Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Stories from Candyland: Confections from One of Hollywood's Most Famous Wives and Mothersby Candy Spelling
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
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.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"Candy cracks open the door to her life."Los Angeles Times
“Candy Spelling more than lived up to her billing as the original, quintessential ‘Hollywood Wife’.”—Vanity Fair
“Stories from Candyland is a confection of stories and adventures in Candy Spelling's magical life.”—Huffington Post
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Read an Excerpt
When I first heard the Fifth Dimension singing Jimmy Webb’s “Up, Up, and Away” in 1967, I was in love with a man who refused to fly.
But I knew I could change him.
After all, I loved to travel and to fly, and I planned for us to travel all over the world and share once-in-a-lifetime experiences with each other.
Aaron Spelling traced his fear of flying to his service in the Air Force during World War II. He was yanked from a flight two minutes before it took off because he was sick with the flu. That flight crashed, and everyone on board was killed. Since he was expected to be on the plane, the military notified his family that he had been killed. When he arrived home later that day, his mother saw him and fainted – and when she regained consciousness, she made him promise never to fly again.
But he was going to marry the girl who grew up watching (and falling in love with) the handsome character who was introduced with the words:
Look! Up in the sky!
It’s a bird.
It’s a plane.
I was dreaming of my Superman with whom I could soar to new heights of ecstasy.
A few months before Aaron and I got married, the Drifters hit the music charts with more high-flying lyrics in “Up on the Roof.”
Everything pointed to upward. Man was about to go to the moon. Aaron and I would ascend to new heights together, too.
But he never did break his promise to his mother. We never flew anywhere together. We had some spectacular vacations, by car, train, and boat. And I’m not complaining.
It’s just that something had gone wrong with my scenario.
The highest we ever went together was our attic, and that’s far from romantic.
My attic was a well-kept family secret and a source of much laughter and eye-rolling between Aaron and me. Now that I have put my home on the market and am getting ready to move, I do have to go up, up, and away, and figure out what to do with everything that’s up there.
I hadn’t given it a lot of thought until one of the Realtors spotted a stairway going up from the second floor and wanted to know where it led.
“To the attic,” I mumbled.
“How big is the attic?” the Realtor asked – innocently, I’m sure. “Mumble, mumble, oh, about seventeen thousand, um square feet.”
And then we went up to the attic.
He was speechless. I thought it might be a little overwhelming to a first-timer. I go up there so often that it’s just routine for me.
Now it has become a math problem, and math’s not my favorite subject.
I have an attic that covers just over 17,000 square feet. I’m moving into a new condominium that will be a total of 17,000 square feet. My current living space is 56,500 square feet.
The arithmetic goes something like this: 17,000 – (56,500+17,000) = much less space – and my having to get rid of an awful lot of possessions.
My attic is a source of amazement to the few people who had previously seen it. Much of what operates the house, from the heating and air-conditioning units to the mechanical lift that raises and lowers the chandelier in the entry hall, is housed in the attic. (I’m told that the lift was over-engineered so that it could raise and lower something as heavy as a Volkswagen, but I can’t imagine why I’d want to hand a VW in my entry hall.)
The attic, like the house, is shaped like a W. Originally, the house was going to be called L’Oiseau (“Bird”) but my French pronunciation isn’t that good, and we liked “The Manor” more. I never considered the name Tara, although I have a staircase that Scarlett O’ Hara would have descended beautifully.
My doll-designing rooms are in the attic, and I store many dolls there that are not on display in my downstairs doll museum. I’ve got the fabrics from which I made their clothes, and the drawings, color swatches, paper samples for boxes, and everything else an efficient doll designer would need. There are probably some non-necessities, too, but once I’d found stands to hold doll wigs and doll-size hair blowers, how could I resist?
We also store lots of extra household supplies. There are lightbulbs – more than sixty-five varieties. (I don’t know how many light fixtures there are in The Manor, and I’m not going to count). I know that sounds like a lot, but we have to keep them somewhere, and I never know when a dome light on the driveway, a reflector in the koi pool, or a custom light over a Renoir might need to be replaced. A quick trip to the attic handles all lighting needs.
I keep batteries adjacent to the lightbulbs. I guess there are hundred of them, too, in all sizes and shapes and volts and expiration years. Name a volt, and we have it. The new owner of my house might laugh when he or she sees the battery and lightbulb collections, but I can guarantee they’ll thank me later. That doesn’t even include the rows of light panels that control the lighting throughout the house.
