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
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
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.