Who Do You Think You Are? - BBC Series 7 - Kim Cattrall
This episode will be broadcast at 21:00 on 12 August 2009.
For most of her life, Sex And The City actress Kim Cattrall has felt like 'someone without roots'. Her parents emigrated from Liverpool to Canada in 1956, when she was three months old, and split up soon afterwards.
And so, from an early age, she was captivated by her mother's tales of her maternal grandfather, George Baugh, who disappeared from his Toxteth family home in 1938, leaving behind his three young daughters, including Kim's mother, Shane, who was eight.
Most families have a secret, an unsolved mystery, a black sheep or a rebel. You imbue that member with qualities you either most want to possess or deplore in others,' she says.
The family George abandoned slid into abject poverty in the impoverished Liverpool suburb of Toxteth. Kate's mother remembers drinking out of jam jars and turning old jumper sleeves into socks. It marked her for much of Shane's life.
'My mother and aunties were never able to grieve the loss of their father and what they missed growing up,' she says. 'It's an event that defined my mother.'
So Kim set out to find about him. But her search through birth, marriage and census records reveals that, far from building a new life for himself abroad, as her family had suspected, her grandfather was living just 40 miles away in Manchester, and remarried with three children.
Her grandparents had never divorced, making George a bigamist.
'How does one prepare for an awful truth?' she says. 'It's unimaginable when you first hear it, and then you question how you could have thought otherwise. He was 28 when he left, so why wouldn't he have gotten married again?
'But I was taken aback by how brazen my grandfather was in his bigamy. He started a second family just north of Liverpool, where my grandmother and his three small daughters were starving.
'I am still processing how I feel about my grandfather. I am terribly sad and I can't forgive him for what he did.'