Do you know how much space it takes to store yards of extra carpet in a house such as mine? Think about that if you’re criticizing the size of my attic. There are carpet pads, too. Any idea of how many air-conditioning filters this house needs? I don’t know, either, but there are stacks and stacks of them.
There are fifty-nine boxes of Easter decorations. I have Easter eggs in different sizes and shapes from all the years different charity groups brought kids to The Manor for Easter egg hunts. I also have the bunny costumes (Easter, not Playboy) my kids wore to parties. Box 48 reads, 1 giant Easter bunny. There are three boxes of various foiled eggs and three more labels painted wooden rabbits. Oops, I forgot about the pink grass, yellow grass, and green grass I bought for next year’s Easter baskets and those boxes of new baskets. Oh, look, box 59 has 2 rabbits at a tea party.
I love holidays.
My boxes of Thanksgiving decorations include garlands for the various fireplaces in the house and Thanksgiving bears.
Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. My supplies include sound-activated jack-o’-lanterns, witches with caldrons, life-size (but not lifelike) ghosts and skeletons, beautifully carved artificial pumpkins, and even an animated spirit ball with a homely old lady who yells out threats to passersby.
There are 128 143 151 164 180 boxes of Christmas decorations.
I love Christmas. For years I’ve been collecting toy soldiers (130 at last count, including 4 seven-footers), wreaths, dogs in Santa suits, tree ornaments, festive dishes and glasses, Mrs. Claus dresses for dolls, cones, tree stands, lights, sheet music, fake snowflakes, elves, and sleighs. There are bears who sit on my front steps every Christmas, those who sit on the entry stairs, and bears who sit on coffee tables. I have pastry chef bears who adorn the kitchen during the holidays, and one who has a little cast on his front leg. (I imagine he went skiing during the holidays, so I keep him in my office, where I can keep an eye on him. I count on him to keep an eye out to make sure the garland for the left side of the staircase doesn’t end up on the ride side. He has a good eye). You name it, and I have it.
Anyone having a birthday party? I have dozens of boxes of streamers, candles, tablecloths, hats, cake platters, cake recipes, and more. I love birthdays.
I also love babies. That’s why I still have the beautiful Royal prams Barbara Stanwyck gave Tori and Randy when they were babies. I can’t walk by them without smiling.
I’ve quoted a lot of books in this book. Oh, boy, do I have books and magazine and videotapes and DVDs! There are hundred of boxes of those in the attic. (I don’t have to estimate how many there are in the rest of the house, do I?)
I love my books. There’s everything from Dick and Jane primers to a college physics textbook that a houseguest left behind, from directories of Hollywood unions to home decorating books, from caring for orchids to child care.
My Photoplay magazines are kept in order, in plastic, proudly on display on special shelves. They are Hollywood history. They deserve a place high above all else, up, up, and away.
The attic houses various sizes of tapes and DVDs of every television show and movie my husband ever made, plus extra scripts, notes, photos, memorabilia (anyone for a 90210 lunchbox or a Vega$ poker chip, a Charmed book bag or a cast portrait of Charlie’s Angels?). In order to explain why I have shelves and cabinets full of carefully organized boxes representing my husband’s work, let me recap that he produced more television than anyone in history. In 1983, the Guinness Book of World Records saluted Aaron by naming him the “most prolific” television producer in history because of his astounding 3, 842 hours of television shows. Guinness determined that someone could watch prime time seven nights a week for three and a half years without ever seeing a rerun of an Aaron Spelling show. That was in 1983. Now it’s more than 4,500 hours of programs. That’s why I have hundred of boxes in the attic, plus rooms full of his awards, honors, favorite photos, original scripts, and shows throughout the house. I love my husband’s work.
There’s a hair salon in the attic. Why is it in the attic? We forgot to make room for it in the house. I like it. It’s near one of the stairways and has a barber pole outside that used to make my husband laugh. The place is decorated like an old-style salon, with pictures of all the hairstyles from the fifties and sixties that, for some reason, we all thought were flattering and fun.
Oh, and there’s a gift-wrapping room.
I know, I know. I wrote about how my gift-wrapping room is adjacent to my office on the first floor.
