Sunday, December 24, 2006

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Streets of San Francisco coming to DVD in April

The first season of the show (actually, it's one of those "Season 1, Volume 1" deals) will be released by Paramount on April 3. It will be 10 episodes plus the pilot movie. No word on extras or commentaries yet.

It's amazing to see all of the famous faces that graced this show, including Martin Sheen, Deidre Hall, Robert Wagner, John Ritter, Stefanie Powers, Harold Gould, Brenda Vaccaro, Stuart Whitman, Jamie Farr, Shelley Morrison (Rosario on Will & Grace), Leslie Nielsen, Dick Sargent, Dean Stockwell, Bill Bixby, Nick Nolte, Jessica Walter, and some guy named Arnold Schwarzenegger. There was a reunion movie in 1992, but Douglas didn't want to be in it (his character "disappeared" and Malden looked for him).

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Marina del Rey: 44th Holiday Boat Parade selects Stefanie Powers as grand marshal

Organizers of the Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade have announced that actress Stefanie Powers will serve as grand marshal for the 44th annual parade, scheduled for Saturday, December 9th.

Powers will be riding aboard the grand marshal boat YachtSea, which, along with the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Halibut, will lead the two-hour parade.

This year's parade theme is Water Winter Wonderland. A fireworks show will kick off the official start at 5:55 p.m. The parade is scheduled from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

"Stefanie Powers has brought entertainment and excitement to the world for many years and we're thrilled she will take the helm as grand marshal to lead our parade," said parade president Cindy Williams. "We are delighted to welcome Stefanie to our boat parade family and hope she enjoys the experience as much as we will."

Powers' acting credits include 28 feature films, three television series, miniseries and on-stage musical productions. She portrayed Jennifer Hart on the television series Hart to Hart.

She has released four home videos and is involved with several American zoos, where she works with species survival programs and is a frequent keynote speaker, according to Williams.

"She has combined a natural curiosity and passion for knowledge, world travel and diverse cultures in both an award-winning acting career and an equally active life of heartfelt philanthropic work," Williams said.

Powers is also president of the William Holden Wildlife Foundation, a public charity dedicated to the preservation of wild animals, which she helped found in honor of the late actor.

The William Holden Wildlife Education Center serves 10,000 students a year and is located near the Mount Kenya Safari Club and the Mount Kenya Game Ranch started by Holden in the late 1950s.

Information, parade headquarters, (310) 670-7130, or www

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Happy Birthday!

Happy 64th birthday, Stefanie!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Galactic Gala at Griffith Observatory

L.A.: Luminaries mark attraction's reopening this Friday.

Stars gazed upon stars Sunday at a Galactic Gala at Griffith Observatory to honor this week's re-opening of Los Angeles' No. 1 landmark.

Hollywood stars, city officials and supporters of the $93 million makeover sailed across a heavenly blue carpet to hail the observatory's Friday public launch.

"We've been waiting five years and are really excited to be here tonight," said Leonard Nimoy, who played "Spock" on the epic "Star Trek" series and who has donated $1 million toward a 200-seat theater built in his name.

VIPs - from Buzz Aldrin, the second human to set foot on the Moon, to actress Angela Bassett - were awed by the observatory that shone atop Mt. Hollywood.

Built in 1935 as a gift to Los Angeles by Griffith J. Griffith, the art deco observatory has become one of the city's most cherished icons.

Now, after four years of meticulous restoration, what has been dubbed "the hood ornament of Los Angeles" will re-open its doors to the public on Friday.

"To all the people of Los Angeles: One of the greatest buildings in the world is coming online," said Councilman Tom LaBonge, an observatory booster. "This is the greatest spot in the whole universe."

Outside, the historic observatory gleamed in ivory, its bronze solar and planetary telescopes guarding its green rotunda and copper planetarium dome.

A terrace now surrounds the movie icon and home to 2 million visitors a year, for the best views of Los Angeles. An outdoor transit marks the seasonal path of the sun.

Inside, the 40,000-square-foot observatory is now twice its former size with a new planetarium, theater, cafe, classroom, bookstore and more than 60 exhibits.

But with less than 200 parking spaces and a crush of expected visitors, the observatory will allow no drive-in access in the first months after re-opening.

Instead, visitors must make advance timed reservations to shuttle up the hill for a fee. Hikers and cyclists can visit free with a 48-hour advance reservation.

At Sunday's gala, guests walked toward the bust of James Dean, with views of the Hollywood sign and a glorious sunset over the Pacific Ocean. The party, which was hosted by Friends of the Observatory and organized by the Los Angeles Sports Entertainment Commission, included such local celebrities as James Spader, Courtney B. Vance, Lucy Lawless, Art Linkletter and Stefanie Powers.

"I adore this place," said Powers, who visited the observatory as a child. "It has all the grace and elegance of the age in which it was constructed - it was the Golden Age of Hollywood."

But it was Aldrin who commanded the galactic celebration.

"We've been coming to the Griffith Observatory for 35 years" the astronaut said, gazing at the moon above the planetary dome. "This is the place to come for L.A. night life."

Friday, October 13, 2006

Thalians' 51st Anniversary Ball

"Desperate Housewives" creator Marc Cherry, comedian Jay Mohr, "Housewives" co-star Andrea Bowen and "American Idol" contestant Ace Young were among the youngsters at the Thalians' 51st Anniversary Ball last Saturday night.

"If you're wondering why it's so cold in here, it's to keep most of you alive!" Mohr joked to the mostly elderly members of the entertainment industry's leading nonprofit organization dedicated to the treatment of mental health.

Doris Roberts presented Cherry with the Mr. Wonderful Award at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel before a crowd that included Debbie Reynolds, Connie Stevens, Stefanie Powers, Barbara Eden, Mitzi Gaynor, Mamie Van Doren, Valerie Harper, Dick Van Patten, Hugh O'Brian, Jack LaLanne, Jayne Meadows, Jack Klugman, Ruta Lee and Jane Russell.

Cherry got the award for his efforts to focus on the need for mental health on both the screen and in life.

"What do I know about shaky mental health?" Cherry asked during the evening that raised more than $400,000 for the Thalians Mental Health Center at Cedars-Sinai. "Well, I work with four actresses over 40! You do the math!"

The Ms. Wonderful Award went to actress/entrepreneur Stevens and her actress daughters Joely Fisher and Tricia Leigh Fisher. The family trio — as well as Bowen, Young and Reynolds — all sang during the evening, while Cherry playfully dissed his "Housewives."

"It's a man-eater," Cherry chortled when he bid $3,000 to name a tiger cub.

"So I'm calling it Eva Longoria!"

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Newport-Bermuda Race

The 100th anniversary Newport-Bermuda Race proves to be more a test of cooking skills than seamanship

The closest we got to a healthy breeze in the 2006 centennial Newport-Bermuda Race were the gales of laughter that swept up from the saloon after lunch on the third day out. As my watch tried to coax an extra tenth of a knot out of Ceramco New Zealand, an aluminum Farr 68, the B watch sat on the sails below and roared at The Wedding Crashers on DVD.

We'd started out well. The bright sunshine had warmed the land enough to generate a 12-knot sea breeze out of the southwest, allowing us to point sufficiently high to lay the buoys at the entrance to Narragansett Bay. We decided to go for a very conservative start, figuring it didn't make much sense to be over the starting line early on a 635-mile race with 264 entries. As we close-reached out to sea at nine or 10 knots in smooth water, we waited for the wind to die as forecast. We were pretty happy to be the fourth closest boat to Bermuda when it finally shut down a day and a half later.

The race went downhill from there. We were parked in a cold eddy south of the Gulf Stream and still had three to four knots of current pushing us toward our destination. The problem with cold eddies is that they're roughly circular in shape. Soon, the current that'd been helping us started pushing us east and then northeast, away from our goal, as we struggled to keep the boat moving.

The boats that stayed just a little farther west seemed to make out best in the race. They ran out of wind at about the same time as we did, but they got out of the eddy and didn't have to battle the current to start making way toward Bermuda again.

Talking to other crews after the finish, I found that most enjoyed a very pleasant sail. It was calm, sunny, and warm, and everyone ate like kings. Except the crews on the flat-out raceboats who had freeze-dried food ("It really isn't too bad. They've improved it a lot." Right). Aboard Ceramco, owner Diane Masters first went to sea as the cook on the famous maxi racer Kialoa III, so she knows how to produce truly fabulous meals for a hungry crew. And produce she did, starting with lamb chops with rice and fresh veggies, followed by homemade strawberry shortcake. (I watched her make it, and no, I looked nothing like a vulture watching dinner get run over on a lonely road. I merely hovered around the galley to see if I could help.) She fed us a cooked breakfast daily (I think she used 35 to 40 eggs each day—and is there a better smell than that of frying bacon wafting out the hatch on a cool morning at sea?), and our "rough-weather" meal of shepherd's pie made with mashed cauliflower instead of potatoes was wolfed down on a warm, calm evening.

