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by Katherin Kovin Pacino – Presented by Dame Betty Dravis

Kat Pacino - Secretary of Reel Cowboys

Kat Pacino – Secretary of Reel Cowboys

It has been a few years since Betty Dravis interviewed me for Dames of Dialogue and for her and Chase Von’s book Dream Reachers II, so I am honored to be invited back for an update.

In addition to acting and representing the Al Pacino Family, during the past two years, I have become involved in a number of other projects, such as serving as secretary on the Board of The Reel Cowboys. www.reelcowboys.org My husband, Bill Lashbrook, is vice-president. Not only do we enjoy the humanitarian causes RC supports, we also enjoy the fun and camaraderie of this great bunch of people.

William Lashbrook, vice-president of Reel Cowboys

William Lashbrook, vice-president of Reel Cowboys

Reel Cowboys is a non-profit charity that honors western screen actors with their annual Silver Spur Awards and gives to charities for children and to war veterans. This year, 2013, The 16th Annual Silver Spur Awards honored Jon Voight, Robert Wagner, Louis Gossett, Jr., Connie Stevens, Andrew Prine, Ewing “Lucky” Brown and stuntman Chuck Hicks. For all about the fascinating details of Reel Cowboys, please check this link: http://reelcowboys.org/RC_about.htm

Robert Wagner and Chris Walken are pictured above at the 16th Annual Silver Spur Awards where they were honored.

John Voight and Robert Wagner are pictured above at the 16th Annual Silver Spur Awards where they were honored.

I’m also an advisor on the Board of Shining Star Kids of America, another charity for foster kids aging out of the system. We are now talking to three mayors of different cities in Northern California regarding buying a ranch for these kids to learn culinary, horticulture, and many other things to help them sustain a living as they set out into the world on their own. For more about this worthwhile program, check this link: http://shiningstarkidsofamerica.org/facts.html

home_boy_01

In 2010 I was presented The Key to the City of Ferrentino, Italy. I covet this honor because I’m so proud of my late husband Sal Pacino and his son the legendary, academy-award-winning Al Pacino. Being affiliated with their heritage means the world to me.

I am also venturing into cinematic production, but am still into acting. My latest film is Mansion of Blood, (starring Gary Busby). I also worked on Simon Bolivar, Path to Glory, which co-starred my late hubby Sal Pacino, mentioned above, and am currently attached to other future projects, as well.

Past Memory: Kat Pacino with late husband Sal Pacino at family gathering in Al Pacino home.

Past Memory: Kat Pacino with late husband Sal Pacino at family gathering in Al Pacino home.

I enjoy the humanitarian aspects of my life as well as the entertainment industry. If you’re ever in Sun Valley, please drop by The Reel Cowboys for breakfast. You might be surprised to find one of your favorite old-time (or even current) cowboys joining the gang for breakfast. My husband Bill Lashbrook and I breakfast there quite often, too. In fact one morning I was there when cowboy actor Ty Hardin walked by. I grabbed my cell and called Betty Dravis, knowing she would enjoy a short chat with him…but the call didn’t go through quick enough and he was out the door. Betty missed out… (laughs)

Check their calendar page on their website (listed above) to find out what Saturdays The Reel Cowboys meet for breakfast. They meet most Saturday mornings, but not all…from 9:30 to High Noon! Come on around to the “Chuck Wagon Room” of Big Jim’s Family Restaurant, 8950 Laurel Canyon Blvd (the northwest corner of Laurel Canyon and Sheldon Street) in Sun Valley. The general public is cordially invited to join in on the fun, entertainment and “Grass Roots Justice”… for good!

See you there… Kat

http://www.imdbpro.com/name/nm1178989

kovinpacino@facebook.com

16th poster

by Betty Dravis

Barbara Watkins and Betty Dravis, authors of “Six-Pack of Blood”

Unless you’re related to Johnny Depp, the sexy, lovable star of Pirates of the Caribbean, I bet you have never been asked to name a skeleton before.  Well, there’s a first time for everything and I hope you decide to hang around to help me and Barbara Watkins, my co-author of Six-Pack of Blood and its upcoming sequel Six-Pack of Fear. We’re looking for a real cool name for our hot little skeleton boy.

