Welcome to the website for Tara Hanks, author of The Mmm Girl and Wicked Baby.

About Me



‘The Misfits’ (1961)

This article can also be read at Immortal Marilyn.

The Last Misfit: Eli Wallach 1915-2014

Eli Herschel Wallach was born at Union Street, in Brooklyn’s Red Hook district, in December 1915. One of four children, he grew up above Bertha’s candy store, managed by his Polish immigrant parents – one of the few Jewish businesses in a predominantly Italian neighbourhood. Two months previously, Arthur Miller had been born in Harlem; while Elia Kazan, born in Istanbul in 1909, was living in New York with his Greek Orthodox family.

‘Even in my earliest memories, my wish was always the same: I wanted to be an actor,’ Wallach wrote in his 2005 memoir, The Good, the Bad and Me.  Continue Reading »

My Baby Shot Me Down

my baby shot me down

‘My Baby Shot Me Down’ is the subtitle of ‘Bang Bang’, an eerie ballad made famous by Cher and Nancy Sinatra in the 1960s, and more recently revived in Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill. And it is now the title of a new anthology, showcasing women writers. On the cover a paint-splattered angel, or ballerina – a little girl’s figurine – dons a gas-mask for what looks like a psychedelic reworking of Nirvana’s In UteroContinue Reading »

Stella! Mother of Modern Acting by Sheana Ochoa

My review of Stella! Mother of Modern Acting, Sheana Ochoa‘s compelling new biography of Stella Adler – the actress, director and teacher who lived through extraordinary times, and after a revelatory meeting with Stanislavsky, made it her mission to challenge the dominance of Lee Strasberg’s Method – is posted today at For Books’ Sake.

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Marilyn Monroe: Private and Undisclosed

Finishing The Picture

Casillo Marilyn Diaries

My interview with novelist Charles Casillo, author of The Marilyn Diaries, is posted today at Immortal Marilyn.

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Ten to One: David Marshall

Ten to One: Stuart P. Coates



“I prefer to bask in the legend of people I’ve only heard about,” Lana Del Rey writes in a memo given out at the premiere of her short film, Tropico, in December 2013. “To me – they are as real as the people sitting in this theater.” Continue Reading »

Public Battles Private Wars by Laura Wilkinson

My review of Public Battles, Private Wars – a new novel by Laura Wilkinson, marking the thirtieth anniversary of the Miners’ Strike – is posted today at For Books’ Sake.

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Life Under Thatcher

The Right of the Subjects


Madonna’s fourth studio album, Like a Prayer, was released on March 21, 1989. I was three months away from my 17th birthday when I bought it on vinyl from Our Price Records on Ilford High Street, and can remember the whiff of patchouli oil inside the sleeve. It’s a youthful, soulful pop masterpiece, and still one of my favourite albums of all time. To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Like a Prayer, you can read my archive review (from 2009) right here.

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Love Song

True Blue


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