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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Actors Fund's Tony Award VIP Kick-Off Party!

I was happy to attend the Actors Fund Tony Award VIP Reception at Bloomingdales. It was the kick-off event to their Tony Awards Gala, June 10th at the Skirball Center. Scott Bakula will be hosting & Jason Alexander will be receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award. Mitzi Gaynor (South Pacific!) hosted the Bloomingdales party & the department store generously donated 10% of their sales to the Actors Fund. Bewitched fans might know that Elizabeth Montgomery approached Agnes Moorehead at Bloomingdales to offer her the part of Endora! I was especially excited to see Donna Mills (my childhood beauty icon, still absolutely gorgeous!) & her boyfriend of over 30 years, Richard Holland (who was previously married to Chaka Khan). Photos of large groups can be very problematic. In the picture above, actress Nancy Dussault decided the best place to stand was directly in front of me. Really, I could taste her hair. If I knew her well, I would have assumed it was a joke. I politely moved to the side & she dropped her purse right on my foot (OUCH!). I'm sure she's a lovely person, but in this instance, she was a little "Too Close for Comfort"! For tickets to the Actor's Fund Viewing Party visit www.actorsfund.org. Pictured in the photo above, left to right: Ilene Graff, Warren Berlinger, Brenda Dickson, Donna Mills, James Karen, Channing Chase, Judy Norton, Kate Linder, Elliott Gould, Mitzi Gaynor, Nancy Dussault, George Chakiris, Erin Murphy (me), Barbara Van Orden, & Stanley Livingston. Photo credit: Scott Appel.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Bewitched Memories: My Thoughts on the Tabitha Series

With the huge success of Bewitched & the fact that the series ended without cancellation, it was inevitable that there would be a remake (or remakes). The first attempt was a pilot, Tabatha (with an A not an I), broadcast on ABC on April 24, 1976. The pilot starred Liberty Williams as a brown eyed, brunette Tabatha who worked for Trend Magazine in San Francisco. It was awful & wasn't picked up. The network completely reworked the concept & came up with Tabitha. The pilot aired on May 7, 1977 and the series debuted on September 10, 1977. in both series attempts, the concept was that my character was a grownup & alas, I was just 11 & 12. Lisa Hartman played the grownup me in the Tabitha series & the network made a great effort to cast someone that they thought looked like I would as an adult.
The network execs had me bring in bunches of photos, so the opening montage could have a mixture of my childhood photos & Lisa Hartman's. Adult Lisa looked like me, kid Lisa looked nothing like me. The opening voice over said something like, "Tabitha grew up like most kids, with braces & freckles..". I didn't have either, so they painted some on one of my photos as an option.
The Tabatha series wasn't great. It's been included in several lists of the worst series of all time! It did a nice job of launching Lisa Hartman's career. At the time, I was disappointed that they didn't wait a little & do the series with me, about Tabitha's adventures in high school. I did watch it at the time, but haven't seen it since. Here's my acting composite from that time:
Please visit my company, Erin Murphy Knits! www.ErinMurphyKnits.com I'm happy to offer 100% alpaca, hand knit hats for sale!
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Monday, May 21, 2012

My Visit to Maloof Manor

Last weekend, we went to a fabulous party at the spectacular Beverly Park home of Adrienne Maloof & her husband, Dr. Paul Nassif. The event benefitted a wonderful organization, The Los Angeles AIDS Service Centers (www.aidsservicecenter.org ). The appetizers were delicious, especially Chef Bernie Guzman's empenadas. Lovely decor, great music & any party with drag queens is my kind of party! My buddy, Chef Bernie, invited Darren & I into the kitchen to try his delicious red velvet vodka cupcakes & showed us Adrienne's new product, Zing Red Velvet Cupcake Vodka. It has a cute red light in the bottom that lights up the bottle. The Maloof's home is decorated exactly as 6 year old me imagined my perfect future mansion!
When I grow up I want a case full of Fabergé Eggs just like Adrienne Maloof!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Erin Murphy Knits 100% Alpaca Hats for Sale!

I'm very excited to announce that Erin Murphy Knits is offering our very first items for sale: HATS! These aren't just any hats. They're 100% alpaca, hand knit hats. Our alpacas are raised & loved right at our home & the yarn is processed & spun by hand. Each hat is handmade to your specifications by actress Erin Murphy (best known for playing Tabitha on the classic sitcom Bewitched). Most people aren't aware of all the benefits of alpaca fiber. The fiber is soft as cashmere & lighter weight & more durable than wool. Alpaca fiber is naturally water & fire resistant. Alpacas have no lanolin, so the products are hypo-allergenic. Erin Murphy Knits is completely eco-friendly since alpacas are very easy on the environment & no chemicals are used in processing. We're doing our part to support the local economy, since only local feed sources and products are used for our herd & obviously all items are 100% Made in the USA. We are committed to supporting children's & autism charities! Your hat can be knit in several natural shades ranging from off-white to black or custom dyed in the color of your choice.
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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Agnes Moorhead Knits!

People always ask me when I got interested in knitting. One of the most frequent things I hear when I'm knitting in public is 'knitting is a lost art'. Let me start by telling you about my earliest memories of knitting, long before I owned alpacas & decided to start Erin Murphy Knits. One of my fondest memories of childhood is sitting and watching Agnes Moorehead knit. Since my only living grandma lived a plane ride away, Agnes was my Grandmama that I got to see every day. She would tell me stories about how she had loved to do needlework since she was a little girl. I loved watching her knit and listening to her stories. Today when I knit, I frequently flash back on those fond childhood memories. Knitting is the perfect activity on a film/ television set where there are long periods of inactivity. Lots of current actresses knit on set: Julia Roberts, Jessica Alba, Sandra Bullock, Debra Messing, Sarah Jessica Parker, Christina Hendricks & Madonna. Lost art indeed!! Thought you might enjoy some photos of a few Hollywood legends who had a passion for knitting as well:
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Friday, May 11, 2012

Funny Ladies of TVLand!

