At age 11, Oscar-nominated actress Mariel Hemingway became a full-time caretaker for her parents as they each battled alcoholism and debilitating illnesses.
"Here’s the thing — I didn’t know any different. It was like, 'Why wouldn’t you do that?' the 53-year-old said of her late parents, writer Jack Hemingway and Byra Louise Whittlesey, in a revealing new interview.
Mariel and her father, Jack. (Photo Credit: Instagram)
"I was so in love with my mom, this crazy woman who was basically so mean to everybody but me. She was depressed her whole life, but I didn’t know that. I was in love with my mom because she was my mom. And so I didn’t see that there was an option. Of course I was going to take care of my mom. Of course I didn’t want her to die," she continued.
Mariel — whose paternal grandfather, novelist Ernest Hemingway, committed suicide in 1961 — lost her mom in June 1988 from cancer and her father in December 2000 after he suffered complications from heart surgery. Her elder sister, actress Margaux Hemingway, tragically died of a suicidal drug overdose at age 42 in 1996.
In 2013, the 'Manhattan' star revealed Margaux and their eldest sister, Joan "Muffet" Hemingway, had been sexually abused by their father during their tumultuous childhood in the documentary 'Running from Crazy.'
Mariel with her late sister, Margaux. (Photo Credit: Instagram)
"[The film had] a lot to do with my story, but there’s more about my sister, suicides and all that stuff. We all have something that’s affected us in a way that’s made us sad or confused us as kids," she said of sharing her family's story.
"I’m starting to come to the realization that my purpose is to help other people be OK with the idea that we’re not perfect, we’re not all balanced, we’re not all happy, shiny people all the time," she told 'Yahoo Beauty.'