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Kathleen Carroll, who was once called ‘the toughest critic in New York’ by Variety, began her career at the New York Daily News typing up the schedules for the movie theaters.
In a very short time Kathleen began to review films and became the must-read critic for movie-goers. Her reviews contributed to the success of films like Jaws, Taxi Driver, and Bonnie and Clyde. A four-star review from Kathleen was a rare, and sought out achievement. Her career gave her access to movie stars and film directors as she traveled to movie sets and movies festivals all over the world. The conversations with these movie-makers appeared in the Daily News Sunday supplement during the 70’s where Kathleen had the space to do in-depth interviews. My Life in the Dark is a collection of these profiles. In these working portraits, Kathleen reveals lovely unguarded moments and thoughts of actors like Gloria Swanson, Mel Brooks, Robert Redford, and even the cast of the Wizard of Oz.
Writer Chris Shaw said in the forward to My Life in the Dark: "Kathleen Carroll, the working writer, whose prose reflects her speech, and whose generosity gains her the trust of her difficult subjects. Brando in a gingham dress on the set of Arthur Penn’s The Missouri Breaks, a fascinating mess of a movie with a screenplay by Tom McGuane; Groucho at the Regency Hotel in the care of two nurses and musing on his affection for “girls, a great invention”. Her exchanges crackle with the rapid fire dialogue of a Billy Wilder screenplay. Her sentences and vocabulary likewise echo the forties and fifties dialogue in their inflection and voice. They’re the ground bass of all these profiles, and give them their lasting interest. It is the voice of someone just like us—fascinated and slightly awed by the flickering illusion of greatness—and unlike us in seeing through the veil at the same time.”