Now available on Amazon Kindle... $9.99

"Burt Lancaster: In Light and Shadow"
...
736 pages, including 72 glossy photo pages in five sections. 6x9.25 format, hardcover with dustjacket, acid-free paper and Smythe-sewn library binding. The definitive biography of Burt Lancaster. Over 200 photos in the book, including poster thumbnails in the filmography. Years of research; edited by Carolin Kopplin. My original 1988 book, "The Cinema History of Burt Lancaster" was approved by Mr. Lancaster.

"Chuck Connors: Cowboy at Heart"... 518 pages including 48 glossy photo pages in two sections. 6x9.25 format, hardcover with dustjacket, acid-free paper and Smythe-sewn library binding. The definitive biography of Kevin "Chuck" Connors. Approximately 200 photos in the book. (This book is an updated edition of "The Man Behind the Rifle" with many new photos, and the extensive Rifleman episode guide with complete synopses of 300-500 words for all 168 episodes, plus cast and credits. Also basic episode guides for "Arrest and Trial", "Branded" and "Cowboy in Africa". The older 1997 edition was 348 pages plus 16 pages of photos; this edition was authorized by Mr. Chuck Connors.)


By the way, Chuck and Burt were good friends and made the 1953 screwball comedy together, "South Sea Woman." Virginia Mayo later told the author that she had great fun making this picture with the two tall, talented, and funny actors from New York! Here you see the three stars in a lobby card from the motion picture.

David Fury started Artist's Press in 1988 to publish his bio-filmography, "The Cinema History of Burt Lancaster." Mr. Lancaster himself was very pleased with the volume, and made an appearance on the Dinah Shore show where the book was featured in 1989. (A Conversation with Dinah)

After garnering superb reviews from a variety of sources for his first book, David Fury researched another film history entitled "Kings of the Jungle," which was published by McFarland in 1994. This history and filmography of the Tarzan pictures featured a Foreword written by Maureen O'Sullivan, the beloved Irish actress who was by far the most popular "Jane" in the long-running Tarzan series. Maureen and Johnny were close, life-long friends. David maintained a friendship with Maureen for several years, and then authored her biography in 2007, "No Average Jane."

David Fury penned an original screenplay for his friend Chuck Connors, entitled "The Final Showdown: Return of the Tall Man." The story was unsold at the time of his death in 1992, and in his final weeks Mr. Connors authorized David Fury to write his life story. "The Man Behind the Rifle" was published in 1997, and remains popular to this day. This of course is a tribute to the affection screen fans have had for Mr. Connors in his role as "The Rifleman." Chuck called the TV western "a love story between a father and a son," and indeed fathers and sons of the 1950s would watch the heroic deeds of Lucas McCain together in front of their 12-inch television screens each week for five seasons. Johnny Crawford co-starred as Mark McCain, the young son of widower McCain. This biography covers his early life in Brooklyn, his careers in baseball and basketball, and his long and successful career in television, motion pictures, and also the stage. Chuck was married three times and was the father of four sons.

In 2000, David Fury completed his biography of Johnny Weissmuller, the Olympic champion swimmer and Tarzan of the movies, 1932-1948. This heartfelt story of an immigrant boy from a broken marriage was once again critically acclaimed, and "Johnny Weissmuller: Twice the Hero" was also published in a Large Print edition in 2001 by Thorndike Press. Johnny was in reality a real-life hero, who, along with his brother Peter, risked their own lives to pull numerous survivors out of a frothy Lake Michigan, after a deadly and horrific boating accident in 1927. Weissmuller was married five times, including actress Lupe Velez, who was known as the "Mexican Spitfire" during the 1930s. His final marriage to Maria lasted 25 years until his death in 1984 at age 79.

