JoAnne Worley, vacuuming for me when I needed it. That’s the kind of friend she is.

JoAnne Worley, vacuuming for me when I needed it. That’s the kind of friend she is.

I want to Talk about my longtime friend JoAnne. We met when we shared a dressing room in The Billy Barnes People Revue. Now, as President of Actors and Others for Animals, she is pulling out all the stops for the yearly fundraising luncheon, “Celebrity Best in Show.”

This year, we are doing something different. Chaired by Mary Willard, this spoof on the crazed and much adored film will bring Jim Piddock and Fred Willard together again. (It’s who you know!) They will be critiquing celebrity pets, as only these two comedians can! Here’s the details; Sept. 28, Universal Hilton and Towers Ballroom, Drinks and much loved Silent Auction begins at 11 a.m., and then the GOURMET VEGETARIAN LUNCHEON – 12:30 p.m. (Vegan Lunch Available on Request), then the PROGRAM AND SHOW – 1:30 p.m.

Do I sound like a commercial? It’s because I am a walking commercial for Actor and Others for Animals, an organization that was woven into my being over 40 years ago. When you are a ‘founder,’ you have to be a hustler … in the nicest of ways. My favorite ‘get’ is having JoAnne Worley join our Board of Directors. Now she presides over seriously fun meetings and has led A&O into more and more service for pets and their owners. She is a person who shows up and we and the animals are so lucky to have her. She’ll also be a part of this panel, so be prepared for a historical occasion.

The focus of this event is the pets that share our homes and our hearts. The event will be emceed by Mike Burger, and guests Leonard Maltin, Susan Sullivan, Ed Begley, Jr., Allie MacKay, Alan Thicke, Jay Johnson, Weird Al Yankovic, Bernie Shine, and others will share a video of their pet attempting to be the cutest, funniest, or most lovable of the group in order to be named “Best in Show.” (I’m sneaking in a video of Skye eating something offbeat.)


Mayor and Mrs. Tom Bradley spent some cheery time with JoAnne at a Hollywood Christmas Parade.

Mayor and Mrs. Tom Bradley spent some cheery time with JoAnne at a Hollywood Christmas Parade.

We know that all pet owners cherish your own pets as well, and recognize that by just being themselves they earn the title “Best in Show” each and every day. So we thought it would be fun to provide you with an opportunity to include a photograph of your pet in a “Pet Photo Parade” to be shown during our event and featured on our website. (This brand new website tells all about everything A&O: For a $10 donation, you can enter your pet’s photograph on our website. Just fill in the form provided, and follow directions to download your pet’s photo. It’s fun! We have a bunch online now and they are so adorable. The how-to on getting tickets or other fine ways to contribute are all on the magic website. Did I say magic, reminds me of the great Magician Greg Wilson, who is volunteering his time to create the video portion of our show. So many people to thank, you can do that yourself when you attend!

And for sure, thank JoAnne Worley, a loyal Tolucan and a loyal friend. She is always lugging a sack of grapefruit, or other of her plenty, to share. And I’ll never forget after my heart surgery when JoAnne visited and without even asking vacuumed my carpet. She inspires and when I visit ill friends, I head to their kitchen and do the dishes. And she keeps friends together by planning lunch meetings and bringing show-and-tell for treasured memories. Also, many benefits can thank their success to JoAnne Worley, she gives a lot of herself to people and pets. A blessing to us all.

And a big thanks to the loyal Tolucan newspaper that allows me to carry on like this every year (for a lot of years) …

We’ll Talk…..


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