Behind the painted smile

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 17 July, 1993, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 17 July, 1993, 12:00am

OUT in paperback is What's It All About? by America's favourite Cockney Maurice Micklewhite, aka Michael Caine (Arrow, $77). It's written in the laid-back manner that is hallmark Caine, and reveals details of the bad times in London pre-fame as well as the good times in Hollywood ever since.

Peter Collier's biography The Fondas: A Hollywood Dynasty (Fontana, $72) begins with Henry's first paying job as a credit clerk and ends at Jane's first date with Ted Turner. Since she and the CNN mogul were married in March last year, the book's a little dated. But it's still an interesting piece of Hollywood history, covering the first three acting Fondas, Henry, Jane and Peter, and mentioning then-aspirant star Bridget (Peter's daughter) who has since found fame in films such as Single White Female.

Ian Woodward's book Audrey Hepburn (Virgin, $72), which has been reprinted to mark the actress' death in January, reveals details of her scarred childhood. Born into the Dutch aristocracy, her family's fortunes changed when her pro-Nazi father abandoned them at the start of World War II, a move which inspired Audrey to fight for the resistance.

Mr Woodward also covers Audrey's discovery by Colette, and her work for UNICEF towards the end of her life.

Michael Jackson called him ''my all-time hero''. No, he wasn't referring to some musical influence, but to British comedian Benny Hill, a man whose humour brought him much scorn yet also made him the world's most widely recognised comic.

In Benny: The True Story (Coronet, $85), Dennis Kirkland, who produced Hill's TV show for 16 years, looks at the shy man behind the grin.