We’ll begin with the scandalous story of the very beautiful Loretta Young who had an affair with Clark Gable during the making of ‘Call Of The Wild’ and had to adopt her own daughter from an orphanage. Clark Gable did not want to acknowledge the child and Loretta could not for if she had she would have lost her career. Little Judy Lewis ( After Loretta’s second husband ) didn’t find out she was Loretta’s biological daughter until she turned 31. She’d had her suspicions though as Gable’s ears were a dead give-away. Around the same era Joan Crawford famously adopted a daughter ( not biological ) who wrote a book about the experience of living with the star who was an extra fussy clean freak entitled ‘Mommy Dearest’.
Christina Crawford was by no means happy and was often made to do her mothers bidding at the oddest of hours.
Things like cleaning the floors at midnight an arranging clothes in her mothers wardrobe according to style and colour. This was probably because she had to learn to arrange her own wardrobe accordingly in mini me mode. Joan liked to dress her in matching outfits for photo shoots. When Christina grew up and got an acting job on a daytime soap Joan literally stole her part.
Almost as bad was Bette Davis whose daughter B.D. ( Barbara ) also wrote a book. ‘My Mothers Keeper’. Not quite as scathing as Christina’s book on Joan but also very damaging to her mother’s reputation. B.D was in awe of her mother though and spent much time with her on the set. Bette was portrayed in the book as a drunken sloth who cared little for her daughter’s wellbeing yet felt the need to interfere with everything she did. B.D. had been adopted by Gary Merrill who had romanced her mother on the set of ‘All About Eve’. He drank too much and was irresponsible and B.D didn’t like him at all.
This caused trouble in the mother daughter relationship and became a wedge between them. Bette too never seemed to approve of B.D.s relatioships and was particularly rude to B.D.s husband and made every attempt to ruin the marriage.
Anyway through it all Bette was the star and B.D. the carer. A compromised relationship but not without love and respect.
The love between Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher was very obvious and Debbie would often have her daughter on stage with her,
as was the case, with Judy Garland and Liza Minelli. Both had close relationships with their daughters who turned out to be equally as talented as their famous mothers.This does not mean to say the relationships were without friction entirely. Carrie Fisher once wrote that she felt felt very insecure around her mother as Debbie Reynolds was always so cute and charming while Carrie was just ‘Bovine’ and not really into laying on the charm factor. In the film made on their relationship ‘Postcards From the Edge’ their mother-daughter issues were thrown into the public arena. These were issues that many could relate to.
As for Judy and Liza the similarities are just so obvious. Both with huge stage presence and voices to match. Even their personalities were similar. I personally adored Judy Garland due to her complete sincerity and the raw emotion she shared with the public. I had the honour of seeing Liza Minelli in concert and she had the same magic. Different yet same.
Liz Taylor had a close loving relationship with both her daughters Maria Burton and Liza Todd. They had not a bad word to say about their mother who apparently devoted herself to them even when miles away on set in another country. They grew up quite normal and decided not to follow in their mother’s footsteps in Hollywood although Liz would have been cool with that. Maria is a well known artist and Liza works with abandoned animals.
Jane Mansfield was a wonderful mother and her daughter Mariska Hargitay is a star in her own right. Mariska did not know her mother very long , however, as Jane died young in a car accident.
Zsa-Zsa Gabor, on the other hand, lived a very long and full life but had a rather fraught relationship with her daughter Franchesca Hilton whose billionaire father, Conrad Hilton, had denied her any of his fortune when he died. Zsa-Zsa married many times. Even more than Liz. She only had one child though and that child was never happy.
Franchesca’s final new father , Prince Von Anhalt, also disinherited her and Franchesca died young homeless and alone.
Lana Turner’s daughter ,Cherlyl Crane, takes the cake, however, when it comes to loyalty. When her mother’s boyfriend, mafia hitman, Tony Stompanato, beat Lana senseless and tried to kill her she was saved in the nick of time by her daughter. Cheryl stabbed her mothers aggressive lover to death. Apparently Stompanato had also sexually abused Cheryl and so this also added to her motive. Her parents had remained friends and her father ,Steven Crane ,stood beside both mother and daughter fending for their honour. Cheryl Crane is a successful real estate broker and a writer. There are many more Hollywood mother-daughter stories that abound in Hollywood and these are just a few to show that no matter who we are we all have issues with our mothers. Young or old, rich or poor, famous or infamous we all must find our own way and be proud of who we are.Unlike Yasmin Khan, we can’t all have Rita Hayworth for a mother and a prince for a father but we can all allow our special ‘Princess’ to shine from within. Hollywood eat your heart out!