Thursday, May 16, 2013

TONY's Legendary Ladies Honored at Annual TONY Viewing Party

Cathy Rigby
Presents the
17th Annual Tony Awards® Party
An Actors Fund Special Event honoring
Tony's Legendary Ladies
With Host  and Nine Time TONY Winner Tommy Tune

Multiple Tony Award winner Tommy Tune will host The Actors Fund's 17th Annual Tony Awards Viewing Party, which will be held June 9 at the Taglyan Cultural Complex.

Produced and written by David Rambo, the event begins at 3:30 PM with cocktails and a silent auction followed by dinner and the live Tony broadcast at 5 PM.

The evening will also feature the presentation of the Actors Fund Artistic Achievement Award to several of Broadway's legendary ladies including Nancy Dussault, June Lockhart, Millicent Martin, Charlotte Rae, Cathy Rigby, Marissa Jaret Winokur, and a special tribute to Anne Jeffreys.

Sunday, June 9th, 2013 3:30pm -- Cocktails and Silent Auction begins
               5:00pm to 8:00p.m. -- Dinner and live telecast of the Tony Awards®
Charlotte Rae

Taglyan Cultural Complex (1201 Vine St, Los Angeles, CA 90038)

Individuals $275 and Tables of ten start at $3,000 by calling (323) 933-9244, ext. 123
or email (include name, address, phone, number of tickets and price level)

The Actors Fund is proud to announce that host of the 2013 Tony Party will be past honoree, Tommy Tune. 
Mr. Tune has received the nations' highest honor for Artistic Achievement, The National Medal of Arts, to add to his already unprecedented nine Tony Awards in four different categories plus, among other accolades, eight Drama Desk Awards, two Obie Awards, two Astaire Awards, the American Dance Award, the Drama League Award, and the George Abbott Award for Lifetime Achievement. This year's celebration marks a departure from the usual annual Tony party honoring one individual with a Lifetime Achievement Award, to instead offer a legendary roster of dynamic divas.  Among the TONY Award winners and nominees to be honored are Nancy Dussault (The Sound of Music/Side by Side by Sondheim/Into the Wood), June Lockhart (For Love or Money and The first ever TONY award winner - then know as thePeter Pan/Seussical/Jekyll and Hyde), Marissa Jaret Winokur (Grease/Hairspray), and a special tribute to Anne Jeffreys (My Romance/Kiss Me, Kate/Three Wishes for Jamie).

This years Sponsors include: Wells Fargo (Presenting Sponsor), Corner Bakery, DirecTV, Sextant Wines, Flourishing Art, Staging Techniques, and United Airlines.
June Lockart will be presenting
Antoinette Perry Award), Millicent Martin (The Boy Friend/King of Hearts/42nd Street), Charlotte Rae (Li'l Abner/Pickwick/Morning Noon and Night), Cathy Rigby (
Previous honorees have included Julie Harris, Gwen Verdon, Charles Durning, Rita Moreno, James Earl Jones, Tyne Daly, Lauren Bacall, Stockard Channing, Carol Channing, Liza Minnelli, Jerry Herman, Tommy Tune, Chita Rivera, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Hal Holbrook and Jason Alexander.

The Actors Fund is a national human services organization that helps everyone-performers and those behind the scenes-who works in performing arts and entertainment, helping more than 13,500 people directly each year, and hundreds of thousands online. Serving professionals in film, theatre, television, music, opera, radio and dance, The Fund's programs include social services and emergency assistance, health care and insurance, housing, and employment and training services. With offices in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, The Actors Fund has-for 131 years-been a safety net for those in need, crisis or transition. Visit
Press Contact:  B. Harlan Böll / Tel 323/954-7510 /

Anne Jeffreys seems able to be almost any place, any time, any guise-- So great is her versatility.
Starting her professional career when a teenager, Miss Jeffreys was a leading junior model for John Robert Powers in New York, while studying for an operatic career. She was offered and accepted a role in a musical review, Fun for the Money, to be done in Hollywood, which led to her winning her first movie role, it was I Married an Angel, with her idols Janette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy.
Next, she was put under contract to Republic Studios and made a dozen films for them.

