“Forgotten Hollywood”- Giving the Devil His Due…

Posted on November 22, 2015 by raideoman1 | No Comments

Manny P. here.

   My efforts in becoming an established Hollywood historian took a major leap forward with the latest literary release by Professor Carl Rollyson. The Life of Walter Brennan is a comprehensive look at what Rollyson references as A Real American Character. As the  advisory editor of the Hollywood Legends Series from University Press of Mississippi, Carl has authored several biographies on the lives of Marilyn Monroe and Dana Andrews. He has also penned retrospectives about Lillian Hellman and Norman Mailer.

     I have corresponded with Professor Rollyson over the years, since I started writing my Forgotten Hollywood Book Series. He was quite generous in his praise, particularly about my analysis of Walter Brennan in a chapter from my first paperback. His generosity was quite genuine, as he offered my premise in the Introduction of his new book. According to Rollyson:

Walter_Brennan-210   image_carl rollyson


 Brennan’s performances signify something more than individual achievement in film after film. Not only is his work an integral part of Hollywood history, his roles have become embedded in the national consciousness. His centrality did not occur to me until I read Manny Pacheco’s Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History, which takes an unusual approach to character actors. examining them in terms of the historical epics in which they appeared. In a chapter devoted to Brennan, Pacheco evokes the persona of a man seemingly destined to play archetypal characters. Pacheco writes…

“(Brennan) embodies any individual that may have been born around and west of the Mississippi. Looking far older than his years, Brennan could be called upon to play roles that were based in fact or fiction. He seemingly lived throughout the nineteenth century and the fight for this country’s quest to reach ‘from sea to shining sea’… at least on celluloid.”

The ellipsis is Pacheco’s and seems to suggest that he paused when he realized just how much movies and history conflated in our imaginations.


   Professor Rollyson later offers this tidbit to begin a chapter:

“The leather sun-drenched face that most commonly helped tame the wild frontier was that of Walter Brennan”

Writes critic Manny Pacheco. Not Gary Cooper, not John Wayne, not Randolph Scott–or any other star–meant more to the western than Walter Brennan, who played every sort of character, good and evil, and everything between.


   His latest literary achievement is so wonderfully comprehensive. I could not put it down. Rollyson’s eloquent prose delights and the photographs he provides are vividly personal about the life and times of Walter Brennan. And, the Brennan family offered their full support in the making of this fine biography. A Real American Character: The Life of Walter Brennan is available at most book stores, and of course, on Amazon.


   One of his next projects, Professor Carl Rollyson is currently penning a comprehensive look about author William Faulkner (who I just wrote about in a previous blog). I’m most humbled by Professor Rollyson’s citations from my book, and his approval of my analysis. I offer my most sincerest thank you I can muster for this unsolicited acknowledgment.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

This entry was posted on Sunday, November 22nd, 2015 at 2:57 am and is filed under Blog by Manny Pacheco. You can follow any comments to this post through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

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