THE BLOG
09/12/2012 06:26 pm ET | Updated Nov 07, 2012

Book Review: Alana Stewart's Rearview Mirror

By her own admission Alana Collins Hamilton Stewart was raised in abject poverty in Nacogdoches, Texas. The early pages of her memoir are fascinating and touching as one wonders how she could have escaped her roots to become the respected celebrity she is today. She survived a mother who was a drug addict and the use of an outhouse as a bathroom. Alana's mother threatened to kill Alana on more than one occasion. Once Alana was able to leave Texas after a brief stint as a domestic airline hostess, she began modeling in New York City. Here she met playboy types who were looking for nubile and gullible flesh to exploit.

And Alana was born beautiful. Her beauty could have been a curse as it attracted men who used her.

One of these men was not George Hamilton whom she married in 1972. In 1974, she gave birth to their son, Ashley.

Rearview Mirror was written by Alana and has flaws in the writing which prove the authenticity of this claim.

George and Alana remain friends today. He even has given her a blurb for her memoir though she has written revealingly about him. Hamilton has written:

Through marriages and divorces, I've gotten to watch this fascinating and complex woman come into her own, from small town roots to the confidante of the glamorous and powerful. Her take on the ride is not only insightful and exciting; it's gut wrenching and more than enough for a lifetime.

Hamilton wrote these words of praise though Alana recalled the time he left her mother's funeral to make an appearance at a convention out of town and abandoned Alana to be alone with her grief. With typical Hamilton savoir faire, he did not object to her mentioning this in her memoir and several other unflattering things about him.

On the other hand, there is no blurb from her second husband, Rod Stewart, who is the father of Sean and Kimberly, two of her three children. Rod's attraction to Alana was not only due to her blonde beauty, but to her status in Hollywood's inner circle and to her catching George Hamilton. Alana had learned from George how to social climb. She focused on making friends of the rich and powerful. A bangers and mash man (I know because when Rod and I dated I would eat them with him in his kitchen), Rod wanted the approval of Hollywood's elite and to be accepted by them. Also Rod had a fixation on George Hamilton due to George's class and status.

Rod suffered from a deep insecurity about his childhood. Alana and he shared humble roots.

After a stormy, drug-fueled marriage, multimillionaire rocker Rod left his globetrotting, celebrity-oriented wife and mother of two of his children financially in need in the twilight years of her life. While pregnant, Alana, who believed "until death do us part," signed a killer prenuptial in haste defying stellar legal advice. "I remember seeing her right before that divorce," George Hamilton recalled in an interview, "She had that look only combat veterans get. That million mile stare."

When Alana first arrived in New York, her values were focused on fame and fortune. She caught that brass ring by marrying Rod, but that ring tarnished after their divorce.
Still, she was left with a glowing friendship with George. Rearview Mirror is the story of a lasting love between Alana and George Hamilton. Even though today George has a girlfriend, it is apparent that his heart always will belong to Alana.

In the first part of her life, Alana's fascination with celebrity was understandable given her humble beginnings. However, if it had not been so all encompassing, one would have greater compassion for her.

In her later years, she discovered 12-step programs and spirituality. One hopes that she has acquired genuine values and is at peace.

While Alana's mother who committed suicide in her later years in Hollywood was unable to be emotionally available for her due to addictions, Alana sought the help of therapists to learn to be emotionally available for her children. Without proper therapy, it would have been difficult for her to free herself from her past. Two of Alana's three children suffered from alcoholism which is a disease that can be inherited. Today they are sober.

And while Alana and I studied comedy improvisation together in the late '70s, she kindly makes reference to this in Rearview Mirror. For me, her greatest accomplishment in the acting arena was her talk show with George in which she utilized her comedic talents. Unfortunately The George and Alana Show was canceled too soon due to inexperienced producers.

Stay tuned for Rod: The Autobiography to be published October 23 and his rebuttal.

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