Helping Others: Personal Stories and How They Can Make A Difference

Helping Others: Personal Stories and How They Can Make A Difference

Monday, July 30, 2007

Two largely unsung heroes, who have inspired and given hope to many, will receive well-deserved Lifetime Achievement Awards at IWOSC’s July General Meeting.

Actress/Author Mariette Hartley is known for her tireless work with the American Society for Suicide Prevention. Comedienne/Author Marcia Wallace is a national spokesperson for Breast Cancer Awareness. In addition to their artistic accomplishments, they are generous with sharing their personal stories, in written and spoken word, in order to help others make changes in their lives.

For this IWOSC program, the pair will be interviewed by author and personality Digby Diehl. They will share what drew them to the writing life, and how their books and other written works — along with their talent and Hollywood clout — have helped make a difference.

Marcia Wallace has been making people laugh on television for thirty years. While her career includes the long running role as Carol the receptionist on “The Bob Newhart Show” and an Emmy-winning role as Ms. Krabappel on “The Simpsons” — and four of TV Guide’s funniest episodes in television history have featured Wallace — her greatest success has been weathering her own stormy life. Her memoir, “Don’t Look Back, We’re Not Going That Way: How I Overcame a Rocky Childhood, a Nervous Breakdown, Breast Cancer, Widowhood, Fat, Fire & Menopausal Motherhood and Still Managed to Count My Lucky Chickens,” shares those ups and downs.

Mariette Hartley is an Emmy Award-winning (and six times nominated) Best Actress currently appearing in the new FX series “Dirt.” She has established herself as an enduring star on stage, in five television series, countless television movies, and more than a dozen feature films. Plus, of course, her famed stint with James Garner making TV commercials for Polaroid during the 1970s (View the commercials on YouTube.

Among recent projects, Hartley starred in Hallmark Channel’s “Meet the Santas,” and she has had a recurring role on “Law & Order: SVU.” In 1990 her autobiography, “Breaking the Silence,” was a bestseller in hard cover and paperback; it publicly chronicled her personal memories as a child in a home torn apart by family secrets, alcoholism, and depression. Hartley’s new solo stage show, “If You Get to Bethlehem, You’ve Gone Too Far,” in which she portrays eleven characters, is based on “Breaking the Silence.” Hartley notes on her website: “Many of us get to heaven by backing away from hell.”

Digby Diehl is a widely respected book reviewer who created the original Los Angeles Times Book Review, hosted the MSNBC Book Club, and was the first online book reviewer for Prodigy. He is also the noted author of 14 books, including the novel “Soapsuds,” written with Finola Hughes, and the co-author with Esther Williams of the New York Times bestseller, “The Million Dollar Mermaid,” and other notable celebrity biographies.

During this evening, Gary Young will present the Lifetime Achievement Foundation’s highest award to both Hartley and Wallace. Previous recipients include Ray Bradbury.