Hands With a Heart

The Personal Biography of Actress ZaSu Pitts

Non-Fiction - Biography
524 Pages
Reviewed on 07/10/2012
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Since meeting ZaSu Pitts' son, Donald M. Gallery, in 1999, Haffner has used her prior experience in corporate documentation to research, clarify and present ZaSu's life and legacy to ZaSu's fans the world over.

Haffner is also an active supporter of Scottish singer, Susan Boyle, discovered by magnate Simon Cowell in the 2009 Britain's Got Talent competition. Boyle's story has so many uncanny parallels to that of actress Pitts, that Haffner's book Dedication to Boyle is sheerly inspired. In so doing, Haffner has supported individuals reaching their own life's dreams and careers.

Author Haffner can be reached for comment or to purchase signed copies: concordex3[at]yahoo.com.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Anne Boling for Readers' Favorite

What began as a mere article of a couple of pages for a magazine turned into a 523 page book, "Hands With A Heart: The personal Biography of Actress ZaSu Pitts" by Gayle D. Haffner. Many sources contributed to this endeavor. In 1917 ZaSu Pitts took Hollywood by surprise. She was more than a little clumsy and would often be heard giggling out of embarrassment. She was well known for fluttering her fingers and arms. ZaSu had violet eyes, a tender heart, and common sense. In the 1920s she was in silent films and in the late 60s in the 'Gale Storm', where she played a comedic role. ZaSu grew up amid poverty, but had no intention of staying there. After sharing her plans with her mother, ZaSu finally headed to Hollywood. In 1917 she finally got a screen test opposite Charles “King Zany” Dill. From there she received a contract for the Flora Finch comedies and next came a role with Mary Pickford. Later in life Pitts expressed her conservative political views. One of her dreams in life was to start her own candy company with hand-wrapped candies bearing her name. Her ending was very tragic and sad.

Until I read this book I was not familiar with ZaSu Pitts. The name ZaSu is delightful and I am surprised it did not become a popular baby name. Gayle D. Haffer did an incredible job of immortalizing the woman, the actress, the comedic personality, the fluttering hands and the kind heart. Kudos to Haffer for a well-written and researched book; she goes into great detail concerning Pitts's political affiliations. The anecdotes gave Pitts the depth that brought her to life.

Author Gayle Haffner's up

This Pitts biography has expanded and won more acclaim through the USA Book News awards. After placing right after the winning biography of OPRAH by Kitty Kelly (2011), Hands with a Heart went on to place First Winner, Biographies in the International Book Awards 2012 !!

In 2013, the inspirational BGT singer, Susan M. Boyle, was presented her personal copy of Hands with a Heart, and she was both delighted and humbled to know ZaSu's biography was becoming an inspiration to an entirely new generation of readers! -- Signed copies can be obtained directly from the author, G. Haffner, at half.com, Hands With a Heart, and the best pricing is with her ID = word_4_word .

It would be pure delight for a family-friendly movie (for TV audiences?) to be made from Hands With a Heart. If you know of an interested producer, please share my contact information with him/her. concordex3[at]yahoo.com or 810.653.5370.

Many thanks also to Anne Boling & to Readers' Favorite, LLC, for creating this informative opportunity.