07 November 2009

18 UU Actors and Entertainers

. . . culled from my not-so-little booklet, A Who's Who of UUs. Listed in chronological order by date of birth.

1. Fanny Kemble (Frances Ann Kemble) (1809–93), English but lived some time in US. actor; playwright; author; poet; activist for the abolition of slavery; wrote Journal of a Resident on a Georgia Plantation 1863 (influential anti-slavery book); credited as first truly great actress in US; first celebrity to wear and popularize bloomers 1860s (part of women's clothing reform movement); raised Anglican, became Unitarian

2. Charlotte Saunders Cushman (1816–76), American but lived some time in London and Rome. actor; opera star; theater manager; famous for portraying male roles such as Romeo and Hamlet; considered the greatest Lady Macbeth of her time (1836); sponsored a pioneer group of women sculptors including Harriet Hosmer 1850s; elected to the American Hall of Fame; Unitarian

3. Mabel H.B. Mussey (Mabel Hayes Barrows Mussey) (1873–1931), dancer; dramatic director; writer; literary critic; originator of numerous Greek dances and Latin plays; produced numerous plays at Hull House; director and creator of numerous pageants; compiled Unitarian hymnal Social Hymns of Brotherhood and Aspiration 1914

4. Edna May Oliver (1883–1942), actor; singer; pianist; movie star; comedian; direct descendant of John Quincy Adams; earned Academy Award nomination for 'Drums Along the Mohawk' 1939; Unitarian

5. Andy Devine (1905–77), actor; semi-professional football player; popular character actor in over 400 films; well known as Roy Rogers' portly, raspy-voiced sidekick 'Cookie'; regular on 'Jack Benny's Radio Show' 1936–42; host of television show 'Andy's Gang' 1955–60; Unitarian Universalist

6. T. Berry Brazelton (1918– ), M.D., pediatrician; author; created the Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale for rating neurological responses of newborns; with Edward Tronick founded the Child Development Unit at Children's Hospital, Boston, 1972; professor of pediatrics at Harvard; professor of psychiatry and human development at Brown; host of cable series 'What Every Baby Knows'; president of the Society for Research in Child Development 1987–89; president of the Nationall Center for Clinical Infant Programs 1988–91; Unitarian Universalist

7. Irene Dailey (1920– ), actor; star of several Broadway shows; founded the School of Actors Company; starred in 'Edge of Night' 1969–74, 'Another World' 1974–86, 1987–93; won Emmy Award 1979; raised Roman Catholic, became Unitarian

8. Steve Allen (1921–2000), comedian; singer-songwriter; author; television personality; host of the 'Steve Allen Show' 1950–52, 1956–61; 'Tonight Show' 1953–57, 'Steve Allen Comedy Hour' 1967, 1980–81; wrote over 400 songs and several mystery novels; member Unitarian Universalist Church of Los Angeles

9. Rod Serling (1924–75), dramatist; television producer; anti-censorship and anti-nuclear activist; narrator or host of countless television shows, specials and commercials; wrote many famous early television plays including 'Patterns' 1955, 'Requiem for a Heavyweight' 1959 (won an Emmy for each); first writer to win Peabody Award 1956; creator-producer 'Twilight Zone' 1959–64; president of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences 1963–65 (first writer so elected); earned a total of six Emmys; raised nominally Jewish, longtime member Unitarian Church of Santa Monica, California

10. Paul Newman (1925–2008), actor; director; philanthropist, social activist; with A.E. Hotchner founded Newman's Own 1982 (Westport CT, line of food products, all profits to charity); four-time winner Sports Car Club of America National Championship; with Carl Haas founded Newman/Haas Racing 1983; earned three Academy Awards (lifetime achievement 1986, 'Color of Money' 1987, Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award for social activism 1994) and nine other nominations; founded Hole in the Wall Gang Camp 1988 (for children with serious illness, Ashford CT, now large group of camps); oldest driver to win a professional auto race 1995 (24 Hours Daytona, age 70); regularly attended Westport Unitarian Universalist Church where his wife Joanne Woodward, is an active member

11. Joanne Woodward (1930– ), actor; producer; director; social activist; earned Academy Award for 'Three Faces of Eve' 1957 and three other nominations; two Emmys; artistic director of the Westport (CT) Country Playhouse; national trustee Nature Conservancy; member Westport Unitarian Universalist Church—wife of Paul Newman

12. Diahann Carroll (1935– ), actor; singer; became famous as star of films 'Carmen Jones' 1954 and 'Porgy and Bess' 1957; star of 'Julia' 1968–71 (first African-American central character of television series); first black actress to replace a white actress in a Broadway show 1983 ('Agnes of God'); first African-American woman star of a nighttime soap ('Dynasty') 1984–87; first African-American with her own clothing line 1997; earned Academy Award nomination for 'Claudine' 1974; won Tony for 'No Strings' 1962; Unitarian Universalist

13. Cher (Cherilyn Sarkisian) (1946– ), actor; singer; humanitarian; fitness maven; earned Academy Award nomination 1984 ('Silkwood'); won Academy Award for 'Moonstruck' 1988; Grammy Award 1999; Emmy Award 2003; Emmy nominations 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 2000; won three Golden Globes and many other awards; Unitarian Universalist

14. Patty Duke (1946– ), actor; social activist; earned Academy Award for 'The Miracle Worker' 1962; star of 'The Patty Duke Show' 1963–65; first woman president of the Screen Actors Guild 1985–88; Roman Catholic then Christian Scientist then Unitarian Universalist

15. The Rev. Thandeka (1946– ) (tahn-DAY-ka) (born Sue Booker, adopted !Xhosa name given to her by Anglican Bishop Desmond Tutu in 1984), Ph.D., author; theologian; television producer; journalist; fellow Stanford Humanities Center, Palo Alto; assistant professor of philosophy at San Francisco State University; professor of religion at Williams College; professor of theology and culture at Meadville/Lombard 1998– ; president of the Center for Community Values; wrote The Embodied Self 1995, Learning to Be White: Money, Race, and God in America 1999 and other books; regional Emmy for 'As Adam, Early in the Morning'; raised Baptist, became Unitarian 1964

16. Jill Eikenberry (1947– ), actor; breast cancer survivor and activist; star of 'L.A. Law' 1986–94 and many films and TV movies; Unitarian Universalist

17. Christopher Reeve (1952–2004), actor; activist for environment, human rights, rights of the disabled; starred in 'Superman' 1978 and many other major movies; paralyzed 1995; vice chair of the National Organization on Disability; founded the Reeve Paralysis Foundation 1999; raised Unitarian, briefly Scientologist then Unitarian Universalist

18. Andre Braugher (1962– ) (BROW-er), actor; star of 'Homicide: Life on the Street' 1993–98 (earned Emmy 1998); title character on 'Gideon's Crossing' 2000–01; won Emmy for cable series 'Thief' 2006; member Unitarian Universalist Church of Baltimore


Click here for more information or to order A Who's Who of UUs

Visit the world's first and largest cooperatively owned used-book website, TomFolio.com

Find more info on Unitarian Universalism

And please do let me know if I have left anyone off this list!


No comments: