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Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye: The Barbara Payton Story by John O’Dowd | Book Review

Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye: The Barbara Payton Story by John O’Dowd | Book Review Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye: The Barbara Payton Story by John O'Dowd
Genres: Biography
Original Publication Date: 2007
Source: I purchased this book
Find the Author: Website, Goodreads, Amazon

Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye is about the tragic life of Barbara Payton. She looked like a very promising young starlet in the 1950s, as the beautiful but untrained actress gave good performances in her films. But Barbara could not control her private life, which made more headlines than her films. Mental illness and alcoholism followed. Barbara Payton became one of the most tragic figures in Hollywood history.

Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye: The Barbara Payton Story by John O’Dowd is the very sad true story of how a beautiful actress who once co-starred with big stars like William Cagney and Gregory Peck ended up as an alcoholic street prostitute on Skid Row.

Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye Describes The Downfall of a Hollywood Starlet

Barbara Payton seemed to have it all in 1951.

She was starring in a film with James Cagney.

She possessed youth and beauty and had a string of lovers.

Barbara didn’t care what people thought of her. Flaunting her complicated private life in the staid 1950s didn’t win her many supporters in the movie industry.

She paid far more attention to her love life than her career, and people in the movie business did not take her seriously.

Here is the trailer for her best film, Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye, in which she is touted as an emerging star:

There Was A Family History of Alcoholism

Her apparent inability to contain her private life is what did her in. She had a compulsive nature and a perverse wish to destroy herself.

Both of her parents were alcoholics. Barbara’s eventual severe addictions to drugs and alcohol ruined her career. It eventually drove her into prostitution on Skid Row.  She died at age 39.

She may also have suffered from an undiagnosed mental disorder. This would explain some of her most self-destructive tendencies, in addition to a genetic predisposition to alcoholism.

Final Analysis

The book was meticulously researched and well-written.

The author goes into incredible detail about Barbara’s life. What I like best is that he shows both sides of the story, not just the self-destructive side, and you get to know Barbara had many good qualities, too.

If you are interested in Old Hollywood, you might be very interested in this book. It is extremely well done.

You can read more about the book here.

For more on glamourous stars of Old Hollywood, please read my reviews of Foxy Lady: The Authorized Biography of Lynn Bari and Don Ameche: The Kenosha Comeback Kid.

Thank you for reading The Literary Lioness!

About John O’Dowd

John O’Dowd is a freelance writer and celebrity biographer, and the author of Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye: The Barbara Payton Story, which was published by BearManor Media in 2007.

I love books, writing, film, and television.

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