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Rensin, David

Rensin, David

PERSONAL:

Married; children: one son.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Los Angeles, CA. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Writer.

WRITINGS:

(With Bill Zehme) The Bob Book: A Celebration of the Ultimate Okay Guy, Dell (New York, NY), 1991.

(With Tim Allen) Don't Stand Too Close to a Naked Man, Hyperion (New York, NY), 1994.

(With Tim Allen) I'm Not Really Here, Hyperion (New York, NY), 1996.

(With Jeff Foxworthy) No Shirt. No Shoes. No Problem!, Hyperion (New York, NY), 1996.

(With Chris Rock) Rock This!, Hyperion (New York, NY), 1997.

(With Garry Shandling) Confessions of a Late-Night Talk Show Host: The Autobiography of Larry Sanders, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1998.

(With Bernie Brillstein) Where Did I Go Right? You're No One in Hollywood Unless Someone Wants You Dead, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1999.

(With Yanni) Yanni in Words, Miramax Books (New York, NY), 2002.

(With Louis Zamperini) Devil at My Heels: The Incredible Saga of a World War II Hero Who Spent Forty-seven Days Adrift and More Than Two Years as a POW, William Morrow (New York, NY), 2003.

The Mailroom: Hollywood History from the Bottom Up, Ballantine Books (New York, NY), 2003.

(With Bernie Brillstein) The Little Stuff Matters Most: 50 Rules from 50 Years of Trying to Make a Living, illustrated by David Sipress, Gotham Books (New York, NY), 2004.

All for a Few Perfect Waves: The Audacious Life and Legend of Rebel Surfer Miki Dora, HarperEntertainment (New York, NY), 2007.

Contributing editor to Playboy, 1981. Contributor to periodicals, including Rolling Stone, Esquire, Us Weekly, and TV Guide.

ADAPTATIONS:

Television rights to The Mailroom: Hollywood History from the Bottom Up have been purchased by Home Box Office (HBO). Movie rights to All for a Few Perfect Waves have been purchased by Leonardo DiCaprio's production company, Appian Way.

SIDELIGHTS:

David Rensin has served as collaborator with many celebrities, including musician/composer Yanni, war hero Louis Zamperini, and comedians Tim Allen, Garry Shandling, Chris Rock, and Jeff Foxworthy. Show business was a key component of Hollywood super-manager Bernie Brillstein's memoir, Where Did I Go Right? You're No One in Hollywood Unless Someone Wants You Dead. Brillstein's clients included John Belushi, Gilda Rad- ner, Dan Akroyd, and other original cast members of Saturday Night Live, as well as Muppet creator Jim Henson. Brillstein was also the force behind the television shows Hee Haw and Alf. Although assisted by Rensin, "the voice is unmistakably Brillstein: loud, astute, crude, alternately self-aggrandizing and self-deprecating and full of stories from the old days," noted Rick Marin in the New York Times Book Review. Mike Tribby, writing in Booklist, noted that Where Did I Go Right? "brings the careers and foibles of John Belushi, Jim Henson, and others to throbbing life." A reviewer for the Economist remarked: "Mr. Brillstein's ghostwriter did a good job of capturing the humour and insecurity of Hollywood's most famous manager." In a Publishers Weekly review, a critic simply summarized the book as an "engaging memoir."

In The Mailroom: Hollywood History from the Bottom Up, Rensin collects interviews from celebrities like David Geffen and Barry Diller, who got their start at the lowest level of show business—the talent agency mailroom. They reveal a world where people will do anything to get ahead, including opening others' mail, performing degrading duties for studio heads and stars, and resorting to blackmail. It is "an uncompromisingly truthful tell-all of what it takes to make it in the movie biz," stated a Publishers Weekly reviewer. "The stories are amusing, intriguing and sometimes horrifying." A critic writing in Kirkus Reviews called the book "edgy, frenetic, and entertaining reports from the room that launched a thousand deals." Leah Rozen, in People, declared that The Mailroom "really delivers."

