Josephine: An Open Book by Angela Douglas
Josephine: An Open Book is a powerful and compelling story of a young woman’s journey to stardom and the trials and tribulations of showbusiness and celebrity. Set against the backdrop of London’s 1960s, her paths cross with the likes of Kirk Douglas, Steve McQueen Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn and Neil Armstrong.
Though a work of fiction, the novel draws extensively on Angela Douglas’ own experiences, weaving a story which is at its very heart, universal in its themes: love, loss, the breakdown of a marriage and the decline of health. Josephine is ultimately an uplifting memoir of determination and conviction in the face of adversity, and is sure to resonate with the reader.
About the Author
Angela Douglas was born in Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire, but has lived her whole life in South London. Her first professional appearance was in the West End aged just fourteen years old. Small roles in television along with teenage modelling and commercials followed.
Aged twenty, she was taken to Rome for three months to work on Cleopatra starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. Her twenty-first birthday was spent there...
On her return she was cast as Fancy Smith (Brian Blessed’s) girlfriend in the popular British TV series, Z Cars. Immediately after she went to Bristol to film Some People, directed by Clive Donna. The leading man was the British movie star Kenneth More.
At forty-seven years old More was at the top of his career, following success in classics such as Genevieve, Reach for the Sky, Night to Remember and Sink the Bismark! Older and married, Angela aged just twenty, they fell in love. Society, the press, all frowned upon their relationship. Several very difficult years were to follow but when divorce laws eventually changed, they were free to marry in 1968.
During these years, Angela still worked for several leading directors including: Ted Kotcheff, Christopher Morahan, Bryan Forbes and J.Lee Thompson in Hollywood for John Goldfarb: Please Come Home, starring Shirley MacLaine and Peter Ustinov.
Feature film appearances continued in It’s All Happening with Tommy Steele, The Comedy Man with Kenneth More and Maroc Seven with Gene Barry.
Angela was then cast to play the new female lead in four classic Carry On films – starring first as ‘Annie Oakley’ in Carry On Cowboy. This followed with appearances in Carry On Screaming, Carry On Follow That Camel, and Carry On Up the Khyber.
Angela also appeared in many iconic television series, including: Gideon’s Way, The Saint, The Avengers, Doctor at Large, Jason King, The Protectors, and Father Brown.
In July 1969 she miscarried the longed-for baby with Kenneth More. Angela returned back to work, traveling to Hong Kong to star in the musical Something’s Afoot with Virginia McKenna and George Cole. Toronto followed with the play, The Scenario with Trevor Howard.
In London she appeared alongside Patrick Macnee in Killing Jessica, before a tour of the UK with Tony Britton in The Seven Year Itch, and Anna Neagle in The First Mrs Fraser.
In 1979 Kenneth More was diagnosed with a rare form of Parkinson’s – MAS (Multiple Atrophy Syndrome). Angela nursed him for three years until his death in 1982. The entertainment industry was wonderfully supportive, rallying around to offer her work, but she chose to stay at home and spent eighteen months writing her autobiography: Swings and Roundabouts. It was incredibly well received by critics and audience alike, with the Daily Mail purchasing the serial rights. Her second title, Present Affairs, was a coffee table craft book on the art of gift wrapping.
Angela moved into journalism writing for many national publications, with The Mail on Sunday giving her a regular column in its Femail pages and The Daily Telegraph sending her to L.A to write a feature.
Angela dipped in and out of films and television during this time. Features included: Digby the Biggest Dog in the World with Jim Dale, Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet, Shadow Run with Michael Caine, This Year’s Love, South Kensington and Four Feathers with Heath Ledger. TV credits featured: The Gentle Touch, Third Time Lucky with Derek Nimmo, Doctor Who as Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart’s wife, Strathblair, Four Seasons playing opposite Frank Finley and Tom Conti, as well as guest appearances in long-running series: Casualty, Heartbeat, Peak Practice and Holby City.
In 1988 she met and fell in love with acclaimed director and playwright Bill Bryden. They were introduced to each other at a dinner party held by actress Marsha Hunt. In 2009 they married on her birthday in City Hall in New York. They live happily in south London.
Angela Douglas and the Kenneth More Estate are represented for publicity by Nick Pourgourides: firstname.lastname@example.org