Hey, everyone!! Here is issue #002, hot off the racks... so to speak. We're still working out some bugs and trying out new ideas, so please let us know what you think. Huge thanks go out to all of you who emailed us about the first issue. We really appreciate it!
Your feedback is especially important now because we've recently been in touch with Linda Bloodworth-Thomason's office, and we'd like to relay your feedback and ideas -- it could have a GREAT impact on future newsletters! E-mail us at: Belled@topthat.net.
Also, we will continue to email Fan Club Members a bi-weekly list of cast members' television appearances, just bear with us as we work out a format. Any suggestions?
This installment features Annie Potts' press bio directly from her publicist, the official description for the movie Snow Day which co-stars Jean Smart, and Marina's take on where Allison Sugarbaker is today. Have fun!
Annie Potts, Press Bio
This biography is taken word for word from the official information sent from Ms. Potts publicist.
Annie Potts charmed television audiences for seven years as 'Mary Jo Shively' on the long-running CBS hit, Designing Women. She has also delighted fans of the big screen with performances in such blockbusters as Ghostbusters and Toy Story.
Currently, Potts stars in Lifetime Television's one-hour drama, Any Day Now, which has become the cable station's signature series. The show follows the special relationship between two women -- a white homemaker with children (Potts) and a highly successful African-American attorney (Lorraine Toussaint) -- who have shared a friendship that dates back to their childhood in the 1960's South where, through flashbacks, the civil rights movement is seen through their young eyes.
On her performance, USA Today stated, "Any Day Now is graced by a perfectly pitched performance from Annie Potts," and the Los Angeles Times proclaimed, "Any Day Now is flat-out the season's best new hour of weekly drama, and one of the most absorbing in all of television." Potts received a 1998 Screen Actors Guild nomination for Best Actress in a Television Series, and Viewers For Quality Television (VQT) survey found Any Day Now the highest quality rated new drama series of the season. [Editors' Note: Ms. Potts is again nominated for Best Actress by the Screen Actors Guild this year; the awards are in March, and we'll keep you posted.]
On the big screen, Potts lent her voice to the hit of last holiday season, Disney's Toy Story II, in which she reprised her role of Little Bo Beep lamb who is the light of Woody's (Tom Hanks) life.
Potts was born in Franklin, Kentucky and received a BFA in theatre from Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri. She began acting in summer stock theatre before coming to Los Angeles to further her education in graduate school at Cal Arts. Once in Los Angeles, she continued to work on the stage where she caught the attention of both critics and casting directors. Soon after, she landed her feature film debut role in the comedy Corvette Summer, in which she starred opposite Mark Hammill. Her disarming performance as a quirky would-be prostitute earned her a Golden Globe nomination and immediately established her as one of the most promising talents in the industry.
Potts soon lived up to that promise with her starring role in the comedy Heartaches, for which she was honored with Canada's Genie Award. Critical and audience raves followed for her stand-out performance as the droll Brooklyn-accented receptionist in Ivan Reitman's smash hit comedy Ghostbusters.
Ironically, her performance was so convincing that the Southern-born actress was almost type-cast as "too urban." In 1986, Potts turned that impression on its ear when she debuted in a new CBS series called Designing Women.
Potts starred as one of four women running an interior design firm in Atlanta. "It was groundbreaking. It was one of the first series to star an all-woman cast and to portray women as smart and funny," Potts attests.
The show was an immediate hit and went on to enjoy a successful seven-year run, enduring cast evolutions and time slot changes. Through it all, Potts remained an audience favorite for her multi-layered portrayal of 'Mary Jo,' a divorced single mother who tried to juggle career and family.
Following Designing Women, Potts did a two-year stint on CBS' Love and War. She received an Emmy Award nomination for "Best Actress in a Comedy" for her performance as gourmet chef 'Dana Palladino.' She also received critical acclaim starring as 'Louanne Johnson' on the ABC drama, Dangerous Minds. Her gutsy portrayal of the tough Marine-turned-inner city garnered her considerable praise, with Newsday proclaiming, "Potts is a powerhouse at the center of it all, a dynamo of spirit and determination."