The cover boy on our internationally best-selling, award-winning Six-Pack of Blood, as you know, is a skeleton created by graphic artists Matthew and Danielle Drake. At first, our skeleton comes across as pretty gory–that horrible wound in his head and all–but once you get to know him, he’s really a lovable guy. He’s not all evil; only on his bad days. On those days, he’s putting on a monster act, anyway, to lure millions of you into reading our books. Don’t begrudge him that. It’s his job and he’s a killer at it; bringing in all kinds of horror/thriller/paranormal/supernatural/ghost and occult fans.

In fact, he’s so good at promoting that we’ve even had a movie offer and are anticipating an original feature film on the order of Twilight Zone. It’s even been rumored that the dream actor Johnny Depp is scheduled to play our “skeleton” to serve as host for the six segments of this upcoming movie.

I’m here to put that rumor to rest! That would be Barbara’s dream—she’s nutso about Depp–but it just isn’t happening that fast, folks.

And I can’t give all the credit to our skeleton boy for grabbing the attention of the award-winning producer/director Dimi Nakov and encouraging him to award Six-Pack of Blood the Best Paranormal/Horror award. To give credit where credit is due, Barbara and I are working ourselves to the bone (pun intended) promoting this book and the skeleton, by extension. And our loyal friends, like you, are pushing it too.

Look who’s peeking over Johnny’s shoulder. Isn’t is fantastic that he has our own Barbara Watkins hanging out on his wall? :-)

The first skeleton I ever saw was in an anatomical school book where we were studying the human body (and snickering, as youngsters will). It looked something like this and seemed creepy to me at the time. The only real skeleton I ever saw was in a doctor’s office and that thing actually scared me.

Time and experience changes people and I’ve matured into a woman who can write about skeletons with abandon and joke about them without cringing. In fact, I came to love skeletons and all kinds of creepy monsters when reading my first horror book by writer John Saul. Then I went from books to movies, from Saul to Stephen King, Shirley Jackson, Dean Koontz and more. (Of late, you’ll most likely find me with my nose planted in my Kindle Fire reading newer authors like the Queen of Terror Barbara Watkins, Mark LaFlamme, Scott Nicholson and Jeani Rector, the popular founder of Horror-Zine.

Skullduggery Pleasant

In my search for skeletons, I found two that were rather dapper: Skullduggery Pleasant who is a skeleton/detective/magician in a popular book series by Derek Landy. Another lovely skeleton who won my heart is in an exquisite oil painting Late Lover by the genius artist and author Uvi Poznansky. This work of art and other pieces by Uvi can be viewed at http://uviart.com/

Although I adore the romanticism of the cape-wearing, flower-bearing skeleton in Uvi’s masterpiece, none of those skeletons are as pretty as mine and Barbara’s “baby boy of horror.” That’s our temporary name for our “boy,” but it doesn’t do him justice. (Well, you know how “mothers” are about their kids.)

“Late Lover,” oil on canvasette, used with special permission from artist Uvi Poznansky

Our “baby boy of horror” is begging for a good name. Please come through for the poor kid.

AND THIS IS WHERE YOU COME IN: A few weeks ago I mentioned on Facebook about having a name-the-skeleton contest and many of you were in favor of it. Some even gave your name choices. So now, dear reader, Barbara and I are inviting you to help name our horrific (but most often angelic) boy. Please post your name choice in a comment at end of this blog for a chance to win e-book copies of all of my books and all of Barbara’s.

Are you with us?

And now for a bit of humor in closing: Another reason we love Johnny Depp, outside the fact he loves playing eccentric characters, is his sense of humor. I got a kick because he didn’t “get” Al Pacino’s joke in the following anecdote. (Don’t feel bad, Johnny, I didn’t get it at first, either. Our cover boy had to explain it to me. And isn’t Al a real living legend?)

