Kathy Garver, who played Cissy on the 1960s comedy series “Family Affair,” will be at Barnes & Noble, 7849 N. Blackstone Ave., from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8, for a book signing. Her books include “Surviving Cissy” (Taylor Trade Publishing, $24.95) and “X Child Stars: Where Are They Now?” (Taylor Trade Publishing, $24.95).
Garver has made several trips to Fresno, including last year’s appearance at the local fundraiser for the Armenian Community School.
“Family Affair” aired from 1966 to 1971. Carver’s Cissy was the oldest of three orphaned siblings who moved in with their bachelor uncle. Johnny Whitaker, Anissa Jones, Brian Keith and Sebastian Cabot co-starred. That show is just one credit in a long career for Garver, both on screen and as a voice talent. The fact that Cissy is beloved is one of the reasons Garver picked the title for her book.
“There is a point when you are attached to a particular character for a long time and people think you are that character, “ Garver says. “Am I going to survive this particular character that I played for five years? Am I going to survive the transition from being a character actress to other roles I wanted to play? Personally, people who have not been in this situation don’t understand how you are a big star on one series, but am I going to get another series? Even when you have friends, there is a loneliness factor.”
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Her latest book looks at child stars. Unlike so many young actors, Garver managed to avoid a scandalous life. She credits a supportive family who didn’t use her as their personal bank and the insistence she get a good education.
Dealing with loss
Melanie Warner’s latest book, “Defining Moments: Coping With the Loss of a Child” (Heritage Builders, $13.65), is a collection of stories from parents who have lost a child. They offer hope and healing through their own private pain gives other parents, siblings and extended family members a hand to hold during their time of darkest despair.
“I just really want to get the book into the hands of people who need it,” Warner says.
The Fresno author reports that it has been estimated that more than 14 million children every year die under the age of 5. Warner was inspired to write the book because of the loss of her own son.
A book launch event and signing, which will include many of the local parents who contributed stories, will be held at Ginza Asian Bistro, 7845 N. Palm, 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6. There will be an additional book signing at Barnes & Noble, 7849 N. Blackstone, 2-4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15.