B. D. Hyman (born Barbara Davis Sherry; May 1, 1947), aka B.D. Merrill, is an American author and pastor. Hyman was born in Santa Ana, California, the daughter of the actress Bette Davis and artist William Grant Sherry. In 1950, she was adopted by Davis's fourth husband Gary Merrill. She took back her own last name—Sherry—upon turning sixteen, claiming that she wished to distance herself from Merrill. She appeared briefly as an infant in her mother's film Payment on Demand (1951).

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  • B. D. Hyman (born Barbara Davis Sherry; May 1, 1947), aka B.D. Merrill, is an American author and pastor. Hyman was born in Santa Ana, California, the daughter of the actress Bette Davis and artist William Grant Sherry. In 1950, she was adopted by Davis's fourth husband Gary Merrill. She took back her own last name—Sherry—upon turning sixteen, claiming that she wished to distance herself from Merrill. She appeared briefly as an infant in her mother's film Payment on Demand (1951). Under the stage name B.D. Merrill, she played a minor role as the next door neighbor's daughter in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962), which starred her mother and was produced by Seven Arts Productions. She met Seven Arts executive Jeremy Hyman on a blind date for the film's showing at the Cannes Film Festival, and the couple wed when B.D. was sixteen. Bette Davis publicly supported her daughter's controversial "under age" marriage. B.D. and her husband have two sons. Hyman is the author of two books highly critical of her mother, My Mother's Keeper (1985) and Narrow Is the Way (1987). My Mother's Keeper brought Hyman considerable condemnation for the timing of its publication since Davis had suffered a stroke—unconnected to the book since Davis knew nothing about it—during the book's publication process; however, the matter was legally out of Hyman's hands by that time. Upon her return, she learned that Hyman had published a memoir, My Mother's Keeper, in which she chronicled a difficult mother-daughter relationship and depicted scenes of Davis's overbearing and drunken behavior. Several of Davis's friends commented that Hyman's depictions of events were not accurate; one said, "so much of the book is out of context". Mike Wallace rebroadcast a 60 Minutes interview he had filmed with Hyman a few years earlier in which she commended Davis on her skills as a mother, and said that she had adopted many of Davis's principles in raising her own children. Critics of Hyman noted that Davis had financially supported the Hyman family for several years and had recently saved them from losing their house. My Mother's Keeper was a best-seller; the second book, however, did not generate the same level of interest. Despite the acrimony of their divorce years earlier, Gary Merrill also defended Davis. Interviewed by CNN, Merrill said that Hyman was motivated by "cruelty and greed". Davis's adopted son, Michael Merrill, ended contact with Hyman and refused to speak to her again, as did Davis, who also disinherited her. A born-again Christian, Hyman is the head of her own ministry and pastor of her church based in Charlottesville, Virginia. She has also written three books that were published by her ministry: Oppressive Parents: How to Leave Them and Love Them (1992), The Church is Not the Bride (2000), The Rapture, the Tribulation, and Beyond (2002).
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  • B. D. Hyman (born Barbara Davis Sherry; May 1, 1947), aka B.D. Merrill, is an American author and pastor. Hyman was born in Santa Ana, California, the daughter of the actress Bette Davis and artist William Grant Sherry. In 1950, she was adopted by Davis's fourth husband Gary Merrill. She took back her own last name—Sherry—upon turning sixteen, claiming that she wished to distance herself from Merrill. She appeared briefly as an infant in her mother's film Payment on Demand (1951).
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