Charlotte Rae (born Charlotte Rae Lubotsky) is an American character actress of stage, comedienne, singer and dancer, who in her six decades of television is perhaps best known for her portrayal of Edna Garrett in the sitcoms Diff'rent Strokes and The Facts of Life (in which she starred from 1979 to 1986). She received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Best Actress in a Comedy in 1982. She also appeared in two Facts of Life television movies: The Facts of Life Goes to Paris in 1982 and The Facts of Life Reunion in 2001. She voiced the character of "Nanny" in 101 Dalmatians: The Series.
She was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to Russian Jewish immigrants Esther (née Ottenstein), who was a childhood friend of Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, and Meyer Lubotsky, a retail tire business owner.She is one of three sisters, along with Miriam and the late Beverly (December 21, 1921–June 2, 1998).
She graduated from Shorewood High School in 1944.For the first ten years or so of her life, Rae's family lived in Milwaukee, then moved to Shorewood, Wisconsin.
She did radio work and was with the Wauwatosa Children's Theatre. At 16, she was an apprentice with the Port Players, a professional theater company that came for the summer to Milwaukee, with several established actors such as Morton DaCosta, who would eventually direct The Music Man on Broadway.
Rae attended Northwestern University, although she did not complete her studies, where she met Cloris Leachman, who many years later succeeded Rae on The Facts of Life for the show's last two seasons.At Northwestern she met several unknown stars and producers, including Agnes Nixon, Charlton Heston, Paul Lynde, Claude Akins and songwriter Sheldon Harnick. When a radio personality told her that her last name wouldn't do, she dropped it, to her father's chagrin.She moved to New York City in 1948, where she performed in the theater and nightclubs. During her early years in New York, she worked at the Village Vanguard (alongside up-and-coming talents such as singer Richard Dyer-Bennett) and at the posh Blue Angel, home to budding talents Barbra Streisand, Mike Nichols and Elaine May. She moved to Los Angeles in 1974.
A stage actress since the 1950s, she appeared in Three Wishes for Jamie, The Threepenny Opera, Li'l Abner, and Pickwick. In 1955 she released her first (and only) solo album, Songs I Taught My Mother, which featured "silly, sinful, and satirical" songs by Sheldon Harnick, Vernon Duke, John La Touche, Cole Porter, Rodgers and Hart, and Marc Blitzstein (who reportedly wrote the song Modest Maid especially for Rae), among others.
She appeared in Ben Bagley's revue The Littlest Revue (and on its cast album) in 1956, appearing alongside Joel Grey and Tammy Grimes, among others, and singing songs by Sheldon Harnick (The Shape of Things), Vernon Duke (Summer is a-Comin' In), and Charles Strouse and Lee Adams Spring Doth Let Her Colours Fly), a parody of opera singer Helen Traubel's Las Vegas night club act), among others.
 Rae would later record Rodgers and Hart Revisited with Dorothy Loudon, Cy Young, and Arthur Siegel, singing Everybody Loves You (When You're Asleep) and in several other duets and ensembles for Bagley's studio. Rae received two Tony Award nominations during her Broadway career. The first was in 1966 for Best Featured Actress in a Musical in Pickwick; the second came in 1969 for Best Actress in a Play for Morning, Noon and Night.
 In 1954, Rae made her TV debut on an episode of Look Up and Live. This led to roles on other shows such as The United States Steel Hour, Armstrong Circle Theatre, Kraft Television Theatre, NBC Television Opera Theatre, The Philco Television Playhouse, The Colgate Comedy Hour, The DuPont Show of the Week, The Phil Silvers Show, Way Out, The Defenders, Temperatures Rising, The Love Boat, The Partridge Family, Love, American Style, McMillan and Wife, Barney Miller, 227, Murder, She Wrote, St. Elsewhere, Diagnosis: Murder, All in the Family and Good Times. In 1993, Rae voiced the character "Aunt Pristine Figg" in Tom and Jerry: The Movie.
(Source Wikipedia)

 Cathleen Roxanne Rigby best known as Cathy Rigby, is a speaker, actress and former gymnast.

In 1974, the producers of a showy, theater-in-the-round version of Peter Pan were trying to capitalize on her fame and skill when they offered her the iconic role of the boy who won't grow-up, Peter Pan. The painfully shy gymnast reports during the rehearsal process she was "scared to death". Only 20 and just a year into "retirement," she had no idea what she would be doing with the rest of her life when the role came along. To her surprise, she discovered she could not only pull off playing Peter Pan, but that she actually enjoyed doing it. (Wikipedia)

