My HOL­LY­WOOD story

She went from 1970s child ac­tress to real­ity TV queen. How fam­ily put Kyle on the path to fame

WHO - - Reality -

Long be­fore she be­came a Real House­wife, Kyle Richards was pay­ing her dues in Hol­ly­wood, work­ing as a child ac­tor in more than 30 films and TV shows, in­clud­ing Lit­tle House on the Prairie and Hal­loween. Grow­ing up in front of the cam­era was “all I ever knew,” says Richards, 49. “I have no mem­ory of my life be­fore tele­vi­sion.”

Now the mother-of-four—who has been mar­ried to real-estate agent Mauri­cio Uman­sky, 47, for 22 years—is be­hind the cam­era, co-ex­ec­u­tive pro­duc­ing a drama se­ries, Amer­i­can Woman, in­spired by her “un­con­ven­tional” child­hood with her mother, Kath­leen Richards, who died of breast can­cer in 2002 at the age of 63.

“My mother was a sin­gle mom in the ’70s, rais­ing kids on her own,” says Richards. “It was a crazy, fun, reck­less time, and she was very opin­ion­ated and out­spo­ken. I wanted to make a show about women com­ing into their own and find­ing their voice.”

Kyle’s sis­ter Kim Richards, 53, who was her­self a child star, has been sup­port­ive, but old­est sis­ter Kathy Hil­ton, 59, voiced con­cern about the pro­ject.

“I would never tell any­one else’s sto­ries,” says Richards, who in­sists the show isn’t au­to­bi­o­graph­i­cal. Still, it has strained her re­la­tion­ship with Kathy, whose daugh­ters are Paris Hil­ton and Nicky Hil­ton Roth­schild. Says Richards: “I hope when she sees the show, she’ll un­der­stand. I love my sis­ters, and I would never do any­thing to dis­re­spect them or em­bar­rass them. I feel bad about that.”

On the show, “I’m just my­self, and I’m not em­bar­rassed about it,” says Richards (with Camille Gram­mer and Lisa Van­der­pump). “She had a scary voice and drank cham­pagne out of a sil­ver gob­let,” says Richards of Bette Davis, her co-star in 1980s The...

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