Tag Archives: Marilu Henner


book partyMoviegoers who have perceived the sexualization of younger and younger females onscreen in recent times are not imagining things. The proportion of 13-to-20-year-olds in sexy attire increased 22 per cent between 2009 and 2012.  Between 2007 and 2012, there has been a 32.5 per cent increase in teenaged girls depicted with some nudity.

Those are among the findings in the latest study by the esteemed Dr. Stacy L. Smith and her team at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism. The researchers examined 500 movies and more than 21,000 characters, looking at gender prevalence, demographic information and hypersexualization, from 2007 through 2012.

The Annenberg study is full of disturbing information. Last year, females represented a mere 28.4 per cent of speaking characters in the top 100 movies — the lowest percentage of females in the five years covered in the study — and of those who did make it onscreen, nearly a third were depicted in sexually revealing clothing.

Not surprisingly, women were under-represented behind the cameras, too. The study found that only about 4 per cent of directors of the top 100 films were women, 12 per cent of writers were female and 20 per cent of producers.

Considering the attention given to the inequities for women in film, and the fact that females were seeming to gain some ground in the industry two years ago, the findings came as a surprise even to the researchers, according to Dr. Smith.

We spoke to the professor briefly at last week’s book party for Nobel Peace Laureate Jody Williams (pictured above) at the hilltop Bel Air home of Anthony and Jeanne Pritzker.   Movers and shakers from the film industry and medicine, community advocates and other illustrious guests were present for the event that began with a delicious garden luncheon by popular Australian foodie Georgie Smith (“Frugal but Fabulous”).  Williams read from her inspiring memoir My Name is Jody Williams: A Vermont Girl’s Winding Path to the Nobel Peace Prize and talked about her latest activities in fighting violence against women.  She is also pushing hard for the banning of robotic weapons that can annihilate people without any human oversight. Williams was recognized with the 1997 Peace Prize for her role in the banning and clearing of land mines.

SPEAKING OF WOMEN IN ENTERTIANMENT:  Alan Alda tells us he is working on a rewrite of his play about Marie Curie.  In fact, “I’m always rewriting it, and making it a little better each time,” admits the multiple Emmy-winning star currently being seen as Laura Linney’s ascerbic oncologist on Showtime’s “The Big C.”  He adds, “I hope it will be done a lot of places.  It’s published by Samuel French, so theaters can pick up on it.  She’s a hero of mine, so I want to see that play make the rounds.  It’s fun to see that story, and moving to see her story.”  How about a movie adaptation of Alda’s play, starring Laura Linney as pioneering physicist Madame Curie.  Now that would be worth seeing.

HER HEART GOES OUT:  “There is no better son – what a great guy,” says Marilu Henner, referring to her “The Glades” cast mate Corbin Bernsen, whose mother passed away last month.  “He was on the phone with her the whole time we shot our first episode together.  He was great.”  Despite the fact that Henner and Bernsen have been friends for years, and he guested on her talk show, the two actors had never worked together before being cast as the parents of Jim Longworth (Matt Passmore) on A&E’s “The Glades” – which, by the way, saw a nice ratings bump in its seasonal premiere this week.  “I’ll see him again when we go back to Miami.  It’s a wonderful set,” adds Marilu.  “Everybody is so nice.”

She says the same thing, by the way, about “Two and a Half Men,” on which she recently guested as sexy sexagenarian to whom Ashton Kutcher was attracted.  “I just loved that, and I think he’s going to be great as Steve Jobs.  He’s special, he really is,” she says.

CBS’s  “Unforgettable,” in which she has a recurring role – and for which she serves as inspiration and guide, with her nearly-perfect powers of recall – returns in July.


Marilu Henner Talks ‘All Star Celebrity Apprentice’ and Other Memorable Matters

marilu henner            The March 3-debuting “All Star Celebrity Apprentice” is bigger and tougher and faster than other “Celebrity Apprentice” seasons.  At least, that’s the idea one gets from talking to Marilu Henner, who is among the contestants who’ve returned to tackle the NBC reality show a second time, along with names including Gary Busey, Dee Snider, Trade Adkins, LaToya Jackson, Penn Gillette, Lil Jon, Stephen Baldwin and past winner Bret Michaels.

            “The tasks were more challenging.  Also, because people had played the game before, they knew what to expect, so you didn’t have people breaking down as much as you saw them really putting their best efforts forward, and everybody got to play to their skill set,” says the actress, author and memory maven.   “The first time I played I enjoyed myself and this time I enjoyed myself even more.  Really, you learn your personal best.  I  came back from this experience on fire.  Like, ‘I’m the project manager of my life and I’m going to whip this into shape and that into shape!’”  She laughs, and adds, “Trump is a character and he’s a lot of fun to play the game with himself.  He’s very: ‘I love the smell of business in the morning.’  You sort of pick that up from him.”

