Synopses & Reviews
Not long before her fiftieth birthday, Mackenzie Phillips walked into Los Angeles International Airport. She was on her way to a reunion for One Day at a Time, the hugely popular 70s sitcom on which she once starred as the lovable rebel Julie Cooper. Within minutes of entering the security checkpoint, Mackenzie was in handcuffs, arrested for possession of cocaine and heroin.
Born into rock and roll royalty, flying in Learjets to the Virgin Islands at five, making pot brownies with her father's friends at eleven, Mackenzie grew up in an all-access kingdom of hippie freedom and heroin cool. It was a kingdom over which her father, the legendary John Phillips of The Mamas & the Papas, presided, often in absentia, as a spellbinding, visionary phantom.
When Mackenzie was a teenager, Hollywood and the world took notice of the charming, talented, precocious child actor after her star-making turn in American Graffiti. As a young woman she joinedthe nonstop party in the hedonistic pleasure dome her father created for himself and his fellow revelers, and a rapt TV audience watched as Julie Cooper wasted away before their eyes. By the time Mackenzie discovered how deep and dark her father's trip was going, it was too late. And as an adult, she has paid dearly for a lifetime of excess, working tirelessly to reconcile a wonderful, terrible past in which she succumbed to the power of addiction and the pull of her magnetic father.
As her astounding, outrageous, and often tender life story unfolds, the actor-musician-mother shares her lifelong battle with personal demons and near-fatal addictions. She overcomes seemingly impossible obstacles again and again and journeys toward redemption and peace. By exposing the shadows and secrets of the past to the light of day, the star who turned up High on Arrival has finally come back down to earth -- to stay.
"I felt many things while reading this book -- which I did in one overnight sitting -- but when I reached the last page I felt only one: a tremendous respect for its author and a deep appreciation of just exactly how courageous she is to publish this book.
This is no celebrity addiction memoir. And it is no 'former child star falls from grace' saga, either. It is the heart-wrenching and perilous story that thousands and thousands of perfectly ordinary women and men lived themselves, silently, numbly, and with obedience and love. By making her search for redemption public -- despite the inevitable backlash -- Mackenzie Phillips may very well help others find it for themselves.
Rich with compassion, forgiveness, and wisdom, this is a brave memoir executed with an unwavering loyalty and commitment to truth." -- Augusten Burroughs
The former teen star of "One Day at a Time" reveals her shocking, moving story about growing up in a legendary rock-and-roll family, the personal demons and addictions she has battled, and her struggle to find redemption and peace.
The eldest daughter of John Phillips and stepdaughter of Michelle Phillips, both lead singers of the 1960s band The Mamas and The Papas, Mackenzie Phillips grew up in a wild household, where a typical evening might include rolling joints for her dad or fending off advances by Mick Jagger. Far from idyllic, she describes her parents’ home as “dirty and broken” with “very little going on inside except sex, drugs, and rock and roll.”.
But in spite of the turmoil at home, Mackenzie found success onscreen, becoming famous at age fourteen for her role in the iconic film American Graffiti, which landed her a starring role as Julie Cooper on the hit sitcom One Day at a Time alongside America’s sweetheart Valerie Bertinelli. Even though she seemed to have it all, Mackenzie couldn’t escape the dark secrets and constant drug use at home and began to use herself. Her professional life suffered and she was written out of the show. For the next two decades she battled her drug addiction, going through rehab several times, and managing to stay clean for ten years, until Labor Day 2008, when she landed back in the tabloids for possession of cocaine and heroin at LAX. What led to her relapse is a shocking, life-long secret that she’ll reveal in-depth for the first time here, in High on Arrival ..
Riveting, heart-wrenching, yet ultimately uplifting, Mackenzie’s story is an all-too-real testament to the power of drugs—but it’s also a story of courage, forgiveness, and true redemption. .
About the Author
Mackenzie Phillips is the daughter of John Phillips and stepdaughter of Michelle Phillips, both lead singers of the 60s band The Mamas and The Papas. She starred as Julie Cooper Horvath on the sitcom One Day at a Time alongside Valerie Bertinelli.