June 11, 2008 / 1:13 AM / 10 years ago

Wife of comedian Denis Leary skewers celebrity

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The wife of comedian Denis Leary sends up Hollywood, marriage and celebrities in her new novel that is based on her experiences of dealing with her husband’s fame and observations of film stars.

<p>Emmy-nominated actor Denis Leary and his wife Ann arrive at the 59th Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, California September 16, 2007. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>

Ann Leary’s first novel, “Outtakes From A Marriage,” which was recently released in the United States, was written after 25 years of watching her husband, a libertarian stand-up comedian and actor, rise from obscurity to wide recognition.

“It’s a story about marriage and it is also a look at what happens to people when they become famous,” she said.

Leary decided not to write about her real life, living in a small town in Connecticut with her husband, because she said it was not very compelling.

“We are not the most exciting people,” she explained.

The novel, which Publishers Weekly said shows “an eye for the comedy of manners of the rich and idle” comes four years after her memoir “An Innocent, a Broad” about the real-life story of the premature birth of son Jack in London and living in the British capital for several months.

“Outtakes from a Marriage” centers more on the effects of stardom on the celebrity, those close to them and the reactions of the public -- including on the red carpet.

Leary, 45, has her own experiences on the red carpet including being swept aside and overhearing photographers’ blunt comments while snapping her husband, who is currently starring in his own U.S. television show “Rescue Me.”

“There is this energy on the red carpet that is quite incredible, it is like a narcissists’ convention, a narcissists’ parade,” Leary said, adding that some young stars tend to grab attention out of the air.

“Then there are the gentle giants like the Morgan Freemans or the Meryl Streeps who are so gracious, who will stand up and offer their chair even to a nobody like me,” she added.

Leary described U.S. celebrity adoration as “fascinating,” saying Americans are more favorable toward their celebrities than other cultures.

She also admitted that in releasing the novel she takes some advantage of her husband’s celebrity status. Leary joked that she felt like the wife played by Lucille Ball in the hit 1950s TV show “I Love Lucy” who rides off the back of her husband’s show business success.

But she insisted fame was not a factor in any changes in her ever-evolving marriage.

“I wouldn’t say his success in show business has changed us as much as maturing has,” Leary said.

Reuters/Nielsen

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