When Molly Shannon was four years old, she was in a terrible car accident in her home town of Shaker Heights that took the lives of her mother, her little sister, and her cousin. That left her dad James Shannon, who survived the crash with a crushed leg, to raise Molly and her older sister Mary. Stopping by The View today to chat about upcoming projects (she'll be starring in the U.S. version of Australian sitcom hit Kath and Kim), Shannon veered onto the subject of her dad.
She first reminded Barbara Walters of the time he, a huge Barbara fan, approached Walters on an airplane. (It turns out she was cordial, which seemed to take even Barbara by surprise.) But it's Shannon's startling impression of her father's death-rattle wishes—at once macabre, hilarious, and deeply touching—that we've singled out for your enjoyment. It's a scene that instantly recalls the final words spoken by John Barrymore to daughter Dolores Ethel Blyth on his death bed: "There are...no small parts...my dearest Dolores...Only...small—" with the identity of that elusive small thing cut stymieingly short by the piercing ring of a flatlining EKG.