Mary Tyler Moore and Bernadette Peters
founded Broadway Barks
to help find homes for dogs and cats in New York City and raise money for local shelters.
They're now working in association with the
Mayor's Alliace For NYC's Animals.
Bernadette adopted both her dogs, Kramer and Stella, from city shelters.
Celebrity participants at previous Broadway Barks events include Eartha Kitt, Swoosie Kurtz, Laura Linney,
Bebe Neuwirth, Edie Falco, Mary Stuart Masterson, Leslie Uggams, Joel Grey, Patrick Stewart, Tom Wopat, Andrea McArdle, John Cullum,
Julie Haggerty, Buck Henry, Marilu Henner, Richard Kind, Rhea Perlman, Alicia Silverstone,
David Hasselhoff, Ben Vereen,
Mickey Dolenz, Beth Fowler, Neil Patrick Harris, Shirley Jones,
Audra McDonald, Donna Murphy, Kathy Najimy,
Eric Stoltz and John Tartaglia.
Bernadette Peters was a brilliant Witch in Into the Woods and a radiant Gypsy Rose Lee in the 2003 Broadway revival of Gypsy. And who can forgot the classic 1970's sitcom The Mary Tyler Moore Show? For a reminder of just how good TV can be, the first two seasons are available on DVD :-)
In October 2001, Alley Cat Allies introduced the first annual Feral Cat Day and actress Edie Falco made public service announcements that aired on more than 300 television and radio stations to help spread the word. Edie is also on the Board of Advisors of Neighborhood Cats formed in 1999 to promote trap-neuter-return ("TNR") as the most humane and effective means of solving New York City's severe feral cat overpopulation crisis. Last year Edie hosted an Animal Planet program, Growing up Black Leopard which followed a rescued black leopard named Eddy from birth through his precarious first year at the Rocky Mountain Wildlife Conservation Center in Denver, CO. "I have a special place in my heart for animal welfare so I jumped at the opportunity to host Animal Planet's program and help educate people about the captive wildlife situation in this country," said Falco. "Thanks to organizations like the Rocky Mountain Wildlife Conservation Center, animals like Eddy live happy lives."
And I'm sure all Edie Falco know she's finally back on HBO this spring as Carmela Soprano! You can also catch the first five seasons The Sopranos on DVD.
In January, 2004 Ellen DeGeneres was awarded the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) Founder's Award for her lifelong dedication to the promotion of kindness and compassion towards animals. "Ms. DeGeneres regularly promotes pet adoption on her weekly talk show The Ellen DeGeneres Show and made special pleas during the California wildfires for the rescue of pets that were affected by the tragedy," said Edwin J. Sayres, ASPCA President. Ellen also supports Kitten Rescue, Pet Orphans and The Amanda Foundation.
Ellen's award winning talk show can be seen on NBC monday through friday (times vary; it's on at 10am here in NY). Her wildly funny HBO specials Here and Now and In the Beginning are available on DVD as are the first two seasons of her TV series Ellen which was originally called These Friends of Mine when it debuted in 1994.
Pierce Brosnan has launched a personal and compassionate appeal to save the world's great whales, and has partnered with one of the world's leading conservation organizations, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) to do so. "Pierce's personal commitment to protecting whales is inspiring to all of us," said IFAW President Fred O'Regan. "This is a critical time for whales worldwide. Whale hunting is on the verge of becoming an international industry. It must be stopped, and the time is now. We know that Pierce's personal call to action will lead the way for an unstoppable global campaign against whaling."
Pierce has of course played the suave and sexy James Bond many times, in Tomorrow Never Dies, The World Is Not Enough, Goldeneye, and Die Another Day but before he was Bond he was TV private eye Remington Steele. Season One will be released on DVD July 26 and can be preordered now. He's also starred in the clever caper comedy After the Sunset, a remake of The Thomas Crown Affair that in many ways surpasses the original and the underrated Grey Owl, based on the true story of a Scottish-Native American environmental activist in the 1930s. The Deceivers, a Merchant Ivory film Pierce made in 1988 in which he plays a British officer in 1825 India infiltrating the mysterious and deadly Thuggee cult, isn't as well known as most Brosnan films but I think it's one of his best. Also check out the 1986 supernatural thriller Nomads in which Pierce plays an anthropologist who gets swept into the world of a modern day killer cult led by Adam Ant.
Marina Sirtis actively supports Best Friends Animal Society, the largest sanctuary for abused and abandoned animals in the U.S. Best Friends also manages the No More Homeless Pets campaign, working with shelters and animal welfare groups nationwide. Other famous Best Friends supporters are Dan Aykroyd, Robert Culp, Laura Dern, Jennie Garth, Tippi Hedren, Linda Hunt, Elizabeth Hurley, Bill Maher, Wolfgang Petersen, David Crosby, Victoria Principal, René Russo, Hilary Swank, Charlize Theron, and Noah Wyle. Marina has also helped the good people who run Singita the first new no-kill, cage-free animal sanctuary built in Los Angeles county in more than 30 years.
