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Christina Applegate finds good in a troubled family history

'Who Do You Think You Are': Christina Applegate Finds the Good in a Troubled Family History

Bob Applegate had a lot of unanswered questions about his childhood, and his daughter, actress Christina Applegate, went on a mission to help provide some closure. What happened between Bob's parents? Why was he raised by his grandmother? He knew his mother died young, but when...and how?



Christina traveled to Bob's place of birth, New Jersey, to find details around her grandparents' relationship and custody battle over her father. Court documents showed that they were divorced soon after Bob was born. A nasty custody battle ensued, during which each accused the other of abusing alcohol. Ultimately, the court awarded custody to Bob's mother which baffles Christina.

"He said he never knew his mother and yet he lived with her for all of these years," she said.

Family law professor Meredith Schalick explained that one explanation for this discrepancy is that the mother could have passed away shortly thereafter.

Christina knew her grandmother had passed away at a young age, but was not sure of the details surrounding her death. She was not only surprised at when she died, but how she died. Bob had thought his mother passed away when he was 8 years old, but according to her death certificate, he was actually 13. He had also been told his mother was killed in a brutal and violent way. His mother actually succumbed to illnesses resulting from alcohol abuse.

When Christina shared this information with her father, he asked, "Is there any good in here anywhere?"

"Yeah, you want me to tell you what the good is? Here's the good, Dad," Christina replied poignantly. "The beauty of this is that you can be incredibly proud that you broke the pattern and that you raised all of us with giving us strength and intelligence and talent. This is the good part of the story."

"Well, that's good enough for me," Bob said.

Join the discussion

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King Curmudgeon July 02 2014 at 5:19 AM

Sounds like your head is in the right place, Christina. Bless you for helping your dad to heal.

Flag Reply +27 rate up
3 replies
coopdabomb July 02 2014 at 6:07 AM

One of the VERY few child stars who right path.

Flag Reply +23 rate up
2 replies
cmcclarty coopdabomb July 02 2014 at 11:11 AM

Agree 100%

Flag Reply +1 rate up
powermetal38 coopdabomb July 02 2014 at 11:28 AM

It is pretty simple as to why they are not behaved as well as they should...No. 1 it's exaggerated there are quite a lot of child stars who came up fine, No. 2 They are at the crazy years (14 - 28) or will be going through them shortly...with a lot of money and to much time and iresponsable parents or parent.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
brennemanbelkin July 02 2014 at 6:53 AM

Always had a thing for this girl.
Nice to know she's such a substantial person.

Flag Reply +18 rate up
natalie July 02 2014 at 6:44 AM

Christina, is a sweetheart. God Bless her.

Flag Reply +17 rate up
ccm989 July 02 2014 at 9:03 AM

What a great story! Really admire Ms. Applegate for her strength and courage helping her dad and surviving cancer too. You go girl!

Flag Reply +14 rate up
Masonfcobb1 July 02 2014 at 7:06 AM

This is such an endearing peak into Christina Applegates' life , thanks for sharing. We watched her play daddy's little girl for years. She really is daddy's little girl, such a sweetheart! I wonder if her Dad ever calls her Pumpkin? hehe!

Flag Reply +13 rate up
Augman110 July 02 2014 at 7:06 AM

Damned alcohol!

Flag Reply +10 rate up
1 reply
MIKEY'S SCREEN Augman110 July 02 2014 at 11:10 AM

....and legal pot is safe?

Flag Reply 0 rate up
2 replies
mojo working MIKEY'S SCREEN July 02 2014 at 2:01 PM

You would have to smoke 150,000 joints in 15 seconds to overdose on Mary Jane . Drink three bottles of whiskey in an hour and you could die from Alcohol poisoning . See how that works !

Flag +1 rate up
daxcess2 MIKEY'S SCREEN July 02 2014 at 10:12 PM

Bringing up marijuana in the middle of this conversation about alcohol is ridiculous. Nothing is safe, no drug. Yet you have cosen to point your crooked finger at something you clearly know nothing about. It has about as much relevance to Ms. Applegate's story as GM's substandard ignition switches. Which by the way are a lot more dangerous than pot.

Flag +1 rate up
josephprush July 02 2014 at 9:26 AM

I've only known of Christina through her comedic acting and from some interviews in which she's shown an impressive intellect. This latest shows her to be a woman of great feelings passion and love. Congratulations, Christina. You're right. You were raised well.

Flag Reply +9 rate up
hattie54 July 02 2014 at 7:56 AM

I love this show.NBC cancelled it then TLC picked it up 2 years later.I wonder if its coming back or not?:( It was neat that she paid for those new grave markers and grave stone.

Flag Reply +6 rate up
1 reply
bbhuey4213 hattie54 July 02 2014 at 11:19 AM

Just looked it up on TLC's site - July 23rd, 9pm

Flag Reply 0 rate up
soccer_sucks July 02 2014 at 8:26 AM

Like they are the only ones that go throgh this

Flag Reply +4 rate up
2 replies
henrtny soccer_sucks July 02 2014 at 9:28 AM

Get lost!

Flag Reply +1 rate up
bmwrjw soccer_sucks July 02 2014 at 9:28 AM

They weren't the only ones who went through this. They are some of the few you escaped and made good. Jealous?

Flag Reply +1 rate up
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