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Sitting Pretty


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About the Author

Clifton Webb (1889-1966) was a Hollywood star who caused the movie-going public to change its image of a leading man. In a day when leading men were supposed to be strong, virile, and brave, he projected an image of flip, acerbic arrogance. He was able to play everything from a decadent columnist (Laura) to a fertile father (Cheaper by the Dozen and The Remarkable Mr. Pennypacker).|David L. Smith is professor emeritus at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. Prior to his academic career, he labored a number of years in the Indianapolis television market as a producer/director, production manager, and program manager. He created, wrote, and hosted a weekly thematic movie series entitled When Movies Were Movies, which had a very successful run of ten years. He also has served as executive producer for several nationally syndicated television programs. His writings about the movie industry have been widely published. His first book, Hoosiers in Hollywood, was published in 2006. Visit his website at


"Clifton Webb was the unlikeliest of movie stars, but a movie star he was, and reading the completed chapters of his autobiography is a tremendous pleasure. The voice is unmistakably that of Waldo Lydecker, of Elliott Templeton, of Clifton Webb. David Smith has performed a heroic feat of archaeology in rescuing and completing this delightful book about a delightful man."--Scott Eyman, author of Empire of Dreams: The Epic Life of Cecil B. DeMille and Lion of Hollywood: The Life of Louis B. Mayer

"I was genuinely delighted to know that a book was being written about Clifton Webb. What a pleasure it is to read this astounding account of a man my parents and I considered to be 'family.'"There has never been a truly proper replacement in movieland after Clifton left us. He could do everything and did it in a singular style that could never be repeated."Reading this book, I realized once again what an important part Clifton and Mabelle played in my life as a young man. He was a meticulous and devoted friend who called me a few days before he died to tell me he was going to leave me his favorite painting, a George Bellows oil portrait of Clifton as an aristocratic young man. It has always hung in my home."--Richard D. Zanuck

"David L. Smith's deft melding of memoir and biography does overdue justice to Twentieth Century-Fox's most unlikely star."--David Stenn, author of Clara Bow: Runnin' Wild

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