Award-winning actress Bergen continues the story begun in the best-selling memoir, Knock Wood (1984).
This second installment of the author’s autobiography focuses on the three great loves of her life: her two husbands and her daughter. When she met her first husband, French director Louis Malle (1932-1995), “[s]parks decidedly did not fly.” Less than a year after their first awkward introduction, however, the two were married. The showbiz woman who “dealt strictly in commerce” was soon immersed in a world of elegance and high art alongside a dynamic man she affectionately calls a “cultural commando.” During the early years of her marriage, Bergen struggled with ambivalence over whether or not to have a family. At age 39, she gave birth to a daughter, Chloe, who would in time become even closer to Bergen than the globe-trotting Malle. Her stalled acting career took off shortly afterward when she was chosen to play the lead in the iconic TV series Murphy Brown. By the early 1990s, the show would inspire a “family values” controversy for its fearless portrayal of a hard-driving career woman who becomes an unwed mother. Bergen admits that the success strained relations with her husband. At the same time, it also helped her to carve out her professional identity as a comedian while giving her the “weight” and “self-definition” she needed to define the boundaries of home and family. Her golden life ground to a temporary halt when Malle was diagnosed with a rare and fatal brain disease. Within three years of his death, however, Bergen met her next husband, billionaire New York real estate developer Marshall Rose. More settled than the peripatetic Malle, Rose not only offered the actress entree among the New York City social elite, he also brought her the next great challenge of her life: learning how to appreciate a life genuinely lived in tandem.
A glamorously bittersweet showbiz memoir.