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Thursday, December 19, 2013

From Hollywood Stardom To The Cloistered Life

Dolores Hart was a rising star in Hollywood in the 1950s and early 1960s. She appeared opposite Elvis Presley in the film "Loving You." In 1963, she chose the life of a nun. (Ignatius Press)

Dolores Hart was a rising star in Hollywood in the 1950s and early 1960s. She appeared opposite Elvis Presley in the film “Loving You.” In 1963, she chose the life of a nun. (Ignatius Press)

Dolores Hart was a rising star in Hollywood during the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Mother Dolores Hart at Here & Now studios. (Rachel Rohr/Here & Now)

Mother Dolores Hart at Here & Now studios. (Rachel Rohr/Here & Now)

She made her film debut opposite Elvis Presley in 1957′s “Loving You,” was nominated for a Tony Award for “The Pleasure of His Company” and co-starred in the spring break classic “Where the Boys Are.”

But in 1963, she stunned the film world when she entered the Abbey of Regina Laudis to become a cloistered Benedictine nun.

“I just knew that when I went to Regina Laudis, I was in the place that I knew was where I was called,” Hart tells Here & Now’s Robin Young. “It’s like falling in love: you meet a certain person, and no matter who they are or what they are, if you love them, that way of life, that spirit of devotion, that person can affect you, and you will go ’round the world for them.”

Hart has now written about her life, with co-author Richard DeNeut, in the book “The Ear of the Heart: An Actress’ Journey from Hollywood to Holy Vows.”

Guest


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  • Lynn Bahrych

    Regina Laudis Abbey was the source of several troubling activities, as reported in the 1980″s and 1990′s in 60 Minutes and also 20-20. Lots of newspaper articles about brainwashing of novices, a questionable adoption (babies of unwed or unhappy mothers were offered for adoption with fees paid), and land use violations in the San Juan Islands. A little research will show that this abbey, with its associated corporation, the Comprehensive Health Care Corporation, has been at the center of a lot of controversy and conflict in the past. I was interested to hear the interview today of Dolores Hart, which made everything sound calm and peaceable, after spending years representing San Juan Island residents in efforts to get nuns attached to the Abbey from breaking our county’s land use laws.

  • Lloyd Porter

    Mother Dolores is my 2nd cousin. I had the pleasure of spending an hour with her at one of her book signings. I heard her speak several years ago at a Neuropathy Assn. fundraiser. She has a delightful sense of humor.

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