Synopses & Reviews
This surprisingly candid, often funny, and entirely moving memoir is Chuck Barriss story about life with his only child, Della. Born on Christmas Eve in 1962, Della was a lovable charmer like her father, an adventurous and quick-witted kid. She had a carefree suburban childhood, even while her father was fast becoming an entertainment superstar, inventing, hosting, and producing his legendary game shows. When Barris and his wife eventually divorced, Della was shuttled between parents in New York and California, then moved from boarding school in Switzerland to Beverly Hills High, among other places. Bored, lonely, and often depressed, she discovered drugs and petty crime early in adolescence, and her escapades soon took on a far more alarming and dangerous aspect. She was lost, yearning for attention and guidance, and growing up in Los Angeles amid temptation everywhere. Her father felt helpless: caring for a daughter was more than Barris had bargained for. Ranging from late-night phone calls from the neighbors to emergency room visits, Dellas behavior was out of control.
When Della decided at age sixteen to move out on her own, Barris didnt object. He gave her a trust fund and let her go out into the world alone, a regret that he shares with readers here in heartbreaking and clear-eyed detail as he chronicles Dellas descent into addiction and her eventual death from an overdose at age thirty-six. But Della is not just a grief-stricken story. Filled with loving memories and spontaneous humor, it is a brave and hard-earned reflection on fatherhood and a tribute to innocence lost.
"With much regret and a father's love, former game show icon Barris (Confessions of a Dangerous Mind) recalls the life and unfortunate death at 36 of his only daughter, Della. She 'drank too much vodka, snorted too much cocaine, and died just like the death certificate said she did, from an excessive amount of everything.' Known in the '60s, '70s, and '80s for TV hits like The Gong Show and The Dating Game, Barris achieved major success in his professional life, but his personal life was a shambles. He and his wife divorced, and Della moved with her mother, first to Switzerland, then New York, then back to Southern California, where she lived once again with her father and attended Beverly Hills High. Sending Bella to the notorious school was, Barris explains, among the biggest mistakes he ever made: 'Drugs, dope, and alcohol were rampant there at the time, especially for susceptible kids like Della.' She dropped out and left home, traveling on the trust fund Barris established for her. Disappointed in himself most of all, he recalls or reconstructs the mistakes he made in an honest attempt at salvation." Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
In Della, showbiz legend Chuck Barris delivers a poignant yet candid memoir of life with his only daughter, Della.
About the Author
Chuck Barris is a former television show creator and producer, whose credits include The Dating Game, The Newlywed Game, The Gong Show, and Treasure Hunt. He is the author of several books, including Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (adapted into a major motion picture) and the New York Times bestselling novel You and Me, Babe. Chuck and his wife, Mary, live in Manhattan.