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JULY 23, 2015




‘Secret Daughter.’

A Biracial Woman and

the White Mother

Who Gave Her Away.


For over 30 years, actress Norma Storch, and her husband, comedian Larry Storch, lived a lie. They told their neighbors and friends that the little black girl who visited them every summer was an abused child that they had informally adopted, and that the little girl was living with a black family.

In reality, the little girl was Norma Storch’s biological daughter, June Cross. June was born out of wedlock, as result of Norma’s relationship with a black Jazz singer, James Cross. 

Neither James’ mother, nor Norma’s mother approved of the relationship or the child and both refused to speak with the couple. For the first four years of June’s life, Norma raised her alone, but struggled with racial abuse in the predominantly white community they were living in. She decided to turn June over to friends of hers, a childless middle-class black couple who lived in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

June Cross grew up to be a Harvard-educated filmmaker, writer, and journalist. She channeled her complicated and often heart-wrenching childhood into her work. In 1996, she created a documentary, Secret Daughter, as part of the PBS series Frontline, for which she served as a producer. The documentary gave viewers an intimate look into her early life as the secret biracial child of a white woman.

Cross, who is estranged from her father, interviewed friends and acquaintances of her father, in addition to her adoptive parents, several extended families, and her mother, who is featured prominently throughout the documentary.

James Cross passed away in 1981, not long after reuniting with June. Norma Storch passed away in 2003. 

Watch Secret Daughter, in its entirety, below.














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  1. August 3, 2015

    Thank you, for sharing what I believe is an important documentary. I appreciate the honesty. The visiting and telling of the hurtful places. The historical significance alone and information was astounding. The cultural and historical contributions of African Americans and their appropriation by Whites. Careers were and continue to be built off the backs of Blacks. Jerry Lewis admitting to studying the Black masters along with others and appropriating their routines.
    I welcomed the historical film footage I’d never viewed before. I will definitely revisit, take notes and share.

  2. Stella #
    August 5, 2015

    This such a hugely important documentary. It demistifies so much of what racism is & is not. It is so raw & so honest!!!! I have loved every morsel of awakening & truth in it. It is courageous & I’m so grateful for it. Thank you June.

  3. Lucy #
    August 8, 2015

    What a powerful, emotional story. Kudos to June and to all who participated in telling it!

    Throughout the documentary, I kept seeing the resemblance between June and her mother — in the eyes, the cheekbones, the quick smile, and the elegant way they both have. Was also struck by Jimmy Cross’ talent. Heartbreaking to see what happened to him. TV changed entertainment greatly, and clearly impacted black performers most of all.

    This is an American story, of its time. I pray that “The Box” June speaks of in the film will someday disappear.

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