Those She Left Behind

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Those She Left Behind
Written by Michael O'Hara
Directed by Waris Hussein
Starring Gary Cole
Joanna Kerns
Mary Page Keller
Theme music composer Mark Snow
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
Producer R.W. Goodwin
CinematographyRobert Steadman
Editors Paula Brody
Steven Hirsch
Running time96 minutes
Production company NBC Productions
Distributor NBCUniversal Television Distribution
Original network NBC
Original release
  • March 6, 1989 (1989-03-06)

Those She Left Behind is a 1989 American made-for-television drama film directed by Waris Hussein and starring Gary Cole, Joanna Kerns, and Mary Page Keller. Its plot concerns a father forced to raise his newborn daughter alone after the unexpected death of his wife of an extremely rare condition during childbirth. It was inspired by the sitcom Full House and enjoyed some of the sitcom's success due to some shared themes as well as similar casting. Co-star Colleen Dewhurst won a 1989 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress - Miniseries or a Movie. [1]



Gary Cole stars as Scott Grimes, a man who owns a rising realty business. His wife Sue, played by Mary Page Keller, is pregnant with their first child. So it would seem Scott has everything a man could ever want.

Unfortunately, when Sue is giving birth, she ends up passing away due to a pregnancy complication. It is almost one-in-a-million in the era of modern medicine. Their daughter, Katie, is saved.

Now Scott is left to shoulder the burden of losing his wife so suddenly, plus the burden of being a single father. He hires a few nannies to care for her with no success. Apparently, the one is even taking his words the wrong way and walking out on him. He even brings her to work with him to care for her. The stress is overwhelming, but he is dealing with it.

However, the breaking point comes when Katie is crying and screaming almost nonstop for about two days. Scott can't figure out why, going as far as walking out of the room on her saying, "I don't know what you want!" He takes her into the hospital the next day to find out she had been suffering from a hernia. After being probed by the doctor on why she wasn't brought in sooner, he confessed he didn't know what to do. Scott went so far as to saying he thought she was just being fussy. The doctor then asked him if he realizes what could've happened to her, he had ignored her one more day. A look of fear comes over his face as realization sets in.

Afterwards, he considers giving Katie up for adoption. Instead, Sue's parents offer to watch her until he gets himself straightened out. Eventually, he accepts his role as a father, gets his daughter back, and carries on.


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  1. The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows 1946-Present . Ballantine Books. 2003. p. 1445. ISBN   0-345-45542-8.