After spending a few years sailing on the maxi circuit, Diane decided she'd rather own boats than be paid to work on them. She started her own business installing flooring in houses and now employs several dozen people. A few years ago, she embarked on a search for just the right boat. It had to be big enough to accommodate a lot of friends, tough, fast, comfortable, and fun to sail. She found all that in Ceramco New Zealand, built as the late Sir Peter Blake's entry in the 1981 Whitbread Around the World Race.

Our skipper for the Newport-Bermuda Race was Robert "Whitey" Russell, a tremendously experienced ex-yacht captain who helped Diane find the boat and then refit Ceramco over the winter, all with a view to sailing the 2006 race. Afterward, Diane planned to spend the summer daysailing with friends and perhaps doing a cruise to Maine if her work schedule permitted. This fall, she plans to sail Ceramco down to Saint-Barthélemy in the French West Indies and commute back and forth over the winter before sailing next spring across the Atlantic to the Mediterranean. There, she plans to cruise the Balearic Islands and spend time in Valencia, Spain, watching the America's Cup races.

Diane wasn't the only entrant in the Newport-Bermuda Race with exciting plans. This year's race was merely the first leg for Colin Golder, who sailed Morgan of Marietta, his Wauquiez Centurion 42, in the race for the sixth time. Instead of sailing home to New Jersey, Golder, now retired, intended his next stop after Bermuda to be Horta, on the island of Faial in the Azores. He took advantage of the fact that race organizers sent nine shipping containers to Bermuda to have his Monitor windvane, dinghy, and other cruising gear meet him on the island after the race. He planned to cruise the Azores for a few weeks, then spend the balance of the summer cruising in Portugal before leaving the boat in southern Spain for the winter. The best things about the race for Morgan's crew were the nice weather, finding the eddies in the Stream, and having literally dozens of dolphins play around the boat for more than an hour—letting the sailors know they were in the right place at the right time. The crew evened out varying degrees of culinary expertise by cooking ahead and freezing several meals before leaving the dock. Every evening they popped one in the oven, and the whole crew sat down and relaxed for an hour over dinner.

Because of the light airs, this year's race was the second slowest on record. New York businessman Tom Carroll's previous race was on a Sweden 38 in 1998, the slowest race. He entered this year with Siren Song, his new J/133, and a crew of friends from western Long Island Sound. But this wasn't just any random group of guys: Watch captains Butch Ulmer and Howie McMichael have sailed the race 19 and 15 times, respectively; navigator H. L. DeVore had sailed four Bermuda races. Tom's son was aboard, sailing his first.

Though he intended to spend most of his time on the boat racing this summer, Carroll seemed a bit too proud of the job his girlfriend, actress Stefanie Powers, had done decorating the interior to convince me that he was a cutthroat racer, his racing record with the new boat notwithstanding.

When I asked him the standard interviewer question about his motivation for sailing the Newport-Bermuda Race this year, Tom's answer was especially poignant: "One of my best friends developed brain cancer last year. He was only 53 years old. We spent a lot of time discussing priorities in the three months before he died. We talked a lot about doing things, about not putting things off. The funeral was in September. I ordered the boat in October, and I ran the New York Marathon in November."

Dan Biemesderfer, a professor at Yale Medical School, sailed Shearwater, his beautiful Mason 43, in the race. Docked at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club in a prime spot after the finish, her sweeping sheer, long cabin house, bronze ports, and gleaming varnish provided quite a contrast to the dedicated racing boats surrounding her. She's a lovely and elegant cruising boat, certainly no racer. When I asked why he'd enter such a boat, Dan explained that he loves Bermuda and has done the Marion-Bermuda race since 2001, competing in the celestial-navigation division last year. He enjoys sailing offshore and doing the work to prepare the boat beforehand. The rigorous requirements and inspections leading up to the race help him ensure that the boat's ready for any conditions when his family is aboard.

Dan's crew of, as he described them, "hard-core racers," kept the boat moving in the light airs that frustrated so many of the sailors in the race. Having a crew of committed sailors aboard didn't prevent them from having a bottle or two of wine with their gourmet dinner every night. But the crew, no doubt, was a factor in the boat's final placing: Shearwater crossed the finish line off St. David's Head at 2131 on Wednesday to take third place in Class 14 and seventh overall on corrected time in the Cruiser Division.

Finishing just eight minutes behind them was another boat named Shearwater—a Morris 40 sailed by Conrad Hall, CEO of Trader Publishing, the company that owns Soundings magazine. This Shearwater placed third in class and fourth overall in the Cruiser Division. Conrad sailed the boat in the last Newport-Bermuda Race with a six-man crew, but since a rule change in the Cruiser Division allowed the use of autopilots this year, he felt he could sail with one less person and have a little more elbow room.

He's no stranger to offshore sailing. Every year he sails Shearwater back and forth offshore from her winter home at the Morris yard in Bass Harbor, Maine, to her summer home in Norfolk, Virginia, a distance each way approximately the same as that of the Newport-Bermuda Race. He has a great deal of confidence in his boat. "The Morris is a wonderful ocean boat for its size," says Conrad. "The crew may fail the boat, but the boat's never going to fail the crew." He loves the adventure of sailing an offshore race: "It's such a change from normal life, and sailing with good friends makes it all the more fun."

Learning about the weather and offshore sailing were the prime motivations behind Iris and Alex Frowein's decision to enter the race with Alaeris, their Outbound 46. They used to spend summers cruising their C&C 34 around the New England coast. Every winter, they'd charter bareboats in the Caribbean, and inspired by an article in the August 2005 Cruising World, "Secrets Revealed," they chartered in Culebra and Vieques last winter.
In 2004, Iris and Alex started thinking about packing up and venturing farther afield in a boat of their own. They decided the C&C was too small to suit them as a liveaboard for an extended cruise, so they started looking at bigger boats. That summer, an Outbound 44 sailed into their marina, and they liked what they saw. They contacted Skip Pond at Outbound Yachts and ended up taking delivery of a new Outbound 46 last fall. Skip suggested that sailing in the Newport-Bermuda Race would be a good way to get themselves and the boat up to snuff right away. "The boat was 90-percent ready when I got it," Alex says. "Having the race coming up was a great motivating factor to complete getting the boat prepared. Buying storm canvas and making sure that the refrigerators' lids lock in place get put off longer than they should—this way, we got it all done at once, rather than piecemeal."

Self-described cruisers, they turned over nominal skippering duties for the race to Jim Binch, a Long Island sailor who's done several Newport-Bermuda Races in the double-handed division with watch captain Ned Brooks. Skip Pond also sailed on the boat. Alex appreciated having their talent available to tap into during the race. "Skip was a treasure trove of knowledge and experience, and the fact that he's sailed the Outbounds so many miles was very helpful, too."

Alex's position as navigator helped him ramp up his weather-forecasting skills as he learned more about weather routing and GRIB files. Iris loved the race, too. The helmsman of the pair, she also felt she'd become a better sailor, and she loved learning what the boat was capable of in light airs when you can't motor. Sailing offshore for the first time, they became an even better team, Alex says. "We've always been pretty dialed into each other on the boat, communicating well and sharing sailing duties." He notes that though they improved their skills immensely and became much more confident in, and comfortable with, the boat, they have no plans to take up racing full-time.

A few days after the finish of the race, Iris flew home to work while Alex sailed the boat back to Newport with two crew. Though they're thinking about entering the Marion-Bermuda race next year, Iris and Alex say their plans to go cruising in a year or two are now confirmed.

Because it was the centennial, this year's Newport-Bermuda Race saw more traditional boats entered than usual. Sailing under two different handicap rules used to predict theoretical boat speed, the race was won by two boats more than 25 years old: Lively Lady II, a 1970s-vintage Carter 37 owned by William Hubbard III, took handicap honors in the IRC Class, and Sinn Fein, a 1960s-vintage Cal 40 owned by Peter Rebovich, won the ORR Class.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Hart to Hart on DVD

Hart to Hart - The Complete Second Season
DVD Release Date: September 19, 2006

If you don't have the first season on DVD yet:

Rabbit set to cause a buzz in British film

Emily Mortimer is one of the stars to make a cameo in the film

Take one Rampant Rabbit, the world's most popular sex toy. Add a first-time director and writer and sprinkle in cameos from London's great and good. Mix well.

That's the remarkable recipe for the new "mockumentary" Rabbit Fever, which is set to become the unlikeliest British film smash of the year when it is released on Friday.

Among the stars appearing in the film are Emily Mortimer, Sienna Guillory, Tom Conti, Germaine Greer, Lisa B, Stefanie Powers, William Boyd and Richard Branson.