Here’s the story, as reported in AceShowBiz.com

Johnny Depp will always be tickled remembering his time working with Al Pacino on Donnie Brasco because the Hollywood great told him the same joke over and over again. The actors filmed the mob thriller together in 1997 and the Pirates of the Caribbean star admits Pacino’s sense of humor made it one of the most memorable shoots of his career–even though it took Depp a while to figure out the gag’s punch-line.

Depp says, “Al’s fantastic, he’s a legend. All I knew about Al prior to shooting was that he was certifiably insane. He’s a joker, but he’d like to tell me this one specific joke over and over. And I really didn’t understand it. I didn’t get the joke! He thought it was my problem. He inflicted it upon me and I could feel my IQ points drop.”

“I finally figured it out. He’d lean over and he’d go, ‘John. Skeleton goes into a bar. Orders a beer and a mop.’ On a loop. He would howl every time he told the joke.”

Still with us? If so, then get busy thinking of a name for our cover boy and leave the answer in a comment on this page (not on my Facebook page). Remember, we’ll select the one we like most and the person who wrote it will get four of my five e-books and four of Barbara’s. Go for it, kids! Barbara and I have been doing the Happy Dance ever since “Six-Pack” released because it’s been very good ot us. This book put us into the international best-seller category by going to No. 2 in Germany horror and in the 30s in the UK and it was No. 1 in the U.S. for a day or two when it first came out. Go, baby boy. No matter what we end up calling you, your Mommys will always love you and think you are the most beautiful in the world. :-)

by Betty Dravis

Betty at Barnes & Noble Booksigning

Periodically the Dames post first chapters of their books. Maggie Bishop reminded me that I had not posted first chapters of Dream Reachers II, Six-Pack of Blood and Millennium Babe: The Prophecy. With that in mind, she scheduled me for this Friday and the following two. Since Dream Reachers is not a chapter book, but is a book of celebrity interviews and actress Jenny McShane is the first interview in the book, I’ll start with my interview of her. Since it’s extraordinarily long, I’ll post just enough to whet your appetite for the book.

Jenny’s a remarkable woman, so I hope you enjoy this tidbit (it first ran in Dames of Dialogue before Chase Von and I got together to put some of our best interviews into two Dream Reachers books). Enjoy!

Lovely Katherin “Kat” Kovin Pacino, actress/producer and stepmother of the great Al Pacino, is also featured in DRII and on the cover. (Photo credit: cinematographer Mario Prado)

Betty Dravis: Welcome to Dames of Dialogue, Jenny. Christy Tillery-French, co- founder of this select band of female authors, appointed me as celebrity interviewer of the group. As you know, the Dames usually interview people in the publishing industry, but since I co-authored the first Dream Reachers, they think it will add fascinating variety to interview people from the other arts. You are one of the most popular artists in Dream Reachers--the only one in both books–and were so helpful to me and Chase Von during production of the first book that I just had to interview you first for the second. (laughs)

Jenny, you have done so much in the entertainment industry, I’m sure our readers will enjoy you as much as your current fans do. I know from your section in Dream Reachers about your father’s job choice, but can you tell us a little about that and how you went from there to being such a successful actress?

Jenny McShane: I wanted to be an actress since the age of three when I tortured neighborhood kids by performing on a ledge in my basement with an empty paper-towel holder as my microphone. I asked my parents for a piano when I was in second grade. I had a deep desire to get whatever it was inside out, I think! Most people who know me say I like attention, but I think it is more than that––I like to see people happy. I think music and entertaining lets people momentarily escape whatever stress they may have. When I see people’s faces respond with a happy gaze, it makes me happy. Entertaining helps me to escape, as well, and gives me a deep inner peace.

Betty Dravis: You chose your career for an admirable reason, Jenny, but it looks like it chose you, too. I have to grin at the image of the “little girl you” in that basement. I bet you get a lot of “mileage” from being the “daughter of a pig farmer”…and a lot more laughs, all good-natured and in the right spirit, I’m sure. Nobody can argue with success. I’ll get into some of your movies and your leading men later, but can you tell us about when you first started singing and playing guitar? I understand you formed your own band for a while, but that you recently joined an up-and-coming band with a very unusual name. Do you mind sharing about how you met “Harry the Dog” and where you’re currently performing?

