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Hopwood DePree

Above my home in the Hollywood Hills, just one helicopter was circling, so it was quieter than usual. 

It was one of those nights where you hope your biggest challenge will be uncorking a bottle of wine.

Little did I know that an internet search was about to change my life. That evening in spring 2013, I had been clicking around on ancestry websites — my new wine-time habit. 

Until then, I hadn’t given much thought to the past. I’d been busy with my Hollywood career, finding success as an actor, screenwriter and producer.

But as I entered my 40s things had changed. A lot of my friends were getting married, having kids, settling down. 

Meanwhile, I was childless, in an on-again-off-again (mostly off) relationship with a model who did not hesitate to tell me I’d put on a bit of weight — something akin to a crime in Hollywood.

Not only that, I was struggling in my work. Somehow I no longer felt the same passion for it.

But the thing which had really left me reeling was the loss of my grandfather and father within two years of each other. Without them, who was I?

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