Intimate Portrait - Season 9

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Lifetime (ended 2004)

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Episode Guide

  • Susan Lucci
    Susan Lucci
    Episode 18
    5/12/03
    0.0
    Susan Lucci: Soap Queen Susan Victoria Lucci was born in Long Island, New York. Her father imparted to her a strong work ethic, while her mother nurtured the young girl's imaginative side. In school, Lucci was an honors student, a cheerleader and a member of the drama club. The teen blossomed into a confident beauty, and after graduation, she headed for Marymount College to study musical theater. One summer, while working at a hotel, the co-ed met Austrian chef Helmut Huber. Lucci then headed to New York City to pursue her dream of becoming an actress, and in 1969, she married Huber. When the newlyweds returned from their honeymoon, Lucci had a message waiting for her: The producers of a new soap opera called "All My Children" wanted her to audition for them. On January 5, 1970, Lucci made her debut on "All My Children" as Erica Kane, a rebellious teen looking for love in all the wrong places. Over more than three decades, this character's multiple trips down the aisle, evil schemes and other outrageous antics have lit up the TV screen. Meanwhile, Lucci's real life has been much more serene. In 1975, she gave birth to daughter Liza, and son Andreas arrived in 1978. For a while, the only thing missing in Lucci's life was an Emmy Award. The actress waited 18 years before finally taking home the little gold statue for Best Actress in 1999, after her 19th nomination. That same year, Lucci realized another lifelong dream: strutting her stuff on a Broadway stage, in the starring role in "Annie Get Your Gun." Lucci also launched her own line of beauty products. Life seemed perfect until 2002, when her husband was diagnosed with prostrate cancer. Three weeks later, doctors found lung cancer in her father, who eventually succumbed to the disease. Lucci dealt with her grief by throwing herself into her work and her charitable efforts on behalf of Little Flower Children's Services, an organization that helps find safe homes for abused children. Thankfully, her husband underwent successful surgery and is now cancer-free. As for the future, Lucci has no plans to retire her Erica Kane alter ego anytime soon.moreless
  • Intimate Portrait: Mothers and Daughters
  • Faith Hill
    Faith Hill
    Episode 16
    4/29/03
    0.0
  • Joan Collins
    Joan Collins
    Episode 15
    4/14/03
    0.0
  • Niki Taylor
    Niki Taylor
    Episode 14
    3/31/03
    0.0
  • Michelle Phillips
    Michelle Phillips
    Episode 13
    4/21/03
    0.0
  • Linda Grey
    Linda Grey
    Episode 12
    3/24/03
    0.0
  • Audrey Hepburn
    Audrey Hepburn
    Episode 11
    3/17/03
    0.0
  • Famous Families
    Famous Families
    Episode 10
    3/10/03
    0.0
  • Josie Bisset
    Josie Bisset
    Episode 9
    2/24/03
    0.0
    Josie Bissett: Model Mommy Josie Bissett, né¥ Joelynn Heutmaker, grew up in a close-knit household in a suburb of Seattle. Fun and outgoing, she began modeling in high school, with her family's full support. It wasn't long before Bissett was appearing in catalogs and teen magazines, and at age 18 she moved to Los Angeles to further her career. After a year of struggling while taking acting classes, Bissett landed a few roles in commercials and music videos. In 1990, she landed a guest part on "Doogie Howser, M.D." and a small role in the biopic flick "The Doors," directed by Oliver Stone. At one fateful audition, Bissett met a handsome aspiring actor named Rob Estes. The pair fell for each other fast, and they exchanged vows on May 1, 1992, just days before each launched into breakthrough roles. Bissett starred on the Aaron Spelling soap "Melrose Place," and Estes was a part of the Miami cop show "Silk Stalkings." Bissett's character, Jane Mancini, was the nice, normal girl caught up in a sea of intrigue, passion and nastiness. Playing the victim over and over eventually wore on Bissett, as did the fact that her husband was working on the other side of the country, surrounded by beautiful women. Feeling unfulfilled, Bissett left "Melrose" during the show's fifth season after discovering that she was pregnant. The expectant mother looked forward to a new chapter in her life but was heartbroken when she miscarried. But the couple kept trying to conceive, and in June 1999, their son, Mason, was born. Bissett cherished her role as a mother and decided to capture her new experiences in a book. The first-time author wrote a parenting book called "Little Bits of Wisdom" in 2000, based on tips she pulled together from various moms and dads. She is working on a follow-up book and is backing a line of children's toys and girls' clothing. In 2002, Bissett gave birth to daughter Maya Rose and also returned to television as the host of "Parenting and Beyond."moreless
