Relatives of Roseanne, Janis Joplin and Abby Hoffman tell all

By EW Staff
Updated September 16, 1994 at 04:00 AM EDT

How do the siblings of controversial, highly troubled celebrities express their brotherly and sisterly love? Typically, by waiting until said star has died (tragically, when young) and then cashing in with a tell-all bio about what life was like at home before the fame. Coming later this fall: Run Run Run: The Lives of Abbie Hoffman, the breakfast-table-side recollections of Jack Hoffman, brother of the ’60s radical, and My Sister Roseanne by Geraldine Barr, the estranged sis of the still-living but continually reinvented actress formerly known as Roseanne Arnold. Below are past examples culled from the ”same gene pool” library.

+ Love, Janis, by her younger sister, Laura Joplin *Controversial Behavior: Sex, drugs, and rock & roll, and more drugs. *Cause of Death: Said to have accidentally overdosed on alcohol and pure heroin. *Childhood Interests: Playing bridge; member of Future Teachers of America and the Glee Club. *Home Life: Father worked in an oil-can manufacturing plant; housewife mother was (hopelessly) devoted to bringing up her two daughters properly. *Alleged Even More Famous Ancestor: President George Washington, on her father’s side.

+ My Sister Marilyn, by Berniece Baker Miracle, Marilyn Monroe’s maternal half sister who was raised separately *Controversial Behavior: Speaking in an annoying, breathy voice; having romances with powerful men.*Cause of Death: Overdosed on barbiturates-may have had help. *Childhood Interests: Movie matinees; experimented with makeup ”for hours.” *Home Life: Schizophrenic mother and unknown father; raised in orphanage and by family friends. *Alleged Even More Famous Ancestor: President James Monroe, on her mother’s side.

+ Shot in the Heart, by Mikal Gilmore, Gary’s younger brother *Controversial Behavior: Asking to be put to death after his conviction for murdering two people. *Cause of Death: Firing squad. *Childhood Interests: Stealing candy and comics from a grocery store; playing Russian roulette. *Home Life: Victim of weekly beatings by small-time con-man father; mother saw ghosts. *Alleged Even More Famous Ancestor: According to Gilmore’s grandmother Fay (a fortune- teller), Gilmore’s dad was the illegitimate son of Harry Houdini.

+ Brother Sam, by Bill Kinison, Sam’s older brother *Controversial Behavior: Loud, misogynistic comedy; sexual excess (with Jessica Hahn, among others); alcohol and drug abuse. *Cause of Death: Car accident on his way to a gig shortly after his honeymoon. *Childhood Interests: Dressing in black. *Home Life: Father was a Pentecostal preacher who was disgraced after Kinison’s mom told the town that he had committed adultery. *Alleged Even More Famous Ancestor: None—but brother-in-raunch Howard Stern optioned the film rights to the book.