BREAKING THE SILENCE

 

by MARIETTE HARTLEY

              and ANNE COMMIRE

Breaking the Silence is one actress's surprising, powerful memoir of family secrets and personal courage, told with earthiness, spirit, humor, and unabashed honesty. From the beginning, Mariette Hartley seemed to have it all: brains, talent, looks, and charm-they ran in her family. But other things ran in her family as well. Her funny, alcoholic adman/artist father grew dreamy, grew depressed, and then took his own life while Mariette was in the next room... Her rage-filled, silence-prone mother, a secret drinker, also struggled with depression. She'd never escape the bonds of her own grandfather, John B. Watson, the trailblazing behaviorist who preached that children should never be kissed, hugged, or even touched; it wasn't scientific... Her jealousy-obsessed first husband beat her at the smallest imagined slight-but only where it didn't show... Mariette herself began to drink, began to contemplate suicide, until her life, and her career, hit bottom. It was only then that she found the strength to put her parents legacy behind her and begin the long, valiant journey back.  Breaking the Silence is a book of hope and courage, but remarkably, it is a book of high good humor as well. With wit, humanity, and a directness that is sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes hilarious, Mariette Hartley describes that odyssey: the terror of the descent, the drama of the breakthrough, and the joy of building not only a new life, but a new, healthy family of her own. Filled with marvelous stories about television, Hollywood, and a life suffused with both tragedy and comic absurdity, Breaking the Silence is a work as warm, forthright, and thoroughly engaging as Hartley herself.  Emmy Award winner and five-time Emmy nominee Mariette Hartley has acted on stage, screen, and television for more than thirty years. She has been in films such as Ride the High Country' in television series ranging from Peyton Place to M*A*S*H to WIOU; in such acclaimed television movies as M.A.D.D: Mothers Against Drunk Drivers and Silence of the Heart; and of course, in those Polaroid commercials. For nine frenetic months, she co-hosted CBS's The Morning Program, for a description of which, see within. She has also  developed a one-woman stage show, “If You Get To Bethlehem You’ve Gone Too Far”.  Hartley is the honorary director of the American Suicide Foundation, and is active in many other organizations, including MADD.  She speaks at schools, clinics, and hospitals around the country. She lives in southern California with her husband.


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Breaking The Silence by Mariette Hartley