I've been involved with TVLand since...well, since before they were TVLand, back when they only had Nick@Nite. I was one of the celebrities who helped promote the network by doing the Nick@Nite traveling road show. We'd visit malls around the country & put on little game shows & had thousands of people show up to get autographs. It was at one of these events that I had one of my strangest autograph requests: signing a saddle in Texas. At my first Nick@Nite mall visit, I worked with this great young guy who had just started. He was smart and hard working, got me coffee & helped with everything. He's now the senior vice president of the Disney Channel (Adam Bonnett! Let's do lunch!). I also had the distinct privilege of being the very first "Miss TVLand' at the very first TVLand Awards. I don't know if they still call it Miss TVLand. In fact, I don't know if anyone but me called it Miss TVLand; but I was the first official trophy girl. I had the pleasure of spending a few days of rehearsal with John Ritter & sat two feet away from Ray Charles as he practiced Georgia. Last night, I was on hand for the funny ladies of TVLand at the Television Academy. It's Emmy campaigning season, so the lead actresses from the three TVLand sitcoms were there happily promoting: Fran Drescher, Rita Moreno & Tichina Arnold from Happily Divorced, Kristen Johnston from The Exes & Valerie Bertinelli, Betty White & Jane Leeves from Hot in Cleveland. The poor moderator had her hands full trying to guide the conversation; but the stories were hilarious! When asked what they'd like to be doing in 5 years, Valerie Bertinelli said that she'd love to be a grandma & Betty White replied "Maybe dating less...maybe not!". Rita Moreno is a class act & looks NOWHERE near her eighty years. Kristen Johnston proved to be very...'animated'. She also had the funniest line of the night. After Kristen spoke about her past drug abuse, Valerie Bertinelli mentioned, 'You know, Mackenzie Phillips..." Kristen responded with 'Not all addicts know one another'. The evening was very much like brunch with my gal pals (most of us actresses). We all laugh & tell stories & talk over each other. Somehow TVLand forgot the red carpet for the 'red carpet', so we all posed against a wall. I think Rita & I rocked the column!
Love Fran Drescher's dress!
Photo Credit: Toby Canham/ Stringer/ Getty Images

Monday, May 07, 2012

Bewitched Bunch?

I kind of enjoy cross-over TV shows, where the cast of one show visits another. Sometimes this is done as a setup for a spinoff, like Laverne & Shirley, Mork & Mindy or one of the versions of CSI or Law & Order. Sometimes the crossover is just for fun, like when the cast of Bewitched suddenly became animated & visited the Flintstones. As a child, my dream crossover would have been a visit to the Brady Bunch. We were filmed at the same time for the same network (ABC). I even sometimes shared an on set tutor with the Brady Kids. Maureen McCormick was on a couple episodes of Bewitched before she was a Brady. I would have loved to be a classmate of Cindy & Bobby. It doesn't matter that they're three years older, TV age and real age don't always coincide. Marcia & Jan could have been my babysitters! Can't you imagine the fun we would have had? I'm friends with most of the Brady's in the "real world". Susan Olsen has even puppy sat for us when we've gone on family vacation. What crossover TV show would you like to see?

Friday, May 04, 2012

Welcome to the Pooch Hotel!

Most people think of their dogs as family members. I know we do. The thought of leaving your much loved pet in a kennel can be downright scary! Last night we went to the Grand Opening of a 5 star hotel...for DOGS! I'm pretty sure it was my first time posing on a red carpet with a fire hydrant. The Pooch Hotel chain first opened their doors in Chicago in 2004 & their newest hotel is opening in Hollywood this weekend. They have beautiful 'Palace Suites' with furniture & TV sets! The hotel offers daycare service & has several huge play areas, where you can watch your puppy play via webcam. I loved the doggy swimming pool & our dog Zuma got a little exercise in the gym on the treadmill. The evening benefitted PAWS/LA (www.pawsla.org ) a wonderful organization that assists low-income seniors and individuals with life threatening illnesses by providing services to help them keep and care for their pets. The event was fun with celebrities & their dogs: including Dick & Jimmy Van Patten, Joan Van Ark, Maria Conchita Alonso & Rip Taylor. I should also mention the absolutely delicious cocktails & appetizers by the Kitchen For Exploring Foods. If you're in the Hollywood area stop by this weekend to see the Pooch Hotel for yourself & enjoy the festivities.
photo credit: Alexandra Wyman, WireImage

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

What About Dick? or No TV for Lauren Hutton!

Over the weekend I attended the absolutely hilarious Eric Idle play: What About Dick? Unfortunately, it only had a four day run that ended yesterday, so my glowing review of the musical isn't to encourage you to go. The beautiful Orpheum Theater welcomed to the stage Russell Brand, Billy Connolly, Tim Curry, Eric Idle, Eddie Izzard, Jane Leeves, Jim Piddock, Tracey Ullman & Sophie Winkleman. The after party was especially cool: The cast mingled with other guests including Anjelica Huston, Patricia Heaton & Wendie Malick. The producer, Arnold Engelman, graciously introduced me to Lauren Hutton who was one of the investors. I learned two surprising things about the former supermodel: She is VERY short (shorter than I am!) and she hasn't watched television since 1964! She told me that she hadn't ever seen Bewitched, but was 'aware of it' & that she thought it was based on the book Bell, Book & Candle. She was also lovely!
My original title for this blog post was 'Lauren Hutton Prefers Dick to TV!' but I figured that was even too risque for me!