Francesca Bowyer has always been ‘The Hostess with the Mostess’…she is in her writing as well! She introduces us to all her characters …we fall in love and become best friends! Pure pleasure!

Ruta Lee


Some lives—and stories—are bigger than others. Francesca’s is one of them. This will prove to be a memoir you won’t soon forget!

Beverly Johnson

Supermodel and designer, Beverly Johnson Designs

Francesca’s is a delicious story from the only person who could tell it straight! A fabulous, exotic, heart-tearing, fascinating mem­oir. A juicy tell-all, a salacious story—with a good ending.

Kitty Kelley

Bestselling investigative biographer

About the Book

Author Francesca Knittel Bowyer has penned the long-awaited, tell-all memoir and exposé, Seen From The Wings, revealing her roller-coaster Hollywood and European upbringing as the daughter of two-time Oscar® winning legendary actress, Luise Rainer, and publisher, Robert Knittel.  Swept up by her family’s fame and fortune, she unfolds her desperate struggle to become independent from a mother who was never pleased, or worse, felt upstaged. 

In addition, her book chronicles her problematic, dysfunctional (and at a times abusive) marriages and relationships with men, her tireless work as a devoted (sometimes single) mother rearing her two daughters, and her drive and tremendous work ethic (working jobs as a dramatic theater actress to a Harper’s Magazine fashion writer to name a few!) to make something of herself!  All of these life experiences have resulted in her catapulting herself into a new and positive life path of peace and self-acceptance. The goal and hope is to provide readers with vital perspective that may help them break through the confusion of their own complex, emotional struggles or turbulent relationships.

The book chronicles the glamour and drama of being raised by world-renowned parents and the pressure to succeed in the life and love under the shadow of Hollywood perfection. In this poignant, true story of a daughter, wife and mother who escapes the trappings of her golden upbringing from the villas of Europe to the mansions of Beverly Hills with suitcase in one hand and a child in the other, she reveals how her imperious mother and gentle hearted father affected her relationships, choices and happiness.  “Everything my mother did was laced with drama and salted with difficulties,” she writes.  “I grew up buffeted between the stormy sea of tirades that was my mother and the safe, calm pasture that was my father.”  This duplicity would define most of her life.

There have been several autobiographies written by the children of illustrious film-actresses. Christina Crawford wrote “Mommie Dearest” and Maria Riva wrote about her mother, Marlene Dietrich.

Ironically both of those actresses were close friends of my mother.

The book Francesca is writing offers the reader something new and different. It is not simply about my mother, who has always been a key factor in my life, but rather about how she influenced my life. She weaves her way through this story with an emotional umbrella of possessive love, jealousies and her passionate opinions about my every move. This story is about my life, so unconsciously influenced by my mother and my father that in fleeing to find my own identity, inevitably I run into my parents once again in another form.

It is a tale of passion, of the close line between love and hate and of the importance of loyalty. It is one I hope readers will not only be entertained by, but will be able to relate to and learn from. The story comes full circle, with a good ending. It is about people whose lives and minds are so different, yet whose worlds and persuasions follow a parallel path. I write this with love, honor and humor and the knowledge that none of us are born with a book of instructions.

Francesca has written one of those OMG! sort of stories…and it’s all true! It will be a best-seller, for sure.

Lorna Luft

Singer, Actress, Writer

I have tremendously enjoyed reading the initial draft. Francesca writes with elegance and insight, and her story is one that intersects the lives of a number of people I have known and care about. I am glad to have the tale in her rendition.

Walt Odets

Psychologist, photographer, writer (son of Clifford Odets)