In 2007, after several years of research, David Fury completed and published his biography of Maureen O'Sullivan, "No Average Jane." David received complete cooperation from Maureen's husband, James Cushing, who volunteered his personal memories and numerous photographs.This fascinating biography details the life of the Irish colleen who came to America in 1929 to star in "Song O' My Heart" with singing lezgend John McCormack; she became a screen legend within three years after starring in "Taran, the Ape Man" in 1932 with Johnny Weissmuller. Maureen's incredible career on the silver screen, radio, television and the stage lasted 60 years until her death in 1998. Ms. O'Sullivan also wrote the Foreword to David Fury's "Kings of the Jungle" (1994).


"I shall be ever grateful to Felix Feist, who directed the test that won me the role of Jane in the first of the MGM Tarzan series. I was nineteen at the time, alone in Hollywood. I had exactly two hundred and fifty dollars in the bank, and was a month behind in my rent at the Garden of Allah.
    I was to be the new Janet Gaynor, a threat to the rebellious Janet who was biding her time in Honolulu while the studio threatened not to meet the demands she was making, financial or otherwise. The trouble was that her fans resented this new Janet and when I was cast in a film that had been meant for her, they stayed away in droves. The studio became disgusted with me and dropped me as soon as my contract would allow, while Janet returned to the arms of her loving studio.
    This left me adrift--almost broke, no job and too proud to go home, a failure to Ireland. So I gambled, got an agent and spent my last money on some very unJanetlike photographs. These photos led me to the test that I have just mentioned — which brings me to Felix Feist.
    ‘Take One.' A year at Fox had only taught me my Janet Gaynor act. I was wistful, nauseatingly sweet. ‘Cut!' called Felix. ‘Stop that! Be strong and straight-forward!' he demanded. (Could I do that? I could and did.) ‘It's a wrap!' said Felix, and I went home to wonder whether I had the part or not.
    The next day my agent, a dear Irishman named Tom Conlon, called to tell me I had the role even though the director, Woody Van Dyke, had wanted someone else. After the usual wardrobe and make-up meetings I was taken to the jungle set to meet Johnny Weissmuller, Edgar Rice Burroughs and Woody Van Dyke.
    Standing well behind the camera I saw a Tarzan that the author could only have dreamed him to be. A golden make-up covered a body that was perfect. The setting sun lit his hair that was touched with gold. One foot was on a (supposedly) wounded lion. His arm was raised and with the most graceful gesture I have ever seen, he drove a spear into the animal's body. I watched in silence.
    ‘Cut!' said Van Dyke, who seemed reconciled to the fact that I was to be Jane. ‘Come and meet Jane,' called the director to Johnny Weissmuller. ‘Hi Maggie!' said Johnny while extending that golden hand. (We had met once before and he thought Maureen too dignified a name.) Edgar Rice Burroughs wanted a picture of us together. ‘My perfect Tarzan' he announced, ‘and my perfect Jane!' He sent me all of his Tarzan books and in the last book he wrote, ‘By now you should know everything there is to know about Tarzan.'
    I did get to know Johnny well, of course. It was not difficult; he was a big, over-grown kid. I never saw him be less than happy. He had three wives that came and went during our jungle years. Johnny seemed the same happy-go-lucky person when they left as when they arrived. Of his love life he said, ‘Tarzan has a G-string and women like to hang on.' He never spoke of his Olympic triumphs or of the medals he had won. Nor did he speak of the countries that had honored him. I think he lived completely for the moment — happy with our make-believe life, with the crew and with all the animals. Perhaps because he was a simple soul, they all adored him.
    I had trouble with Cheetah, every Cheetah. Naturally, there was more than one during those nine years. They were jealous of me and if I stood near Johnny they tried to bite me. When you see photographs of Johnny and me with "Boy" (John Sheffield) and Cheetah, you will always see the chimp next to Johnny and far from me. Often a wire was attached to the monkey's leg to keep her from me and still in the picture. Johnny liked practical jokes such as giving me a birthday cake that blew up when I tried to cut it! Stage chemistry is an interesting thing. Johnny and I were very different, but on camera something must have been right.
    So our lives and lives of other Tarzans and Janes are documented in David Fury's lovely book. It is a knowledgeable book and you will enjoy it as much as I do. I congratulate him and thank him for allowing me to be so much a part of our jungle magic."