Mooney, Bill 1936- (William Mooney)

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Mooney, Bill 1936- (William Mooney)

PERSONAL:

Born May 2, 1936, in Bernie, MO.

ADDRESSES:

Home—East Brunswick, NJ. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Storyteller and actor. Participant in storytelling festivals, including National Storytelling Festival, New Jersey Folk Festival, Jackson Storyfest, Alabama Tale-tellin' Festival, and Cave Run Festival. Storytelling performer for Holland America cruise line. Played role of Paul Martin on the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) soap opera All My Children. Guest on television series, including the Today Show, As the World Turns, One Life to Live, Loving, and The Guiding Light. Appeared on and off-Broadway, including in A Man for All Seasons, Lolita, We, and The Brownsville Raid. Appeared in motion pictures, including Network, Beer, and A Flash of Green.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Two-time Emmy nominee for role of Paul Martin on the ABC soap opera All My Children; Grammy nominee, 1995, Gold Award, Parents Choice, and Notable Children's Recording, American Library Association, all for Why the Dog Chases the Cat; Grammy nominee, 1998, for Spiders in the Hairdo: Modern Urban Legends.

WRITINGS:

(With Donald J. Noone) ASAP: The Fastest Way to Create a Memorable Speech, Barron's (Hauppauge, NJ), 1992.

(Editor, with David Holt) Ready-to-Tell Tales: Surefire Stories from America's Favorite Storytellers, August House (Little Rock, AR), 1994.

(And editor, with David Holt) The Storyteller's Guide: Storytellers Share Advice for the Classroom, Boardroom, Showroom, Podium, Pulpit, and Center Stage, August House (Little Rock, AR), 1996.

(Reteller, with David Holt) Spiders in the Hairdo: Modern Urban Legends, August House (Little Rock, AR), 1999.

(Editor, with David Holt) More Ready-to-Tell Tales from around the World, August House (Little Rock, AR), 2000.

(Reteller, with David Holt) The Exploding Toilet: Modern Urban Legends, illustrated by Kevin Pope, August House (Little Rock, AR), 2004.

Coauthor, with David Holt, of produced play Banjo Reb and the Blue Ghost. Recorded storytelling performances with Holt include Why the Dog Chases the Cat, High Windy Audio (Fairview, NC), 1995; and Half Horse, Half Alligator, August House Audio (Little Rock, AR), 1997. Spiders in the Hairdo: Modern Urban Legends was adapted for audio (one cassette) by the authors, music by Dick Hyman, High Windy Audio (Fairview, NC), 1999.

SIDELIGHTS:

Bill Mooney has had a successful career acting in films, on stage, and in daytime television series, including a long run on the popular All My Children. He is also a storyteller and has taken part in many storytelling festivals. Mooney published, with David Holt, The Storyteller's Guide: Storytellers Share Advice for the Classroom, Boardroom, Showroom, Podium, Pulpit, and Center Stage, which is a guide to others who would become involved in this art form.

Mooney and Holt have also collected several volumes of stories, including Spiders in the Hairdo: Modern Urban Legends. The book contains fifty stories from the oral tradition that retell such tales as the one about the alligators that live in the sewers in New York City and the woman who thought a rat was a dog. The story of the title is about a woman who had a nest of black widow spiders living in her beehive hairdo. Richard K. Burns wrote in Library Journal: "These tales are the substance of modern folklore, an evolving treasury of evanescent narratives."

Mooney and Holt collected stories for More Ready-to-Tell Tales from around the World, an anthology similar to their earlier Ready-to-Tell Tales: Surefire Stories from America's Favorite Storytellers. The first volume contained several stories from other countries, while this one includes stories from all over the world. Photographs of the storytellers are included.

More frightening urban myths can be found in The Exploding Toilet: Modern Urban Legends, many of which are ghost stories. School Library Journal reviewer Tracy Karbel commented that "these pieces are good for laughs, gasps, winces, or sighs of relief or disbelief."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, December 15, 2000, Gillian Engberg, review of More Ready-to-Tell Tales from around the World, p. 829.

Kliatt, September, 2004, Claire Rosser, review of The Exploding Toilet: Modern Urban Legends, p. 40.

Library Journal, April 15, 1999, Richard K. Burns, review of Spiders in the Hairdo: Modern Urban Legends, p. 106.

School Library Journal, August, 2004, Tracy Karbel, review of The Exploding Toilet, p. 138.