Bet You Didn’t Know: Secrets Behind The Making Of “Imitation Of Life”

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Imitation in Real Life

During that TCM interview I’ve referenced several times throughout, the interviewer insinuates that the story line was a little dramatic and not something that was really happening in real life. But Moore had to let her know that these stories were not uncommon. In another interview, she said she had two friends, a brother and sister who were from Mississippi, both biracial. And unfortunately, Juanita said they both took their lives because of color and identity issues.

And during the TCM sit down she told this story:

Life is just like that, even more so. When I was doing that movie, my neighbor lived downstairs, her name was Blanche, wonderful woman, helped me with my lines and would cry all the time. Every time I turn around Blanche was crying because she had a daughter–she’s from New York, Puerto Rican and Black. Now the daughter ended up blonde, almost like Lana. So the aunt took the daughter. Blanche lived in California out there, downstairs from me. Now when Blanche would go back to see her daughter, you know she’d have to go through the back door. They didn’t want them to know her mother was black. So that was during when I was making The Imitation of Life. Blanche would read the lines with me and cry and everything because the same thing was happening at that time.

You can watch this portion of the interview, in the video above and the rest of it here and here.

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