Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Escorting Piper Laurie to the GE Theater Celebration.

I met Piper at the Paley Center for Media to celebrate the ongoing restoration of the General Electric Theater, a classy TV show from the 50s which featured great scripts and great actors doing an original drama every week. Hosted by Ronald Reagan, it gave him the national exposure, combined with his visits to GE factories, that, according to the panelists, was the start of his political career, as he honed his speeches before the workers..

Cliff Robertson greets Piper Laurie in the green room.
I can't say that I was prepared for so much Reagan worship. He was not my favorite president.
Posing for the photogs.
Cliff Robertson, Piper Laurie, William L. Bird, Curator, Division of Political History, Smithsonian Institution,
Edwin Meese, Reagan's Chief of Staff and Attorney General,
Jeffrey Immelt, Chairman and CEO of GE.
But, the clips from the GE Theater were spectacular. I particularly loved Zsa Zsa Gabor dressed in jewels, as an actress who refuses to dress down for a maid's role.
Reporter Andrea Mitchell, former Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan, Ed Meese.
This photo of Piper comes  from the episode she was in, where she played a child bride of a mountain man.
Piper Laurie, 17, on GE Theater.
Brian Williams was witty and asked good questions.
The entire panel, with NBC news anchor Brian Williams.
Jeffrey Immelt, of course, is Brian's boss. GE owns NBC/Universal.
William L. Bird, Jeffrey Immelt and Brian Williams.

Piper Laurie, Cliff Robertson, Ed Meese, William L. Bird.

Piper Laurie, Cliff Robertson, Ed Meese.

Piper Laurie, Cliff Robertson.
Cliff told us in the green room that when he and Piper appeared together in a TV production of The Days of Wine and Roses, he was expecting her to be what the studio had promoted her to be, a bimbo. "But it turned out she is a great actress and she totally blew me off the screen."
Piper Laurie, Cliff Robertson.

Peggy Noonan, Piper Laurie.
So, it was an informative night. The film canisters from the show were thought lost until someone found them in an attic or something. Now, they're being slowly brought back to life, thank goodness.

Plus, I loved seeing Piper again. She's the best.
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