Marina can still be seen as Counselor Deanna Troi on reruns of Star Trek The Next Generation on Spike TV. And the complete ST:TNG series is available on DVD
Actor James Cromwell, who was the voice of Farmer Hoggett in Babe has been raising his own voice in support of farm animals through Farm Sanctuary Says James, "If any kid ever realized what was involved in factory farming they would never touch meat again. I was so moved by the intelligence, sense of fun and personalities of the animals I worked with on Babe that by the end of the film I was a vegetarian." Paul McCartney, Moby, Noah Wylie, Kim Basinger, Linda Blair, Daryl Hannah, Alicia Silverstone, Persia White, Mary Tyler Moore and Casey Affleck are other famous vegetarians working with Farm Sanctuary.
James can be seen as the enigmatic George in Six Feet Under now in its fifth season on HBO. The first three seasons are available on DVD and the fourth season is coming out August 23, 2005. In addition to Babe, he's also done excellent work in I, Robot, Angels in America, RFK and L.A. Confidential. He's also a veteran Star Trek actor, portraying Zefram Cochrane in the movie Star Trek First Contact and has also appeared in episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine and Enterprise, most of which are available on DVD. He also starred in the hilariously quirky 1975 TV show the Hot L Baltimore which I wish would be released on DVD!
Doris Day made 39 films and two television series but for the past three decades her full-time career has been her work with animals. She created two non-profit organizations: the Doris Day Animal League national lobbying organization which works on legislation relating to animal welfare issues and the Doris Day Animal Foundation dedicated to promoting increased protection for animals through educational and community outreach programs like Spay Day USA.
In 1989, her talents as an entertainer were honored with the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award; in 1991, she was given the Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Comedy Awards. She has been called “the most under-rated star of all time"; the range of Doris Day's work was without peer. She starred in the classic movie musicals Calamity Jane and The Pajama Game and some of the best-loved romantic comedies of the 1960s: Pillow Talk and Lover Come Back with Rock Hudson, That Touch of Mink with Cary Grant and The Thrill of It All with James Garner and 8 of Doris' best movies are available as a collection on DVD and the first season of her 1969 TV series The Doris Day Show is coming out June 28.
Earl Holliman has been the President of Actors and Others For Animals since 1976. The organization was founded in 1971 by the late Richard Basehart and his wife Diana and current board members include Loretta Swit, JoAnne Worley and Betty White. Says Earl, "Our office recieves anywhere from 100 to 300 calls a day for help. We deal by and large with the elderly, the infirm, low-income families, the homeless and the handicapped. The only warm body many elderly or seriously ill people ever curl up next to is a dog or cat, and far too often they can't afford to feed them properly, let alone pay for vet bills. We help them pay to spay/neuter their animals, for emergency medical costs and in some cases we supply them with pet food. We make it posible for them to keep their animal companions."
Earl has the distinction of having starred "Where Is Everybody?" the pilot episode of The Twilight Zone, now available on DVD. He played a rodeo rider in the TV show The Wide Country then went on to a four year run as Sgt. Bill Crowley Police Woman. Earl also guest starred on episodes of Gunsmoke, Cannon, Alias Smith and Jones, The Six Million Dollar Man, Bonanza and Dr. Kildare.
Loretta Swit is an active board member of Actors and Others For Animals, The Wildlife Waystation and the Hooved Animal Rescue Protection Society (HARPS). She has served as a spokesperson for the Humane Society of the United States. For her ceaseless humanitarian efforts, she has been named Woman of the Year by both the Animal Protection Institute and the International Fund For Animal Welfare.
Loretta hosted Those Incredible Animals twice weekly on the Discovery Channel for five years and the series can still be seen on Animal Planet. Loretta toured the United States and Canada performing the play "Shirley Valentine" in 1998 but she is perhaps best known for her portrayal of the complex Margaret "Hot Lips" Houlihan on M.A.S.H., the groundbreaking TV series of the 1970s which can still be seen in reruns all over the world. All seven seasons are also available on DVD.
Catwoman Eartha Kitt has long supported the good work of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and was their annual Adopt-A-Shelter-Cat Month spokesperson in June 2003. Said Eartha, "At this time of year when animal shelters are over-flowing with cats of all ages, there has never been a better time to adopt a feline friend. Bringing this new friend into your home and heart will help reduce stress and improve the overall quality of your life forever." She also lent her name and support to the North Shore Animal League's "Kitt for Cat" feline adoption program.
Eartha Kitt has been performing and recording since the 1950's. Purr-Fect: Greatest Hits is an amazing collection that includes Let's Do It, C'Est Si Bon, I Want To Be Evil, My Heart Belongs To Daddy and the absolute best version of Santa Baby you'll ever hear. I saw her on Broadway in The Wild Party a few years ago and she's still got It! If you get the chance, catch one of her live performances this summer.
There are so many actors, musicians, writers and other famous folks who actively support animal welfare causes, if I tried to write about them all I'd never stop! Bob Barker has been a proponent of animals rights for many years. He is retiring from The Price Is Right in June 2007 and plans to devote much of his time to the foundation he set up in 1994--DJ & T Foundation --a foundation that gives grants to low cost or free spay and neuter clinics. Betty White has always loved animals and is known for her work with many charities including Morris Animal Foundation, a foundation that funds studies related to animal health, and the SPCA of Los Angeles. Sarah McLachlan is a proud supporter and a current spokesperson for the ASPCA. Drew Barrymore also supports the ASPCA. Robin Williams has worked for the Dolphin Safe Tuna campaign and Dixie Carter, for Fur Free. And Senator Barack Obama pledges support for nearly every animal protection bill currently pending in Congress, and he says he will work with executive agencies such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture to make their policies more humane.
Thank you all!