Actor and screenwriter Walsh debuts with a spirited memoir about his career’s setbacks and triumphs. Born in New York City in 1937, Walsh was pushed by his ambitious father into acting when he was 10 and “TV was so new, nobody in my entire neighborhood owned a set.” With disarming candor, he admits he was uninterested in acting at the time, even as his success led him to Hollywood. Classic film fans will relish Walsh’s sketches, alternately affectionate and unsparing, of his famous costars—Kirk Douglas was paternal toward the young actor, while Danny Kaye was relentlessly competitive. True-crime buffs, meanwhile, may enjoy reading of Walsh’s adventures, in his late teenage years after his child stardom had faded, as a risk-seeking gambler who mixed with and sometimes fell afoul of mob-connected bookies. His narrative’s two strands eventually converge in the early 1970s, when Walsh, struggling to find good parts, resolved to write a screenplay about his gambling experiences. Unabashedly proud of the resulting film, 1974’s acclaimed California Split, he also writes, frankly but without bitterness, about subsequent disappointments, as his follow-up scripts went unproduced. Readers of showbiz memoirs will admire the good humor and gusto with which Walsh narrates his rocky path through the entertainment world.