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Surviving Cissy: My Family Affair of Life in…

Surviving Cissy: My Family Affair of Life in Hollywood

by Kathy Garver

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
What a delightful read! I loved watching “Family Affair” when I was much younger. It is so refreshing to read about the child stars who did not go the path of drugs. Ms. Garver was very open about how her parents made sure she stayed grounded. So many of the child stars did not know how to handle their fame.

It was interesting to read of how they had to work around Brian Keith’s schedule as he had several projects going at once. And she made Sebastian Cabot sound so warm. Sadly, Anissa Jones (“Buffy”) did not have the same stability and died much too young.

It did get a bit tiring reading all names of celebrities that became such “dear friends”. But she was able to make lifelong friends and that isn’t all that easy in Hollywood. She had quite a variety of roles, even moving on to voice-overs. I like how she described her life through the use of “threads”. It I these threads that tied her to people and places, and sometimes those threads led to new people and experiences through the threads she already had woven (friends, business contacts).

I must comment on the physical book itself – it is definitely one you could give as a gift. The cover is gorgeous – the pages are a heavier weight – and lots of photos throughout the book – both B&W and color. ( )
  BettyTaylor56 | May 10, 2017 |
Autobiography of Family Affair's big sister Cissy who not only survived being a child star but has gone on to expand her career to stage work, voice over work, teaching, and many other things. The book was very detailed about Garver's life and I think could have used some editing. I would have liked to have had more information on the folks she worked with throughout her career like Bing Crosby, Vince Edwards, Fess Parker, Chuck Connors, even Brian Keith. There was a nice filmography at the end as well as a list of every Family Affair episode with first date aired and title. I thought many of the photos in the book could have been larger. I also thought not only was the print too small but it was much lighter than other books, as if they were trying to save money by not using enough ink. This made it difficult to read. ( )
  knahs | Apr 1, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I know Kathy Garver from her role as teenage Cissy in the 60s/70s series Family Affair. That may be her most famous part, but it turns out she has worked steadily in acting from childhood through the present (stopping along the way to graduate from UCLA). Her career also includes voiceovers, teaching, and animated work.

This is all related in sometimes excruciating detail. While some costars and associates are recognizable A-list names, others are not. They all get similar treatment, where we learn about not only their work with Garver but seemingly everything else they ever did. I'm glad Garver avoided the ex-child star pitfalls and had a happy, productive life (also getting married and having a son), but it's not all that interesting to read about. There is a theme of threads of yarn tying together her experiences, but it doesn't really add anything to the narrative.

The actress seems like a nice person, and doesn't dish any nasty dirt. She does discuss her young Family Affair costar's tragic death. After the show ended, Anissa Jones apparently got in with a bad crowd. Her mother suggested Garver spend time with her, but she died at 18 from drugs before this could happen.

The hardcover book is slick and glossy, and has many pictures. Unfortunately, the print was too small and hard to read for my aging eyes. I was able to obtain an e-book from the library and read that instead. ( )
  ennie | Jan 9, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I watched Family Affair as a child. I loved it. I wanted to love this book but did not. It was interesting to see just how much Kathy Garver has worked in television and movies over the years but seemed like a LOT of name dropping, so much that it was confusing and ultimately turned me off. For me, this was a very slow read. ( )
  goodsew | May 10, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
As a young girl, I watched Family Affair. I was more interested in Buffy and Jody at the time than I was Cissy because I was closer to their age. Several years ago I started revisiting tv shows for which I have fond memories. I became an adult fan of Cissy when re-watching Family Affair. Reading Kathy Garver's book was a wonderful visit to the past. I learned more about her interaction with the stars of Family Affair. Beyond that, I was able to learn how she has carried on from the life of a "child star". I truly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to others. ( )
  sdbookhound | Feb 1, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 163076115X, Hardcover)

Kathy Garver, the teenage heartthrob from the hit series Family Affair (1966–1971), was no one-hit wonder, but a journeywoman actress who appeared in such classic films as Night of the Hunter and The Ten Commandments long before she became a television icon.

This memoir is a recollection of a working actress’s experiences, from the many films, television shows, and stage plays in which she performed, to her second career as a voice-over specialist in popular animated films and audiobooks. Featuring anecdotes, Hollywood history, and details of her relationships with such stars as Charlton Heston and Jon Provost,
Surviving Cissy is a veritable quilt of Kathy’s exciting life.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 30 Jul 2015 07:36:48 -0400)

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