  • Eve Ensler
    Eve Ensler
    Episode 8
    2/18/03
    0.0
    Eve Ensler's young life in an affluent Upper East Side household seemed like a fairy tale to the outside world. However, Ensler's close relationship with her dad, the president of a high-profile company, and her entire life were forever changed when he sexually molested her. Afraid and insecure, Ensler had trouble making friends in school. The tormented teen retreated into a private world and began keeping a journal. While attending Vermont's artistic Middlebury College, she began to discover her own voice. Ensler became a student leader and found a supportive group of buddies. "That time in my life…gave me a sense that I might be able to do something…of value," says Ensler. After graduation, Ensler headed to New York City, where she spent much of the next decade working as a waitress and turned to alcohol to deal with feelings of low self-esteem. She befriended bartender Richard McDermott, who helped her get sober and turn her life around. The couple married, and Ensler adopted her husband's 15-year-old son, Dylan McDermott, who would go on to star on the TV drama "The Practice." Ensler's mate encouraged her to pursue her artistic dreams, and by 1988 she had staged her first play, "The Depot." Ensler's career really took off when she wrote "The Vagina Monologues." Unfortunately, her first marriage ended in divorce; but when she met artist Ariel Orr Jordan, who, like her, had suffered from sexual abuse as a child, Ensler knew she had found her soul mate. By the early 1990s, the politically minded playwright began traveling to Bosnia to visit the refugee camps. She had heard horrifying accounts of the abuse female refugees had suffered during the civil war in that country. Ensler collected stories from victimized women and turned them into a heartbreaking play called "Necessary Targets." Encouraged by the response to her work, the outspoken artist put together a benefit show, called V-Day, in 1998. Famous Hollywood actresses, including Glenn Close, Calista Flockhart and Rosie Perez, performed "The Vagina Monologues" to raise awareness and funds for activists working to eradicate violence against women. "Embedded in ["The Vagina Monologues"] are some very real facts and statistics about the depth of cruelty against women in this country and around the world, which are usually sugarcoated," says Ensler's friend Gloria Steinem. Since its inception, V-Day has raised $14 million through productions of the "Monologues" staged on college campuses and throughout the United States. Ensler's show has also been performed in some 40 countries. In 2001, V-Day was a sellout at Madison Square Garden, a first for a women's event at a major sports arena. Ensler continues to dedicate herself to women on the fringe and teaches writing workshops for female prisoners.moreless
  • Celebrity Love
    Celebrity Love
    Episode 7
    2/10/03
    0.0
    In a special episode of Intimate Portrait, Lifetime shares the stories of famous women who found love or survived heartbreak despite a life in the spotlight, including Pam Dauber's decision to leave Hollywood to make her husband Mark Harmon and children a priority, Amy Grant's acceptance of the growing distance in her marriage to Vince Gill, Lisa Rinna's finding the love of her life from the worst first kiss with Harry Hamlin, and others.moreless
  • Isabel Sanford
    Isabel Sanford
    Episode 6
    2/3/03
    9.5
    Isabel Sanford: Movin' On Up Born in 1917 in Harlem, New York, Isabel (born Eloise Gwendolyn) Sanford was the youngest of seven children and the only one to live past infancy. As a child, Sanford found respite from her poverty-stricken life by making people laugh. As a teen, she won rave reviews at an amateur night at the Apollo, but her performing dreams were put on hold when her mother fell ill. Although Sanford wanted to be an actress, she was forced to take over her mom's job as a cleaning lady. Sanford married housepainter William "Sonny" Richmond during this tough time, and shortly after tying the knot, they brought daughter Pamela into the world. Between the births of her next two children, Sanford finally made her stage debut, in the 1946 production of "On Striver's Row" at the renown American Negro Theater. In 1960, Sanford decided to leave