On the big screen Shirley MacLaine won an Oscar for her role as a mother in “Terms of Endearment.” Her daughter in real life claims that her parenting skills are far from award-winning. Sachi Parker says that MacLaine chose acting over being a mom, according to ABC News.
Parker reveals the private pain of growing up as MacClaine’s child in her new book, “Lucky Me: My Life With –and Without — My Mom, Shirley MacLaine.”
Sachi was surrounded by celebrities as a child. Her uncle is MacLaine’s brother, Warren Beatty. “Faye Dunaway would come over, and Sydney Pollack, and Warren, and Robert Redford,” Parker said in an interview with “20/20.”
Throughout it all, the one celebrity who remained distant was her mother. Parker confides, “She was very absent. I was very lonely — very lonely. Definitely. And I still struggle with abandonment issues and loneliness.”
In the new book, Parker writes that the “Postcards from the Edge” star would see her for a few hours at a time and then disappear. At the age of two Parker was sent to live with her father in Japan. Time spent between the mother and daughter would continue to dwindle after that.
The constant absence would eat away at MacLaine’s only daughter. “I missed her all year. It was very scary and very painful. And I actually had a physical pain in my heart,” Parker says.
Despite her mother’s success as an actress, Parker struggled financially. MacLaine once loaned her $500 to purchase a car and demanded it be repaid with interest.
Sachi has not spoken with her mother since this summer. She is currently raising a 16-year-old son and a 14-year-old daughter as a single mother. The mother of two hopes to reconcile her relationship with her own mom.
“I try to understand her,” Parker says. “I find myself wanting to protect her so badly, because I so love her. … And yet the pain is very deep. I would hope that she would own it and apologize. That would really, really be wonderful.”
The author of the sad story sent a copy of her book to the 78-year-old MacLaine. Enclosed was a note saying, “I love you.”