5 Must-Read Memoirs By Your Favorite TV and Film Actors

You grew up watching them on TV and have followed their film careers, now you can get to know the actors you love through their memoirs. Learn about how their careers evolved, their insecurities, the challenges they have overcome, and all of the behind-the-scenes stories you’ve always wanted to know. Each book on this list is riveting, heartwarming, funny, and brutally honest about life, Hollywood, and family. 

Get a glimpse into the man behind the actor with 5 must-read memoirs by your favorite TV and film stars.

A Life In Parts by Bryan Cranston

“Nothing short of riveting...an engrossing first-person account by one of our finest actors” (Huffington Post)—both a coming-of-age story and a meditation on creativity, devotion, and craft—Bryan Cranston, beloved and acclaimed star of one of history’s most successful TV shows, Breaking Bad.

“This splendid, moving, heartbreaking memoir is doubly triumphant. It regales and entertains while at the same time providing inspiration and practical wisdom. A truly gifted storyteller, Cranston captures the reader's imagination and emotions from beginning to end.” — Doris Kearns Goodwin


 WILL by Will Smith

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER • One of the most dynamic and globally recognized entertainment forces of our time opens up fully about his life, in a brave and inspiring book that traces his learning curve to a place where outer success, inner happiness, and human connection are aligned. Along the way, Will tells the story in full of one of the most amazing rides through the worlds of music and film that anyone has ever had.

“Will Smith isn't holding back in his bravely inspiring new memoir . . . An ultimately heartwarming read, Will provides a humane glimpse of the man behind the actor, producer and musician, as he bares all his insecurities and trauma.” — USA Today


Comedy Comedy Comedy Drama: A Memoir by Bob Odenkirk



In this hilarious, heartfelt memoir, the star of Mr. ShowBreaking Bad, and Better Call Saul opens up about the highs and lows of showbiz, his cult status as a comedy writer, and what it’s like to reinvent himself as an action film ass-kicker at fifty.

“Oftentimes hilarious . . . gleeful and irreverent . . . Comedy fans will find plenty of laughs and some heartening lessons, too.” — Publishers Weekly


Act Like You Got Some Sense by Jamie Foxx

In this hilarious and heartfelt memoir, award-winning, multi-talented entertainer Jamie Foxx shares the story of being raised by his no-nonsense grandmother, the glamour and pitfalls of life in Hollywood, and the lessons he took from both worlds to raise his two daughters.

"In this debut full of genuine reflection and heartfelt humor, actor and comedian Foxx riffs on parenting (“You ain’t ready for it”) and the life experiences that gradually helped shape him as a father. . . Foxx writes in a jovial manner, with jokes flying constantly. . . Yet where this book truly excels is in its honesty, offering an intimate look past Jamie Foxx the famous actor to reveal a relatable figure." ― Publishers Weekly


Walking With Ghosts: A Memoir by Gabriel Byrne

As a young boy growing up in the outskirts of Dublin, Gabriel Byrne sought refuge in a world of imagination among the fields and hills near his home, at the edge of a rapidly encroaching city. Born to working class parents and the eldest of six children, he harbored a childhood desire to become a priest. 

Walking with Ghosts is by turns hilarious and heartbreaking as well as a lyrical homage to the people and landscapes that ultimately shape our destinies.

“Make no mistake about it: Walking with Ghosts is a masterpiece. A book that will wring out our tired hearts. It is by turns poetic, moving, and very funny. You will find it on the shelf alongside other great Irish memoirs including those by Frank McCourt, Nuala O'Faolain and Edna O’Brien.” — Colum McCann

Hi, I’m Kahille with the VideoBook Channel. Black History Month is every month and we like to celebrate February with books that entertain us…inspire us…and inform us.


Summoned at Midnight: A Story of Race and the Last Military Executions at Fort Leavenworth


Beginning just before midnight on March 1st, 1955, the U.S. Army hung three black soldiers, starting in alphabetical order.  Over the next six years, the Army would drop six more soldiers to their deaths---all of them black. John Bennett, the last to be executed, was hung on April 13th, 1961. During this same period, eight white soldiers at Fort Leavenworth's death row were spared. The shocking contrast between the fate of the white soldiers and the midnight hangings of the black soldiers is explored in Summoned at Midnight.



Dark Sky Rising: Reconstruction and the Dawn of Jim Crow

Henry Louis Gates and Tonya Bolden


Written for readers ages 9 - 12, Dark Sky Rising is a story about America during and after Reconstruction, that time in American history that marked the ending of slavery, making newly freed slaves citizens with civil rights guaranteed by three new Constitutional amendments. Dark Sky Rising brings readers face-to-face with the people and events of Reconstruction's noble experiment, it’s tragic undermining, and the drawing of the NEW color line in the long Jim Crow era that followed. Above all, Dark Sky Rising celebrates the resiliency of African Americans in times of progress and during times of betrayal.



The Story of Motown

Peter Benjaminson


In January 1959, Berry Gordon borrowed $800 from his family and founded the Detroit-based record company that in less than a decade was to become the largest black-owned business in the United States. The Story of Motown details Berry Gordy's triumph over powerful, established financial interests, entrenched popular tastes, bigotry, and racism. In inventing a sound that appealed to whites as well as blacks, Gordy helped black artists control their own music, even as he, himself, exploited his talent. Motown is the story of the rise and fall of one of the most important milestones in American history.



I Am An Old Woman

Ntozake Shange


Ntozake Shange, well-known for writing For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf and other plays, novels, and poems dealing with the problems of Black women, died recently at age 70. I am An Old Woman is her last known work. In these, her last published words, Ntozake Shange remains as necessary as ever; a timelessly relevant presence that dares readers to speak of her in the past tense.


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