Saturday, April 04, 2015

Booksteve Reviews: Glamour, Gidgets and the Girl Next Door by Herbie J. Pilato

Between the various issues of the past year and all the work I’ve been doing to keep our heads above water, I’ve also been slowly reading some new books. The cleverly titled GLAMOUR, GIDGETS,
AND THE GIRL NEXT DOOR by Herbie J. Pilato is one of them.

If the name sounds familiar, it’s because Herbie is THE quintessential expert on all things BEWITCHED and author of several obsessively delightful books on that classic series and its beauteous star, Elizabeth Montgomery.

Here, he expands his outlook to take a look at other now-iconic female performers from what has turned out to be television’s classic years of the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s.

If you’re looking for in-depth bios, cheesecake fantasies, or scandalous memories, you won’t find them here. What you WILL find is a warm and pleasant revisiting with old friends in an almost scrapbook-style environment. Each woman gets a picture, a brief but respectful biography, a listing of career highlights and some often fascinating quotes.

For those of us who grew up with these people as our imaginary friends, GLAMOUR, GIDGETS, AND THE GIRL NEXT DOOR is a real treat. In fact, the biggest complaint one can lodge against this thick volume is who ISN’T included. I didn’t worry TOO much about that, though, because I was busy enjoying who IS included!

As one would expect, you’ll find Liz Montgomery, Farrah Fawcett, Julie Newmar,  Stefanie Powers, Donna Douglas and Lynda Carter. Less expected but perhaps even welcomer, one also finds Sally Field, Valerie Bertinelli, Elinor Donahue, Barbara Hale, Inger Stevens, Anne Francis and even the once mega-popular Lennon Sisters! And that’s just the beginning!

Far from being just a cold reciting of the details of these ladies’ careers, Herbie offers up his own occasionally insightful observations in each chapter. By the end of the book, I felt as though I’d sat down and had a long conversation with someone who’d known all the same people I used to know and remembered so fondly from my youth.

If, like me, your best friends growing up dropped by the house courtesy of the rabbit ears on top of your television, here’s your chance to revisit a wonderful selection of them. GLAMOUR, GIDGETS, AND THE GIRL NEXT DOOR by Herbie J. Pilato is a book that will make you wistful even as it makes you smile.

Booksteve Recommends!

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