her unhappy marriage and take her three children to Los Angeles. The single mother was barely off the bus before legendary actress Tallulauh Bankhead asked her to join the national production of "Here Today." Sanford appreciated the break, although she encountered discrimination during the tour. The actress's next stint was in the all-African-American production of James Baldwin's "Amen Corner." The hit show moved to Broadway, where Sanford captured the attention of film director Stanley Kramer, who immediately cast her in the 1967 classic "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner." Her performance in the movie dazzled critics and showbiz insiders. In 1971, TV producer Norman Lear hired Sanford to play neighbor to the Bunkers on the sitcom "All in the Family." Four years later, the spin-off series "The Jeffersons" debuted, and America's first black sitcom family was born, with Sanford as matriarch Louise ("Weezy"). In 1981, Sanford became the first African-American to win an Emmy Award for Best Actress in a Comedy Series. The show's 10-year run ended abruptly when the network cancelled it in 1985. Since then, Sanford and co-star Sherman Hemsley have teamed up for numerous guest-star appearances on other sitcoms, including "The Parkers" and "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," giving them the opportunity to work with fellow African-American actors who consider the two veteran performers as role models.moreless
  • Naomi Judd
    Naomi Judd
    Episode 5
    1/27/03
    0.0
    Naomi Judd Naomi Judd was born Diana Judd in 1946, in Ashland, Kentucky. One of four children, she enjoyed happy times as a young girl. But that changed in 1963, when Judd, then 17, got pregnant and dropped out of high school. She was also helping her parents care for her brother Brian, who had just been diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease. Daughter Wynnona was born in May 1964. Judd relished her new role as a mother, but her happiness soon turned to mourning the next year, when her brother passed away. Soon afterward, the young mother married a former boyfriend and moved to Los Angeles with him. In 1968, she gave birth to her second daughter, Ashley (the future movie star), but Judd's marriage soon soured. After the divorce, the single mom went on welfare to make ends meet and then took her two daughters back to Kentucky, where she enrolled in nursing school and decided to take on a new name: Naomi. Judd often relaxed in those stressful times by singing with Wynnona. By 1979, singing had become more than a pastime for the mother-daughter duo, and the family headed to Nashville with dreams of country-music stardom. Judd took a job working for a music manager and never missed an opportunity to hand out demo tapes. In 1980, the Judds appeared on "The Ralph Emory Show"; three years later, they signed a deal with RCA and released their first album, "Why Not Me." The duo shot straight to the top, releasing eight hit albums and earning six Grammy Awards and nine Country Music Awards. Judd married her longtime love, Larry Strickland, in 1989. In 1990, the 44-year-old was on top of the world, but everything came crashing down when she was diagnosed with a fatal form of hepatitis C that forced her to retire from performing. Always the fighter, the feisty musician defied the odds when the disease went into remission. Meanwhile, she put her heart and soul into championing Wynonna's career, writing songs for her daughter and singing backup on special projects. In 1994, Judd penned a best-selling autobiography, "Love Can Build a Bridge," that became a TV movie. The multitalented Judd has also written a cookbook and two children's books and worked as host of a TV show, and she is the loving grandmother of Wynonna's two children.moreless
  • Bea Arthur
    Bea Arthur
    Episode 4
    1/20/03
    0.0
    Bea Arthur: Brassy & Golden Bea Arthur was born on May 13,1923, in New York City. The awkwardly tall and shy girl often hid behind her wicked sense of humor. Although she longed to be a blond starlet, because of her height she was usually cast as a boy in school plays. After graduating from high school, Arthur enrolled in drama school, where she discovered that being 5'9'' and having a deep voice were assets in classical theater. Unfortunately, Broadway wasn't biting, so the ambitious actress decided to switch gears and try comedy. In 1953, she was cast as Lucy Brown in "The Threepenny Opera," the first of her well-received funny-woman roles. That same year, Arthur married theater director Gene Saks. The hardworking couple started a family — Matthew was born in 