Steel Magnolias dedication ceremony - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Steel Magnolias dedication ceremony

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NATCHITOCHES, La. (KALB News Channel 5) -- Steel Magnolias hit theaters in 1989, and became one of the world's most beloved stories.  25 years after the release of the film, Natchitoches honored Susan Harling Robinson, the woman who was the inspiration behind the story. 

News Channel 5's Steven Maxwell has the story.

"That is why it is so special for it to be about Susan today. It is Susan's day," said Robert Harling, playwright for Steel Magnolias and brother to Susan.

Susan, who is portrayed by Julia Roberts in the film, died in 1985 due to kidney failure. After Susan passed, her brother Robert Harling wrote the story of her and his family's life.

"The fact that it still lives on, and people still enjoy it, and being done in languages around the world speaks to the strength and the beauty of the story and the power of friendship," said Harling.

Many people have known the story and characters from the movie, but having a memorial dedicated to Susan allows people to know the real character.

"That is something that I would really like people to hear," said Patrick Robinson, Susan's husband. "She was such a compassionate, caring person."

Robinson was married to Susan for six years, where they had one son.  He said his son reminds him of Susan everyday.

"He has got his mom's complexion that is for sure," said Robinson. "He is the kindest, gentlest person you will meet. Instantly you will like him."

Just as the movie lives 25 years later, so does this story of love and friendship.

"My sister was a beautiful, wonderful, strong and proud woman," said Harling.

The memorial is located on the corner of Pine and Cypress streets in Natchitoches.
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