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The Ann Jillian Story (1988)

Not Rated | | Biography | TV Movie 4 January 1988
Ann Jillian finds out she has cancer and the movie shows how she deals with that (the hospital treatments and impact on her life).



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Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »




Credited cast:
Andy Murcia
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Leighton Bewley ...
Diane D'Aquila ...
Dr. Francine Caldwell
Dr. William Edelman
Pam Hyatt ...
Joyce Selznick
Ann's Mother
Todd Postlethwaite ...
Director (as Todd Waite)
Ann's Father
Ann Turnbull
Charlie Austin


This movie is first, a great love story between the Actress Ann Jillian and a Chicago Police Sgt. Andy Murcia. It's a show biz film of the young star rising and the cop who guided her career - and yes, when Ann Jillian got breast cancer. It's about how she beat cancer and went on to stardom. This film is a heartfelt story of a girl born to newly-arrived Lithuanian parents - the film is so inspiring - a must see for lovers, as well as for newcomers in show business. It's a real people picture with a great true story. Written by Marty Vergari

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Not Rated | See all certifications »





Release Date:

4 January 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

I Survived  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Jillian plays herself
18 December 2002 | by See all my reviews

The focus of the treatment is Jillian's battle with breast cancer, and although it shouldn't matter whether the person with cancer is a celebrity or not, the context here is what the business would lose if Jillian dies or stops entertaining. The weakness in this presentation is in Jillian performing, since it appears she is dubbed. We all know that talent is not all one needs to succeed in showbusiness, but it does seem that a woman with the kind of voice we hear would be more of a success than Jillian was at the time she was diagnosed with cancer. The level of success shown here is her doing a solo act in Las Vegas and small supper clubs.

Naturally, it's impossible to offer any criticism of an actress playing herself, though Jillian does have an appealingly loud personality, perhaps necessary when up against such acting hams as Tony LoBianco as her husband, and Viveca Lindfors as her mother. However Jillian's best moment is allowing LoBianco to see her post-surgical naked body, a moment of honesty. Jillian's peroxide hairstyle is initially explained by her need to be a blonde for a show, after her initial brunette period, however the continuance is not.

The teleplay by Audrey Davis Levin is on the level of `Every time you care, you lose a little of yourself', and `I wanna see life in your eyes, not cancer'. Having Jillian visited by a priest and given communion before her surgery telegraphs the result as much as her key light in the hospital room (though the fact that Jillian stars in the movie version is also a clue), and her post-surgical chemotherapy is more interesting in terms of narrative than the time spent with pre-surgery hopes. Director Corey Allen doesn't go for any radical choices, though there is a camp touch with his pan to Jillian's chest after she refuses to confide her concern with LoBianco.

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