Marissa Jaret Winokur (born February 2, 1973), sometimes credited as Marissa Winokur, is an American actress known for her performance as Tracy Turnblad in the highly successful Broadway musical adaptation of John Waters' film Hairspray, as well as her work on the Pamela Anderson sitcom Stacked. Some of her
Marissa Jaret Winokur
other TV Credits include Curb Your Enthusiasm, Moesha, The Steve Harvey Show, Just Shoot Me!, Felicity, and Dharma and Greg. She was a contestant on the popular reality competition series Dancing With the Stars and went on to host the similar Dance Your Ass Off. Most recently she was serving as a co-host on the daily daytime talk show The Talk, but did not return in 2011. Instead she would focus on her clothing line and a new cable TV show.
Winokur was born in New York City, the daughter of Maxine, a teacher, and Michael Winokur, an architect. She is Jewish.Winokur was a cheerleader and captain of her high school soccer team at Fox Lane High School. She later studied at The American Musical and Dramatic Academy, graduating from the integrated program.
Winokur won the 2003 Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical, Drama Desk Award, Theatre World Award, and Outer Critics Circle Award for her performance in Hairspray. After she started her run in Hairspray, Winokur was diagnosed with cancer, but she informed none of her cast-mates or any of the members of the crew to prevent them from worrying about her.She underwent the surgery later in 2003; after her recovery and declaration of being cancer-free, she wase healthy enough to return to Broadway. It is said that while traveling to and from her cancer surgery she sang Good Morning Baltimore, one of the musical's show-stoppers. She made her first appearance on Broadway after successfully undergoing cancer treatment. She had previously appeared on Broadway as "Pink Lady Jan" in the revival of Grease.
Winokur has also played roles in films such as American Beauty, Never Been Kissed, Teaching Mrs. Tingle, the send-up Scary Movie, Beautiful Girl (for ABC Family), Fever Pitch, and Fugly, and she provided one of the voices in Shrek the Halls, a CGI-animated holiday-oriented film.(Source Wikipedia)

 Nancy Dussault was born in Pensacola, Florida, her parents were George Adrian, a naval officer of French-Canadian descent and Sarah Isabel (née Seitz). She grew up as a "Navy junior". A former resident
Nancy Dussault
of Arlington, Virginia, she graduated from Washington-Lee High School (W-L) where she was an actress and singer in the W-L drama program under director Jack Jeglum and a choral singer in the nationally known Washington-Lee High School Choir and Madrigal Singers under director Florence Booker. She is an alumna of Northwestern University.
In 1962, Dussault stepped into the role of Maria in the Broadway production of The Sound of Music. She received a Tony Award nomination in 1961 for Best Featured Actress (Musical) for Do Re Mi and was nominated for her performance in Bajour (1965). Of her performance in Do Re Mi and later career, Bloom and Vlastnik wrote: "Confidently clowning alongside such pros as Phil Silvers and Nancy Walker...she never faded into the scenery. Equally comfortable as a pure soprano or a rangy high belter, her versatility was well captured on the...cast album...Well cast as a situation comedy wife, she spent much of the 1970s and 80s in California." Other stage shows included Quality Street in 1965 at the Bucks County Playhouse in Pennsylvania.She also appeared in the City Center Gilbert and Sullivan NYC Company, directed by Dorothy Raedler, with such Metropolitan Opera singers as Nico Castel, Muriel Costa-Greenspon, and Frank Poretta, Sr. Dussault took over as the Witch in Into the Woods on Broadway (1987–89). 
On television, she was a regular on the 1970s series The New Dick Van Dyke Show, and played Ted Knight's wife in the role of Muriel Rush on the 1980s situation comedy Too Close for Comfort. She was the first anchor of Good Morning America, working with David Hartman, when the show started in 1975. She was the first actress to portray the character of Theresa Stemple, the mother of character Jamie Stemple Buchman, in season one of the NBC TV series Mad About You.(Source Wikipedia)

Millicent Martin
Millicent Mary Lillian Martin is an English actress, singer and comedienne.
Martin was born in Romford, Essex.She made her Broadway debut opposite Julie Andrews in The Boy Friend in 1954. Her additional New York theatre credits include 42nd Street, Side by Side by Sondheim, and King of Hearts (she was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for the latter two). 
Side by Side by Sondheim is a musical revue featuring the songs of Broadway and film composer Stephen Sondheim. Its title is derived from the song Side by Side by Side from Company.
Millicent Martin starred with Paul Scofield and James Kenney in Expresso Bongo at the Saville Theatre.
During the early 1960s, Martin became known to British television audiences as the resident singer of topical songs on the original British version of the weekly satire show That Was The Week That Was (1962–63). One of the songs she sang on the show, the John F. Kennedy tribute In the Summer of His Years, was released as a single and 'bubbled under' the Billboard Hot 100 chart at No 104 in 1963 (but was outcharted by a cover version by Connie Francis, which reached Number 46).

