Tambor, Jeffrey. “Are You Anybody?: A Memoir”, Crown, 2017.
A Star Dazzles
Jeffrey Tambor is a man of many talents. He was Hank Kingsley on “The Larry Sanders Show”, he was outrageous as George and Oscar Bluth on “Arrested Development” and is presently an Emmy Award-winning actor for his performance as Maura Pfefferman on “Transparent”. He is a Broadway star, a television legend, an accomplished witty screen actor who has stolen our hearts for more than forty years. However, do we really know Jeffrey Tambor? We will in this wonderful memoir as Tambor
looks back at the key moments in his life that “taught him about creativity and play and pain and fear”. Tambor was born the son of “eccentric” Russian and Hungarian Jewish parents and grew up in San Francisco. He had a lisp and this caused him to suffer until he found his place in the theater. He shares that he learned from the best of his craft (Al Pacino, George C. Scott, Garry Shandling, Mitch Hurwitz, Jill Soloway) and from others he met along the way. From his first Broadway role through today, he is humbled by his work.
He takes us backstage to his life and he is very honest about his struggles with addiction, Scientology, and what it feels like to get fourth billing on the TV comedy, “The Love Boat”.
Answering the question, are you anybody?”, Tambor says “that a promise that success doesn’t mean perfection and failure most definitely is an option”. We meet the various characters that he has played and share his journeys on how he discovered how to portray them. Tambor has fought expectancy in life and in doing so, he is inspiring. In his honesty, we find rewards, chief of which is humanity. His friendships with others is what, he says, distinguishes him from others.
Regarding Maura Pfefferman, he tells us he is amazed at the response of the transgender community and he is totally devoted to that community. He has used his platform to speak to about and to the movement’s shared goals, both on and off camera. The thing that has catalyzed the trans revolution is the arrival of powerful allies willing to hear their stories and fight alongside them for their rights. Tambor is not just anybody, he is somebody!!!