In addition to her television success, Potts has continued to appear in a variety of feature films. She received critical acclaim for her work as Jeff Bridges' wife in Texasville, Peter Bogdanovich's follow up to The Last Picture Show, and she has also appeared in Crimes of Passion, Pretty In Pink, Who's Harry Crumb?, Pass the Ammo, and Breaking the Rules.
Jean Smart co-Stars in 'Snow Day' (in theaters 2/11)
Jean Smart is currently between publicists, so specific information on her role in the movie is limited until it actually comes out (the children have the major roles), but here is the official description (verbatim) of the movie from The Snow Day website of Nickelodeon and Paramount Pictures, and below it is a brief description of her character. Our best suggestion: just go see it!!
There's nothing cooler than a Snow Day. It's like someone gave you the best birthday present ever -- and it's not even your birthday! A Snow Day means no school, no rules and endless possibilities. Anything can happen on a Snow Day -- and for Hal and Natalie Brandston, it does.
For 15-year-old Hal, 'anything' means the determination to declare his love for the girl of his dreams, high school heartthrob Claire Bonner. Who cares if Claire's beautiful and popular and doesn't even know he exists? So what if Claire's almost-ex-boyfriend, superjock Chuck Wheeler, is his competition? Snow Day magic is a powerful thing. And with Hal's pals Bill and Lane to cheer him on, this day is destined to change his life forever. Though maybe not exactly as he planned...
While Hal's out attempting to win Claire's heart, his 10-year-old sister Natalie is driven to action by the object of her own desire: the legendary Second Snow Day. The stuff of miracles, the Second Snow Day represents the ultimate triumph of kids over the dull day-to-day adult world. Second Snow Days are so rare that no one Natalie knows has ever experienced one. Why? The dreaded Snowplowman, who crushes kids' hopes with the chains on his tires. But this year, Natalie's gonna change all that. And nothing can stand in her way-not even Snowplowman!
When the sun sets on this spectacular Snow Day will Hal be found cuddling with Claire? Will Natalie have succeeded in her quest for the coveted Second Snow Day? Will parents everywhere pray for a heat wave? We're certainly not going to tell you! Find out for yourself when you catch Snow Day, the season's coolest comedy!"
Jean Smart plays the part of Laura. Being a mother is only one of Laura's jobs. She's also a high-powered career woman, and she's about to make one of the biggest deals of her life. Laura's the kind of person who always has everything under control. And a Snow Day definitely doesn't fit into her schedule. Especially when it means wheeling and dealing AND watching her 4-year-old son Randy at the same time!
"Upon pulling her financial support from Sugarbakers, Allison sought a new investment opportunity and became a major player in the Girl Scouts of America, adding badges for contract negotiation, hard-headedness, and responsible financial holdings. One day on a camping trip with her troop, she stumbled upon T-Tommy Reed hiding out from the cops in some bushes, and the two reignited their flame over s'mores and bug spray. He proposed soon after, and Allison reconciled her differences with the other 'Women' long enough for them to design and be in her wedding. She and Tommy moved into Suzanne's old house (legally, this time!) and Allison finally saw some action *grin* Perhaps a little bit of Suzanne was still lingering in the bedroom...." (submitted by Marina)
Don't forget to Email "Belled" with reader feedback and to tell us where you think the "Designing Women" characters would be today for future issues! We've had some wonderful responses which will be appearing soon, but we need more, so please everyone respond -- and let your imagination run wild!!
(5) What was the name of Suzanne's maid prior to her hiring Consuela?
(6) What was the name of Reese's law partner, and in which two episodes did he appear?
(7) Which one of the ladies did NOT get proposed marriage to over the series?
(8) Which character was originally cast with a different actress at the network's request?
* Answers will appear in the next issue.
Trivia Answers from Issue #1
From 'Dash Goff, the Writer'
(1) How did Dash Goff first meet Suzanne?
Dash spotted her at a sorority kissing booth. She had the longest lines and the highest prices.
(2) For what book did Anthony ask Mary Jo to write his book report?
"The Great Gatsby"
(3) What was the name of Dash's novel?
(4) What was Mary Jo's favorite book growing up?