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The Valley of the Dolls

Popular and well-known writer Jacqueline Susann wrote the book “Valley of the Dolls” in 1966 which Hollywood made into a movie in 1967. The movie starred three top actresses at that time Barbara Perkins, Patty Duke, and Sharon Tate. I must say that I read the novel and thoroughly enjoyed it but the movie seemed to lack something. It was popular though because of the novel. It is worth watching today just to see the talent of these three amazing actresses. Sharon Tate is the actress who was murdered by the Charles Manson clan in 1969 so in this movie you can still see her on the big screen.

The author Jacqueline Susann worked as a model and actress in New York City. She got small roles in some Broadway plays and even though she tried she never made it big in Hollywood, California. However, her novels were made into movies. The one good thing was that during this time she was able to observe everything which involved sex and drugs and was able to use this information for her most successful book.

I enjoyed her first book very much which was written about her poodle “Every Night, Josephine”. This book is a great delight and it makes you laugh and cry and love poodles everywhere. It became an unexpected bestseller. Susann wrote “Valley of the Dolls” in 18 months and the book hit the bestseller list and stayed there for a whole 22 weeks. The author died in 1974 and at this time her book had already sold 17 million copies which made it the bestselling novel of all time.

Her next book was “The Love Machine” telling the story about the sexual antics of a TV executive. This book was another number one bestseller. The movie was released in 1971 starring John Phillip Law, Dyan Cannon, and Robert Ryan. When her next novel “Once Is Not Enough” came out in 1973 she had become the first novelist to have three bestsellers on the list at one time. “Once Is Not Enough” also became a movie in 1976 starring Kirk Douglas, Alexis Smith, and Deborah Raffin.

Her other books are “Yargo”, “Dolores” and “Shadow of the Dolls”.  It was unfortunate that cancer cut the author’s life so short and when she passed away she was only 53 on September 21, 1974.

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  1. I honestly have to say I’ve seen the movie (Valley of the Dolls,) when I was doing a small piece on lost Hollywood potential (Sharon Tate was one of them) in college. But honestly, i never read any of her books.

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