Who was Kyle Richards' mom? RHOBH star reflects on 'American Woman'

Kyle Richards finally talks to Kathy Hilton about her ‘American Woman’ TV show, which she says was a “love letter to her mom”.

The conversation happens on the August 25th RHOBH episode, following a previous long feud when Kathy and Kim Hilton did not talk to Kyle.

‘American Woman’ was cancelled after the series sparked issues between them. However, Kyle and Kathy have since reconciled their relationship.

Viewers may be wondering who Kyle Richards’ mom is, and what actually happened to ‘American Woman’. We also explain their former feud.

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Who was Kyle Richards’ mom?

  • Kathleen Mary Dugan

Kyle has revealed that ‘American Woman’ was a “love letter” to her mom.

Born on April 7, 1928, Kathleen grew up in Nebraska, USA, and was a mom to Kyle, her half-sister Kathy Hilton, and Kim Richards.

Before Sharon got married to Kenneth Richards in 1964, she was married to Lawrence Avanzino and they had their daughter Kathy.

With Kenneth, Kathleen had Kyle and Kim, and brought up the three daughters in the 1970s as a single mother. She worked as a casting director.

She got divorced from Kenneth in 1972, before marrying Jack Catain in 1978 to 1998, and later marrying Richard Fenton a year later.

Kathleen died in 2002 aged 63, after being diagnosed with breast cancer.

Kyle Richards and Kathy Hilton: Feud

Half-sisters Kyle and Kathy were previously on non-speaking terms.

It came after Kyle aired the ‘American Woman’ TV show without talking to Kathy about it, and sparked the feud which took place.

The show was inspired by the girl’s mother Kathleen and her life as a single woman raising three daughters in the 1970s.

Kyle tried to tell her sisters the story was only loosely inspired by her mom Kathleen and had no references to them in any way.

However, it led to them cutting the RHOBH star out of their lives completely, until Kathy and her reconciled their differences later.

Kyle told Andy Cohen during a reunion episode:

I told her all the time, I said, ‘I’m not sharing your stories, I’m not sharing Kim’s stories, just my own – and even that it’s just a fictionalized version of. Our life and our mom’s life being a single mom in the 70s is the jumping off point’.

She said she thinks the drama started when her husband Mauricio Umansky left Richard Hilton’s company and opened his own. 

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Why ‘American Woman’ was cancelled

It only aired for one season, before American Woman was cancelled.

The show was cancelled after it reportedly could not sustain its premiere numbers, with its rating declining through its run, especially in the demos.

Paramount Network then decided not to renew the comedy series for a second season, following the decreasing view numbers.

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