Gloria Vanderbilt has lived quite a life in her 92 years. The heiress was at the center of a highly publicized custody battle in the 1930s, which, at the time, was dubbed the "trial of the century." She went on to become an actress, artist, and blue jeans designer while embarking on one whirlwind romance after another (her famous past loves include Frank Sinatra, Marlon Brando, and Roald Dahl). And in the midst of it all, Vanderbilt became a mother. She had two children with her second husband, Leopold Stokowski, before her fourth marriage to Wyatt Cooper produced two more sons: Carter and Anderson Cooper.
In the new HBO documentary Nothing Left Unsaid: Gloria Vanderbilt and Anderson Cooper, the 48-year-old journalist sits down with his mother for a tell-all interview. It’s a no-holds-barred discussion in which the pair discuss the drama of Vanderbilt’s childhood, her rocky relationships, her passion for the arts, and the tragedy of her son Carter’s suicide in 1988.
The conversation gets unsurprisingly heavy, hitting its most arguably emotional point with a visit to Carter’s gravesite. But through it all, the interview continues—and the banter between Cooper and his mother often outshines the sadness while Cooper discovers previously unrevealed facts about his family. Ultimately, this deep-dive inside the mind of one of America’s most glamorous living legends is rooted in a mother-son dynamic that’s simply sweet at its fascinating core. Scroll down to see 10 photos of Vanderbilt and her sons throughout the years—and be sure to tune in when the documentary airs April 9 at 9 p.m. ET on HBO. You won’t want to miss it.
Proving that color-coordinating is important even for a black-and-white photo, Gloria Vanderbilt posed for a portrait with young Anderson (left) and Carter Cooper in their Southampton, Long Island, home.
Gloria Vanderbilt and husband Wyatt Cooper savored some couch time with their sons Anderson (left) and Carter Cooper in their Southampton, Long Island, home.
Anderson (left) and Carter Cooper sported matching PJs while posing with mom Gloria Vanderbilt on a bed in their Southampton, Long Island, home.
Another year, another family portrait in the bedroom. Gloria Vanderbilt lounged with sons Anderson (left) and Carter Cooper in their New York City apartment.
Ringing in 1979 as a family, Gloria Vanderbilt attended "Woody Allen New Year's Eve Party" with sons Anderson (front) and Carter Cooper in New York City.
Gloria Vanderbilt and sons Anderson (left) and Carter Cooper hit the New York City streets in their best statement outerwear.
7. Circa 1988
A colorfully-dressed Gloria Vanderbilt took in some fresh air with sons Anderson (right) and Carter Cooper, in coordinating button-down shirts with blue jeans.
Gloria Vanderbilt and Anderson Cooper were all smiles at Tiffany's "Silver Jewelry" Party in New York City.
Gloria Vanderbilt chose an all-black ensemble when attending the launch party for her book, The World Of Gloria Vanderbilt, with son Anderson Cooper in New York City.
Anderson Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt celebrated the release of their HBO documentary, Nothing Left Unsaid: Gloria Vanderbilt and Anderson Cooper, at the film's New York City premiere.