Actors & Others for Animals 2008 Event
Celebrity Pet-Lovers Honor Carol Channing
The passionate celebrity pet-lovers organization, Actors & Others for Animals held their annual Celebration of Caring gala. The event put the spotlight on the extraordinary career of Broadway legend and entertainment icon Carol Channing.
Lots of familiar faces from Hollywood classics showed up to honored Channing. As president of Actors & Others, Laugh-In funny lady JoAnne Worley was the emcee of the lively event and kidded about being how hard it was to be Carol’s “Stand By” when Hello Dolly opened on Broadway many decades ago.
“I never got to go on! I checked in every night, but Carol never missed a show,” Worley reported. She also explained the difference between a “Stand By” and an “Understudy.” “It’s about five hundred dollars a week,” Worley laughed.
The Actors & Others event was Channing’s first appearance since she fell and broke her leg. But the show went on with Carol in a wheelchair. In a show of solidarity, everyone on the celebrity dais paraded into the Universal Hilton ballroom pretending to be injured, hobbling on crutches, a walker, sporting a neck brace, etc.
The “walking wounded” on the dais included Florence Henderson (The Brady Bunch), Tippi Hedren (The Birds), Peter Marshall (Hollywood Squares), comic Rip Taylor, comedy writer Bruce Vilanch, and Laugh-In co-stars Lily Tomlin and Henry Gibson. Musical stars Mary Jo Catlet and Carole Cook, who worked with Channing, were also on hand to talk about the Hello, Dolly days on Broadway.
Other famous guests who supported the fundraiser for the humane treatment of animals included Ed Asner, Lorretta Swit, Gary Owens, Jamie Farr, Jack Riley, Ted Lange, Ruta Lee, Dick Van Patton, Gary Collins, Chuck McCann, Ann Rutherford and Leonard Maltin.
The best line from the event was directed at Tippi Hedren, who has the Shambala Preserve dedicated to caring for large cats. Bruce Vilanch informed her that he had a “cougar in need of rehabilitation– it’s Florence.” Florence Henderson roared at the well-timed joke.
Actors & Others for Animals was founded in 1971 to promote the humane treatment of animals and to improve their quality of life, “while fostering an awareness and appreciation of the importance they have in our lives,” explained JoAnne Worley.
Then as now, celebrity members volunteer to use their media appeal to help educate and shape public awareness about animals in crisis. To learn more visit www.actorsandothers.com.