1961 and Daniel in 1964 — but Arthur soon returned to Broadway to play second banana Vera Charles in the Broadway musical "Mame," which was directed by her husband. Arthur's stellar singing and comic timing earned her a Tony Award for Best Supporting Actress. Soon, television came knocking. Arthur's friend, fabled producer Norman Lear, invited her to guest-star as Edith Bunker's cousin, Maude Findlay, on the hit show "All in the Family." Arthur's dazzling portrayal led to the creation of the series "Maude" in 1972. During its seven-year run, the hit comedy show tackled difficult issues, such as alcoholism and abortion, with sensitivity and humor. Arthur won an Emmy Award in 1977 for Best Actress in a Comedy Series. But in 1979, Arthur called it quits on "Maude" and her marriage. She kept a low profile until 1985, when she was invited to star as the outspoken and sarcastic divorcée Dorothy Zbornak on the sitcom "The Golden Girls."She joined her former "Maude" co-star Rue McClanahan as well as actresses Betty White and Estelle Getty. The show about four older women still going strong was a hit for seven years, earning Arthur her second Emmy, in 1988, for Best Actress in a Comedy Series. In 1992, Arthur again decided to leave a blockbuster show at its peak. She took some time off, until she was eventually coaxed back to the stage for the autobiographical one-woman show "Bea Arthur on Broadway: Just Between Friends." The hilarious musical revue evolved into a 23-city tour that ended in April 2002. Arthur has since returned to her other passion: animals. She does extensive charity work on behalf of organizations such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Great news for us and especially Bea fans in California! Bea is continuing into 2004 with a special one time only show for a gala event for the South Bay Conservatory's Student Scholarship Fund. Read more at the following two sitesmoreless
  • Erin Brockovich
    Erin Brockovich
    Episode 3
    1/16/03
    0.0
    Erin Brockovich Erin Brockovich was born Erin Pattee in 1960 in Lawrence, Kansas, the youngest of four children. A traumatic molestation experience and struggles with dyslexia led to feelings of low self-esteem as a young girl. It wasn't until Brockovich reached high school that the gangly teen began to hit her stride. By 1979, she was attending the Miss Wades School of Fashion Merchandising in Dallas. She then moved with some girlfriends to California, where she met and married housepainter Sean Brown. The newlyweds moved to Nevada together. By the mid-1980s, Brockovich had two children and a strained marriage. After she divorced Brown in 1987, the suddenly single mom took a secretarial job. The vivacious 27-year-old eventually fell in love with her boss, broker Steven Brockovich. The two married in 1989, but their relationship quickly fizzled. Brockovich filed for divorce, and soon afterward she learned that she was pregnant with her third child. After moving her brood to California, the mother of three was desperate for work. She muscled her way into a job answering phones at the law firm of Masry & Vititoe. One day, Brockovich was asked to look for a file; what she discovered immediately triggered her internal alarms. She took it upon herself to investigate the case, using unusual tactics to uncover one of the biggest cases of soil contamination in U.S. history. In 1993, Brockovich helped 634 residents of Hinkley, California, file a lawsuit against Pacific Gas & Electric that resulted in a settlement of $333 million. Brockovich's personal life also picked up — she found love with actor Eric Ellis, whom she married. Brockovich's chiropractor shared the story of the young woman's legal success with another patient, a Hollywood mover and shaker. Before long, the movie "Erin Brockovich," starring Julia Roberts, was being produced. The 2000 blockbuster earned Roberts an Oscar® and made Brockovich a household name. The do-gooder continued to share her story in a 2001 best-selling autobiography, "Take It From Me: Life's a Struggle That You Can Win." Brockovich continues to tackle tough cases as the director of environmental research at Masry & Vititoe. Recently Brockovich hosted the short lived Lifetime series Final Justice with Eric Brockovich.moreless
  • Carnie Wilson
    Carnie Wilson
    Episode 2
    1/13/03
    0.0