In the picture, which was filmed across the capital, the stars deliver their verdict on the Rampant Rabbit either as themselves or as fictional characters.

Stephen Raphael, writer and producer of Rabbit Fever, got the idea for the film when he overheard some female gossip at the dinner table.

He said: "It all started in early 2004 when I went to a dinner party and there were a group of women there who had a bit to drink and started to talk about the Rampant Rabbit.

"I was amused and surprised by this. But then a friend told me he knew about this girl in his office who was always coming in late because of it and I thought, 'I have to write a film about women's addiction to the Rampant Rabbit'.

After recruiting first-time director Ian Denyer, Raphael then raised funds for the film by persuading 25 friends, ranging from writers to financiers, to stump up the cash. He added: "Just so that there was never any doubt in anyone's mind, we brought a Rabbit vibrator along to the investors' meeting and plonked it in the middle of the table. The Rabbit disappeared and I never got it back."

Perhaps Raphael's most inspired move was hiring the well-connected Dixie Chassay as casting director. Chassay is the former girfriend of James Blunt, the subject of his number one smash You're Beautiful, and the daughter of Groucho Club founder Tchaik Chassay.

Raphael says: "Dixie was amazing. Ninety-nine per cent of the stars in the film we got through her."

These included her actor boyfriend Tom Hollander, who plays a marketing executive cashing in on the sex toy's popularity, and Evening Standard writer Toby Young as a Labour MP who faces calls for the Rabbit to be banned.

Oscar-winning screenwriter Frederic Raphael - Stephen's father - also appears as a sleazy Hollywood producer.

Raphael Jnr said: "It's truly an independent film. Our production office was my parents' flat in Chelsea. Not receiving any money from the Government or the Lottery meant I had total control of the film. If you can do it this way, you don't want anyone else on board.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Alexander, Channing, Daly, Fabray, Gallagher, Morse, et al. Set for Jule Styne Centennial Benefit: Theater News on

Jason Alexander, Carol Channing, Tyne Daly, Nanette Fabray, Peter Gallagher, and Robert Morse are just a few of the stars who will appear in Everything's Coming Up Roses: The Jule Styne Centennial, a special benefit concert for The Actors' Fund to be held at 8pm on Saturday, November 11 at the Luckman Fine Arts Complex in Los Angeles.

The event will be directed by David Galligan, with musical direction by John McDaniel. Other stars scheduled to appear include Obba Babatunde, Patrick Cassidy, Carole Cook, Nancy Dussault, Ilene Graff, Randy Graff, Sam Harris, Steve Kirwan, Dale Kristien, Vicki Lewis, Rod McKuen, Karen Morrow, Michael Nouri, Stefanie Powers, Cathy Rigby, Alice Ripley, Andrew Samansky, Sally Struthers, Bruce Vilanch, Lillias White, Jane Withers, and Jo Anne Worley.

Styne was the award-winning composer of such musicals as Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Peter Pan, Bells Are Ringing, Gypsy, and Funny Girl. He also received the Academy Award for Three Coins in the Fountain.

Tickets are $40-$250 and are available by calling 323-933-9266 x35.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Rabbit Fever Trailer

Rabbit Fever, a new film starring Stefanie Powers, is out in cinemas in the UK on September 22.

Click to view Rabbit Fever trailer

Monday, July 10, 2006

Jonathan & Jennifer Hart Return To DVD For Their 2nd Season!

Sony has announced the second season of the popular whodunit series Hart to Hart, starring Robert Wagner and Stefanie Powers! The millionaire couple continue their hobby as amateur sleuths. They seem to always be finding themselves on the brink - or right in the middle - of danger. This season the couple, and their loyal sidekick, Max (Lionel Stander), investigate 20 hour-long episodes on 5 DVDs, with guest stars such as Roger C. Carmel, Dolph Sweet, George Wendt, Joanna Cassidy, Amy Madigan, Shari Belafonte, Lois Chiles, Joe Pantoliano, Jared Martin, Bibi Besch, and Jerry Stiller. Running time is 987 minutes, and cost is $49.95 SRP. There are no extras (other than "bonus previews"). When you meet this package on September 19th, it'll be murder!

Saturday, June 24, 2006


LOS ANGELES, CA – June 07, 2006 – Entertainment Industry author, publisher and publicist Judith Moose has announced plans to release her fourth and fifth television series guide books. The fourth is titled Steele Loved After All These Years is a retrospective look at Remington Steele and the fifth, Their Hobby Was Murder – A Look Back At Hart To Hart. Both books are slated for publication by the end of 2006.

Fans of both shows will be treated to walks down memory lane as they lip through the pages of the two books. Each will be filled with background information, behind-the-scenes tidbits, episode guides, trivia and assorted fun facts, a complete reference center, interviews with the cast, crew and creators and as with her others, a large selection of photos.

Steele Loved After All These Years and Their Hobby Was Murder will be released by Signing Stars Publishing.

Contact: Catherine Ingham, Signing Stars Publishing,

Monday, June 12, 2006


Stefanie says, "I leave on the 18th for Bermuda to see Tom sail to victory in the Bermuda race."

You can follow his progress by logging into Find the Newport-Bermuda Race. His boat is SirenSong J133.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Hotel deLuxe - Portland, OR

The re-opening of the Hotel deLuxe (formerly the Mallory Hotel) was the place to be last Wednesday night, as Portland's movers and shakers lined up to throw back free booze while rubbing elbows with Ted "Still the Governor" Kulongoski, and actors Robert Wagner and Stefanie Powers (because Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn are dead). The biggest changes to the 93-year-old hotel? Owners Aspen Hotel Group, which also owns Portland's Hotel Lucia, added a new silver-screen theme and—it looks like—went on a major cleaning binge. And yes, as promised, the management has also reopened the hotel's beloved Rat Pack-style bar, the Driftwood Room.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Dance Spirit

The (slightly) older Hollywood crowd — including Stefanie Powers (who MC'd the event), Julie Newmar, Florence Henderson and Buzz Aldrin — was out in force Wednesday eve for USA Today's first Hollywood Hero award gala. It honored actress, dancer and choreographer Zina Bethune for her contributions to the community through Infinite Dreams, a program of the multimedia Bethune Theatredanse company that's been teaching dance and drama to disabled children and teens for the past 25 years.

Bethune didn't just make a gracious acceptance speech — first, she performed several dance pieces on stage with some of her students ("She wouldn't have it any other way," quipped Powers), including a lively version of "Steam Heat," to standing ovations from the packed house at the Beverly Hilton. In the audience were Ernie Hudson, Jerry Mathers, Tara Lipinski and a tres chic Veronique Peck who, though French, noted that she'd "far rather be here" than at Cannes for the current festival.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater L.A. Wine Tasting and Auction to Raise Funds For Children's Wishes

Los Angeles, CA - May 8, 2006 -- Presented by The Wine House and Charter Communications, the 13th annual "Uncork A Wish" Wine Tasting and Auction is one of the largest wine tasting and auction events in Los Angeles County. Benefiting the wish fulfillment efforts of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Los Angeles for children in Los Angeles with life-threatening medical conditions.

The night will unfold on Saturday, May 13, 2005 inside Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood beginning at 6:30 p.m., with the live auction slated for 9 p.m.

Celebrities currently scheduled to participate in this year’s event include: Teri Hatcher, Penny Marshall, Macy Gray, Micky Dolenz, Steven Cojocaru, Matt Gallant (American Inventor), Gregory Itzin (24), Ashley Jones (The Bold and the Beautiful), Kathy Joosten (Desperate Housewives), Kate Linder (Y&R), Roma Maffia (Nip/Tuck), Marianne Muellerleile (Passions/Thank you for Smoking), Stefanie Powers, Constance Ramos (Extreme Makeover: Home Edition), Christopher Rich (Reba), Emmanuelle Vaugier (Two and a Half Men), and Constance Zimmer (In Justice).

"Everyone is very excited at all the wonderful aspects of the event that have been brought together this year," said Cheri Lauterbach, director of development for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Los Angeles. "From our celebrity guests to the delectable assortment of food and wine being served to the wide array of exciting auction items, we have something that will appeal to our guests' range of tastes and interests."

The Wine House has brought together more than 80 participating wineries including: Boony Doon, Campion Winery, Charlone, Cobblestone, Domaine Carneros, Fife Vineyards, Honig Vineyard, Longoria, Marengo Moscato, Patz & Hall Wine Co., Piper-Heidsick, Saddlerock Vineyards, Torre Oria, and Trefethen Vineyards.

Adding to the night's festivities, Carving Ice will once again create a one-of-a-kind ice sculpture masterpiece that will serve as the martini bar, featuring celebrity bartenders and Belvedere Vodka supplied by Pacific Wine and Spirits. Guests who arrive during the first hour of the event will be offered a glass of Veuve Clicquot Rosé Champagne and Glen Morangie Scotch Whisky will also be available for tasting throughout the evening. New this year will be a sponsor's lounge with an array of European beers supplied by the INBEV Corporation.

