Daddy Dearest? Thora Birch's Dad Is the Latest Example of a Heavy-Handed Hollywood Father


"The parents of many performing kids are often living out their own unfulfilled career dreams through their children," observed psychologist Wendy Lee Walsh. "The fact that [Jack Birch] comes from a pornographic background, it seems that the unmet need is wanting to be a mainstream actor. She's probably just an extension of him. Is the back rub really a problem for her or is it a problem for him?"

Jack Birch isn't the only showbiz father who harkens back to Joan Crawford.

Though he and his starlet daughter, Lindsay Lohan, went years without speaking, for a long time, Michael Lohan couldn't stop talking about her. Through her struggles with alcohol and drug abuse, he played the "father knows best card," going on and on about the toxic people in her life (namely, her mother/his ex-wife) and her need for an intervention.

Of course, then she went to jail (twice) and rehab (more than twice). Now, it seems Lindsay Lohan and her father are on better terms. She reportedly left the Betty Ford Center on Thanksgiving to spend a few hours with him; meanwhile, he's pledged to stop talking to the press about her life.

At 29-years-old, most women are far from their father's grasp. Not Britney Spears. The pop star mom who went through a spate of legal and psychological issues in 2008 remains under two conservatorships overseen by her father, Jamie Spears -- one for her financial decisions and another for her life decisions.

Sometimes, sunny father-daughter relationships can turn dark. Take the case of Billy Ray Cyrus and Miley Cyrus. In 2007, he gushed about how he was helping his daughter, the star of the overwhelmingly popular tween show "Hannah Montana," cope with "the pressures of the world."

These days, the 18-year-old star's biggest pressures seem to be explaining her penchant for giving lap dances and (purportedly) taking bong hits. On Friday, Billy Ray Cyrus took to Twitter to say he's "so sad" about the direction his daughter's life has taken.

"As a parent, before they're 18, you need to find a balance," said Walsh. "Keep them away from bad influences but let them be individuals. With Miley, we're seeing her try to be her own person for the first time. It's not very pretty."

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