The Schmooze

From Reagan to Gibson: A Star's Life and Loves

Admirers of the 79-year-old filmstar Piper Laurie, especially her three Oscar-nominated performances in “The Hustler” (1961), “Carrie” (1976) and “Children of a Lesser God” (1986), may not know about the abiding importance of Yiddishkeit to her achievements.

Laurie, born Rosetta Jacobs in Detroit in 1932, makes this aspect of her life and art evident in an intelligent, emotionally perceptive book published by Crown in November, “Learning to Live Out Loud: A Memoir”. Her parents, Charlotte Sadie Alperin and Alfred Jacobs were of Russian and Polish Jewish descent respectively, and early on Laurie marveled at her mother’s penchant for standing in the street and howling if one of her children was misbehaving.

East European emotional exhibitionism helped Laurie in later roles from TV’s cult series “Twin Peaks” — where she played Catherine Martell — to the 2010 indie film “Hesher” co-starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Natalie Portman.

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From Reagan to Gibson: A Star's Life and Loves

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