Paul Muni was one of the greatest performers of our time. His film roles included Zola, Scarface, Juarez, Pasteur (for which he won an Academy Award); he played a dozen giants on Broadway. His remarkable career spanned the first two-thirds of the 20th century. But Actor is more than the story of one man's on- and offstage life, for Muni was many men. This biography, which reads like a novel, is the saga of every actor who strives for perfection, who hides in public. Laced with humor, rich in anecdotes, this book is an affectionate and analytical study of a talented and tortured man. What was he like behind the makeup? What battles inside him evoked his unforgettable performances on stage and screen? Playwright Jerome Lawrence (co-author of Muni's most successful Broadway play, Inherit the Wind), who Muni called "my son", did much search and research to reveal the mystery of this amazing man. There are intimate revelations from hundreds of hours of conversation with Muni himself and with scores of friends, relatives, and peers who touched his life. Never before had anyone probed this special genius; Muni was even a mystery to himself. The incredible Bella Finkel Muni is a vital part of this book, which includes her own attempts to "put Munya on paper." Theirs was one of the most unusual husband-wife relationships in theater and film history. Muni performed over 300 different roles in Yiddish for 18 years before he spoke a word of English on a Broadway stage. From thousands of photographs and drawings, almost 100 have been carefully chosen to chart the private and public Muni. Climaxing the book is a word portrait by Bette Davis, his co-worker in Hollywood's golden age, in an exclusive and perceptive interview. An actor attains immortality in the minds of those who have seen him perform. This volume gathers into one treasury the memories of millions of fascinated watchers. The reader will collaborate by bringing his own special recollection of the multiman Muni.