Jenny McShane: I do, oddly enough, get a lot of mileage out of the Pig Farmer’s Daughter line. My mother gets so upset, especially when they included Pig Farmer’s Daughter in an interview The New York Times did on me. “Couldn’t you say hog farmer’s daughter, Jen?” she asked. “It sounds so much nicer.”… I think the funniest thing that ever happened with the pig stories was meeting Smokey Hormel. Smokey was the son of the famous Hormel family, which is where I drove with my family to take our pigs when it was time for them to go to market. Smokey became a guitar player in Bruce Willis’s band. I started playing guitar and singing when I realized I could get out of some more work.

When we were growing up, my parents made a music room for us in the house. Mom and Dad loved to listen to me play the piano at night after chores. I honestly liked playing but knew it would also make them forget about extra things that might need to be done. My father is one of twenty-two children. His brothers and sisters and mother were all very musical and I was in heaven when I went to my grandma’s house and heard them all singing and playing various instruments together. It was so beautiful. My grandmother played the violin and was an expert tap dancer, so she was always the highlight of the show.

It was such a sense of achievement when I learned to play guitar and piano and could sit in with Dad’s family and keep up. I took piano lessons at the convent next to the Catholic school, from Marguerite McPartland, another Irish lass. The piano was great, as you can read music and it helps you learn other instruments easily. I can play accordion and guitar based on the basics of the piano lessons.

I did have my own band, called Little Ruby, for a little bit seven years ago. I put it together to keep myself busy when I wasn’t working in acting. In April of this year I joined a band called Harry the Dog and the Traveling Soul Circus. My boyfriend is from England and has a whole crew of English people in LA who really stick together like a posse. He is friends and a big fan of Harry Bridgen’s band. I accidentally ran into Harry at an English pub called Cat N Fiddle on Sunset. I overheard one of Harry’s friends saying they were looking for a female guitar player because a girl in the band was going on tour with Pink. When I heard Pink, that grabbed my attention! I am a big fan of Pink, so I asked if I could audition to be in the band and Harry agreed. I took Bruno Frasca, the expert guitar player in the band, to Chateau Marmont and proceeded to play the piano and the guitar for the guests that were there that night. The last song I played on the guitar was “The Gambler” by Kenny Rogers. All the other hotel guests joined in; even the actor Josh Hartnett enjoyed it and was singing along. Needless to say, I was invited to join the band. I am on guitar and back-up vocals for the group. I also helped the band write and record a very cool song titled “American Man.”

Betty Dravis: That’s a fun, interesting story, Jenny. Best of luck with the group! I haven’t had the good fortune to be in the LA area to see you perform, but I’ve seen YouTube videos and photos on various Hollywood websites. You certainly are a good singer, pick a mean guitar and your energy is endless. How do you keep in such fine shape? And please give us some links to your various websites.

Jenny McShane: I do have a lot of natural energy. I think it was growing up with all the manual labor. Now I have to work out at least five times a week just to feel like I am doing something. It makes my spirit positive to run, lift weights, ride a bike, etc. I think if you are an entertainer it is your responsibility to respect your fans and show them you have morals and drive. I love to watch Rocky as many times a year as I can; it inspires me. Drive and being in great shape is something I admire in any performer. Who likes to drive a dirty car? is how I look at it! I love that Clint Eastwood is in top shape to this day. Any of the performers I admire are always in great shape in person!

I have my own website which is http://www.jennymcshane.com But I need to get some updates on there! I also post my current gigs on my FaceBook page.