Top Los Angeles restaurants serving sumptuous tastes of their finest cuisine include: BOA Steakhouse, Sushi Roku, Crustacean, Water Grill, Locanda del Lago, Arnie Morton's of Chicago, Cheese Store of Beverly Hills, Noe, San Gennaro, Mr. Cecil's Ribs, and Pink's Famous Hotdogs.

During the live and silent auctions, guests can bid on hundreds of fantastic items including:

A trip for two to a private Mexican villa for seven nights including round-trip airfare.

A three night trip to New York for two that includes round-trip airfare, hotel and two tickets to a taping of Saturday Night Live.

A trip for six to Napa Valley in a private jet for a winery tour and dinner at the French Laundry.

A fashion-tastic trip to New York including airfare, three nights at a Hilton Hotel and four tickets to the season three fashion show FINALE of Bravo's "Project Runway" hosted by Heidi Klum.

Fabulous artwork including a painting that will be created live by noted artist Thom Bierdz.

Special behind-the-scenes access at Disney Imagineering
Tickets to American Idol including a meet and greet with Ryan Seacrest.

A fully stocked, 48 bottle wine refrigerator.

A shopping experience with Steven Cojocaru, Entertainment Tonight and The Insider correspondent and fashion guru.

A flight in a World War II biplane.

A birthday party for six at American Girl Place at The Grove.

Presenting sponsors, Charter Communications and The Wine House are joined by sponsors Northrop Grumman, Cars 4 Causes, TMC, Hilton Hotels, Wells Fargo, Rollz Royce Limousine Service, The Walt Disney Company, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte and Touche, Capital Source, Pelican Products, City Art, GES Exposition Services, LA Magazine, Carving Ice, INBEV, and Fuji Water.

Members of the honorary committee for the 13th annual Uncork A Wish Wine Tasting and Auction are: Giovanni Agnelli, Antonio Banderas, Catherine Bell, Halle Berry, Kobe Bryant, Ted Danson, Tony Danza, Matt Gallant, Brad Garrett, Macy Gray, Melanie Griffith, Steven Grossman, Lisa Wade Grossman, Ed Harris, Mark Itkin, Renee Jones, Kathy Kinney, Andie MacDowell, William Petersen, Kelly Preston, Luc Robitaille, Pantera Sarah, Jessica Simpson, Sharon Stone, Kiefer Sutherland, Naomi Watts, Bradley Whitford, and Noah Wyle.

Conceived as a Valentine's Day celebration at the Santa Monica Airport's Museum of Flying in 1993, the wine tasting and auction fundraiser quickly outgrew that location and was moved into the Airport's Barker Hangar four years later, where it remained until the decision was made to move to the more centrally located Pacific Design Center this year. Attended by approximately 1,500 people annually, the funds raised have been used to fulfill hundreds of wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions.

The Pacific Design Center is located at 8687 Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood, California 90069-5701. General Admission tickets are $125 in advance and $150 at the door. Wine and food tasting is included in the price of admission. Guests must be 21 or older to be admitted into the event. For more information, visit or call 310-899-9191.

About the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Los Angeles

Established in 1983, the Greater Los Angeles chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation grants wishes to children throughout Los Angeles County who are battling life-threatening medical conditions. Working out of an office in West Los Angeles, the chapter has granted over 5,500 wishes to children countywide. For more information about the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Los Angeles go to or call 310-788-9474.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

13th Annual Women of Distinction Awards

The Women of Distinction Awards event is held each year to honor outstanding women in the community who have made a strong commitment to Hollywood. Along with these awards, the Golden Award and the Mary Pickford Award honor notable figures that have made a lifetime contribution to improving numerous aspects of Hollywood.

Women of Distinction 2006 have been chosen and will be honored on Tuesday, May 23 at 12:00 p.m. [registration and reception begin at 11:30 a.m.] at the Globe Theatre, Universal Studios Hollywood. For reservations or more information, call 323.469.8311 or make your reservation online to honor 2006 Hollywood's women at the 13th Annual Women of Distinction Awards Luncheon.

Two well-known celebrities will participate at the Hollywood 13th Annual Women of Distinction Awards Luncheon on Tuesday, May 23 at the Globe Theatre at Universal Hollywood.

Actress Stefanie Powers will be presented with the prestigious Mary Pickford Award. She makes the term “well-rounded” a severe understatement. Her acting credits include 28 feature films, three television series, and several mini-series including “Beryl Markham: A Shadow on the Sun,” which she also produced.

However, Stefanie’s charming and thoughtful real-life personality may most closely resemble stunning renaissance woman Jennifer Hart, the character she portrayed on the hit television series “Hart to Hart.” She has combined a natural curiosity and passion for knowledge, world travel and diverse cultures into both an award-winning acting career and an equally active life of heartfelt philanthropic work.

The cornerstone of that work is the William Holden Wildlife Foundation, a public charity dedicated to the preservation of wild animals, which Stefanie helped to found in honor of the late actor and for which she serves as president. The William Holden Wildlife Education Center, which currently serves 10,000 students a year, is located near the Mount Kenya Safari Club and the Mount Kenya Game Ranch started by Holden in the late 1950’s before conservation became a popular issue.
Stefanie is also involved with several American zoos (among them, the Cincinnati Zoo, Zoo Atlanta and the Los Angeles Zoo, for which she is a Fellow) where she works with species survival programs and has released four home videos, one on horseback riding, “Stefanie Powers’ Broadway Workout” and the recent “Power Pilates” and “Power Pilates2.” The pilates videos spawned the new book, “POWERS PILATES—Stefanie Powers’ Guide to Longevity and Well-Being Through Pilates.”

Also, acting as Emcee for the 13th Annual luncheon is Ann Martin, acclaimed journalist who joined CBS 2 in May 1994 as a news anchor. She currently co-anchors the KCAL 9 News at 4 and the CBS 2 News at 6 p.m. Since joining the duopoly, she has also been the host of two CBS Network primetime special editions of "Beyond Belief - Amazing True Stories!" In addition, Ann co-hosted the First Annual "What's Right With Southern California," Community Service Awards, which aired in primetime in March 1997. Throughout her broadcast career, Ann Martin has been honored with many awards and recognitions. She has earned three Emmy’s and two Golden Mike Awards.

Ann Martin was born in Portland, Ore., and grew up in Seattle. She graduated from the University of Washington with a Bachelor of Arts in communications. Martin and her family are actively involved with several community and philanthropic organizations including The Mary Magdalene Project, a rehabilitation program for prostitutes. She has also been involved with The Lincoln Training Center, a workshop for the mentally handicapped, as well as The Southern Area Foster Effort, which helps place children into foster families.

Mary Ann Barnes is the Senior Vice President and Area Manager of Kaiser Permanente’s Santa Clara Service Area, comprised of the Santa Clara Medical Center and associated Medical Office campuses in Campbell, Mountain View and Milpitas. She joined Kaiser Permanente in 1974 as a staff nurse in San Diego and has been holding progressively responsible positions as a member of the leadership team since that time.

From 2000 to 2006, Mary Ann was the Medical Group Administrator for the Los Angeles Medical Center, and associated medical offices in East Los Angeles, Glendale and Pasadena, serving more than 260,000 members. LAMC is the tertiary care center for Kaiser Permanente members throughout Southern California, providing services in Cardiac Surgery, Radiation Oncology, Transplant Programs, Neurosurgery and Pediatric Intensive Care, to name a few.

As a member of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Mary Ann made her mark by creating the Health Care Committee. This committee addresses important health care issues facing Hollywood healthcare providers and educators, both legislatively and within the community. She has also served on the board of directors and as treasurer of the South Central Family Clinic since 2000.

Mary Ann earned her BS degree in Nursing from Arizona State University and her MSN in Administration from San Diego State University. She is married with three children.

Diana Derycz-Kessler was an Elite fashion model who received her masters from Stanford with her law degree from Harvard Law School. After becoming the youngest and first female corporate legal counsel in Occidental Petroleum Corporation’s international division, Diana joined the Bristol investment companies as an owner, investment manager, and general counsel. There, she was dedicated to providing investment capital to companies.

Diana’s ongoing interest in film led her to her next challenge. She currently acts as one of the owners and the CEO of two prized assets, The Los Angeles Film School, and The Los Angeles Recording School, private post-secondary educational institutions dedicated to teaching its students the craft of filmmaking and the art of music recording. Under her direction, The Los Angeles Film School has become one of the most renowned film schools in the world. Diana and her partners recently purchased The Los Angeles Recording School (formerly known as The Los Angeles Recording Workshop) and Diana became CEO of that school as well in 2005. The owner partnership that Diana is involved in subsequently purchased two high-rise buildings on Sunset Blvd.

