Cher’s mother, singer and actress Georgia Holt, has died. She was 96 years old.
Cher, 76, posted on Twitter on Saturday evening, “Mom is gone.” Cher revealed in September that Holt had “been sick off and on.”
“She just got out of the hospital,” the singer continued. “She had pneumonia. She’s getting better,” Cher said on Saturday, declining to provide a cause of death or an exact date of death.
USA TODAY has reached out to Cher’s representative for more information.
In 2013, Holt was the subject of “Dear Mom, Love Cher,” an hour-long Lifetime documentary that explored the family’s history through interviews with the matriarch, daughters Cher and Georganne LaPiere, and Cher’s children, Chaz Bono and Elijah Blue Allman, known professionally as P. Blue Exeter
“It’s a good Mother’s Day special, but it’s not Hallmark,” Cher said at the time of the documentary.
Holt got the idea for the project after discovering tapes of an unreleased album she recorded with Elvis Presley’s band in 1980. Cher, determined to assist Holt in achieving an unattainable goal, had the tapes remastered and then filmed her mother singing and chatting. It resulted in a 16-minute video that began as a “little present for her 86th birthday” and evolved into a more revealing look back at an unconventional clan.
She was best known for her roles in 1955’s “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet,” as well as 1956’s “I Love Lucy” and “Jane Wyman Presents the Fireside Theatre,” as well as films such as 1950’s “Watch the Birdie” and “A Life of Her Own,” 1951’s “Father’s Little Dividend” and “Grounds for Marriage,” and 1952’s “Lovely to Look At.”
Holt released her debut album “Honky Tonk Woman” in 2013, which she recorded in the 1980s.
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Holt was born in rural Arkansas on June 9, 1926, to 13-year-old Lynda Inez Gulley and 20-year-old Roy Malloy Crouch. Holt began her career as a singer in Oklahoma saloons and later became a singer and actress in Hollywood.
She, too, was a multifaceted and complicated woman.
Holt considered having an abortion after marrying a truck driver named John Sarkisian. They divorced soon after Cher was born. Due to financial constraints, Holt temporarily placed Cher in a Catholic orphanage, where nuns urged her to give up the baby for adoption.
“I heard the abortion story when I was a teenager,” Cher said in 2013 in “Dear Mom.” “The orphanage story has been a sensitive one for my mom her entire life, and she didn’t want to talk about it. I asked, ‘Mom, why didn’t you just march in and take me?’ She said, ‘I didn’t have the power. I didn’t have any money or a job, and the church was so strong. I’d go see you every day and you’d be crying. You don’t know what it was like.’