WITH DANA REEVE
To American audiences today,
the graceful image of Dana Reeve is perhaps most often associated with
her role as the loyal, loving wife of actor, Christopher Reeve. We frequently
see Dana at her husband's side, a true life-long companion in marriage
and in Christopher's recovery from the spinal cord injury he sustained
in May of 1995. Indeed, Dana Reeve's beauty includes not only her pretty,
smiling face and presence, but her refreshing, amiable character. It is
not surprising that Dana's strength and commitment were honored by "CBS
This Morning" when Dana was named one of America's Outstanding Women
of 1995. Dana has also been the recipient of the Visiting Nurses Association's
Caregiver's Courage Award, an award which now has been named in her honor.
Though we know Dana so well as the steadfast companion of Christopher
Reeve, Dana herself is an accomplished actress and a singer, who in past
years has put much of her career on hold to help Christopher. Recently,
Dana has been able to do more with her many talents and the American audience
has stood to reap the benefit of her on-stage presence. Dana Reeve attended
the California Institute of the Arts M.F.A. program in acting after graduating
cum laude from Middlebury College. Her professional accomplishments include
appearing on Broadway in the comedy "More to Love." She has
also appeared off-Broadway and regionally at the Yale Repertory Theater,
Joseph Papp's Public Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club, Ensemble Studio
Theatre, the New Jersey Shakespeare Festival and the Williamstown Theatre
Festival for seven seasons. Before co-hosting Lifetime Television's daily
show, "Lifetime Live," Dana guest-starred on "Law and Order,"
"All My Children" and "Loving." She also had a recurring
role on the CBS dramatic series "Feds," as well as starring
roles in the HBO films, "Above Suspicion" and, "Somebody
Had to Be Benny." As a singer, Dana has performed on national television
and at various New York venues. She sings the title song on the soundtrack
of the Cable Ace Award-winning HBO drama "In the Gloaming,"
directed by her husband, Christopher Reeve. With her husband, Dana has
become an active advocate for persons with disabilities and has rallied
for an increase in funding for spinal cord injury and medical research.
She volunteers for such organizations as The American Paralysis Foundation
and The Reeve-Irvine Center for Spinal Cord Research. She serves on the
boards of The Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation, Word T.E.A.M. Sports
and The National Family Caregivers Association. In addition, Dana champions
other local and global causes and has served on the board of the New Jersey
Shakespeare Festival as well as being involved with Renew America, an
environmental organization. We also do not want to forget the other hat
that Dana wears; she is the loving, proud mother of three children: Will,
age seven, and stepchildren Matthew, 19 and Alexandra, 15. In addition,
Dana has recently published a book, "Carepackages: Letters to Christopher
Reeve From Strangers and Other Friends," (Random House, 1999). ABILITY
had the pleasure to speak with Dana Reeve at the Second annual "Hope
in Motion" benefit held in Vail, Colorado to benefit the Christopher
Reeve Paralysis Foundation. Also present for the gala event were such
celebrities as Kelsey Grammer, Jane Seymour, Scott Wolf, Gloria Estefan,
Robert Kennedy, Jr. and former president Gerald R. Ford. The fund-raiser
was a huge success, raising over $500,000 for spinal cord injury research.
As Christopher Reeve stated, the money raised for research also benefits
conditions other than spinal cord injury paralysis, including Multiple
Sclerosis, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. The funds were raised through
live and silent auctions which included such items as a walk-on role in
Reeve's next directorial project, a walk-on role in the television series
"Frasier" and dinner in San Francisco with Robin and Marsha
Williams. The benefit is part of an American Ski Classic held in Vail,
Colorado yearly. The Ski Classic features retired Olympic and World Cup
ski races, celebrities and amateur participants.
Interview with Dana Reeve
Chet Cooper: So, I hear
you have a new job?
Dana Reeve: (laughs)
Yes. I am working as a co-host on a show called, "Lifetime Live."
It's on the Lifetime cable network. My co-host is Deborah Roberts. She's
a news correspondent with 20/20. We are billed as a news and information
show. It's fun. I have only been at it for a short time. It is a whole
new arena for me. One of the main reasons I wanted to do it was because
the time worked out well for me. It's a noon show. It's live. I can be
home in the morning, go and do the show and be home in the afternoon.
CC: You are shooting
the show in New York?
DR: Yes. It is in Estoria
Queens Studios. In the mornings I drop my son off at school and then head
to work. I am done at work by 2:00 p.m. and can head home. This arrangement
works out well as my son gets home from school at 4:00 p.m. Chris works
a lot out of our home and my job allows me enough time to be home for
my family. Yet, it is also a "real" job. I also got a new recurring
part on the series "Oz."
CC: What character do
DR: I play a campaign
manager. I don't think I will last long because I don't think the guy
CC: Does your new show
DR: Yes. I just interviewed
Mrs. Ford. She's an amazing lady. Mrs. Ford was from a traditional background
and yet was really such a trailblazer for women in the 70's. She is very
forthright and honest about her own problems and her own personal crisis.
I was honored to talk to her.
CC: Are you going to
get her live on the show or will that interview be taped?
DR: Well, I interviewed
her today and that will be shown as a taped interview. Unfortunately,
the interview will probably be cut down a bit in length.
CONTINUED IN ABILITY MAGAZINE...... subscribe