I want to Talk about the pride I feel for some friends, women who, just by pursuing their passion, have added to the common good. In the last few weeks, I’ve been fortunate to attend varied Events and watch these worker bees (well, Queen bees) in action.
BEVERLY LONG: Sometimes a simple Birthday gathering is a real Event. My dear peer, Beverly was a spunky and very good actor. We started in the LACC Drama Department in 1951 and bonded forever. She was a working actress while going to school (Father Knows Best and about every episodic TV show in the ‘50s and ‘60s). Her classic role was as Helen, one of the gang members, in Rebel Without a Cause. In the ‘70s Beverly did tons of commercials, and being a smart and forward-thinking girl, she became a Talent Agent and then an independent Casting Director with her own company.
Debra-Lynn Findon, of Discover Management (right in the hood, on Moorpark at Tujunga), became Beverly Long’s partner … and perfect friend. Every year Debra-Lynn hosts a group of special friends to celebrate Beverly’s birthday and this year’s was really big. Family came to town to join her personal and business pals. Jack Grinnage (another gang member in Rebel) and my husband David also went to LACC and have loved Beverly endlessly. She still has her girlish glow and is full of humor and love and courage. A life well lived, right in our neighborhood.
JUDY CHAIKIN: Studio City resident, Judy has been traveling the film festival route with her Documentary, The Girls in the Band. Well, they have just won another Prize, The Best Documentary Award at the High Falls Film Festival! Their fifth win!
And, the film will have a Grand Opening in New York at the Lincoln Center in May. We’ll be Talking more about Judy’s brilliant work … and the L.A. screenings in June. How proud can a friend be? Also, Judy is another LACC Drama Dept. graduate.
MARSHA KRAMER: OK, Marsha went to UCLA, but she gave the most superb performance in the Musical Theatre Guild’s A Catered Affair. As a founding member of MTG, Marsha has appeared in many of their excellent musicals. When she isn’t appearing, she is volunteering.
Marsha has a long filmography on camera and voiceover. From playing Wendy in the National Tour of Peter Pan, to the mom in A Catered Affair, Marsha can do it all. And best of other things, she is an animal lover and very active in the humane community.
LINDA HOWARD: I first met Linda Fetters (now Howard), when she was a stuntwoman on a set in Dallas. It was just one afternoon, but Linda did me a personal favor, in a very subtle fashion, that I’ll never forget.
Over the years she became a member of The Stuntwomen’s Association of Motion Pictures Inc., serving as their Vice President, and then President from 1994-96. Her experience most likely helps her understand the demanding schedule of her husband, Ken Howard, who is the President of SAG-AFTRA. Both devoted animal lovers, they share their home with Harley & Hannah, both rescues. And both Linda and Ken serve on the Executive Board of the Onyx and Breezy Foundation, which offers financial aid to credible organizations and individuals that benefit the welfare of animals.
Last week they had their first West Coast fundraiser, a wonderful night full of animal lovers and passionate animal activists as guests, who were shuttled, in stately vans, up to the private home of James Costa. With respect to the host’s beneficent generosity, we removed our shoes and David and I went gaga at the magnificent modern estate and breathtaking L.A. views, while dining on vegan bites from Food By Mother Organic. Musical performances were offered by American Idol winner, the sweet Lee DeWyze and the sensational Smash star Leslie Odom, Jr.
The Howards, along with Foundation Trustees Wanda & Mark Shefts, and co-chair Cindy Kay recognized two vital people for their passion for helping animals – Grammy and Golden Globe Award-winning songwriter Diane Warren, and renowned photographer Christopher Ameruoso. The arts community was well represented by guests including Priscilla Presley, Ronn Moss, Emmy Rossum, Peter Facinelli, Kristin Bauer, Frances Fisher, Sam Elliott, Katharine Ross, Greg Louganis, and Carole and Gilles Marini, who were in our van driving up to the wonder house.
The Onyx and Breezy Foundation provides a great list of assistance in a variety of ways. (Google them and learn all about it.)
So many exceptional women, it makes you Wonder. We’ll Talk….