- Hardcover: 288 pages
- Publisher: Taylor Trade Publishing (September 1, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 163076115X
- ISBN-13: 978-1630761158
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.9 x 9.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 76 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #432,380 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Surviving Cissy: My Family Affair of Life in Hollywood Hardcover – September 1, 2015
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Kathy is determined. She is smart. She’s someone who has been in your house since she was a young girl. Mother, wife, actress, voice-over artist—she never seems to stop! But there is much more to Kathy than Cissy—she's a lot of talent in a small package. Surviving Cissy is well worth the read to see the depth of a woman who can make anything happen and still keep smiling. (Dawn Wells)
Kathy Garver didn’t just survive after Cissy, she thrived after Cissy! All too often we hear of child stars whose best years were their first years. This was not and is not the case for the talented author of this book. Kathy shines as an all-too-rare exception of how to be a young star and gracefully transition through a life filled with normalcy . . . Hollywood style. (Neal Sabin, creator, MeTV Network)
With the perfect balance of delight and candor, Kathy Garver tells the story of her life and career. She is a tribute to her profession, an icon of humanity, and an inspiration to behold. (Herbie J Pilato, writer, producer, and founder of The Classic TV Preservation Society)
An entertaining read for anyone looking to catch a glimpse of behind-the-scenes show business and the iconic success of Kathy’s career as ‘Cissy.’ (Angela Cartwright, actress whose work includes The Danny Thomas Show, Lost in Space, and The Sound of Music; artist; author of Styling the Stars)
Kathy not only gives us the insider’s look at TV’s classic, Family Affair; she also shares the affairs of her own family with detailed accounts of their influence and guidance through her journey. The result is an uplifting message to guide all of us to get the most out of life. (Paul Lisnek, WGN-TV; host of Broadway in Chicago Backstage)
I have known Kathy Garver since I was 16 years old—which is to say that I have known Kathy a very long time. In fact, for five years, we were next-door-neighbors of sorts, as Family Affair was shot on a soundstage right next to My Three Sons—the show I appeared on as ‘Chip Douglas.’ Kathy and I remain fast friends today, and I think it’s safe to say that she is not content to rest on her laurels. Surviving Cissy tells the story of a true Hollywood survivor. For those who’ve wondered how some of us survived the cold and indifferent world of show business and Hollywood, this book will illuminate that mercurial ride. Surviving Cissy is a fun read that’s full of great stories for fans and non-fans alike. (Stanley Livingston, actor, My Three Sons; producer whose work includes The Actors Journey and Checkers; director, Cory the Clown)
Kathy is a thriving member of the fraternity of child actors who has maintained a working relationship with the entertainment industry. Her knowledge and stories about television in the 1960s as well as her experience in today’s business shed unique insight into both the industry and her life in it. A great read. (Tony Dow, actor, Leave it to Beaver; director, Babylon 5; sculptor)
If you like a great book, you’ll love Surviving Cissy. I was producer/production manager of all Don Fedderson’s family shows, including Family Affair, and can attest that Kathy was the talented and hardworking backbone of that show. She has continued her acting career with films, TV, the stage, and voice-overs. In this book, she has transferred her experiences onto the page so everyone will know where the multitalented Kathy Garver has been! (John G. Stephens, executive producer and production manager whose work includes My Three Sons, Family Affair, and Simon and Simon; creator and producer of Major Dad; author of From My Three Sons to Major Dad)
There are very few former child stars lucky enough to continue working in Hollywood in their adult years. Kathy is one of those—but luck had nothing to do with it. This book could have been called Surviving Cissy: The Art of Reinvention, because, in it, she proves to be a master of that craft. Kathy is someone who has garnered both experience and friends with each surprising twist and turn her life has taken. (Jon Provost)
About the Author
Kathy Garver is an accomplished and versatile actress whose acting career first took flight with the legendary filmmaker Cecil B. DeMille. She is a UCLA graduate, attended London’s prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and has proven her talents for comedy and drama with starring roles in My Fair Lady, Sunday in New York, and A Midsummer Night's Dream. She lives in San Francisco, where she gives classes on audiobook narration when she’s not recording an audiobook or a voice-over.
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Kathy Garver is a nice person. And this may be what makes her autobiography somewhat unique, refreshing, and inspiring. With a loving and supportive family, a strong faith, a good work ethic, and by treating her co-workers (after all, acting is a job) with respect and even affection, her story is the antithesis of what we have come to expect of the show biz bio. This is a “tell all” but if you are looking for drug addiction, alcohol abuse, scrapes with the law, hotel brawls with the concierge, juicy tidbits about other actors, and endless sexual escapades, you are looking in the wrong place. In many ways, Kathy’s life is probably more the typical story of thousands of actors and actresses that love their craft, strive to be better at it and are able to spend their lives doing what they love.
Like perhaps 1000s of her professional colleagues, Kathy had her “moment in the sun” with one role that the vast majority of people identify her with, in this case Cissy, the oldest sister, on the much, and justly, loved “Family Affair” with Brian Keith, Sebastian Cabot, Anissa Jones, and Johnny Whitaker, and Kathy devotes a number of pages to that series, its impact on her life, and her relationship with everyone involved. One of the best sections in the book, is her reflections on Anissa Jones, who tried to escape celebrity in anonymity, instead found demons in drugs, and ended up alone and dead at age 18. This tale could have been preachy, scandalous, maudlin, and/or exploitive. Instead it is sensitive, tragic, and contains Kathy’s own regret of perhaps not doing all she could to help. Kathy also writes of her affection and respect for Brian Keith, both as friend and actor, and her sadness of his descent into suicide.
So, if this celebrity “tell all” is not riddled with tabloid stories, why read it? Because it is a good solid story of a good solid actress, the people that have touched her life, the lives she has impacted both personally and through her work, and to demonstrate that professional actors do not have to constantly grab the headlines or live “train wreck” lives to succeed. Kathy Garver’s “Surviving Cissy” is not about surviving drugs, alcohol, sexual abuse, or prison;, it is about surviving success without letting it destroy who she is. And this may be one of the most difficult things to survive. “Surviving Cissy” is well worth the time.
(In the interest of full disclosure, let me say I know Kathy Garver. I had the privilege of being on stage with her in one of the theatrical events she writes about and have had a hand (albeit small) in another play she writes about. )
I never realized the multitudes of talents her resume possesses. We've probably have seen and heard (animation) her but never realized that was Kathy.
She had some roadblocks in life but showed just how strong a women she is by pile driving through them instead of succumbing.
I would have liked more anecdotes and recollections from her "Family Affair" days but what she wrote was nice. (Maybe in her follow-up book).
It's nice to see a child star not get "eaten up" by Hollywood. This star ate up Hollywood.