An Interview 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 you play?
DR: I play a campaign manager. I don't think I will last long because I don't think the guy gets elected!
CC: Does your new show have interviews?
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 .