Well there’s a second gift-wrapping room in the attic.
And, then, hiding in the attic is the really large gift-wrapping area, for the really large packages.
While my downstairs gift-wrapping room is festive, my attic gift-wrapping room is all business, with big boxes, industrial-strength wrapping paper, heavy-duty tape, wire cutters, postage scales, reams of paper with eight-hundred-foot rolls, a shrinkwrap machine, straw, and anything a UPS store would ever need. I have a little kitchen next to it, since once I start wrapping those big packages, I sometimes won’t emerge for hours.
By the way, everything in the attic is neatly labeled, cataloged, and stored.
Hand-painted cachepots for orchids, card tables, fabrics for beach house, party favors, refrigerator shelves, drawer pulls, stuffed animals, mah-jongg supplies, hardware hinges, tori’s sweet 16 seat cushions, monogrammed hangers, and roofing materials are some of the categories. Seriously.
It you want a sky blue Easter egg, I can point you right at it. Need a wreath that measures 16.6 inches? Miniature flowers? Custom glass for the lampposts at the bottom of the driveway? Plans for every inch of the house in 1/8-, ¼-, and ½-inche scale? It’s all there.
Wait. I haven’t accounted for all 17,000 square feet yet.
I also have a luggage section. I love luggage. There’s every size, lots of different designers, various colors, and they all have special names. I remember while I was growing up my father had the “two-suiter” and “clothing bag.” It’s much more fun today. I’ve got too much luggage, I’ll admit it. I always pack too much. And I still have more, in case I ever need eighty or ninety suitcases for a family vacation. As I said earlier, we borrowed suitcases from the set of Hotel earlier in our marriage when we traveled. I guess we went overboard after that series went off the air.
I’m very sentimental about everything in Tori and Randy’s life. I guess that explains why I’ve kept almost everything of theirs.
Do you want to see what Randy wore for Halloween in 1982? Got it.
The beautiful mother-daughter taffeta dresses Tori and I wore? Got them, too.
The custom seat covers I had made for Tori’s Sweet Sixteen party so the girls wouldn’t have to sit on the hard rental chairs? Yup. Right near the luggage.
I can walk through the attic and remember the happy memories just by looking at the boxes. Yes, they’re numbered and labeled, too, with a Polaroid picture of whatever’s inside attached to every box. It’s easier that way, in case Randy wants to see what he wore on his first day of kindergarten. He looked so cute in his little school uniform, with gray pants, a navy blazer, and a red tie. (Aw, come on, Randy, don’t you want to see that outfit? Tori, do you remember all those beautiful frilly dresses by Florence Eisenman? I don’t know if I can keep them when I move.)
I have quantities of spare gifts like you wouldn’t believe. There are very high expectations for a “Spelling gift,” and I always used to take the advice of the Boy Scouts to “be prepared.”
I love to give one-of-a-kind gifts. There’s a wonderful store in Los Angeles that makes handmade personalized candles designed to be burned once a year for the first twenty-one years of a boy or girl’s life. I received them for my children, and love to give them to other people for their blessings. My favorite gifts are those pertaining to something the recipient is interested in. That can be a book about a favorite subject, or a part of an antique collection. I like to surprise people with unexpected and unusual gifts.
If a colleague of Aaron’s liked eighteenth-century paintings, he was confident he could call and I had one waiting to be wrapped and messengered. How about an antique clock? Got ‘em. A duplicate Lalique piece that I didn’t need for my own collection? Sure. Fountain pens when people gave them for graduation presents? What color?
There’s also a kitchen equipment section. Aaron and I had various chefs at different stages of our life. When we entertained a lot, we had a chef who liked to cook for big groups. If we decided to eat healthy food only (which we rarely did), we’d hire a macrobiotic cook. There’s an expert for everything in L.A., and cooks who specialize.
The result was a lot of turnover in kitchen appliances, tools, pots, pans, bowls, and everything else a chef uses. So, when a new chef would come in with his or her list of necessities for my kitchen, we would move the last group of expensive former necessities to the attic. I always hoped that one chef would like what we’d bought for the last one. Nope. Who knew there were so many different kids of waffle irons and spice racks?
I’m trying to be mature as I tell myself, and anyone who’ll listen, that it’s time to downsize. I know people make fun me for saying I’m downsizing to 17,000 square feet. That’s a very large home, and I’m grateful to be able to have it.
