Family of Strangers

Family of Strangers is a 1993 American-Canadian made-for-television drama film directed by Sheldon Larry. The film, which stars Melissa Gilbert and Patty Duke, is based on a book by Jerry Hulse and was shot on location in British Columbia.


Julie Lawson (Melissa Gilbert) is a professional researcher living with her daughter Megan (Ashleigh Aston Moore) in Seattle and has recently separated from her husband Sam (Eric McCormack) because he had an affair with his secretary. One day she blacks out while driving and crashes her car. In the hospital, the doctor (Mel Ryane) says she suffered an inflammation of the arteries to the brain, and a fatal blockage will soon happen unless she undergoes surgery immediately. Then the nurse warns her that if strokes run in the family, it would be too risky too operate. Julie contacts her father (William Shatner) to request this information, and he admits that she was adopted and he has no way to know if strokes run in her family. Shocked, Julie learns that her parents were not able to conceive or eligible to adopt, so she adopted Julie from the black market through a lawyer.