As CEO and part owner of The Los Angeles Film School and The Los Angeles Recording School, Diana has expanded the schools’ curriculum as well as their capacity. She is currently executive producing her third feature film, “The Naked Run,” which is slated to begin filming this summer.

Marian Gibbons first became interested in historic preservation in Elm Grove, Wisconsin where a group formed a preservation society. So, in 1978, when Hollywood Boulevard was not an appealing place, she thought a solution might lie in a historic preservation group to alert the citizens and politicians of the historic treasures located here. With John Anson Ford and four dedicated ladies, they became Hollywood Heritage, Inc., a 501c3 organization proudly helping to save many artifacts of Hollywood’s local history. They restored and still maintain the Hollywood Heritage Museum in the DeMille-Lasky barn, where “The Squaw Man”, Hollywood’s first feature length film, was made. Today they are restoring “Jualita”, the Wattles mansion, which is the last of the midwesterner’s summer estates located in Hollywood.

Marian’s activities have drawn world-wide publicity because of the fame of Hollywood, even having been honored by the President of the United States, but she is quick to point out that she is, “just one of the volunteers who loves our town enough to work to protect its history and the great future it deserves.”

Marian is an old Ohioan, born and educated in the Cleveland-Akron area. Her business life has been as a manufacturer’s agent along with her husband. They were blessed with two wonderful children, who sadly, preceded them in death, but left behind three wonderful grandchildren. She has wonderful many that she is writing a book about the grand times her family shared.

Well known as a leader in travel and tourism management and marketing, Anastasia Mann is the founder, Chairman and CEO of renowned West Hollywood, California-based Corniche Group, Inc. Corniche is well recognized for providing exclusive corporate and leisure travel management, tourism and hotel marketing consultation, and meeting and event planning, as well as entertainment personal management services. In December 2004, Anastasia and Corniche Group successfully launched a new division called Anastasia’s Africa, specializing in private, customized safaris.

Following a childhood acting career, which spanned more than 70 films, Anastasia graduated summa cum laude from the University of Southern California. She started her tourism career in hotel sales and marketing originally as the first female corporate sales manager for Hilton Hotels Corporation based in Los Angeles.
As a founding member of the California Travel & Tourism Commission, she served two terms as the sole representative for all travel management agencies in the state. During both her terms she sat on the Executive Committee. Anastasia is currently serving her second term on the board of CalTIA (California Travel Industry Assn).

Anastasia is active in local community government affairs. She is currently the President of the Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council representing over 45,000 individual stakeholders (residential and business) including the Hollywood Bowl; Universal Studios and the Hollywood-Highland/Kodak Theatre complex. She has frequent interaction with the LA City Council and LA County Board of Supervisors on behalf of her constituents and community events.

Kim Sudhalter is a communications and public relations expert who offers more than 16 years experience in corporate branding and in creating consumer products campaigns for major media and entertainment companies such as Time Warner, Microsoft, Sony and GameWorks (Dreamworks, Sega and Universal). She has also developed brand identity campaigns for corporations such as Intel and IBM.
Eight years ago, Kim formed Urban Legend PR and she still serves as its President. Kim’s current client list includes the Hollywood Entertainment District (the Business Improvement District revitalizing Hollywood Boulevard), the Oxnard Downtown Management District, the Academy for the Advancement of Children with Autism and the Broughton Hospitality Group. She also works with TV personality Jimmy Kimmel on the annual Feast of San Gennaro LA , a Los Angeles version of the 77-year New York tradition. Kim is also co-owner, along with Gina Kimmel and Lynette Carolla, of LushSpa, the “fun spa” in Studio City, CA.

In her former position as Vice President of Entertainment in the Motion Pictures Department at Rogers & Cowan, Kim was responsible for creating a new division devoted entirely to promoting interactive entertainment products.
Daughter of a former UPI foreign correspondent and marketing executive, Kim was born in Europe and raised in London and New York. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Boston University.

Baydsar Thomasian is a 12-year veteran of Council District 13. As the Hollywood Field Deputy for former Councilmember Jackie Goldberg, and now the Senior Field Deputy for Council President Eric Garcetti, Baydsar works tirelessly and conscientiously on behalf of the residents and business owners in Hollywood.
Prior to joining the Council office, Baydsar attended California State University of Northridge where she received a degree in Political Science and Business Administration.

Baydsar has distinguished herself by working with residents, community organizations, Hollywood BIDs, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and area business owners to improve quality of life in Hollywood. Baydsar has worked on every major project that has been developed in Hollywood during the past 12 years.
She helped start the Los Angeles Center for Education and Research (LACER) after school program with Councilmember Goldberg. LACER’s after school program has directly affected and improved the academic, education, and personal growth of over 2,000 children in the Hollywood community.

Baydsar Thomasian is a positive role model for women. She is a professional career woman who is a dedicated mother and wife, who volunteers her personal time to non-profit organizations in her community, and mentors young adults seeking to improve their academic skills. She is also an active member of the PTA at Rose and Alex Pilibos School in Hollywood.

April 29, 1992 will be forever remembered as a day of fear and upheaval, as Los Angeles was shaken by citywide riots that altered the way many people viewed the structure and stability of our society. Once the fires and turmoil died down, most went back to their daily routines, feeling that someone else would fix the problems. However, for commercial TV producer, Dorothy Thompson, the event made an impact that caused her to alter her life and to create the Streetlights Production Assistant Program, an organization which is helping to change the face of the Entertainment Industry.

Dorothy is the founder and Executive Director of Streetlights. After the riots, by using her savings and credit cards, she formed the organization whose mission is to create ethnic diversity within the entertainment industry. She and her staff accomplish this by providing job training and placement to economically and socially at-risk young men and women. Streetlights’ training programs provide talented minorities with entry-level work as production assistants in film and television, as well as career advancement opportunities.

Though donations were few and far between at the start, Dorothy secured a hard won Federal grant, with Hollywood not far behind in rewarding Streetlights’ efforts. Companies such as Universal Pictures, DreamWorks/SKG, Procter & Gamble, General Mills, Crossroads Films, Sony Pictures, and the Entertainment Industry Foundation have acknowledged the program with their highest praise, jobs for the trainees and funding for the program.

The Women of Distinction Awards Luncheon benefits the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Community Foundation, which has given over $300,000 to Hollywood charities since 1998. The Foundation would like to thank all the sponsors for this event. At the Friend level are Alschuler Grossman Stein & Kahan LLP, Capitol Records, Honda of Hollywood and Ramsey Shilling. At the Silver Level are Iron Mountain Film & Sound Archives and Paramount. Finally, at the Gold level is Kaiser Permanente!

To RSVP for this event please visit Chamber events at or contact Mick Barrett at the Chamber at 323-469-8311 x14. Sponsorships are still available! Inquiries should be directed to Elizabeth McDonald.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Hollywood Chamber of Commerce - Annual Women of Distinction Awards

The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce is preparing for the Annual Women of Distinction Awards luncheon. Now in its 13th year, the Hollywood Chamber is pleased to announce its new host location, The Globe Theatre at Universal Studios! The date is set for Tuesday, May 23 for an 11:30am reception, and awards program at 12:00 Noon. Co-chairs for this year’s event are Chamber Board members Susan Durante and Mary Lou Dudas.

Stefanie Powers is one of the women being honored.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Stefanie Powers to be a Guest

The USA TODAY Hollywood Hero Award Honors a Los Angeles Area Entertainment Personality Who Has Made Remarkable Contributions of Time and Energy to Help Those Less Fortunate

Actress, Dancer and Choreographer Zina Bethune Will Be Honored As the Award's First Recipient

Actress, dancer, choreographer Zina Bethune will be honored May 17 as the first recipient of The USA TODAY Hollywood Hero Award. The award recognizes her outstanding contributions to the community through Infinite Dreams, a program of the multimedia Bethune Theatredanse company.

Bethune and Infinite Dreams will be feted at an award gala on the evening of May 17 at The Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. Grammy®- nominated and Jazzweek Vocalist of the Year, The Tierney Sutton Band, will perform at the Gala. Guests include: Martin Landau, Edward James Olmos, Tippi Hedren, Esai Morales, Ray Bradbury, Tara Lipinski, Roscoe Lee Browne, Julie Newmar, Reni Santoni, Stefanie Powers, Veronique Peck, Alison Angrim, Tracy Newman, and James 'Gypsy' Haake.

In an effort to raise funds for the Infinite Dreams program, net proceeds from the event will be donated to Infinite Dreams. Funds will be obtained through ticket sales and silent auction of valuable merchandise.

Infinite Dreams, a dance and drama outreach program, is an acclaimed education and performance program that provides children and teens with disabilities an opportunity to affirm their capabilities by participating in the world of movement and dance. It is the only program of its kind under the auspices of a professional dance company.

