‘Last Man Standing’ Alum Kaitlyn Dever Tributes Real Mom, Gets Special Shout Out From TV Mom

by Amy Myers
(Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

Well, it’s official. Last Man Standing alum Kaitlyn Dever never takes a bad shot – not even when she was a pouting tot at Disney World. Earlier this week, the talented actress posted a photo of herself from her early years with her mother, Kathy, in honor of her birthday. And even better, her TV mom from the sitcom, Nancy Travis, helped Dever wish Kathy a happy birthday.

“Happy birthday to the best in the whole world. I love you so so much mom,” the 24-year-old Last Man Standing star wrote.

“Happy Birthday!” Travis chimed in.

In the photo, Dever and her mom are giving off classic 90s Disney family vibes with her pink Mickey Dress and her mom’s circular shades. Though the two women’s fashion choices have changed from that day, their love for each other clearly hasn’t.

‘Last Man Standing’ Star Remembers the More Difficult Times with her Mother

Not surprisingly, Dever has spoken about how she derives a lot of inspiration in her acting career from her mother. However, not many know that much of this feeling comes from the Last Man Standing star witnessing her mother’s battle with breast cancer.

At the time of Kathy’s stage four cancer diagnosis, Dever was only 13 years old. Despite being just a kid herself, Dever also had her sister to think about. Instead of outwardly expressing her sorrow, she kept her emotions under wrap so as not to upset her sibling.

“It definitely brought us closer. It was very scary. My baby sister was only six when our mom first got diagnosed,” she told Evening Standing magazine, according to Irish News. “As the older sister, I felt a deep responsibility to not get upset, so I was always suppressing it and I think it really did affect the way I dealt with emotions then, and how I deal with them now.”

“But it’s also helped my acting too because I guess I’m able to have perspective on what matters and let go a bit easier,” she added.

Because of Her Mother, Dever Became a More Devoted and Powerful Actress

Further reflecting on the impact of her mother’s cancer battle on her life, the Last Man Standing star realized that she is more capable of seeing the bigger picture of her actions and involvement on TV. She provided her work as the star on Unbelievable, the 2019 Netflix miniseries that focused on a victim of real-life serial rapes in Washington and Colorado.

“I’d keep myself in check by reminding myself that the headache I had from crying all day (during filming) was nothing in comparison to what she had gone through, so I could deal with this for the three or four months we were shooting,” the former Last Man Standing star said.