Composer Marvin Hamlisch’s parents Max and Lilly Hamlisch were Jewish Austrians who immigrated to New York City from Vienna. His father had been a professional accordionist who played at Viennese balls.
Home movies of the family on the streets and playgrounds of New York show Marvin as an expressive young boy. According to Marvin’s cousin Paul Kushner, Lilly Hamlisch invented helicopter parenting.
Watch Film Excerpt: Marvin’s Parents
“Aunt Lilly, she invented helicopter mothering,” jokes Kushner about his aunt. “Aunt Lilly would not allow Marvin to fly to Los Angeles because airplanes have been known to crash, incinerating all the occupants therein. So Friday afternoon, Aunt Lilly takes Marvin to Grand Central Terminal, gives him his supper in a brown paper bag and kisses him goodbye. She then prepares to fly out to Chicago the next day. She was allowed to fly.”
Kushner continues, “So Saturday morning when the train pulled into the station in Chicago, there was the same mommy who kissed him goodbye yesterday at Grand Central, waiting for him on the platform with his lunch in a brown paper bag.”
Marvin Hamlisch: What He Did For Love premieres nationally Friday, December 27, 2013 at 9 p.m. on PBS
(check local listings)