Singer-actress Gloria Holt, mother of Cher, dies at age 96

Cher announced on Sunday that her mother, singer and actress Gloria Holt, died at the age of 96 after being hospitalized with pneumonia back in September and being sick “on and off” since then.

“Mom is gone,” Cher tweeted.

No official cause of death was given.

Holt’s career

Holt had a film, TV, and music career beginning in the 1950s. After a number of uncredited roles in movies, she moved on to roles in The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, I Love Lucy, Jane Wyman Presents the Fireside Theatre, and The Lucy Show.

She released an album in 2013, Honky Tonk Woman, which was recorded in the 1980s and remastered for release as a companion to the 2013 documentary Dear Mom, Love Cher, which chronicled Holt’s rural childhood and six marriages while she helped daughter Cher build her singing career.

“My mom is exactly like Rocky,” Cher told Entertainment Weekly of her mother at the time. “She never gives up!”

The documentary told Holt’s story in her own words and through the accounts of family members and friends.

Never gave advice

“She never gave me and my sister advice because, truthfully, she knew we’d never take it,” Cher said of her mother in the documentary. “Instead, we learned about life by listening to her talk about the things she did wrong and the things she did right.”

“I did a couple of things like running away when I was 11,” Cher told People when the documentary was released. “I hopped a train with my friends. I was just very adventurous – but never disrespectful. She wouldn’t have put up with that.”

Cher admitted that her mother had a problem with her relationship with Sonny Bono, to whom she was married until 1975, but they were able to resolve their differences quickly.

“She listened first before making a judgment, so I could always talk to her about my romances,” she said.

What’s next for Cher

Cher said earlier this year that she was working on a biopic of her life, which will surely feature her mother as a part of the unfolding story. An album that she says may be her last is also in the works.

She’s also spending time working on her wild animal rescue, which takes animals languishing in zoos where they are not getting good care and relocates them to better, more natural environments. Another of her charitable efforts helps needy children harmed by the coronavirus pandemic.