"By participating in the arts these student challenge themselves and achieve amazing success," said USA TODAY President and Publisher Craig Moon. "The Infinite Dreams program helps its students develop confidence, which in turn instills in them an affirmation of their own unique capabilities and enriches their quality of life. Zina Bethune and Infinite Dreams embody the spirit of The USA TODAY Hollywood Hero Award."

Infinite Dreams, which launched in 1983, serves more than 1,000 children from the ages of 4 to 16 at nine sites in Southern California. The program has graduated more than 6,200 students.

"The art of dance can really transcend all the physical and stereotypical limitations," said Bethune, artistic director of Bethune Theatredanse and Infinite Dreams. "After all, the spirit isn't disabled. Dance is not how far a child can reach their legs or arms. It is the creation, the sharing, and the partaking that is the beauty. We don't ask, 'How much can you move?' We say, 'Come dance with us.' "

Infinite Dreams has been cited as an exemplary organization by the National Endowment for the Arts and is a recipient of commendations from Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton; L.A. Mayors Tom Bradley, Richard Riordan and James Hahn; and a recipient of the U.N.'s "Medaille d'Excellence."

In what will become a USA TODAY signature event, the USA TODAY Hollywood Hero Award will be presented annually to an entertainment personality who has made remarkable contributions of time and energies with a non-profit organization, and has truly enriched the quality of life of others. The USA TODAY Hollywood Hero Award recipient will be unique in that his or her efforts extend far beyond a charitable contribution or simply lending one's celebrity to enhance a cause or concern.

About Zina Bethune

Best known for her starring roles on the ABC prime time series "The Nurses" and the CBS daytime drama "Love of Life," Ms. Bethune has also guest- starred on a variety of series, from classics such as "Gunsmoke" and "Route 66" to "Police Story" and "Party of Five," and in feature films including "The Boost" and Martin Scorcese's "Who's That Knocking At My Door?" In addition to her acting career, she has also been heralded as a prima ballerina with such companies as the New York City Ballet and San Francisco Ballet. She also starred in Tommy Tune's musical of "Grand Hotel" on Broadway.

Bethune's extensive list of credits has been accomplished while faced with serious physical disabilities including dysplastic hips, scoliosis and lymphoedema. Overcoming these physical challenges required nine surgeries, some of which were experimental in nature. Ms. Bethune used her earlier dance training with George Balanchine to not only teach herself how to walk again but also to dance, going on to perform as prima ballerina with the Royal Danish Ballet.

In recent years, Bethune has dedicated her energies and resources to the establishment of Infinite Dreams, her education and performance outreach program that brings the performing arts to children and teens who suffer with disabilities. Her development of a complete methodology for Infinite Dreams empowers its young students to believe their spirit is not disabled and that art can transcend limitations.

About Infinite Dreams

Infinite Dreams, Bethune Theatredanse's dance and drama outreach program, is an acclaimed education and performance program providing disabled children an opportunity to affirm their capabilities by participating in the world of movement and dance.

Bethune Theatredanse-Infinite Dreams has been named an Exemplary Site in the United States by the National Endowment for the Arts. Bethune Theatredanse-Infinite Dreams has received commendations from Presidents Clinton, Bush and Reagan and Senator Dianne Feinstein. The company has also been the recipient of numerous Community Service Awards and Citations from L.A. Mayors Richard Riordan and Tom Bradley, the Governor's committee for Employment of the Disabled, The Media Access Awards, the Pasadena Mayor's Committee, the CeCe Robinson Award, and radio's Citizen of the Week. The children of Infinite Dreams have participated in programs at numerous Special Arts Festivals, Permanent Charities, Telethons and Council for Exceptional Children galas.

Artistic Director Zina Bethune and Infinite Dreams have performed at the White House and the Kennedy Center, which was subsequently televised on the NBC special, "From the Heart." They have performed at the Disneyland Space Theatre, the Young Audiences Concert Series and with Bethune Theatredanse on regional and national television programs including Romper Room, ABC's POV, CBS's Outreach spots, NBC's Kudos, KJH's New Faces, New Beginnings KTLA's Hour Magazine, ABC's Mike & Maty, the Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy, Children's Variety Club Telethons and were the feature story for KCET's "California Stories."

Infinite Dreams and Zina Bethune were also the subjects of ABC's "Heroes - - Made in the U.S.A." as well as the subject of the PBS documentary, "Heart Dancing."

Funded through private, tax deductible contributions to meet matching grants, and proceeds from the Bethune Theatredanse performances, Infinite Dreams has continuously been the recipient of the California Arts Council's highest award each year in the Artists in Social Institutions category. It has also received funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. All publicity and promotion efforts, advertising and administration responsibilities and costs are generously donated by corporations and individuals throughout the Los Angeles area who have long supported in this unique program.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Stefanie's Hart to Hart with giraffes

International movie star Stefanie Powers brought a little Hollywood glamour to Twycross Zoo as she launched a new Conservation Welfare Fund.

The £1million fund has been set up by the zoo to champion wildlife projects which look after the health and welfare of animals both in captivity and in the wild.

Ms. Powers, the star of TV's much loved Hart to Hart, has been involved in wildlife conservation as president of the William Holden Wildlife Foundation and a supporter of the Jaguar Conservation Trust set up by Jaguar Cars.

Zoo director Suzanne Boardman said: "Twycross Zoo has a strong history of supporting projects that relieve suffering of wild animals as well as supporting the conservation of species.

"We feel we must support animals in their wild habitats.

"Some projects we can, and do, support through providing expertise, others by giving good PR but yet others need money to be able to achieve their goals.

"To increase the level of support we are able to give we have decided to set aside £1 million as a fund."

Each year the interest on that £1million will support projects and each year it will be added to by charitable profits.

Mrs Boardman added: "We want to see the fund grow and to be able to help projects vital to species conservation and welfare to achieve their aims.

"Most important we wish to help animals recover their numbers in the wild and to help protect their habitats."

Money will be targeted at projects which support primate species and the zoo hopes that by 2020 the fund will have helped secure the future of no fewer than five endangered primate species in the wild.

Those projects could encompass areas such as animal management, veterinary care, support for rehabilitation and reintroduction programmes and support for projects dealing with large-scale wildlife welfare problems.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Swing Into Summer With More Rockford!

The Rockford Files - Season 2 is coming to DVD on June 13th. SRP is $39.98 for a 3-DVD set with 22 episodes from 1975-76 presented in the original full screen video. James Garner starred in this Stephen J. Cannell series, and the second season had gobs of guest stars like Ken Swofford, Linda Evans, Gerald McRaney, Joe E. Tata, Robert Hays, Dana Elcar, Noble Willingham, Bruce Kirby, Stefanie Powers, Joan Van Ark, Charles Napier, Stacy Keach Sr., Isaac Hayes, Dick Butkus, Rob Reiner, John Saxon, Michael Ansara, William Daniels, Ron Silver, Louis Gossett Jr., Jayne Kennedy, Veronica Hamel and Gordon Jump.

Quintana's Litigious Past Under Fire

Quintana's Litigious Past Under Fire

HOLLYWOOD - Paris Hilton is not the first celebrity Brian Quintana has accused of harassment, in the 1990s he hit Hart To Hart star Stefanie Powers will similar legal action--but he denies making a habit of lawsuits.

The celebrity socialite was slapped with a restraining order at Los Angeles Superior Court last week, after complaints from promoter Quintana that she'd branded him a "lazy Mexican" and was ruining his business.

In 1995 Quintana sought a similar judgment against Powers when he worked for a charity linked to the flame-haired actress, insisting she would get him drunk and force him to get into bed with her.

Just as Quintana claimed Hilton made threatening calls warning him to stay away from her boyfriend Stavros Niarchos, the party organizer said he began to receive threats from Powers' entourage.

He told tabloid the Globe in 1995, "The calls said, 'Watch your back.' He warned, 'You should be--you're a dead man. You sure messed with the wrong woman.'"

Quintana is adamant he takes no pleasure from filing lawsuits against celebrities. He tells the New York Daily News, "That's ridiculous. It advances my business in no way, and it actually hurts it.

"Look at how litigious Paris is and how many criminal investigations there are involving her. You know, this is the MO (modus operandi) of numerous celebrities who think they're above the law and the little guys who should just go away."

