Looking at Georgia Holt today, it's hard to believe that she's 86 years old. Slender, articulate, energetic, and beautifully youthful—she presents an image of herself as a pillar of wisdom, strength, and inner peace.
"She's so beautiful," grandson Chaz Bono says in the film. "I always tell people 'you don't get it, my Grandma is still hot!'" Bono goes on to share that Holt was the first family member to accept him, first when he came out as a lesbian, then through his recent transition.
Born Jackie Jean Crouch in 1926, Cher's mother assumed the name Georgia as a tribute to a friend who died young. Holt was the name of her last husband—she was married a total of seven times.
In addition to her performing talents, Cher is well known for walking to the beat of her own drum. "I care what people think," she admits. "But not enough to change what I'm doing."
As Holt's story unfolds, it becomes clear where her superstar daughter learned how to be her own woman.
As early as the late 1940s and early 1950s, Holt had no qualms about walking out on a husband whom she didn't love. She was a single, working mom who pursued her show business dreams—clip in “Dear Mom” show a radiant Holt appearing in classic sitcoms such as “I Love Lucy” and “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.”
She had her own unique way of mothering her two daughters. When Cher was arrested at age 14, Holt looked her square in the eye,"Have you learned your lesson?" she asked quietly.
“Dear Mom, Love Cher” offers fans a unique close-up of an ahead-of-her-time free spirit who helped make her superstar offspring the provocative icon she became. Cher learned from the best. Though she defied convention at a time when women knew where their "place" was, (in the kitchen), Holt was at heart a decent woman who just wanted to keep herself and her kids together, with a roof over their heads and food on the table. She did what she thought was best to make that happen.
But Cher's film has another purpose. All her life, Georgia Holt had an unfulfilled dream of becoming a professional singer. Decades ago, she recorded a never released album. Cher found the tapes of those sessions, remastered them, and secured a record label to release them--the Oscar winner even joins mom for a duet on a twangy country song called I'm Just Your Yesterday.
In the musical snippets we hear on the film's soundtrack, Holt proves herself to have a strong voice in her own right, a voice which sounds remarkably like that of her famous daughter's.
In her mid-80s, Georgia Holt's final goal has been achieved, thanks to the love of a daughter who appreciates all her mom taught her. Holt and Cher, both of whom have had countless relationships, show the world who their real soul mates are: each other.
“Dear Mom, Love Cher” premieres Monday May 6 at 10PM on Lifetime.David-Elijah Nahmod