    In April 1968, Beach Boy Brian Wilson and his wife, Marilyn Rovell, a singer from the 1960s band The Honeys, welcomed their first child, Carnie, into the world. The eldest Wilson child grew up harmonizing with her family; she made her stage debut at the tender age of five at a Beach Boys concert. She joined the band in singing "Help Me, Rhonda." Unfortunately, Wilson's father suffered from a serious drug addiction, and his habits broke up her parents' marriage in 1979. Wilson turned to eating for comfort. In her teenage years, she took a stab at acting, but her excess weight kept her from getting work. In 1986, after graduating from high school, Wilson returned to her musical roots and formed the band Wilson Phillips with her sister, Wendy, and Chynna Phillips, daughter of Michelle and John Phillips of The Mamas and the Papas. After a few years of plugging away, the trio landed a recording contract in 1989. The band's 1990 debut album spawned three number one singles, including the smash "Hold On." Celebrity motivated Wilson to lose 80 pounds, but by 1993, she had regained the weight. Wilson fell into a deep depression after Phillips left the band and their record label dropped the group. Following a successful 1995 appearance on "The Howard Stern Show," Wilson was tapped to host a new daytime talk show. Despite decent ratings, it was canceled after just three months. In 1999, Wilson's life continued to fall apart when she went from rock star to retail worker and ballooned to 300 pounds. To make extra money, she sang backup for Al Jardine, an old friend of her father's. While on tour, Wilson met musician Rob Bonfiglio and fell for him. At age 31, Wilson was happy in love but scared to death. Her doctor told her that unless she lost weight, she might not make it to her 40th birthday. Desperate to lose the pounds, Wilson took a chance on a radical new stomach reduction surgery: gastric bypass, commonly referred to as stomach stapling. The results were stellar — Wilson dropped an astounding 160 pounds. In 2000, the newly svelte and glowing singer married Bonfiglio. She also decided to share her struggles with weight issues by writing her autobiography, "Gut Feelings." Confident and ready to tackle the world, she has even teamed up with her former band mates for a new Wilson Phillips album, which is slated for release in 2003.moreless
  • Mariah Carey
    Mariah Carey
    Episode 1
    1/6/03
    0.0
    Mariah Carey: Pop Princess Mariah Carey grew up in Long Island, New York. Her mother was an opera singer who fostered her daughter's natural singing talent. By eighth grade, Carey was writing her own songs; by age 13, she was performing radio jingles. After graduation, Carey headed to Manhattan to follow her show-business dreams. Before long, she was singing backup for Brenda Kiss Star. The seasoned singer took Carey under her wing and introduced her to record executive Tommy Mottola, who quickly began grooming the teenager for superstardom. In July 1990, Carey released her first album, "Vision of Love." The album produced four number one hits and garnered two Grammy Awards: one for Best New Artist and another for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. But the 20-year-old didn't sit back and bask in the glory; she immediately returned to the studio and released "Emotions" in September 1991. A recording of her MTV Unplugged concert followed. As Carey's career continued to blossom, so did her relationship with Mottola. On June 6, 1993, the 23-year-old singer wed her 42-year-old boss in an extravagant gala with 300 guests. After the honeymoon was over, Carey came out with three more best-selling albums in the span of three years. Eventually, Carey tired of Mottola's controlling hold over her life, and the couple separated in 1997. That same year, Carey broke away from her sweet image with a sexier style for the release of her album "Butterfly." Her next record, "Rainbow," produced the singer's biggest hit: "Heartbreaker." Feeling unstoppable, Carey decided to try her hand at acting, portraying an aspiring crooner in the 2001 flick "Glitter." But her workaholic ways finally got the better of her: In the summer of 2001, Carey collapsed from exhaustion. The tabloids had a field day while speculating about the cause of the pop star's breakdown, and to make matters worse, "Glitter" was shredded to pieces by critics. Soon afterward, the Sony record label broke its contract with Carey. But Carey wasn't easily defeated. Within the year, she joined the Island Def Jam Music Group and formed her own label: MonarC Records. In addition, her acting in the independent film "Wisegirl" was universally praised. And if Carey needed more confirmation of her star appeal, she could look to her 2002 album, "Charmbracelet," which sold 241,000 copies in its first week. Carey's reign as a pop princess continues!moreless
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