Mia Farrow is an icon. Her doe-eyed, impish face could represent the seminal cultural events of the past 40 years. As a flower child in the early ’60s, she traveled to India to meditate with John, Paul, George and Ringo. In each decade since, she very publicly partnered with three of the most unique, successful, famous–or infamous–American men of the latter half of the 20th Century. In 1974 hers was the first face on the cover of People magazine. Her films have been exemplars of America’s changing zeitgeist since the 1960s, from Rosemary’s Baby to Hannah and Her Sisters and Private Parts. In 2003 she starred in Fran’s Bed, a new play written for her by Tony Award winner James Lapine.
Mia Farrow is indomitable. The day after her 9th birthday party she was diagnosed with polio and rushed by ambulance to Los Angeles General Hospital. In spite of paralysis and time spent in an iron lung, she physically recovered from polio. But, at age 17, she suffered another blow. The sudden death of her father, writer and director John Farrow, forced her to find work to support her family. She moved from Beverly Hills to an unfurnished Manhattan apartment. Without acting experience, but with her pedigree and the support of her mother, actress Maureen O’Sullivan, she quickly captured roles on Broadway and on television’s first prime time soap opera, Peyton Place. She went on to a consistently successful film career punctuated by parenting 14 children, most of whom were adopted from overseas and many of whom have disabilities. Unfortunately, Farrow’s life has also been punctuated by two divorces, the death of two children, and one famous lover allegedly molesting their adopted child and bedding and marrying her teenaged daughter.
Yet, in spite of four decades of a very public life, Farrow remains an enigma. She is widely considered unhinged, described in the media as “odd, even obsessive,” for adopting a dozen almond-eyed, dark-skinned and disabled children. Even after hearing Farrow speak at length about her life, a reporter wrote, “Throughout the night, she referred to her desire to make a difference, to take responsibility, to do