If one measures Hollywood stars by such traditional markers as grace, beauty and sophistication, then Stefanie Powers harkens back to Hollywood’s Golden Era when stars were the essence of what everybody dreamed to be. And if one measures the quality of a person by their sense of dedication, their concern for the world around them, by their ability to step outside themselves and see the greater importance of community and society, then Stefanie Powers exemplifies the “new Hollywood”-----smart, charismatic, committed and, yes sexy.
Actress Stefanie Powers, whose charming and thoughtful real-life personality may most closely resemble stunning renaissance woman Jennifer Hart, the character she portrayed on the hit television series “Hart to Hart,” has combined a natural curiosity and passion for knowledge, world travel and diverse cultures into both an award-winning acting career and an equally active life of heartfelt philanthropic work.
“The cornerstone of that work is the William Holden Wildlife Foundation, a public Charity dedicated to the preservation of wild animals, which Stefanie helped to found in honor of the late actor and for which she serves as president. The William Holden Wildlife Education Center, which currently serves 10,000 students a year, is located near Mount Kenya Safari Club and the Mount Kenya Game Ranch started by Holden in the late 1950’s before conservation became a popular issue.
“The Foundation is an extremely large commitment,” Stefanie admits, “But it’s not something I entered into without understanding the full impact of the obligation. It’s a lifelong commitment that sometimes monopolizes one hundred percent of my time.”
What’s perhaps staggering for most of us who would find either acting or extensive social work, each full-time occupations in themselves is that Stefanie only begins there. She makes the term “well-rounded” a severe understatement. To begin, her acting credits include 28 feature films, such as “Experiment in Terror,” “The Interns,” “McCintock!,” “Die Die My Darling,” “Love Has Many Faces,” “Stagecoach,” “Herbie Rides Again” and “The Man Inside.” Her television credits include three television series: “The Girl From U.N.C.L.E.”, “The Feather and Father Gang,” and, of course “Hart to Hart.” Her many mini-series include, “Washington Behind Closed Doors,” “Deceptions,” “MistralsDaughter,” “At Mothers Request,” “Burden of Proof” and “Beryl Markham: A shadow on the Sun,” which she also produced.
Powers has appeared on stage in many musical productions, including “Oliver,” “Annie Get Your Gun,” “My Fair Lady” and the London production of :Matador.” She also starred as the legendary Margo Channing in the revival of “Applause”—The Musical All About Eve” during it’s U.S tour, showcasing her singing and dancing prowess for American audiences for the first time. Subsequently, she starred as Anna in the musical revival of “The King and I” in the U.K., and most recently, toured the U.S. in a new production of the beloved Rodgers and Hammerstein musical. Her vocal prowess is also showcased on her debut recording on the Jambo Music label, STEFANIE POWERS—ON THE SAME PAGE, for which she teamed with veteran music/arranger Page Cavanaugh on Selections from the classic American Songbook era.
Stefanie loves to travel, but does not travel frivolously. She does not do holidays well, sitting around drives her mad. There is always some prevailing curiosity or interest which involves her wherever she goes. She has taught herself to be conversant in seven languages.
I feel very privileged to have been on the tail end of the “Star System,” explains Stefanie, “I began working at 15, and when I was put under contract at Columbia, they still believed in ‘grooming’ their young hopefuls. That process allowed me to learn how movies were made since the studio was my playground. In many ways, the experience of working with the greats such as John Wayne, Maureen O’Hara, Bing Crosby, Van Heflin, Glen Ford, Lee Remick, Lana Turner, Cliff Robertson, David Niven and Claudia Cardinale, helped to give me a sense of the importance of balancing career and life. Tahkulah Bankhead and Helen Hayes became friends after our work together and gave me a sense of appreciation and respect for all those greats who set high standards for all of us to follow.
“But they all said the same thing - when the makeup comes off, you still have to go home and face your life; make sure it is as satisfying as the one you left at the dressing table.’ I think I have.