            Marilu is also on fire with her drive to help people get the most out of their memories.  Famous for her eidetic memory that gives her extraordinary powers of recall, she has translated her best-selling “Total Memory Makeover” book into a calendar format with tips to enhance our autobiographical memories day by day.  The paperback edition of “Total Memory Makeover” comes out in June.  A side benefit of Marilu’s program is going through each day with more acute awareness and more of a sense of being present in the moment. 

In May, she’ll go back into production work on CBS’ “Unforgettable.”  You may recall that Poppy Montgomery-Dyaln Walsh series was canceled — then un-canceled — by the network and is now slated to return in summer with 13 new episodes.  To refresh your memory:  Montgomery’s character is a detective who has an eidetic memory like Marilu’s, and Marilu is a tech advisor, part of the creative team, and has been established in the character of Montgomery’s aunt.  Ironically, the aunt has early-onset Alzheimer’s.   

Will she make more appearances this coming season?

“Probably.  I think that’s going to happen,” answers Marilu. 

Also, viewers can expect to see Montgomery going through the process of clinically testing her memory, as Marilu did.  “You’ll see some of that in action.  You’ll see the person who was kind of her mentor in this the way.” 

The character is based on Marilu’s own memory mentor, neuroscientist and Fello, Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory at the University of California at Irvine.  “The first time I was tested I had to answer over 500 questions.  I went through every memory test ever devised.  There were tests for HSAM, highly superior autobiographical memory — they have kind of this gold standard test that’s 60 questions.  And then they put things from my own life, because they were able to look up a lot of information about me,” recalls the actress who rose to fame on “Taxi.”

Marilu had fun going through some tests set up for her on Anderson Cooper’s show that airs tomorrow (Feb. 22).  Her commitment to memory improvement stems from her belief that “if all we’re doing is living our lives where we wake up, go through our day, turn off the light and go to sleep – wake up, go through our day, turn off the light and go to sleep — nothing has moved forward with us. No experience has had any meaning for us.  I feel like developing a strong autobiographical memory is the strongest line against meaninglessness that we can have.  Because then we can take the information every single day, bring it to our present and then let it inform our future, and that makes a huge difference.”

It’s something worth remembering.

Dylan Walsh: ‘Unforgettable’ Team Awaits Marilu Henner…and Fate

Poppy Montgomery, Dylan Walsh CBS photo

Dylan Walsh reports that Marilu Henner will soon be in New York to play the aunt of Poppy Montgomery’s character on their “Unforgettable” CBS crime drama.  The red-haired one-time “Taxi” star, as you may know, serves as a consultant on the show in which Montgomery plays a detective who can recall all the moments of her life with perfect clarity — the extremely rare superior autobiographical memory that Marilu has in real life.

Walsh says he’s looking forward to seeing Henner again.  “With her role as consultant, there’ve been a lot of telephone calls between her and Poppy, but I haven’t talked to her since last summer,” notes the actor, who plays Montgomery’s colleague and former lover. 

Now if only “Unforgettable” can take hold.  It’s been a ratings toss-up, and right now, its fate remains up in the air.

“We’re waitng to hear what our future is on the schedule.  Nobody talks about it,” according to Walsh.  “I hope to get some good news about continuing soon.  We’ve put in a lot of hard work, and there’s a lot more hard work ahead.  It’s been bumpy, but the reason it’s been bumpy is something I’m as proud of as anything — it’s that people are trying to do more than just your dry procedural.”   

He goes on, “Everyone assumed that her superior memory would be a superficial way to get people into the show.  But the writers have really cleverly used it as an integral part of the stories — including the fact there’s this romance, albeit in the past.  She keeps remembering, and people get to see this couple without betraying what the show is in the present.  There are a lot of flashbacks to their relationship.” 

As far as what that means to him as an actor?  “The challenge is the fun,” says Walsh.  “I get to play a younger guy, a guy who is in love, more of a suburban guy than in the present, a guy rising up through the ranks.”

Walsh, who lived in L.A. while making “Nip/Tuck,” is extremely glad to be back in his former NYC stamping grounds for his current show.  “It’s the best part of all of this.  I’m so happy here.  I’m in Tribeca right now,” he tells us via phone.  “On the weekends, one of my hobbies is learning all the architecture, building by building.”

Whatever the future of “Unforgettable,” Walsh is already thinking ahead to the holidays.  “I’m having my kids come out for Thanksgiving,” he says, “and I suspect the same for Christmas.”