Out today is another Memorial Books book, titled “Movie Dad: Finding Myself and My Family, On Screen and Off“, by Paul Dooley.
Paul Dooley has been an actor for sixty-five years and has portrayed fathers in more than twenty-five movies. He is best known for his roles as the father in Breaking Away, Sixteen Candles, and Run Away Bride. While he was the on-screen dad to Julia Roberts, Molly Ringwald, Toni Collette, Robin Wright, and Helen Hunt, his personal life held a painful secret.
In Movie Dad, Dooley reveals that before he became a father to Hollywood actresses, his own fatherhood was jeopardized when his ex-wife kidnapped his two children, Robin and Adam. His touching biography shows the shock and denial he experienced when he read the letter his ex-wife left that said, “I’m leaving. I’m taking the kids. We’re not coming back.” What followed was private detectives, court, and frantically looking for his children. When he only found dead-ends, he threw himself into work, and after twenty-five years as an actor, he was in the movies overnight. The success he found as a father on-screen is a story of wry irony, which he tells in Movie Dad.