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Laird Cregar


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Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Author's Note
  • Introduction: The Ripper Incarnate
  • Part I: If You Try to Find Me, I Will Kill Myself
  • 1 Philadelphia
  • 2 The "Secret Heart" Thing
  • 3 A Grotesque
  • 4 Life in a Sedan
  • 5 Oscar Wilde
  • Part II: The Lion of the Hour
  • 6 Success
  • 7 The Rabbit with the Glass Teeth
  • 8 Gooseberry the Great
  • 9 He-Goat Lucifer
  • 10The Saint Bernard
  • 11 I Wake Up Screaming with Laird Cregar
  • Part III: Betsey
  • 12 Seven Years Old in Hollywood
  • 13 The Man Who Shouldn't Have Come to Dinner
  • 14 Quaking Like Jelly
  • 15 Riding the Cannon
  • 16 Swashbuckler
  • 17 The Hideaway and a Sad Farewell
  • Part IV: "We Want You Just As You Are, Mr. Cregar."
  • 18 Who Was Who in the Zoo
  • 19 Three in 1943
  • 20 Horror
  • 21 "Don't Let Him Catch Ya, Dearie!"
  • 22 "Gloomy Sunday"
  • 23 The Ripper in Person
  • Part V: "A Beautiful Man"
  • 24 Hangover Square's First Draft, and the Debacle of Laura
  • 25 A Failed Romance, a Revised Script, Abbott and Costello Meet Laird Cregar, a Female Stalker, and the Tragedy of Henry VIII
  • 26 "The Bette Davis of the 20th Century-Fox Lot"
  • 27 Blowing Up
  • 28 Fox Infernos
  • 29 The Last Act
  • Part VI: Denouement
  • 30 What I Wanted for Christmas
  • 31 Legacy
  • 32 A Final Tribute
  • Filmography
  • Theater Credits
  • Radio Credits
  • Unrealized Film Projects
  • Chapter Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index

About the Author

Gregory William Mank, a Delta, Pennsylvania, freelance writer, has acted in more than 100 stage productions. He has written numerous books on classic horror films.


decades of research...the author brings Cregar back to vivid life in this culmination of an `almost lifelong' fascination with the with most good Hollywood biographies, this one interweaves its subject's life story with the story of the movie business itself...Mank finds joy as well as tragedy in Cregar's attempt to live his rich life to an unknown Hollywood story"" - Booklist

""Mank offers one of the first in-depth studies of Samuel Laird Cregar...a compelling, cautionary tale of an actor who held his own"" - Library Journal

""Mank quotes many people who knew or researched Cregar. The stories are amazing as are the incredible entertaining opus. As good as anything you have ever read, or will ever read about an actor and name we knew...yet, we really didn't know"" - Little Shoppe of Horrors

""With his hyper-dramatic style and flawless research, Mank has become one of the finest classic film writers/historians working today, and he has been raising the bar of film scholarship for decades...excellent...Creggar's life and career has never had the light of scholarship and film criticism sine on it until now, and there is so much here to discover and enjoy..the highest recommendation."" - Midnight Marquee

""incredibly detailed and meticulously researched"" - Pop Culture Classics.

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