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08.24.2017
Run, Holly, Run (2017)
Fiction Review by The Gravedigger
05.28.17

Run, Holly, Run (2017) I'm a huge fan of the original LAND OF THE LOST series (1974-76) -and I've always wondered what happened to all the actors from that show. Well, this book answers all those questions-and for Kathleen Coleman it was a much bigger and more dangerous adventure than being stranded in a lost land with Sleestak and dinosaurs.

We learn that the money she made on that series primarily went to supporting her low-income family and that her mother was rather controlling, punishing her when she gained a pound or two when she got her period and always comparing her to Farrah Fawcett. However, Kathleen loved to act on the show and was able to buy a pony she wanted. We also learn that her co-actor, Wesley Eure, is gay (I had a sense about that over forty years ago!), why Spenser Milligan quit after year two and that actor Ron Harper, who portrayed the uncle, was a douche-bag (which bummed me out because he was great on THE PLANET OF THE APES TV series). I guess a person's talent is no indication of the type of human they can be. I also found it interesting that Kathleen and Phil Paley (Cha-ka) eventually hooked up and lived together for a few years.

However, after the show was cancelled after the third season the acting gigs disappeared-and her family started treating her differently, which probably happens to child stars. She got pregnant, married a man who repeatedly physically abused her, and actually stayed with him a while. His family was wealthy and when he became too much of a problem was sent to work on an oil rig-but Kathleen still kept in touch with her ex-in-laws, who helped her out to raise her two sons. Although she got out of that abusive relationship she eventually got into another one, which was even worse because he put her life in danger many times by leaving her in the middle of nowhere on their travels. There was even a while when she was homeless and living out of her car. But what kept her going was that there were always kind people who helped her out. And, of course, there were still plenty of folks who remembered her from LOTL, which eventually led her to making appearances at the various fan conventions, like CHILLER, and even embarking on making a cast reunion documentary that did not turn out as expected. Still, the book ends on an up note, something the author stresses-all these were the things, good and bad, she had to go through to be who she is. I don't think anyone can argue with that.

There's also a chapter about the re-imagined movie with Will Ferrell, which she despises for various reasons, though curiously there's no mention of the 1990's LAND OF THE LOST tv series (which had The Porters instead of the Marshalls).

On one hand the book seems like an extended therapy session, which I guess is the function of a memoir-hey, I don't read a lot of memoirs- yet on the other hand this book shows that you can go through hellish situations and still find happiness, which is a powerful message. Some of the incidents she recounts to the readers really took some balls to share. It also makes for an engrossing read that will stick with you a while after you finish the last page. RUN, HOLLY, RUN kept me hooked. I highly recommend reading it and then re-watching the original LAND OF THE LOST.

Author: Kathy Coleman


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