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Born Mary Cathleen Collins and known as Cathy, she grew up in southern California, the horse-crazy oldest daughter of four. Her father, a public relations executive for the boat manufacturer Hobie Cat, and her mother, a hairstylist and makeup artist for a number of Hollywood figures, separated permanently while Bo was in her teens. During this time her mother was working for Ann-Margret, and it was backstage at one of the entertainer's Las Vegas shows that a theatrical agent approached Bo about pursuing a movie career. At one of her very first auditions the sixteen-year-old Bo met John Derek, a man thirty years her senior, with whom she would spend the next twenty-five years of her life.
Theirs was a love affair of epic proportions, but it was one that was widely misunderstood by the press and public alike. John was dubbed a Svengali, and his influence over the young Bo was thought to be limitless. With great candor and an endearing humor, Bo comes clean on a relationship that has long intrigued provided fodder for American gossip mills, and the result is an account that is far from what we may haveimagined. Bolays bare the intimate moments and madcap adventures that she and John shared, revealing in the process that she has never, even for a moment, relinquished control of her own destiny.
Given her unusual story, her only-in-Hollywood childhood, her friendships with Ursula Andress and Linda Evans (both of John's ex-wives), her time spent living in a trailer home, her rumored relationship with Ted Turner, and her exhaustive work for the Republican Party, it often seems as if Bo has lived nine lives rather than just one. Whether spurning "Life" magazine or passing on the opportunity to work with legendary filmmaker Dino De Laurentiis, Bo has gone with her gut regardless of the consequences. And that's only fitting for the woman who has chosen to live life with no safety nets--and no regrets.
But as Bo makes clear in "Riding Lessons," it is her passion for John and her love of all things equine that have been the constants in her life. Sharing her hard-won lessons on life and love, she draws on her intuitive understanding of horses to offer surprising insights into the dynamics of intimate relationships.
In this compelling memoir, Bo Derek writes openly of her growing self-awareness and of the coping strategies she has learned, whether faced with sudden stardom, the crazy and competitive world of moviemaking, or the death of her beloved husband. With "Riding Lessons," she transcends her legendary physical beauty to reveal an inner wisdom certain to enlighten and enthrall readers of all ages.
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