Gloria Vanderbilt has plenty to say about the upcoming documentary Nothing Left Unsaid. The iconic heiress, who went on to become a designer, painter, actress, and philanthropist, is the subject of the project, which was produced by her son Anderson Cooper and directed by Oscar-nominated director Liz Garbus.
People shared the newly released trailer for the film, which debuted at Sundance Film Festival earlier this year and is headed to HBO next month. The trailer shows Vanderbilt and her news journalist son looking through an archive of letters and memorabilia from Gloria’s past. In the clip, Vanderbilt, 92, says people have always been fascinated by her wealthy family, but she reveals that she felt like an outsider.
“People were so fascinated with this family that apparently had everything…I never felt that I belonged. I felt like I was an impostor.”
While Gloria Vanderbilt was born into one of the wealthiest and most powerful families in the country, she had far from an idyllic childhood. Her father died when she was an infant, and Gloria was the center of a highly publicized and sensationalized child custody trial between her widowed mother and her paternal aunt when she was 10 years old. In the pre-tabloid “trial of the century,” “Little Gloria” was ultimately taken from her mother and placed in her aunt’s custody.
At age 17, Gloria married movie producer and alleged mobster Pat DiCicco, whom she later claimed abused her, and at age 20, she wed Fantasia composer Leopold Stokowski, who was 43 years her senior. The famous socialite was later married to director Sidney Lumet, whom she divorced in 1963, and writer Wyatt Cooper, whom she remained married to until his death in 1978.
Tragedy came again in 1988, when Vanderbilt’s son, Carter Cooper, jumped to his death from the family’s 14th story apartment in New York City. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Vanderbilt said she hopes the film helps people to talk to their loved ones while they can.
“I hope the film might encourage people to communicate with the ones they love. And to do it without getting too sidetracked by anger or fear, but to really feel safe and open so that you’re not blocked. I think that may take time and age, but the sooner you can do it the better. It’s life changing and changes the way you see the world.”
Gloria Vanderbilt’s backstory is fascinating enough, but her iconic career has enough material for its own documentary. Gloria’s acting credits include roles on Kraft Theater and Shirley Temple’s Storybook, and during her designer jeans heyday in the 1980s she even appeared on an episode of The Love Boat with fellow designers Geoffrey Beene, Halston, and Bob Mackie.
In addition to the HBO documentary, Gloria Vanderbilt teamed up with her son Anderson to pen the book The Rainbow Comes and Goes: A Mother and Son Talk About Life, Love, and Loss, which is due out April 5. The joint memoir is described as “a son’s love letter to his mother in her final years and an unconventional mother’s life lessons for her grown son.”
Nothing Left Unsaid premieres April 9 at 9 p.m. ET on HBO. In addition, the Gloria Vanderbilt documentary will air on CNN on April 29.
Take a look at the video to see Anderson Cooper talking about the documentary about his mom Gloria Vanderbilt.
[Photo By Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images]