Even if I just give away everything in the attic, I’ll still have more than three times as much stuff as my new home will hold.
I don’t think self-storage is the answer. Actually, one of those companies might want to talk to the new owner of The Manor about leasing space.
Yes, I’m going to be mature and businesslike and figure out how to downsize. I have to be less like a sentimental wife, mother, and grandmother and more like a corporate efficiency expert. It might work. I have hardhats, clipboards, and tape measures stored in the attic, too, so I won’t have to buy anything new to take on that new job.
That’s the math.
Meet the Author
CANDY SPELLING, whose husband Aaron produced America's favorite entertainment ("Dynasty", "Charlie's Angels", "The Love Boat", "Beverly Hills 90210"), is one of Hollywood's most famous wives and mothers. Her marriage was one of Tinseltown's happiest and most enduring, ending only with Aaron's death in 2006. Since then, Candy has begun writing, for TMZ.com and The Huffington Post, as well as becoming a contributing editor for Los Angeles Confidential Magazine. She is involved with a number of charitable and public service organizations, and is in the process of "downsizing" from Spelling Manor to a 17,000 square foot condominium in Century City.
Candy Spelling, whose husband Aaron produced America's favorite entertainment (Dynasty, Charlie's Angels, The Love Boat, Beverly Hills 90210), is one of Hollywood's most famous women. Her marriage was one of Tinseltown's happiest and most enduring, ending only with Aaron's death in 2006. Since then, Candy began her own entertainment and media career, with a new TV series, Bank of Hollywood, co-producing Promises, Promises on Broadway and writing on a variety of pop culture topics for TMZ.com, The Huffington Post and momlogic.com and as a contributing editor for Los Angeles Confidential Magazine. She is involved with a number of charitable and public service organizations.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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There is nothing substantive nor enlightening about this book. It is completely boring, amateurish, and self-indulgent. I don't regret buying many books, and I especially enjoy reading biographies, but this book is a waste of paper. In my opinion, it is basically an attempt to take shots at her daughter to dispute relational issues Tori wrote of in her book.
There is nothing enlightening about this book. It is boring & uninspiring book and truly a waste of my money. After reading Tori's book i was curious as to what her mother's response would be. I will just say that Candy is a NARCISTS, unappreciative, selfish person and I can go on. She thrives on watching her daughter struggle. Candy fails to realize that she can't control everything and everybody with her millions.Get over it Candy. You will never gain back Tori's love and respect if you dont admit to all the mistakes you've made in the past. Aaron showed much more love to his daughter and admit that you were very jealous of Tori. Instead of embracing the fact that you had a wonderful husband who provided for his family and loved his children very much, you have been nothing but a wicked witch. Also, appreciate that you had a wonderful Nanny who did your job and raised 2 great children. Candy you will be alone for the rest of your life. Money may buy you what you want but love is not one of them. Swallow your pride and realize that Tori has grown to be an honest, beautiful in and out and a smart woman, which is something that you had nothing to do with.
this book was so boring. i wanted to read it because i wanted to learn the "other" side of the story between her and tori. tori's books are WAY better.
Absolutly dreadful, aweful, horrible. I'd have rather read the back of my tube of toothpaste. I read Tori's book first and thought to be fair, I'd see if her mom Candy is really that wacky.I especially enjoyed the chapter dedicated to the Dick and Jane books from years of old. The answer is no. She is MUCH worse! A message for Mrs. Spelling- go into your mansion , find out just how many bathrooms you actually have, find the throne and go sit on it!
First I Must agree with the first reviewer just before me. Ditto! I will add this I do feel I understand Candy a little more and she definately Needs Therapy.... She is a Narcissist and she is a Pack Rat! She has a Huge whole that she can Not fill. Thus all the Excess!!!! Two things stand out to me. 1.) I really enjoyed the stuff she wrote about the shows and some of the actors...unfortunately that was really only a couple of pages! 2.) No one would even begin to BUY this book if...Tori had not been out there slaving away to make a name for herself! So actually Candy should be thanking her daughter for any copies she sells!!!! Because no one remembers or cares about what she's writing about! I am a person who Loved Aaron Spellings shows!!!! There will Never be another like him. I do not dislike Candy and Love Tori! I bought this book because of the fact my daughter watches Tori on her shows...while I was waiting for my other daughter to buy AP books I came across this and bought it and read it in 4 hours...which means it is a VERY Easy read!!! Save yur money and wait till it's in the library!
