric rise and fall of stage/silent movie star Mae Murray, as to both her roller-coaster professional career and chaotic personal life. This book will certainly be the definitive biography of the legendary Mae Murray." -- James Robert Parish, author of Fiasco: A History of Hollywood's Iconic Flops
"Astounding. Mae Murray works on many levels. For those who know of her, it's a revelation. At last, a reliable narrative of her life." -- Mel Neuhaus, film writer for Examiner.com
"Her long life is a lesson about those heady days of early Hollywood and the transience of fame." -- Library Journal
"Michael G. Ankerich has written the first entirely reliable narrative of her life in Mae Murray: The Girl with the Bee-Stung Lips." -- Milwaukee Express
"Michael Ankerich, in this always interesting biography, suggests that, tragically, the story may be apocryphal." -- Wall Street Journal
"As a document of her life, the book left me satisfied and thoroughly in love with Ms. Murray." -- Classic Movies
"Ankerich captures a glittering, elusive Murrary, who lived in a self-created bubble of everlasting fame and who spun faster and faster until one day "she was gone." -- Library Journal
"Ankerich does his research and brings to life not only a forgotten big screen star but also the time in which she lived.... This is a well written... and still relevant biography and is a must for every movie buff." -- Past in Review
"This book is [astounding]. Mr. Ankerich must have spent decades researching this fantastic volume. He not only gives us the truth of of Ms. Murray's youth, but reveals why she opted to spiral into the weird lifestyle she inhabited." -- Examiner
"Murray was unable to mount the comeback she pursued during the final years of her life but hopefully, this meticulously researched, crisply written new book will at least reestablish the work and talent of this remarkable woman." -- Tucson Citizen
"It's nice to see a film fan analyze a star he loves in such an unobject way." -- Journeys in Classic Film
"If Billy Wilder hasn't made the definitive movie about the delusions of stardom in Sunset Boulevard, Murray's story, a blend of absurdity and pathos, would make a terrific one." -- Washington Post