Celebrate V.C. Andrews’ Birthday by Watching Any of These Lifetime Series!
Beloved author V.C. Andrews — who would be 100 today! — is probably most well known for the 1979 book Flowers in the Attic, which was turned into a popular movie starring Kristy Swanson and Louise Fletcher in 1987. But many of her other books (some of which were ghostwritten by Andrew Neiderman after her death) have been adapted by Lifetime in the last 10 years, including the upcoming Dawn Cutler series, which premieres July 8.
V.C. Andrews’ Dawn
This new four-part film series is a dark family drama about a young woman whose life gets thrown upside down when she discovers that the parents who raised her kidnapped her as a child, and that she really comes from a wealthy and twisted family of hotel owners. Starring Brec Bassinger as Dawn and Donna Mills as the malevolent matriarch of the Cutler family, Lillian Cutler, each film dives further into the families’ pasts as Dawn navigates her new life. Secrets of the Morning, Twilight’s Child and Midnight Whispers will follow Dawn on following Saturdays.
We recently talked to Donna Mills (on right) about her role as Lillian Cutler, the villainous matriarch of the Cutler family.
Mills is no stranger to playing darker roles, and said it was a lot of fun. “The thing is, as an actor, you don’t think of your character as being mean. You know what I mean? Because a person doesn’t think of themselves as being mean; it’s just the way they are,” Mills explained. “So, when you prepare to play a role like this, you just find her motivations, whether they’re right or wrong, or whether they’re evil or not. You just have to find those things. And you don’t think of them as good or bad because she doesn’t think of them as good or bad. They’re just her motivations.”
As is often the case, Lillian’s hostility has to do with her past. “There’s a fifth book called Darkest Hour, which they’re not doing, but it explains Lillian and why she is the way she is,” Mills explained. “And so having that in my tool chest, to know all that, made it really much easier and better to play her.”
This is the fifth Lifetime movie series to be adapted from V.C. Andrews’ books! Read below for a list of previous Lifetime adaptations.
Flowers in the Attic
It began in 2014 with a modern adaptation of Flowers in the Attic. A four-part series as well, it was followed by Petals on the Wind (2014), If There Be Thorns (2015) and Seeds of Yesterday (2015). The whole series centers around the Dollanganger siblings as they are locked away in an attic by their mother and grandmother.
My Sweet Audrina
In 2016, Lifetime released a stand-alone film based on the V.C. Andrews novel My Sweet Audrina.
V.C. Andrews’ Heaven Casteel Saga
This series followed Heaven Casteel as she turned difficult origins into a life of wealth and privilege, only to have her past catch up with her. In order to move on, Heaven must confront the truth about her family’s past in the 2019 Lifetime films Heaven, Dark Angel, Fallen Hearts, Web of Dreams and Gates of Paradise.
The V.C. Andrews Ruby
This series followed a different young woman as she uncovered the dark secrets of her wealthy, mysterious estranged father. Ruby must navigate a web of intrigue and betrayal as she unravels the truth about her family’s past in the 2021 Lifetime films Ruby, Pearl in the Mist, All That Glitters and Hidden Jewel.
Flowers in the Attic: The Origin
The four-part series Flowers in the Attic: The Origin returned to the Dollanganger family to reveal the dark origins of their ancestors, the Foxworth family, in The Marriage, The Mother, The Murderer and The Martyr, which all came out in 2022. This fan-favorite origin story was seen by 10.6 million total viewers and was ad-supported cable’s No. 1 new scripted series in 2022.
Once you’ve caught up on all of those, check out V.C. Andrews’ Dawn this July!