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'Steel Magnolias' true story: Susan Harling Robinson

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Lifetime's "Steel Magnolias" is a 2012 modern remake of the 1989 movie by the same name. The original movie was inspired by Robert Harling and his sister Susan Harling aka Susan Harling Robinson. It first aired on Lifetime on Sunday, October 7, 2012. The romance drama is directed by Kenny Leon and written by Sally Robinson. It stars Queen Latifah, Jill Scott, Alfre Woodard and Phylicia and Condola Rashad.

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"Steel Magnolias 2012" synopsis/plot

Set in Louisiana, the movie chronicles the lives of six Southern Black women who form a bond at a local beauty shop. Through the years, the women cry together, laugh together and support one another through each woman's triumphs and tragedies.

The original "Steel Magnolias" film debuted in November 1989 starring Dolly Parton Sally Field, Shirley MacLaine, Daryl Hannah and Olympia Dukakis. Sally Robinson's teleplay stays close to Robert Harling's original script but includes some "modernisms" and is told from an African American perspective. The movie is also shorter than the original, as stated in a review by the New York Times.

The movie was loosely based on Robert Harlin and his sister, Susan Harling Robinson, who lost her battle with diabetes in 1985. The loss was a tremendous blow for Robert Harling's family, inlcuding Susan Harling Robinson's children, according to

The original movie and Lifetime's remake continue to draw a large following.