A book review from The Movie Snob.
I’ll Be Damned: How My Young and Restless Life Led Me to America’s #1 Daytime Drama, by Eric Braeden (2017). If you’ve ever watched The Young and the Restless, you know that Victor Newman makes Montgomery Burns look like a boy scout. Victor, played by the 77-year-old Eric Braeden, is a cutthroat cosmetics tycoon who doesn’t think twice about, say, having his business archrival kidnapped and replaced by a lookalike (who also happens to be a South American drug kingpin). But Braeden’s real life story, told in this memoir, is almost as unlikely. Born in Germany during WWII, Braeden (actual name Hans Gudegast) emigrated to America as a young man, bounced around for a few years, became a successful actor playing German heavies in shows like Rat Patrol, did a few movies (including a key role in Escape from the Planet of the Apes), and then found his niche on The Young and the Restless. He’s a little defensive about being a soap star, and the book occasionally feels like an exercise in name-dropping, but I thought it was an interesting read nonetheless.