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Published on Feb 24, 2018
Way back in 1991, my pal Dudley Johnson (who had produced a talk show I hosted in Boston (in the 1970s!) and then later went on to produce and write the "classic" sitcom series "Different Strokes" and "Webster") came to me with an idea. We both loved pop culture and celebrities -- and I love a great cup of coffee, so he thought ""Why not put them together?"
The result was "Lemack & Company Live," this little, live, TV chat show from a fictional coffee shop created in a small studio at Beverly Hills High School. We wanted to create a fun environment to talk about whatever the celebrity might have on his or her mind and want to chat with a friend about.
All of this as background to say that our very first show, our very first guest, was the wonderful Nanette Fabray -- and she had a lot she wanted to talk about that night ... none of it rehearsed, all of it live.
I got to know Nanette -- and her niece Shelley Fabares -- from my work as publicist on the original "One Day at a Time" TV series, starring Bonnie Frankin, in which they both were series regulars.
This interview hasn't been seen since it first aired -- and I hadn't really thought about it in years -- until this morning, when I learned that Nanette had passed last night, at age 97.
She was a beautiful, passionate and loving person-- and a very gifted actress, who carved out both an incredible career and an amazing life for herself.
In remembering Nanette, I want to share this rare interview. Spoiler alert! As I wrote, this was a live show and we took phone calls from people watching at home who had questions for our guests. Our very first phone call on our very first show for our very first guest is from Shelley Fabares for her Aunt Nanette. I love that.
P.S. No comments about my hair! It was 1991! Besides I already agree with whatever it is you might have to say. :)