Almost fifty years after the story was initially published, Rensin collaborated on a new version of Devil at My Heels: The Incredible Saga of a World War II Hero Who Spent Forty-seven Days Adrift and More Than Two Years as a POW for Louis Zamperini. The memoir covers a number of significant moments in Zamperini's life, starting with his troubled childhood, then his 1936 Olympic performance, Pacific bombing missions of WWII, being stranded at sea for forty-seven days, Japanese imprisonment, alcoholism, and closing with his newfound religious calling. Of each of these major life events, Roland Green wrote in a Booklist review that the book "adds significantly to knowledge of each of the kinds of experience he underwent." A critic reviewing the book in Publishers Weekly stated: "It's difficult to argue with the account they have produced of a harrowing life constantly redirected toward good works." Writing in a Library Journal review, Edwin B. Burgess noted that the memoir was appropriate for "inspirational collections, but it is also a well-written addition to the growing body of World War II personal narratives."

In Confessions of a Late-Night Talk Show Host: The Autobiography of Larry Sanders, Rensin collaborated with comedian Garry Shandling on the memoir of his HBO show's main character, late-night talk-show host Larry Sanders. Aside from writing about the show itself, Rensin and Shandling incorporate everything from Sanders's childhood abuse to his adult sex life and plenty of celebrity gossip. Critics found the book satisfactory. Brooke Allen, reviewing the memoir for the New York Times Book Review, commented that the book "lacks the dimension and bite of the television show." She went on to say, however, that "even watered-down Larry is a treat, and a lot better than no Larry at all." Writing in a Booklist review, Ilene Cooper wrote that the book would provide "a welcome fix," and "The Larry Sanders Show" "fans will be laughing out loud."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, November 1, 1998, Ilene Cooper, review of Confessions of a Late-Night Talk Show Host: The Autobiography of Larry Sanders, p. 452; November 15, 1999, Mike Tribby, review of Where Did I Go Right? You're No One in Hollywood Unless Someone Wants You Dead, p. 590; December 15, 2002, Roland Green, review of Devil at My Heels: The Incredible Saga of a World War II Hero Who Spent Forty-seven Days Adrift and More Than Two Years as a POW, p. 730; February 1, 2003, Mike Tribby, review of The Mailroom: Hollywood History from the Bottom Up, p. 963.

Economist, July 1, 2000, review of Where Did I Go Right?, p. 86.

Glamour, June, 1991, Laura Mathews, review of The Bob Book: A Celebration of the Ultimate Okay Guy, p. 106.

Globe and Mail, December 5, 1998, review of Confessions of a Late-Night Talk Show Host, p. 1; March 22, 2003, review of The Mailroom, p. D20.

Kirkus Reviews, November 15, 2002, review of Devil at My Heels, p. 1684; December 15, 2002, review of The Mailroom, p. 1831.

Library Journal, October 1, 1999, Kim R. Holston, review of Where Did I Go Right?, p. 95; November 15, 2002, Edwin B. Burgess, review of Devil at My Heels, p. 87.

Los Angeles Times, February 9, 2003, "Special Delivery," p. 226; February 18, 2003, Patrick Goldstein, "Boot Camp Hollywood Style," p. E1; July 27, 2003, review of The Mailroom p. R2.

New York Times Book Review, January 24, 1999, Brooke Allen, review of Confessions of a Late-Night Talk Show Host, p. 19; January 2, 2000, Rick Marin, review of Where Did I Go Right?, p. 22; November 25, 2004, Janet Maslin, review of The Little Stuff Matters Most: 50 Rules from 50 Years of Trying to Make a Living.

People, July 15, 1991, "In Bob We Trust," p. 75; January 1, 2000, review of Where Did I Go Right?, p. 41; March 31, 2003, Leah Rozen, review of The Mailroom, p. 37.

Publishers Weekly, October 25, 1999, review of Where Did I Go Right?, p. 63; December 9, 2002, review of Devil at My Heels, p. 72.; December 16, 2002, review of The Mailroom, p. 56.

ONLINE

David Rensin Home Page,http://www.tellmeeverything.com (December 27, 2006), author profile.

LAObserved,http://www.laobserved.com/ (December 28, 2006), author profile.

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