Back to Performing for Ann Jillian?







Among the most popular names on television during her 80’s heyday, Ann Jillian is talking about getting into performing again now that her son is in college.  The former child actress (“Babes in Toyland,” “Gypsy!”) who went on to series fame – and also memorably starred as herself in a TV film about her victorious battle against breast cancer – is fully aware, “I’m older.  I’ve changed physically.  It would be different.  But I would love to go back and do a little work in front of the camera.”

She has continued to be active in the fight against breast cancer, and to use her own experiences as a motivational speaker.  “Ever since 1985, I’ve been saying ‘Accept, adapt and move on.’  I have that view of life.  That’s basically the way I’ve handled everything.”

Jillian recently made the publicity rounds on behalf of “Gypsy’s” rerelease as a remastered Blu-ray item from Warner Archive Collection.  She started making that film on her 12th birthday, playing Dainty June, sister of Natalie Wood’s Gypsy Rose Lee.

“Rosalind Russell was the ultimate professional.  She was helpful and warm.  Natalie Wood was very sisterly,” she recalls, speaking of the way things were on the set.  In true little sister fashion she remembers watching in awe as Wood put on makeup “with her pinkie in the air, and it was great.”


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This entry was posted in The Hollywood Exclusive by Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith and tagged , , on by .

About Stacy Jenel Smith

I grew up in the San Fernando Valley when it was a kids' Shangri La in the 60s and we had Fabulous Eddie's miniature golf and trampolines on Ventura Boulevard. My big brother frequented The Third Eye psychedelic shop back in the day, but he wound up turning out anyway. Dad was an NBC video man who worked on "Laugh-In," Dean Martin's show, and specials by everyone from Sinatra to Fred Astaire. Mom was a first class home maker and PTA and GCA volunteer. They're still doing great. Anxious to get going in life, I quit college and jumped into journalism when I was still a teenager, and was writing for the New York Times syndicate and People magazine before turning 20. But that was a long time, many adventures, lots of traveling around the world and thousands of interviews ago. I go back to the very last days of hot type and getting to talk to Henry Fonda and Bette Davis, and Sammy Davis at the old Brown Derby...What a ride. That's in no small part thanks to my amazing writing partner, Marilyn Beck, one of the grand old-school Hollywood columnist stars -- a true star -- who knows how to do it right. I'm lucky, for sure. Now is fun, too. I love going out to events with my 17-year-old daughter (Jonas Brothers!). Seeing everything fresh through her eyes renews my excitement about the game. In-between I went back and finished school -- University of Redlands -- married, divorced, and at long last found my true love. My favorite things outside of the show business realm are being with my family, my faith and spiritual growth, learning new things (from doing Qigong to uploading stuff on Facebook), and running. See you on the trail.

3 thoughts on “Back to Performing for Ann Jillian?

  1. Marl Booe

    Son is in college? Ann Jillian should get back into acting. Talent should never be wasted. As a struggling 53 year old writer, I can appreciate the Lords blessings that he has bestowed upon me, and others too. We must utilize this gift whenever we can. Winston Churchill was 65 when he became Great Britians Minister Of War at the onset of World War II. Regan was in his 70’s when he was President. Give it hell girl!!!!!

  2. Nancy

    Ann Julian does look different but has that breat smile we remember. If the delightful personality is still glowing, welcome back in front of the camera again

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