The beat goes on for Cher's mom in Lifetime docu
Georgia Holt is one of those fabulous women people should know about. Besides having given the world Cher, she's realizing a lifelong dream at 86.
Holt is the subject of “Dear Mom, Love Cher,” a documentary on Lifetime on May 6.
Poised to release her first album, which she always wanted to do, Holt is open — sometimes too open for her daughter — about her life in this sweet special.
Incidentally, Cher's husky, strong voice sounds a lot like her mom's. Holt had tapes from songs she recorded decades ago rotting away in a garage. Cher knew someone who could salvage the sound and create an album.
“She has had this dream ever since she was teeny,” Cher says.
The film has Cher and her sister, Georganne LaPiere Bartylak, chatting with Holt on a couch in Cher's home.
On the phone, Cher explains what's evident in the film — her mom does not censor her thoughts.
Holt first asks whether she can tell a story, but her daughters know she's going to anyway, regardless of whether it's embarrassing, such as when Cher was accused of stealing a car.
Cher explains: “I actually did not steal it because it was my friend's car,” and he asked her to move it. She was with other friends, and they had waited for a long time in a parking lot, and people behind them told them to move, so she drove across the street.
“Then the police showed up because he reported it stolen,” she says.
Holt's family left Kensett, Ark., when she a little girl and still known as Jackie Jean Crouch. She wound up in the slums of Los Angeles, where she was called “a dumb Okie.”
Holt married young, and often — six times — and had Cher at 20. She did not want to stay married to Cher's father. Holt's mother was willing to take her back, but not with a baby in tow. Holt was at an abortion clinic when she decided she couldn't do it, and Cher was born May 20, 1946.
It was a rough beginning, and when Holt was down to her last 20 cents, she put Cher in a Catholic home. Holt went to work in a diner. “The mother superior said I should just let her be adopted,” Holt says on-air. “I was terrified.”
Holt retrieved her baby and got a divorce. While waiting for the divorce, Holt won her first beauty contest.
Holt did some stints in show business and was hired regularly by Lucille Ball. She's one of the models in an “I Love Lucy” episode when the Ricardos and Mertzes are in Paris. Holt sashays by in a silly hat when Lucy and Ethel want haute couture. Holt also had guest spots on “Ozzie and Harriet” and lost the role in “Asphalt Jungle” to Marilyn Monroe.
She still wanted to be a singer. And now, as the photos are being chosen for the album cover, Cher gives her advice on the liner notes.
“I told her to put down what is most meaningful,” Cher says. “And she said, ‘Women should never give up. ... It is never over. Never give up your dream.' ”
Jacqueline Cutler writes for Zap2it.com