Fighting for a Cause Q&A
Linda Gray, Donna Mills, and Morgan Fairchild talk about their lives and the issues that matter to them
Donna Mills, Morgan Fairchild, Linda Gray, and a camera crew from Entertainment Tonight enjoy the aftermath of a pillow fight staged by Palm Springs Life for its story on the ladies of primetime soaps. The three actresses are co-hosts of the 2009 Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards.
Photo by Jay Jorgensen
Do you miss your former home in La Quinta?
Yes. Santa Rosa Cove was a magical place. My daughter chastises me for selling it. I loved it; but, at the time, I couldn’t use it much.
Besides your passion for playing tennis, what sport do you enjoy?
I love to hike up around where I live in Mandeville Canyon.
Would you ever do a television series again?
No, I would only do a series if it were a recurring role, not a lead role.
Describe your perfect day.
My perfect day would be playing tennis when I woke up. Then, going to a nice luncheon at the Hotel Bel- Air, one of my favorite places. Then, picking my daughter up from school. I would take her shopping or just spend time with her. That is my favorite thing to do.
Does your daughter want to act?
She talks about modeling. I told her to go for it until she is 22, then quit with a nice nest egg.
Has she seen your movies and television work?
No, she hasn’t seen Knots Landing or Play Misty for Me. She hasn’t seemed interested. … It is hard to separate [the roles I play] from reality. I am “Mom.”
Have you always wanted to act?
I originally wanted to be a doctor. I have odd interests, like emerging viruses.
What is quality time for you?
I don’t have to travel to get away. I have a nice home and boyfriend and keep the world at bay. I am a voracious reader — also an intellectual. I love art museums and art history.
Marilyn Monroe once stayed in the estate for our photo shoot. Aren’t you a collector of Marilyn memorabilia?
I am very excited to shoot in this house. I don’t collect memorabilia as much as Marilyn photos. … Fans know I like her and send me things: Playboy issues, calendars.
You are connected to many causes. Tell us your views about being so involved.
Despite advice from others, I was involved in the cure for AIDS when a lot of people were very homophobic. I try to be wherever I can be helpful. I’m glad the [AIDS] stigma is gone and people are seeing AIDS as a disease without the controversy.
Seen Left: Entertainment Tonight interviews Linda Gray (in a Kevan Hall gown) at Sandacre Estate, where Palm Springs Life held its January cover story photo shoot.
Photo by Jay Jorgensen.
How do you approach an acting role?
Our job as actors is to surprise the writer (of the script), so that they say “Wow, the words were on the page, but you brought magic to 3-D.”
Wasn’t there a 30th Dallas reunion in October?
Originally, it was just a barbecue at the [Southfork] ranch … It wasn’t really a reunion since Patrick [Duffy] and Larry [Hagman] and I see each other all the time. All of a sudden, it grew into this surreal thing with people coming from all over the world to attend.
I understand you have an early connection to The Graduate.
In 1967, I was hired as a model. My leg was the one in the famous [movie] poster. I knew the photographer. He paid me $25.
You were a United Nations Ambassador on women’s health issues for 10 years, until 1997. What was your role?
I was invited to sit down with women in villages in concrete houses and ask them what we could do for them. … Three things were the most important to them: clean water, healthy childbirth, and education. … Most did know me as a celebrity. I could go to them as a woman with love and compassion.
Who was your role model in life?
My grandmother was always a mentor to me. Grandma said, “Never give up. Always do what you want to do, and follow your heart.”
Was there a life-changing moment for you?
When my sister died of breast cancer, it did something to me. I wake up every day and love each moment.