With show biz in my veins, life began in 1943. My papa, Johnny Marvin, had been a star in New York City in the 1920s, yet his recordings can still be heard on YouTube. My gorgeous mother, Gloria Marvin-Fleming, sang and played piano in Papa’s act, while my uncle, Frankie Marvin, played guitar, sang and even yodeled, along with being the act’s outrageous comedian!
And to top it off, Gene Autry, America’s Favorite Singing Cowboy, who starred in 91 movies and recorded 100 million records, became my uncle. My father, Gene and Papa’s brother, Frankie, had become best friends in NYC; and with my father’s unexpected death when I was 17 months old, Gene decided to be my uncle.
Being surrounded by these characters created a recipe for my becoming a brat because I knew “all” the Hollywood stars. So, I’ve written some real-life “behind-the-scenes” stories about stars I grew up with, stars I’ve hung out with and stars I worked with, including Marilyn Monroe, Julie Christie, Princess Grace (Grace Kelly), Doris Day, Jodie Foster, Natalie Wood, Liza Minnelli, Nancy Sinatra, Linda Ronstadt, Carol Burnett, Leslie Uggams, Bobbie Gentry and Grace Slick.
The guys include Frank Sinatra and Frank Jr., John Wayne, Johnny Cash, Glen Campbell, Roy Rogers, Joe E. Brown, George Burns, Bing Crosby, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Neil Diamond, Steve Martin, Myron Cohen, Gordon McRae, the LA Lakers, my cousin Academy Award–winning actor Lee Marvin, my wonderful singing friend Al Martino from The Godfather, and my buddy, John Amos!