A Will of Their Own TV Series Overview (1998)


A Will of their Own is a 1998 American television miniseries directed by Karen Arthur.

The film follows six generations of females within one family, and their struggle for power and independence in America.

Based on the novel “Daughters of the New World” by Susan Richards Shreve.


The programme begins in the 1890s and ends in the 1980s.

Annie Jermaine (Aylesworth) immigrates from Europe to America where she becomes a housemaid for a wealthy doctor. She breaks class restrictions when she marries the doctor’s son and begins training as a nurse. However, she is unable to utilise her knowledge due to the popular belief that women were not capable of practicing medicine.

Amanda Steward (Thompson) is a young woman who aspires to become a photographer but is turned down because she is a woman. She goes through life in trying to help women and make them stronger.

Sarah (Jefferson) faces difficulties being the wife of a powerful US senator.

Susan (Ross) is a hippie who becomes a doctor and later opens up a health clinic for battered women.

Jesse (Braga) is a farm worker who walked the fields of the San Joaquin Valle for nearly half a century. She is the first female organiser for the United Farm Workers. Seeing those around her struggle and sometimes die because of poor living and working conditions, she wanted to help and joined Caesar Chavez to make a change.


  • Lea Thompson…..Amanda Steward.
  • Ellen Burstyn…..Veronica Steward.
  • Faye Dunaway…..Margaret Sanger.
  • Thomas Gibson…..James MacClaren.
  • Sônia Braga….. Jessie Lopez De La Cruz.
  • Reiko Aylesworth…..Annie Jermaine.
  • Tovah Feldshuh…..Mrs. Rubenstein.
  • Paris Jefferson…..Sarah.
  • Charlotte Ross…..Susan.
  • Eric McCormack…..Pierce Peterson.
  • Diana Scarwid…..Crystal Eastman.
  • John Shea…..Dr. Jonathan Abbott.
  • Lew Keathley…..Doorman at the Waldorf Astoria.


  • Kellie Martin was originally cast to play Susan Peterson.
    • She had to drop out due to a family emergency.
    • She was replaced by Charlotte Ross.

A Will of Their Own Series

Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s):
    • Karen Arthur … (1 episode, 1998).
  • Producer(s):
    • Elliot Friedgen … producer (1 episode, 1998).
    • Susan Nanus … producer (1 episode, 1998).
    • Lynn Roth … executive producer (1 episode, 1998).
    • David L. Wolper … executive producer (1 episode, 1998).
    • Mark Wolper … executive producer (1 episode, 1998).
  • Writer(s):
    • Susan Nanus … (teleplay and story) (2 episodes, 1998).
    • Susan Richards Shreve … (novel) (2 episodes, 1998).
    • Lynn Roth … (television story) (2 episodes, 1998).
  • Music:
    • David Michael Frank … (1 episode, 1998).
  • Cinematography:
    • Tom Neuwirth … (2 episodes, 1998).
  • Editor(s):
    • Tina Hirsch … (2 episodes, 1998).
  • Production:
    • Lakeside Productions.
    • Warner Bros. Television.
    • Wolper Organisation.
  • Distributor(s):
    • National Broadcasting Company (NBC) (1998) (USA) (TV) (original airing).
    • True Entertainment (UK) (TV).
  • Release Date:
    • Part 01: 18 October 1998.
    • Part 02: 19 October 1998.
  • Rating: Unknown.
  • Running Time: 225 minutes (total running time).
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

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