How many lives does Jack have to blow before getting it right? And is sleeping with Marilyn Monroe worth getting murdered again?

“Compelling… Fascinating…Shades of Groundhog Day and It’s a Wonderful Life.”
— Forward Reviews.

“Rich, thought-provoking…A terrific page-turner…” — US Review of Books

“It’s just about impossible to put down.” — Bret Easton Ellis, New York Times best selling author

“I was particularly struck by how masterfully the author captured Marilyn Monroe. It’s no easy task to capture such an iconic figure who is now so heavily and elusively cloaked in myth, but I thought Rick Lenz portrayed her so well that I wondered if he’d actually met her. I don’t know if he has or not, but I almost felt I had by reading this book. I also enjoyed the way he placed the reader in LA of the 1950’s—a time still close enough to Hollywood’s golden era that it’s still visible to the naked eye. I felt like I’d traveled back with Jack to a time I’d love to have experienced myself.”
— Martin Turnbull, author of The Garden of Allah novels.

Available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBooks, and Google +


Late seventies: Young, would-be movie producer Emily Bennett doesn’t believe
Have Gun Will Travel star, Richard Boone, when he tells her about a 2/3 completed film, starring James Dean and John Wayne.

But when she meets the old film editor who stole the master negative of the legendary Showdown, she finds two uncannily gifted celebrity impersonators and with the aid of emerging computer technology sets out to complete the movie.

Filming Showdown, Emily and her stars portray characters entangled in an ambiguous love triangle with Oedipal overtones that mirror their real-life dynamic. On top of this and distrusting her prima donnaish director, Emily and her brother (three face-lifts) struggle with unresolved issues about their dying father.

All these flawed characters find themselves in the titular showdown of their lives when their interwoven back-stories come together in a stormy climax that reveals their hidden animosities, demons, and loves.


In his forties, after startling good fortune as an actor/playwright (he’s had plays performed in New York and on PBS; played leading roles in films, on television and stage with some of the greatest stars in Hollywood history), Rick Lenz finds it all falling apart. One evening in North Hollywood, standing alone, naked—not only metaphorically—on the stage of a tiny equity waiver theater, it hits him that his career has dropped out of frame and into helpless freefall. North of Hollywood is the story of his rise, fall, and rehabilitation, thanks to the faithful support of one woman.

A Performing Arts Book of the Year — Forward Reviews

First Place Memoir — Los Angeles Book Festival

“An actor’s intimate, sometimes hilarious, sometimes touching and always honest account of making a living while living next to Hollywood Legends.” — Publishers Weekly

“Rick Lenz is an actor. Most people don’t know the simple truth that Lenz reveals in this captivating autobiography: Actors are real people, and acting is a real job … We’re enthralled by the glamour, but Lenz helps us focus on the real point: The hardest part of a glamorous life, of any life, is to find one’s feet and stay standing. Lenz is still standing, and North of Hollywood is a warm, credible account of how he found his place in and out of the limelight … The eternal wisdom of a seasoned veteran.” — US Review of Books

“An essential book for anyone who has ever said they want to be an actor and anyone who was lucky enough not to. Compulsively readable!…Perceptive and poignant wisdom…”— Michael Kahn, Director, American Theatre Hall of Fame, OBE, Tony winner, and former Head of Drama at The Julliard School

“Talent to burn” — Lauren Bacall

“I love the book! Insightful, honest, wise, and charming. A wonderful read!
— Bernard Slade, Playwright of Same Time Next Year