May 7, 2013 / 04:02 am
Mother Dolores Hart, the woman who left her movie career to become a Benedictine nun, has released a new biography explaining her shift from a rising star in Hollywood to life as a cloistered religious.
“I have used the analogy of falling from a 20 story building because that’s what I felt like the first night after I entered,” Mother Hart told CNA May 6.
When she was approached by her life-long friend Richard DeNeut some 10 years ago about the possibility of writing a memoir, she feared that she would have neither the time nor the memory to write all “the wonderful things that happened” into a book.
However, DeNeut insisted saying that her memoir would be “very good” and “very important” for others to read.
The friends began speaking for about an hour each day over the phone and Skype to get her story on paper and eventually they had enough material for a book.
However, they ran into difficulty when many publishers wanted to start the book with her role in “Loving You,” the 1957 film where she gave Elvis Presley his first on-screen kiss – which would have left out details of her turbulent upbringing and childhood conversion to Catholicism.
Eventually the pair turned to Ignatius Press, the California-based Catholic publisher because they “promised they would stay honest” to her story, Mother Hart said.
“We didn’t do it because they were a Catholic publisher,” she said, “mainly because they made that promise.”
When she entered the monastery in 1963, the 24 year-old actress shocked her friends, family and the rest of Hollywood. The then-actress was engaged to be married, had a multi-film contract with Metro Goldwyn Mayer and was pulling in $5,000 a week. ,,,
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