She also appeared in the 1966 film Alfie.
Martin had her own BBC television series between 1964 and 1966, titled Mainly Millicent for the first two series, and shortened to Millicent for the third and final series. In one episode, Martin and guest-star Roger Moore performed a comedy skit in which Moore played secretJuke Box Jury.

In 1969, Sir Lew Grade wanted to make a comedy film series that would appeal to audiences on both sides of the Atlantic starring Martin.
Lew Grade, Baron Grade (25 December 1906 – 13 December 1998), born Lovator Lev (Louis) Winogradsky, was a Ukrainian-born British media proprietor and impresario.
He sent six comedy sketches of Martin to producer Sheldon Leonard and he came up with the premise of From a Bird's Eye View.The series was not a success and was cancelled after 16 episodes had been filmed.

In London's West End, she starred opposite Jim Dale in The Card in 1975. In 1988 Martin joined the London production of the Sondheim musical Follies starring with Eartha Kitt.

Martin appeared as Gladys Moon in 13 episodes of Moon and Son, a 1992 BBC detective series created by Robert Banks Stewart, and co-starring John Michie.
In 2005 she had a small part in the film, Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont which starred Joan Plowright.

Her later television roles include Gertrude Moon, Daphne Moon's Mancunian mother, in the American sit-com Frasier. She has worked for the Disney Channel, starring in the shows The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, JONAS, and in the movie Return to Halloweentown. Other performances include guest roles in The Drew Carey Show, Will and Grace, and Days of our Lives. She also had a small role on an episode of Gilmore Girls.(Source Wikipedia)

Tommy Tune
 Tommy Tune: Broadway Icon: Director, Choreographer, Performer and NYC Living Legend.

Over the past 50 years he has enchanted audiences and critics with his charisma, vision, and innovation. A native Texan, he began his Broadway career as a dancer in three musicals, Baker Street, A Joyful Noise, and How Now Down Jones

A Joyful Noise is a musical with a book by Edward Padula and music and lyrics by Oscar Brand and Paul Nassau. The 1966 Broadway production was a flop but introduced choreographer Michael Bennett in his Broadway debut.

Tommy would soon step out of the chorus and into a principal role in the Broadway musical Seesaw which garnered him his first Tony Award for Best Featured Actor. 
Seesaw is a musical with a book by Michael Bennett, music by Cy Coleman, and lyrics by Dorothy Fields.
Less than a decade later, Tommy won the Tony Award for Best Actor in the Gershwin musical My One and Only co-starring Twiggy. However, Mr. Tune's talents are not limited to his onstage performances. Throughout his career he has won seven more Tony Awards for his directing and choreography of such shows as the Will Rogers Follies, Nine, Grand Hotel, A Day In Hollywood, and My One and Only. He has collected eight Drama Desk Awards one year winning both, The Best Director of a Musical (Nine) and Best Director of a Play (Cloud Nine). He is the recipient of the country's highest honor for Artistic Achievement, The National Medal of Arts, presented by the President of The United States in a private ceremony in the Oval Office. 
The National Medal of Arts is an award and title created by the United States Congress in 1984, for the purpose of honoring artists and patrons of the arts. It is the highest honor conferred to an individual artist on behalf of the people. Honorees are selected by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), and ceremoniously presented the award by the President of the United States. The medal was designed for the NEA by sculptor Robert Graham.
He has been honored with his own star on the legendary Hollywood Walk of Fame and on November 4th, 2009 he was officially designated as a New York City Living Landmark.

Thank you to all of these artists for the gifts they have given to the world and will continue to give!

 With grateful XOXOXs ,


Check out my site celebrating my forthcoming book on Hello, Dolly!
If any of you reading this have appeared in any production of Dolly, I'm interested in speaking with YOU!

If you have anything to add or share, please contact me at


When it comes to the history of Jerry Herman’s brilliant production, beyond the 5000+ performances of my own, even I turn to Richard Skipper when I have questions about the remarkable ladies who followed me in the role that the world fell in love with over 50 years ago.”-Carol Channing

My next blog will be...My exclusive interview with Director David Armstrong on Hello, Dolly! (He directed Mimi Hines AND Jenifer Lewis as Dolly)

Thank you, to all the mentioned in this blog!


Richard Skipper,                            

This Blog is dedicated to ALL THE DOLLYS and ANYONE who has EVER had a connection with ANY of them on ANY Level!

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