Just a few months before Mariel Hemingway was born, her famous grandfather, Ernest Hemingway, committed suicide in the Idaho home where Mariel later grew up. The Nobel Prize-winning novelist had struggled with depression, and the Hemingway family as a whole has been plagued by a legacy of addiction, mental illness and suicide across generations. In fact, just one day before the anniversary of Ernest Hemingway's suicide in 1996, Mariel's older sister Margaux also took her own life in what was ruled an intentional overdose.
In the documentary "Running From Crazy," Mariel revisits the Idaho home where she grew up and shows cameras the room where Ernest shot himself in the early morning of July 2, 1961.
"I always avoided right in here," Mariel says, gesturing toward the room, a small foyer near the home's back door. "This is where he killed himself."
As a child, Mariel wasn't aware of how her grandfather died. "I was in my late twenties when I found out. I never knew," she says. "Somebody said, 'Well, yes, and this is where it happened.' I was like, 'Whoa.' I was so blown away. I just had no idea that this was it."
Still, Mariel explains that she had a sense that she should keep her distance from the area. "I would not come in here as a kid," she says, stepping into the room. "Totally freaked me out. Felt like a basement, like a creepy basement that you don't want to go into… Something kept me away."
The above video also shows footage of Margaux Hemingway in Idaho before her death, talking about her own take on her grandfather's suicide.
"Running From Crazy" aired on OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network.
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