Out on a Limb (book)
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Out on a Limb is an autobiographical book written by American film actress Shirley MacLaine in 1983. It details MacLaine's journeys through New Age spirituality. The book follows McLaine from California to various locations including New York, Hawaii, and Europe, culminating in a life-changing trip to the Andes mountains in Peru. Central "characters" include "David" who is, according to MacLaine herself, a composite character, "Gerry Stamford", a married man and member of the House of Commons of the United Kingdom, with whom McLaine was having an affair, and real-life close friend and politician, Bella Abzug.
The book received both acclaim and criticism for its candor in dealing with such topics as reincarnation, meditation, mediumship (trance-channelling), and even unidentified flying objects. This is the book that made Shirley MacLaine the butt of many a joke, especially by the late-night comedians. Once, when David Letterman would not let up on the New Age subject, MacLaine responded by saying, "Maybe Cher was right; maybe you are an ass-hole!"
Out on a Limb was adapted for television in 1987. The five-hour ABC Television miniseries starred Shirley MacLaine (as herself), John Heard as "David Manning", and Charles Dance as "Gerry Stamford." Jerry Orbach played her agent. MacLaine kept a diary during the filming of the miniseries. The notes were later turned into the book It's All In The Playing.