Joan Benedict Steiger drew laughs from the crowd the other night when she received the Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival Eternity Award — noting that if she wound up at heaven’s gate and couldn’t find a key, she could always say, “‘Wait a minute! I’ve got the Eternity Award!”
The actress of TV, stage and film was widowed by Rod Steiger in 2002. She lost her first husband, actor John Myhers, and her most recent man in life, actor Jeremy Slate, from cancer also. And yet she manages to keep a remarkably upbeat energy, which no doubt helps her as a public speaker.
“I think your loved ones want you to get on with your life,” she says, speaking of the bereavement process. “You have to have faith and it’s not easy. I’ve had my sleepless nights. Positive thinking is what gets you through. I believe we’re all here for a purpose,” adds the platinum-haired beauty, who is still a size 6 and who tap dances three times a week.
“I just feel like I’m always 15,” she says. “I get up and have everything mapped out for my day.”
Steiger recently completed a role in Universal’s big-screen thriller, “Dead Border.” “I can’t tell you too much about it, becuase it’s kind of a mystery. It has to do with the government, and forensics. There will be a sequel.”