Is fabulousness passed down through the DNA? Apparently so. Oscar winner Cher tells TV Guide Magazine about Lifetime's Dear Mom, Love Cher (Monday, May 6 at 10/9c), the Mother's Day documentary she exec produced to honor the woman who brought her into this world — 86-year-old, six-times-married, totally trippy Georgia Holt.
TV Guide Magazine: What astounds you most about your mom?
Cher: Look at her! You'd never in a million years think she's 86. And what a survivor! At age 4, during the Great Depression, she sang in bars to make enough pennies to bring home an ice tea to her mom — with actual ice which was a very big deal back then. She's lived a hard life, at times literally on skid row.
TV Guide Magazine: Is that where you get your resilience?
Cher: Absolutely. I come from a whole family of women who are tough as nails. My grandmother was going to the gym three times a week when she was nearly 90. My great aunts lived to be 103 and 109. [Laughs] You can't get rid of us!
TV Guide Magazine: This project started out as a private gift for your mom. How did it end up on TV?
Cher: It was just supposed to be her birthday present. Back when she was 50, she made an album with Elvis Presley's backup band, if you can believe that, but then the tapes just sat in a suitcase in the garage for the next 30 years. My sister, Georganne, asked me if I could take the tapes and fix up the sound. I did an interview with my mother about her early years and put it all together in an 18-minute short. Friends came by and saw it and said, "People have to see this!" My agent went to Lifetime and they fell in love with it. We're also putting the songs out on CD. It has made my mother's life!
TV Guide Magazine: She desperately wanted to be a star when she was young. Was it ever awkward when you grew up and fulfilled her dream?
Cher: Not ever. She was always in my corner, especially at those times in my career when everyone said it was curtains for me. She's crazy as hell, but her support never wavered.
TV Guide Magazine: You've often shocked the public. Does your mom ever shock you?
Cher: Constantly! A while ago we were having our pictures taken with President Obama and when he saw her he just couldn't believe that she's 86. I think he almost passed out. He was going, "Okay, I want to know everything you do! What you eat, your exercise regime, everything!" And, of course, my mother started flirting with him — shamelessly! [Laughs] I thought I was gonna die.