On Mother’s Day, a lot of stars will pay tribute to their beloved family members who helped them become so successful. Ilene Graff remembered the first time she celebrated the sentimental holiday with her 36-year-old daughter, Nikka Graff Lanzarone, in an exclusive interview with Closer Weekly.
“My baby was 6 months old and we went to a local restaurant,” the Mr. Belvedere actress reveals in the magazine’s latest issue, on newsstands now. “I finally felt like part of the mom’s club.” It wasn’t until her little one got older that Ilene, 71, realized she has a lot in common with Nikka.
“I can just say one word to her and she knows exactly what I’m thinking and vice-versa,” the mom of one explains. “I get such joy out of that. We have an intense all-accepting, all-loving connection.”
Dee Wallace, who’s known for playing Mary in E.T., knows exactly how Ilene feels. “I love having my daughter as my best friend,” she gushes to Closer about her 31-year-old kid, Gabrielle Stone. “We’ve been through tragedy and heartache and fabulous, incredible joyful times. We always teach each other the truth and we share everything.”
Michael Learned, on the other hand, is a proud mom to three sons, Lucas, Chris and Caleb. The Waltons star shares all of her children with her first husband, Peter Donat, and she tells Closer, “Motherhood was the greatest joy of my life.” That’s why Michael, 81, loves to celebrate Mother’s Day with her kids.
“They would make me breakfast and bring it to me on a tray. Sometimes it was totally inedible,” she hilariously recalls to Closer. “But they’d be so happy that I’d try to eat it!”
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