Books That Made a Difference to Kevin Spacey

The actor and producer favors nonfiction by and about the powerful.
Free for All: Joe Papp, the Public, and The Greatest Theater Story Ever Told
Photo: Philip Friedman/Studio D

Free for All: Joe Papp, the Public, and The Greatest Theater Story Ever Told

608 pages; Doubleday
Spacey has very personal reasons for being drawn to this 2009 biography of the man who became one of the leaders of the American theater. He worked in Papp's Public Theater offices in the early 1980s, when he was a struggling actor. "One night Joe came to see me in an off-off-off-Broadway play. The next day, he called me into his office and fired me. He told me he was giving me two months' pay and pushing me out the door because, as he said, 'Last night I went to the theater and discovered an actor.' Four months later, I appeared in my first Broadway show. There are countless stories like that about Joe."
— As told to Naomi Barr

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