Quintana's case against Powers was dropped when Powers submitted legal documents proving she was overseas for most of the period Quintana claimed the abuse took place.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Stars and Industry Professionals Confess Their Love of Musicals, in a Valentine's Day Extravaganza, the Premiere Theatre Site on the Net, Boasts Over 175 Stars and Pros -- Choosing Their Most Memorable or Favorite Romantic Love Songs From a Broadway an Expanded and Updated Version of Last Year's Top-Rated Feature

NEW YORK, NY -- 02/10/2006 -- The list includes: Patti LuPone, Angela Lansbury, Amy Irving, John Lithgow, Colm Wilkinson, Bruce Vilanch, Nathan Lane, Michael Crawford, Elaine Stritch, Tovah Feldfush, Carol Channing, Charles Busch, Anthony Rapp, Faith Prince, Sam Harris, Jerry Herman, Jane Monheit, Marc Shaiman, Star Jones Reynolds, Cherry Jones, Jonathan Pryce, Lea Salonga, Michael McKean, Jim Steinman, Maureen McGovern, Robert Goulet, Deborah Gibson, Nancy Anderson, James Barbour, Bryan Batt, Hinton Battle, Laura Bell Bundy, Laura Benanti, Stephanie J. Block, Jason Robert Brown, Georgia Stitt, Kerry Butler, Liz Caplan, Jim Caruso, Kristy Cates, Kim Cea, Donna Lynne Champlin, Jen Colella, Douglas Cohen, Carole Cook, Gavin Creel, Michael Dale, Tyne Daly, Jason Danieley, Ryan Duncan, Daisy Eagan, John Treacy Egan, Susan Egan, Melissa Errico, Nanette Fabray, Tovah Feldshuh, Peter Filichia, Adam Fleming, Barrett Foa, Hunter Foster, Jen Cody, Sutton Foster, Alison Fraser, David Friedman, Jenn Gambatese, Jordan Gelber, Mandy Gonzalez, Amanda Green, Jenna Leigh Green, Larry Grossman, Jessica Grove, Ann Harada, John Hill, Damon Intrabartolo, Richard Jay-Alexander, Cheyenne Jackson, Michael John LaChiusa, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Sharon Lawrence, Margo Lion, Brian Lowdermilk, Jeff Marx, Deven May, Jeff McCarthy, Jamie McGonnigal, Rita McKenzie, Matthew Morrison, Michael Musto, Scott Nevins, Larry O'Keefe, Billy Porter, Stefanie Powers, Michael Riedel, Robert Jess Roth, Anne Runolfsson, Seth Rudetsky, John Selya, Douglas Sills, Matthew Stocke, Brooke Tansley, Marty Thomas, Tom Viola, JoAnne Worley, Karen Ziemba, Lucie Arnaz, Kelli O'Hara, Sally Mayes, Cady Huffman, Stephanie D'Abruzzo, Michelle Federer, Don Pippin, Julia Murney, John McDaniel, Bobby Lopez, Stephen Flaherty, Michael Kosarin, Karen Mason, John Lloyd Young, Tyler Maynard, Jason Graae, John Bolton, Jeffry Denman, Jay Landers, Bernie Telsey, Gregory Jbara, Euan Morton, Daniel Reichard, Jed Bernstein, Jill Paice, Gary Beach, Sara Ramirez, Jennifer Hope Wills, Glen Roven, Jamie deRoy, Larry Blank, Jill Eikenberry, Michael Tucker, Liz Callaway, Gabriel Barre, Jennifer Rae Beck, Andrew Lippa, Leah Hocking, John Carrafa, Jessica-Snow Wilson, Richie Ridge, Kevin Stites, Matthew Sklar, Thommie Walsh, Rick McKay, Andrea Burns, Angus McIndoe, Chuck Cooper, Brooks Ashmanskas, David Zippel, Craig Zadan, Darren Holden, Natalie Toro, Scott Wittman, Brad Oscar, Brent Barrett, Kris Stewart, Manoel Felciano, Phyllis Newman, Clarke Peters, Mylinda Hull, Mark Sendroff, Mark O'Donnell, Bryn Dowling, Ute Lemper, Natascia Diaz, Rob Bartlett, Thomas Meehan, Andrea McArdle and Michael Cerveris.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Reynolds, MacLaine, Lansbury on stage at gala

A record number of 1,650 guests, including emcee Debbie Reynolds and celebrity presenters Shirley MacLaine and Angela Lansbury, turned out for the Desert AIDS Project's 12th annual Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards Saturday at the Palm Springs Convention Center.

Jazz and Broadway singing stars Ann Hampton Callaway and her sister Liz Callaway were flown in from New York at the last minute to perform their classy show, "Sibling Revelry."

They provided seamless companionship to the already star-studded roster of HIV/AIDS supporters.

It was MacLaine's second appearance in Palm Springs in 40 years after breaking the drought as an honoree at last month's Palm Springs International Film Festival. Besides coming from her home near Santa Fe, N.M., to support a good cause, she said she was well treated on her last visit.

"I've had contour wraps and massages in places I didn't know I had," MacLaine said.

A simple and elegant cabaret themed room of black, white and red décor provided a sense of intimacy. A sea of black and white tuxes and flashy ball gowns lent a touch of New York to the highly-anticipated annual event that raises money for people in the Coachella Valley living with HIV/AIDS.

"The best part of this evening is the fact that every penny, for everything from staples to stamps, was underwritten by generous people," said co-chair Bill Jones, owner of Carousel Catering. "We will raise an unprecedented $700,000 tonight, all going directly to DAP client services. We live in a community that has the most incredibly generous people I have ever seen in my life. They give of themselves and their money and their time unlike I have ever seen. Without them, this evening would never happen."

These underwriters include Wells Fargo, Earl Greenburg and David Peet, Private Bank of North America, Harold Matzner, Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, Tom Bombardier and John Fowler, Walgreens, John Bowab, Tim Hanlon and Anthony Klatt, Jim and Jackie Lee Houston, Bill Jones, Bob Jones of Davey's Hideaway, Virginia Milanovich, Joseph Roman and Mark Wilson, and Union Bank of California.

Co-chair Tim Hanlon, who is the president of Wells Fargo Foundation, said "We at Wells Fargo wanted to cement our relationship with DAP and build on our already successful partnership with the organization that houses the Wells Fargo HIV Health Center."

The fundraising didn't stop. At two points in the evening, surprises were announced. Susan Unger, a DAP board member, announced the inception of DAP's 100 Women donor club, which is made up of women leaders across the valley that include Peggy Cravens, Dr. Wendy Roberts, Edra Blixseth and Assemblywoman Bonnie Garcia. A check was presented to roaring applause as members of the 100 Women Founders Circle stood throughout the room.

Reynolds set the jovial tone for the evening when she appeared to welcome guests while they dined on bleu cheese salad wedges. As she introduced co-chairs Bill Jones and Hanlon, photos of the two men flashed on the screen, only Hanlon's was a photo of his drag queen alter ego Summer. "Oops," said the voice of god from the wings.

This set the tone for the night, which was all about a diverse community of gay and straight gathering together in hopes to combat the chronic disease of HIV/AIDS with humor, dedication and companionship.

Lansbury presented the Arts & Activism Award to Tom Viola of New York's Broadway Cares. Russ Russell, DAP board president, gave the award to Partners For Life honoree Dr. Burt Fogelman who volunteers daily at the organization.

Bill Jones introduced the Warner Engdahl Community Service Award to Marv and Carol Sholl, saying, "Marv is the kindest, gentlest man I know married to the classiest broad I have ever met in my life."

The Sholls, whose son Barry died from complications from HIV/AIDS, have been involved with DAP as volunteers and donors for more than a decade.

A dinner of Asian braised short ribs was followed by a performance by Erasure. At a VIP cocktail party the night before the Chase at the Palm Springs Art Museum, Erasure lead singer Andy Bell mentioned that he had watched AIDS devastate his close community of friends, and that he was thrilled to be in Palm Springs donating his time for the organization's efforts.

"Andy and Paul (Hickey) and Vince came all the way from London for free to be here tonight," said Bill Jones.

The band performed their best-loved hits "Chains of Love," "Savannah Song" and "Respect" to a cheering crowd.

MacLaine then took the stage to award Dr. Mathilde Krim with the Science and Medicine Award. Krim is a founder of amFAR, the American Foundation for AIDS Research.

The Callaway Sisters topped off the gala with a performance as guests mingled and drank coffee before heading home.

Also in attendance were Michael Childers, Mayor Ron Oden, EQCA Executive Director Geoffrey Kors, Patrick Mundt and Mike Hutchison of Contempo Homes, Denise Brown, Jaime Kabler, Arlene Rosenthal, comedian Bruce Vilanch, actors Stefanie Powers and Tippi Hedren and Palm Springs Art Museum Executive Director Janice Lyle.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Celebrities Capitalize on Star Power in D.C. - Los Angeles Times

More performers are lobbying about issues unrelated to their day jobs. The famous get their egos stroked, while their causes receive publicity.

WASHINGTON — In four decades as a guitarist with such iconic rock bands as the Byrds and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, David Crosby played in front of millions of fans at such venues as Woodstock, the Fillmore East, the Hollywood Bowl and London's Wembley Stadium.

Lately, one of his regular gigs has been at one of the nation's most elite clubs: the U.S. Senate.

