When country music legend Loretta Lynn saw Beverly D’Angelo bring Patsy Cline back to life for Coal Miner’s Daughter, it hurt her feelings at first.
Cline was a dear friend to Lynn before her life ended tragically, and seeing someone else step into her shoes for the movie was overwhelming. But Lynn revealed something about the Law and Order: Special Victims Unit actor that eventually changed her mind.
(L) Loretta Lynn | Charles Eshelman/FilmMagic (C) Patsy Cline | GAB Archive/Redferns (R) Beverly D’Angelo | J.Sciulli/WireImage
Loretta Lynn said it ‘hurt’ her to see Beverly D’Angelo as Patsy Cline in ‘Coal Miner’s Daughter’
D’Angelo is widely known for playing Ellen Griswold alongside Chevy Chase in the National Lampoon’s Vacation films. But she took on the role of Cline for Coal Miner’s Daughter, the movie based on Lynn’s life and bestselling autobiography.
For a brief history lesson, Lynn formed a fast friendship with Cline when she moved to Nashville in the early ’60s. Tragically, the “Crazy” singer died in 1963, and Lynn lamented the early loss of her companion for the rest of her life.
Seeing D’Angelo as Cline for the movie was hard for the “Fist City” singer at first. She wrote in Me & Patsy Kickin’ Up Dust, “I came on set during filming one day and saw Beverly D’Angelo in costume, ready to play the part of Patsy. For a minute I couldn’t breathe.”
She added, “It hurt me.”
“I wanted to run out of that place as fast as I could,” she recalled. “I wanted it to be me and Patsy on that stage together for real — to have that life between us that we didn’t get a chance to have.”
Loretta Lynn was ‘proud’ of Beverly D’Angelo for helping introduce new fans to Patsy Cline in ‘Coal Miner’s Daughter’
It’s Patsy Cline’s birthday and I sure wish she was here to celebrate. We’d have a big time! She took me under her wing, showed me the ropes, and became my best friend—a sister. pic.twitter.com/QBGm6Owdl8
— Loretta Lynn (@LorettaLynn) September 8, 2022
While Lynn needed some time to get over seeing D’Angelo as Cline, she felt better when she heard her sing Cline’s “Crazy,” written by Willie Nelson. She noted in her book that the actors in Coal Miner’s Daughter sang their tracks. “I tell you what,” she said, “Beverly was outstanding.”
She shared that she “stood there listening, and all of a sudden, [she] wasn’t upset anymore.”
“I was happy. I felt so proud because I knew that Coal Miner’s Daughter was going to introduce a whole new generation of fans to Patsy Cline,” she explained.
Lynn also mentioned how the producer, Bernard Schwartz, “fell so in love with Patsy” he made Sweet Dreams about her life in the years after Coal Miner’s Daughter. She shared, “I wasn’t crazy over how they portrayed Patsy in that movie, but I was happy that she was getting the notoriety and credit she deserved.”
Fans and country music stars celebrated Loretta Lynn’s life and the impact of ‘Coal Miner’s Daughter’
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Few people can write a song so iconic it leads to a book and a movie, but Lynn did just that with an autobiographical tune about growing up poor in Kentucky.
After she died at 90 on Oct. 4, 2022, CMT hosted Coal Miner’s Daughter: A Celebration of the Life and Music of Loretta Lynn in her honor. Country stars like Brandi Carlile and Wynonna Judd were there to pay tribute to her music and her habit of helping her fellow “girl singers,” as Cline did for her.
Carlile took the time to explain what she loves so much about the legend. “… I can feel the way Loretta treated her girlfriends by the way they treated me,” she explained before naming a few: “Wynonna Judd, Tanya Tucker, and Martina [McBride].”
She added, “I promise you right now, Loretta Lynn, to pay that forward for as long as they let me do this job. To any younger girl that wants to come out here and take this big beautiful risk and do this job.”
RELATED: Patsy Cline’s Husband Said ‘Sweet Dreams’ Film Was Only ‘About 50 Percent True’