cover image Della: A Memoir of My Daughter

Della: A Memoir of My Daughter

Chuck Barris, Simon & Schuster, $25 (200p) ISBN 9781439167991

With much regret and a father's love, former game show icon Barris (Confessions of a Dangerous Mind) recalls the life and unfortunate death at 36 of his only daughter, Della. She "drank too much vodka, snorted too much cocaine, and died just like the death certificate said she did, from an excessive amount of everything." Known in the ‘60s, ‘70s, and ‘80s for TV hits like The Gong Show and The Dating Game, Barris achieved major success in his professional life, but his personal life was a shambles. He and his wife divorced, and Della moved with her mother, first to Switzerland, then New York, then back to Southern California, where she lived once again with her father and attended Beverly Hills High. Sending Bella to the notorious school was, Barris explains, among the biggest mistakes he ever made: "Drugs, dope, and alcohol were rampant there at the time, especially for susceptible kids like Della." She dropped out and left home, traveling on the trust fund Barris established for her. Disappointed in himself most of all, he recalls or reconstructs the mistakes he made in an honest attempt at salvation. (June)