LARRY EDMUNDS BOOKSHOP

Larry Edmunds Bookshop has been a staple on Hollywood Blvd. for decades and just recently it celebrated its 31st anniversary under the auspices of owner Jeff Mantor. Not only is Larry Edmunds Bookshop my favorite book store (Evah!), but I’ve been going there since high school, which kind of predates Jeff Mantor’s ownership. Don’t get me wrong, I like all bookstores but the speciality aspect of Larry Edmunds towers above the competition: Samuel French, and the once thriving stores such as Book City, Hollywood Book & Poster, etc. Why? They were all either too pricey or limited in their inventory. Larry Edmunds had and still has, EVERYTHING! 

I knew I arrived as a biographer when Larry Edmunds (“The Lare”) carried my book and helped promote it.


   Not only did I go there regularly pre-Pandemic to browse, I don’t think I ever left that place without buying something. Yeah, it’s that enticing and that good! 
  I should add that owner Jeff Mantor has gone out of his way to help promote my book, Lee Marvin Point Blank in a way that defies description. In fact, when the publicist my publisher hired could not get the right people from the American Cinematheque on the phone, I told Jeff and he did the rest. I talked Chris Marvin into joining us for an evening of his father’s films and the rest as they say, is history. Thank you, Jeff! 

Book signing table with Jeff Mantor set-up in the lobby of the American Cinematheque’s Aero Theater in Santa Monica.

 

   He also offered to do a book signing IN Larry Edmunds bookshop if I could provide a worthy guest speaker to join me. A frantic call unsuccessful to first Angie Dickinson and then a successful one to the late, great Mitch Ryan clinched the deal on a magical night highlighted here. Once again, thank you, Jeff. 
 So here’s to a wonderful anniversary, for Larry Edmunds Bookshop and hopefully many more. See you soon, Jeff.
– Dwayne Epstein

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MITCH RYAN TURNS 86 TODAY!

Mitch Ryan, the veteran actor of film, TV and stage has turned eighty-six years old today! He made his film debut in his twenties in the Robert Mitchum cult classic, Thunder Road (1958), returned to the stage and then didn’t make another film until his appearance as Shorty in the Lee Marvin classic, Monte Walsh (1970). Naturally, it was his work in that underrated western that made him the subject of my intense interest. In fact, here’s a story  that I’ve never told publicly before that I think says volumes about the man’s character.

(L-R) Lee Marvin, Mitch Ryan and Jack Palance in MONTE WALSH.

I had attempted to interview him several times over the years but the attempt was often in vain. Lee Marvin’s lawyer, David Kagon, knew Ryan and contacted him for me while I was in Kagon’s office. Ryan was polite but firm. He said he had to honor Pam Marvin’s wishes and not speak to me.
Okay, flash forward a few years and I’m still working on the book and attempting more interviews. I don’t recall how but I came in contact with Ryan again. This time, however, he was infinitely more receptive and agreed to a phone interview. The result was one of the most revealing and useful interviews I ever got as he was a great friend to Marvin throughout the remainder of his life. Our talk can be read in the pages of Lee Marvin Point Blank and it is both impressive and poignantly revealing.
After the book came out, Jeff Mantor invited me to a Q&A Book signing at his legendary store, Larry Edmunds Bookshop on the dirty boulevard of Hollywood. He encouraged me to invite a celebrity who knew Marvin to help sell books. Not many of my interview subjects were still around but when I asked Mr. Ryan…..

Mitch Ryan at the Larry Edmunds book signing enthusiastically shows off his prized possession.

 

What a guy, huh? I’m telling ya, not just a wonderful actor but a true mensch. We dined at Musso & Franks before the signing (on my publisher’s dime) and had a wonderful time at the signing itself. I can’t say enough about this great man so happy birthday, Mitch, and here’s to many more. You’re aces in my book! And thanks to your help, it’s a NY Times bestseller!
– Dwayne Epstein

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LEE MARVIN POINT BLANK: PEOPLE AND PLACES, PART I

Before Lee Marvin Point Blank was even published in 2013, the people and places it showed up with surprised even me. For instance, publisher Tim Schaffner sent an advance review copy to publicist Mike Phillips who chose to waste no time in digging in, even if it meant taking it along to his work out….

Publicist Mike Phillips shares the advance copy with fellow gym members.

Once it did come out, I was quite gratified to see where and with whom it showed up. Of course, how one reads it is entirely up to the reader. take for instance Lee Marvin fan, Bill Consolo, who seems to have found a Hebrew version….

Bill Consolo reads what appears to be a unique copy of Lee Marvin Point Blank.

Of course, even some celebrities have taken to help promote the book. When I did a book-signing at Larry Edmunds Bookshop, I was fortunate to have Mitch Ryan, Lee Marvin’s Monte Walsh costar, agree to appear….

Mitch Ryan, clearly excited to get his copy of Lee Marvin Point Blank.

At the same book signing, and much to my surprise, I finally got to meet up with veteran stage, film and TV actor, Ron Thompson. He had a dual role in one of my favorite films, American Pop, playing both Tony and Tony’s son, Little Pete. Ron and I became friends via Facebook and we had talked about meeting up a few times. His appearances at the book signing and later, his favorable opinion (third from the bottom) of my work was one of the most rewarding personal experiences I’ve had thus far.  While he was there, he received his own surprise as the lady who accompanied Mitch Ryan was an old friend of Ron’s that he had not seen in years! See what can happen when you come to one of my book signings!
-Dwayne Epstein

(L-R) Author Dwayne Epstein, American Pop’s Ron Thompson and his long lost friend, Claudette Sutherland.

 

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