This was a boring book. If you want to know more about Candy Spelling I would recommend her daughters book, Stori Telling.
Don't waste your money and or precious time!! Book was boring and it seemed throughout the book that she could not have a complete thought and put it down on paper to make sense.
This book is boring to say the least. If you enjoy reading about a person going on and on about themselves on how rich they are or how much money they have then this is the book for you! Save your money and read the books by her daughter Tori Spelling instead! You will find them to be much more interesting and realistic. This mother needs a reality check, how can you write about grandchildren that you have never meet! She has never seen her granddaughter. As for her grandson you can count on your hand the amount of time she has spent trying to get to know him. Candy you need treatment get it soon. If it wasn't for Tori you would never had sold your book Candyland because no one really remembers or remembers you other then being Aaron Spellings wife.
I thought I would read this book to see it from her side (already reading Tori's two books)... She just is rude, and some of the things she mentions are just not needed.. I didn't enjoy her book, NOT ONE BIT! She is a Hollywood Mother, who has issues, and is greedy for money! Not impressed from her side!
Not a bad book. It tells her side of the story. I still like Tori's books better. Good recipes in it though.
I really enjoyed reading about the life of Candy Spelling. This is a story that is often grand and over the top, but look who wrote it! The author definitely has a sense of humor and this is one of my favorite celebrity autobiographies. I totally recommend it.
Dont bother with this book. It is super boring and not worth the money. To find out how bad it is find 10 friends and split the book and pass it around. Sure wish I did! Or didnt!
It almost put me to sleep! Candy makes herself look like Mother of the Year.
Don't waste your money and or precious time!! Book was boring and it seemed throughout the book that she could not have a complete thought and put it down on paper to make sense. It was full of grammatical errors and was not focused.
I was really expecting more from Candy Spellings book seeing as how she stirred up all this controversy with her daughter but it was a pretty blah book. I read it in about a day but just to read it. I think that she's very hypocritical about what she wants for her grandkids and kids. I wouldnt recommend anyone waste the money buying it... You can have my copy!
Wow... that's the first thing I thought when I finished Candyland. A friend gave it to me and needless to say, I wanted to give it right back the next day. Candy's rude and realy doesn't care about who she hurts in the process of trying to gain more attention than she deserves and a few extra bucks(which she doesn't need might I add) by selling a book. Leave the writing to the people who are passionate about it, not just to tell tall tales and get back at your daughter. At least Tori's book was interesting and kept me awake. There was variety in Mommywood; love, adventures, humor. Candyland had one theme: obnoxious. -S.B.
I am a HUGE fan of Aaron's work. I have read both of Tori's books. I felt, to be fair, I should read Candy's as well. I've never been a huge fan of her. I came away, from reading this, feeling the same way. A delightful written book.
ok i read tori's first book and i loved it so much and i finished it and couldn't wait to get my hands on candys book and here i read it and i really didn't like it. to me it was saying how big her house is and how much stuff she had and how beautiful the house is and nothing else. she spoke about aaron a lil but it was all about how much beautiful her house was and things. didn't like it at all not one bit, but i do like the recipts at the back of the book. candy never say's anything about havin a nanny at all, but in toris book she loved her nanny. i don't get it. all i kept reading was how wonderful her friends are and how wonderful she had it. she hardly spoke of her grandchildren not until the end almost. she made it seem like she did it all ...she cooked, cleaned, worked, took care of her kids and had no help. i don't get it.
I have been a fan of Tori Spelling for many years and I read her first book. My thoughts on that book were not a woman writing mean and vindictive things about her mother, but of a young girl who was afraid of hurting her mother's feelings a the time of the incidents. Upon reading Candyland, I felt this was mother that had nothing but tacky things to say about her daughter. I was very disappointed because I really went into it hoping for a different outcome. I feel that Candy should have left alot of her problems with Tori out of the book. With that said, I felt that her recap of life with Aaron Spelling was touching. I do want to end with saying that Mrs. Spelling should keep in mind that regardless of her daughter's age SHE is the mother and Tori is the child. She needs to admit that maybe she made mistakes along the way (which we all do as parents) but that she didn't mean anything by it....HOPEFULLY.