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Fame & Fortune
Mariel Hemingway
Pursues beliefs, not trends when she invests
Celebrity interview

Fame & Fortune: Mariel Hemingway

Mariel Hemingway's statuesque, athlete-next-door good looks first captured our imagination, and a best supporting actress Oscar nomination, as Woody Allen's dream girl in "Manhattan." But the sense of adventure she shares with her famous grandfather, Ernest Hemingway, would ultimately earn her a larger-than-life public persona, well in keeping with the family tradition.

Named for the Cuban coastal village favored by Ernest for fishing expeditions with his eldest son -- her father Jack -- Mariel grew up in Ketchum, Idaho, a tall, insecure teen in the oversized shadow of her older sister, model and actress Margaux.

Mariel made her film debut at 14 alongside Margaux in the 1976 drama, "Lipstick," that featured an unforgettable rape scene. While Margaux's performance was panned, Mariel's was singled out for a best newcomer Golden Globe nomination.

Three years later, "Manhattan" made Mariel a star. Shifting gears, she followed that with two risky choices. For the movie "Star 80," Mariel had breast implants to play Dorothy Stratton in a hard, R-rated version of the life and brutal murder of the Playboy model. In "Personal Best," she played a bisexual athlete in a film notable chiefly for its groundbreaking lesbian love scenes.

A dozen films followed, including "The Mean Season," (1985) "Sunset" (1988) and another Woody Allen film, "Deconstructing Harry" (1997). But it was Mariel's much-hyped lesbian lip lock with Roseanne Barr on a 1994 episode of her successful sitcom that once again made Mariel the topic of water cooler speculation.

Mariel gay? Hardly. Married since 1984 to writer/director Stephen Crisman, the couple has successfully raised two daughters well out of the media spotlight.

In her 2003 memoir, "Finding My Balance," Mariel explained how yoga and meditation helped her overcome the family demons that claimed the life of her grandfather and sister Margaux. In her new book, "Healthy Living from the Inside Out," Mariel shows how feng shui, yoga, proper diet and meditation can transform even a couch potato.

Bankrate caught up with the mercurial Mariel on her book tour for a little kiss and tell.

Bankrate: You were born into one of the most famous lineages in America, yet, as you discussed in "Finding My Balance," it was fraught with problems. What kind of kid were you?

Mariel Hemingway: I was a fairly insecure kid plagued with self-esteem issues. My saving grace was my love for the outdoors; it literally was how I got connected to my true self. And now, in "Healthy Living from the Inside Out," I still recommend that others get themselves outdoors. It's a great way to get in tune with yourself. When I was a kid, I felt isolated, probably because I spent so much time looking after my mother, but I had a few friends that I loved. And still I was perceived as shy and silly with a high voice and lanky legs -- a nice way to say that I suffered from being too tall, too soon. I had legs as long as anyone should have to handle at that age of low self-esteem. But all said and done, I learned from being that way as a kid and, although I made movies, the way I was brought up made me humble in the Hollywood world. I was extremely disciplined, which is why I was so involved in health. I started at 15 trying to be a healthy person, No. 1, as a survival technique against my family patterns. Now it is why I can guide others toward their own personal road map to health.

Next: "I didn't feel stereotyped by my film choices. ... "
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