When Candice Bergen‘s father, famed ventriloquist Edgar Bergen, died in 1978, he left his daughter nothing — but willed his beloved character dummy, Charlie McCarthy, a surprising $10,000.
“I’d chased my father’s approval all my life and here was proof I’d never get it,” the 68-year-old actress said of her father’s estate in her new memoir, ‘A Fine Romance.’ “I was hurt, shocked when I discovered he had left me out of his will.”
Candice with her father and his ventriloquist dummies in January 1950.
Candice further explained her dad gifted thousands to the dummy with the hope that the money would be managed, invested and reinvested to fund ventriloquist performances in the future.
“I make this provision for sentimental reasons which to me are vital due to the association with Charlie McCarthy who has been my constant companion and who has taken on the character of a real person and from whom I have never been separated even for a day,” Edgar wrote in his will, according to the former ‘Murphy Brown’ star.
Candice onstage with her dad and Charlie in December 1964.
In her book, Candice candidly recalled her father’s sense of kinship with Charlie had been much stronger than her own relationship with Edgar. The dummy “dominated” her childhood, she explained, and even had his own bedroom in their house.
“Those were unique circumstances to grow up in. Sometimes I have to give myself credit for being a functional human being. I knew my father loved me, but with his Swedish reserve, it wasn’t his nature to tell me,” Candice wrote.
Candice’s memoir, ‘A Fine Romance,’ hits bookstores today.