Carole Gene Marer spent her girlhood dreaming of meeting Rock Hudson, but when she finally had the chance—on her second date with her future husband, television mogul Aaron Spelling—she was so shy she hid all night in the powder room. How Candy morphed from that quiet girl into a seemingly-confident, stylish trophy wife, mistress of the largest house in Los Angeles (70,000 square feet when you count the attic) is at the heart of Stories from Candyland.
The life Candy created for her family—her husband and children Tori and Randy—was fabulous, over-the-top, and often magical. So what if California Christmases don’t come with snow? Let’s make some on the tennis court! How do we take a cross-country family vacation with a dad who doesn’t fly? By private train car, of course (with an extra for the fifty-two pieces of luggage). The kids want to dress up for Halloween? No problem, why not call in Nolan Miller to design their costumes?
Candy had a hand in some of the most beloved television shows of all time (she once stopped production on “Dynasty” because Krystle Carrington’s engagement ring was not spectacular enough), has entertained half of Hollywood in epic fashion, and lives an enviable life. But under all the fun and showmanship lies a more interesting character, still wrestling with some of the insecurities of her ingénue self. Oprah threw her into a major panic with a discussion of hoarding. A lifelong humming habit evolved as a unique coping mechanism. And there’s nothing like being defined as, “well, you know, complicated” by your daughter on television and in her own book.
Stories from Candyland sparkles with glamour and grand gestures. But it also satisfies with some more intimate Candy concerns: why being a perfect wife and mother was so important to her, how cooking and cleaning can keep the home fires burning, why collections matter, and whether dogs are better judges of people than people are.
Visit Candyland in these pages and get a glimpse of a generous, glittering world revealing many of its surprising and funny secrets for the first time.