TV Guilty Pleasure: "Who is Clark Rockefeller?" Premiering Saturday at 9PM et/pt on Lifetime
Whoever coined the phrase "truth is stranger than fiction" was a total genius. After having just watched the brand new Lifetime Original Movie "Who is Clark Rockefeller?" I was amazed that a man convinced everyone around him - including his own wife - that he was in fact a member of one of the wealthiest families in America. The Lifetime Movie, which premieres Saturday, March 13 at 9 PM et/pt, stars Eric McCormack, Sherry Stringfield and Regina Taylor and is based on the true story of ultimate con man, Christian Karl Gerbartsreiter.
The film begins at the point where Clark kidnaps his own daughter, eluding police and crossing state lines with the help of employees who have no clue about his true identity. In fact, when we first see Clark, we actually believe he is an heir to the Rockefeller family. Right down to his name adorning a plaque at the hotel where his estranged wife Sandra (Sherry Stringfield) and daughter are staying, Clark easily convinces everyone around him that he is one of the wealthiest men in America. Little do they know that Sandra is the true breadwinner and has been supporting his extravagant lifestyle throughout their stormy marriage.
Just when you think he's the real deal, that's when everything starts to unravel. Clark snatches his daughter away from his wife, takes off on a high speed chase, and lands in another city. While Sandra frantically tries to find them with the help of FBI Agent Megan Norton (played by Regina Taylor), Clark cuts his daughter's hair to make her look like a boy and even embarks on a plan to sail away with his little girl, never to be found again.
While at police headquarters, we find out how Clark and Sandra met. Even though she was well educated with an MBA from Harvard, Sandra instantly fell for Clark's charms and married him - despite the fact that none of his family members attended their wedding. As the movie takes us back to the seventies and eighties, we discover Clark's true identity and even discover he may have been involved in the murder of a young couple.
There are so many twists and turns in this film it feels like you're reading a juicy novel - except the crazy thing about it is it really happened! McCormack is incredibly convincing in the role of Clark Rockefeller and Stringfield plays a strong, well-educated woman who nearly falls apart when she loses her daughter to a man who deceived her for more than a decade.
"Who is Clark Rockefeller?" is produced by Sony Pictures Television for Lifetime Television. Executive producers are Judith Verno and Ilene Kahn Power. Mikael Salomon is co-executive producer and directs from a script by Edithe Swensen, who also serves as producer along with John Eckert. Check out a sneak preview of "Who is Clark Rockefeller?" at myLifetime.com.
"Who is Clark Rockefeller?" premieres March 13 at 9 PM et/pt, with encore presentations March 14 and 15 at 9 PM et/pt.