Actor and Warwick resident Carleton Carpenter releases memoir

| 28 Sep 2016 | 08:04

WARWICK - The title is: "The Absolute Joy of Work: From Vermont to Broadway, Hollywood, and damn near round the world."
And the author is American film, television and stage actor, magician and songwriter Carleton Carpenter, who also happens to be a longtime Warwick resident.
The cover features a photo of Carpenter with a lion, his co-star, along with Janet Leigh, an actress best remembered for her performance in Psycho, in his starring role in the 1951 movie, "Fearless Fagan."
Carpenter is an accomplished author with seven other published books along with short stories in Ellery Queen and Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine and this, his autobiography, is naturally well written and a great read.

Fifteen years to write

Carpenter explained that the book took 15 years to complete. And that wasn't because he uses a Royal typewriter and doesn't even own a computer.
It was because even as he approached his current age, 90, he was frequently called out of town for roles in out-of-town theatre company performances and found writing was best accomplished when he had a few days off in the more familiar surroundings of his home in Warwick.
"I'd get going great-guns for four or five pages," he said, "and then I'd get a call for a gig. I'd replace the Royal's lid and off I'd go."

From Vermont to the Pacific

"The Absolute Joy of Work," a title that does explain his life, begins with Carpenter's childhood growing up on a small farm in Bennington, Vermont.
He did all the things that youngsters do like working odd jobs, playing basketball, swimming and skiing in the mountains but he also loved and learned acting, dancing, magic, playing the piano, writing songs and Broadway.
All that was interrupted at age 17, during World War II, when Carpenter, who had just graduated from high school, received signed permission by his parents to join the U.S. Navy.
Those times as a Seabee, he said, included details involved in preparing the airfield at Tinian Island in the Pacific, which was used for The Enola Gay, the B-29 that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan.

'Aba Daba Honeymoon' duet

Carpenter has been a frequent guest speaker at the Albert Wisner Library's Monday Afternoon at the Movies whenever one of his films such as "Two Weeks with Love," is shown.
In that romantic musical, by the way, Carpenter teamed up with Debbie Reynolds to sing the "Aba Daba Honeymoon" song, which became the first sound track recording to become a top-of-the-chart gold record.
In 2012 he received a Cinecon Award for career achievement. And joined in an impromptu duet with Reynolds, had an opportunity to sing a bit of Aba Daba Honeymoon again.
The list of 15 movies in which he has starred or appeared range from "Lost Boundaries" with Mel Ferrer, in 1949, to "The American Snitch" in 1983.
The numerous Broadway roles and TV appearances mentioned in the book include the names and also many photographs of those he worked with like famous co-stars Reynolds, Ray Bolger, Gene Kelly, Burt Lancaster, Robert Walker, Phil Silvers, Spencer Tracey, Joan Evens and many others that would win any name dropping contest.
Carpenter plans to host a book signing, the date soon to be announced, which will be open to the public, at the Albert Wisner Library.
His memoir is available at Ye Olde Warwick Book Shoppe in Warwick and at