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Best known for her Oscar-nominated roles in the smash hits Paper Moon and Blazing Saddles, Madeline Kahn (1942-1999) was one of the most popular comedians of her time--and one of the least understood. In private, she was as reserved and refined as her characters were bold and bawdy. Almost a Method actor in her approach, she took her work seriously. When crew members and audiences laughed, she asked why--as if they were laughing at her--and all her life she remained unsure of her gifts.William V. Madison examines Kahn's film career, including not only her triumphs with Mel Brooks and Peter Bogdanovich, but also her overlooked performances in The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother and Judy Berlin, her final film. Her work in television--notably her sitcoms--also comes into focus.



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