Last year, the shaggy-haired, 64-year-old musician donned a suit in lieu of his usual bluejeans to lobby the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, seeking to thwart plans to expand Chumash casinos and commercial developments near his home in the tranquil Santa Ynez Valley in Santa Barbara County. On another occasion, Crosby opined to lawmakers on campaign finance reform.

"Being a celebrity cuts both ways in Washington," Crosby said. "In some ways it gets you access. But in other ways it makes people dismiss you. You have to be insanely careful about what you say."

Crosby is part of a growing parade of celebrities trekking up Capitol Hill to talk to the nation's lawmakers about issues that rarely have anything to do with their day jobs. Trying to get attention for pet causes easily lost in the clutter of public policy debates, stars hope their cachet can make the difference in opening doors, getting media attention and scoring face time on C-SPAN.

During the last year, Washington's show has starred actress Salma Hayek testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee on domestic violence about how she became familiar with the issue researching a movie role. Jazz musician and New Orleans native Wynton Marsalis told the House Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management how important it was to rebuild after Hurricane Katrina.

Actress and AIDS activist Ashley Judd spoke to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the need to develop an HIV vaccine for Africa. Actor Don Cheadle, who starred in the movie "Hotel Rwanda" set in that country's 1994 civil war, joined five members of Congress on a fact-finding mission to learn about refugees in Sudan.

When it comes to hobnobbing with lawmakers, U2 frontman Bono ranks as Washington's reigning celebrity lobbyist. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) is a frequent guest at the band's concerts. In October, Bono lunched for 90 minutes with President Bush at the White House, where the two discussed debt relief, AIDS, malaria and world trade, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan said.

"More and more celebrities are lobbying for particular causes," said Darrell West, a professor of political science at Brown University and author of the book "Celebrity Politics." "They attract the TV cameras, and celebrities are great fundraisers."

For celebrities, testifying and lobbying in the nation's capital offers the ego stroke of being taken seriously on important issues, and a chance to make headlines for something other than their latest loves or public mishaps.

In an e-mail to the Los Angeles Times, actress Mary Tyler Moore said her lobbying on behalf of the Diabetes Research Foundation stemmed from her own experiences as a diabetic. Having the disease "has fueled my desire to help … find a cure," Moore said.

After actor Michael J. Fox testified on Capitol Hill in 1999 about his battles with Parkinson's disease, lawmakers urged the National Institutes of Health to intensify the government's search for better treatments. Since then research grants for Parkinson's have jumped more than tenfold from $25 million to as much as $300 million this year, said Robin Elliott, executive director of the Parkinson's Disease Foundation.

"In a television culture, celebrity has become crucial to advancing all kinds of causes," Elliott said.

But it also can often backfire when it appears a celebrity is simply fronting for an issue in which he or she has no special expertise.

In 2002, Sen. George V. Voinovich (R-Ohio) walked out of a Senate subcommittee hearing on the environmental effect of mountain mining when Kevin Richardson, a Kentucky native and member of the Backstreet Boys singing group, was called as a witness. Voinovich told reporters the proceedings had turned into "a joke."

Lou Diamond Phillips, star of such films as "La Bamba" and "Young Guns," said it was unfair to assume celebrities were unqualified to testify. Phillips said he met resistance when he testified in 2002 about extending veterans benefits to Filipinos who had fought in World War II. Phillips is part Filipino and the son of a war veteran.

"It upsets me that people don't think we have the right to speak out," Phillips said in an interview. "We are citizens like everybody else. I made it certain to the senators that I was no carpetbagger."

When Crosby testified last summer on the tribal development plans, Connecticut blogger Edward Janusz questioned his qualifications.

"Mr. Crosby seems like an intelligent person," Janusz said in an interview. "But I'm more inclined to listen to people who are personally involved and have some expertise."

Congressional hearings for decades were mostly dominated by nondescript government, industry and academic experts. Stars called to testify typically were asked about issues directly related to the entertainment industry, such as when the House Un-American Activities Committee in the 1940s investigated alleged Communist infiltration of Hollywood.

Credit former top Hollywood lobbyist Jack Valenti and Washington lawyer Michael Gardner with helping demonstrate during the 1980s the clout celebrities could have on Capitol Hill. They mobilized some of Hollywood's biggest names to counter government efforts to end financial syndication rules that forbade broadcasters from owning any of the TV programs they aired.

Valenti squired Warren Beatty, Stefanie Powers, Charlton Heston and Kirk Douglas to Washington to testify, lobby and pose for snapshots with star-struck lawmakers.

Gardner took Mary Tyler Moore, Alan Alda and Jean Stapleton to make the rounds of federal regulators who were siding with the TV networks in favor of the rule change.

In the end, the beleaguered television networks were outmatched by Hollywood's star power.

Financial syndication rules were preserved for nearly a decade before a judicial ruling ended them in the early 1990s.

Valenti, who retired in 2004 as head of the Motion Picture Assn. of America after 38 years, has a relatively simple explanation for why celebrity testimony can be so effective: Congressional hearings are dreadfully dull.

"Most people come in and duck their heads and read their testimony and leave no lasting impression," he said.

But by virtue of their star power and training, Valenti said, "actors can give Oscar-winning performances."

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Just Fabulous

Knack For Sewing Launched Donna Salyers' Career

COVINGTON - Donna Salyers didn't grow up wearing furs - neither faux, nor real. She did, however, grow up with a grandmother who could whip a mighty stitch, and under her tutelage Salyers learned to do the same.

"I was just one of those little kids who like to sew," Salyers said. "I loved pretty clothes and I was from a poor family, and if I was going to have them, I thought, I'll learn to sew, and I'll make them."

She not only made her own clothes, but became an expert on how others might do the same.

In 1974, Salyers, who grew up in Northern Kentucky and graduated from Dixie Heights High School in Crestview Hills, wrote a letter to the editor of the local paper saying that publication's sewing column wasn't up to par.

"I said the column in your paper is so bad even I could write a better column," Salyers said. "They called me and said, 'We wish you would.' I wrote six samples, and I remember thinking I've never written anything but a letter to the editor."

But lack of experience didn't matter and for the next 17 years Salyers wrote a weekly sewing column, "Sewing, Etc.," for Gannett newspapers. She also made guest appearances on sewing segments for a cable television show that was taped in New York City.

"I would go to New York to do these shows and I thought everybody in the whole town had a fur coat but me," Salyers said.

So, Salyers made her own fur coat.

Because she had been writing the column for so long, she had some good contacts in the textile business. As a result, she was able to get her hands on good quality faux fur.

"People would just marvel at that coat," Salyers said. "After about four or five years I'd worn that coat so many times and so many people had tried it on, and I thought I'm getting rid of it and I'm buying a fur coat today."

But, as it turned out, Salyers plan changed with the turn of a radio dial.

Salyers was listening to radio commentator Paul Harvey talk about a toy manufacturer in London who took litters of kittens, skinned them, then used their fur to make teddy bears.

"I thought, I don't want a fur coat," Salyers said. But she wanted the look of fur, and she thought others might, too.

Salyers bought an ad in a sewing publication and sold sewing kits for her fur coat. In 1989, her first year of business, she earned $300,000. This year, Fabulous Furs will earn more than $10 million.

Celebrity List

"Do you know who Ice T is?" asked Salyers. "I didn't."

But Salyers soon found out, when the rap star became a customer. As it turns out, Ice T and his wife Coco purchased three custom bed throws from Fabulous Furs for their home which was featured on MTV's "Cribs," a television program that gives viewers a glimpse into celebrities' far-from-humble abodes.

Fabulous Furs established celebrity appeal early on. Actress Loretta Swit of the sitcom M*A*S*H contacted Salyers after reading about her in an article in the San Francisco Chronicle.

"She read about us in the Chronicle and said, 'I want one of your coats, but I don't know how to sew,'" Salyers recalled. "I told her I'd turn it over to the ready-to-wear department. So, of course I'm in my kitchen making it that night."

Swit showed the coat to her friend, actress Stefanie Powers, who contacted Salyers and asked her to bring some of her coats backstage while she was in town performing "Love Letters."

Fabulous Fur pillows were on the big screen in the movie, "You've Got Mail," starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. "All My Children's" Susan Lucci sported a faux-lynx coat on the daytime drama, and Cosmopolitan Editor Helen Gurley Brown owns both sable and coyote faux furs.

"We still get excited about celebrities," Salyers said.

Fabulous Furs' business offices are located in Covington along with a showroom that Salyers said has become a tour bus destination. She's hoping her new endeavor, Fabulous Bridal (see related story, this page), located at the corner of Sixth Street and Madison Avenue in Covington, will have similar appeal.

"If we can make Fabulous Bridal a destination, people will travel from down in Kentucky and Tennessee," Salyers said.