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The Warp

Carol White Cathy Where Are You Now?

Carol disappeared from all of our lives after that. The sad thing is that in 1992 I was actually trying to find where she had got to. When she asked me to ghost her book, she’d told me she was going to stay in England and specifically in London, so that’s where I searched.

The reason, apart from that I felt I’d like to see her again, was that I was researching and presenting a television documentary called Cathy Where Are You Now? in which, 25 years after Cathy Come Home, I would investigate what changes there had been in the way we treat homeless families.

I thought I’d like to have Carol in the documentary and I thought I’d like to discuss with her where might the film Cathy be now, that woman who, portrayed by Carol, we last saw standing outside the railway station at the end of ‘Cathy’, bereft of her children and desperate.

So I set out to find her, rang agents, equity, rang up surprised C. Whites and S. Whites (for her children) whose phone numbers I’d got from the telephone directory.

Everywhere the trail went dead.

I rang Nell and Ken and Tony with no luck. I didn’t think she would have gone back to the United States as her later time in Hollywood had clearly been so disastrous. But she had.

Partly, I think, she went back because her two boys were there and they wanted to stay there because they had work in the building industry and the chance of backing for a rock band they had initiated, and wanted to stay there rather than chance their luck in Britain.

Partly it may have been because of money that Carol owed on the flat they had been renting in London, and windows and other things that had got smashed in the course of scraps twixt Carol and Mike. Rather than pay this it had seemed easier to get a couple of airplane tickets and get the hell out of Britain.

Whatever the reason, I wish she hadn’t.

It was about the time that I was making the programme that Carol lay in her bed in a Los Angeles hotel, dying from an overdose of too much drugs and drink.


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