Betty Dravis: I hear you loud and clear about updating your website, Jenny. That seems like an endless task, especially for someone who does as much as you. I’ve seen five of your movies: Furnace, which is your latest (with the very handsome Michael Pare); Shark Attack, in which you starred with Casper Van Dien; The Watcher, starring Keanu Reeves, where you played the lead female detective; Shark Attack 3, where you co-starred opposite John Barrowman; and Stag. I expected Stag to be an actual stag party, which is not to my taste, so was pleasantly surprised to see that it was about something tragic that happened at the beginning of a stag party, rather than going in-depth with a so-called “sex” movie. It has some nudity, but is more of a thriller… How many movies have you been in, Jenny? Your interview in the first Dream Reachers goes in-depth on this subject, so keep it brief. Then tell us about some of your modeling jobs. I’d love to hear your take on that, as I’m sure our readers will.

Jenny McShane: I have been in about twenty movies, but only on four television shows. I never keep an exact tab, though. The movie Stag has a real message. The film is quite scary as it shows kids and adults that some of our decisions can end up affecting our entire lives. After filming Stag, I met a director in London who told me his eighteen-year-old son had been drunk driving and hit and killed two people and would be serving the rest of his life in prison. The character I played in Stag was difficult to play. The original script had the back-story that was not included in the movie. The mother of the two sisters in the movie was dying of cancer and since they didn’t have insurance, they stripped to get the money quickly to help the family.

Modeling is the way I started in the business. There is some misinformation about modeling. Modeling is a job description and every model isn’t perfect. The majority of modeling I did was commercial as opposed to editorial. Editorial models were stunning, in my eyes. We commercial models were basically girl-next-door types. I did a lot of Budweiser/Anheuser Busch ads and catalog shoots, as well as Target and Dayton Hudson ads when I started. I also did a lot of industrial shoots for various companies, including Fingerhut, 3M, etc. I don’t consider photos that I do now to be modeling, but rather publicity for my likeness. (Continued in Dream Reachers book.)

End of selected portion of Jenny McShane’s interview in Dream Reachers. To learn who her mentors are and who was the best kisser of all the stars she’s kissed (on location, of course)–and much more–you might want to get a copy of Dream Reachers. It’s only in print format; not in ebook yet. With over 300 photos in the book, it’s a challenge for ebook, but we are working on it. Amazon link for Dream Reachers: http://www.amazon.com/Dream-Reachers-Chase-Von/dp/0976678780/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1305784038&sr=1-1

by Betty Dravis

Betty Dravis: Hey, Susan. I’m honored that you found time in your busy schedule to be with us and share your life journey. I met you through Tony Tarantino for whom you are writing and who is directing some of your next acting performances. I can’t wait to know what’s happening on the big screen and your other creative interests, but first I want to know about your childhood.

It intrigues me that you were born in Germany because your father was a military man and the family traveled extensively. Chase Von, my co-author, also spent some time in Germany and is the first to call himself a “military brat.” I bet you got a lot of that while growing up. (laughs) Please share some highlights of your childhood, such as when your family returned to the U.S. from Germany and what you dreamed of being when you grew up.

Susan Kennington: Thank you, Betty. It’s my pleasure to be interviewed by such an accomplished writer as you.

Before my family returned to the U.S. we moved to the Philippines when I was about three years old. I have vivid memories of living in a home that was raised above ground with a screened-in lanai underneath. At night, lizards would cover the screens and I would talk to them before I went to sleep. My parents bought the most beautiful bamboo living room set with hand-carved teak accessories. I can still remember the fragrance. At that age, I recall several trips to the emergency room. Everything from high fevers to split lips from trying to roller-skate down the hall. I also climbed the counters and cupboards and reached the baby aspirin… My poor mom and dad! I seemed to have put them in a state of panic on a regular basis. (laughs)

From that location, we returned to the states…to North Carolina. At the age of four, I began to understand the importance of southern hospitality by observing my mom and her friends. And there were more trips to the emergency room: neck injuries and other minor abrasions. Once I split my eye open and I still have the scar from that one. I suppose it’s safe to say I was quite active.

Susan's parents Virginia and Norman Engstrom

Boston was next, where I received an excellent first- and second-grade education, becoming quite a proficient little reader. I’m glad I had the chance to experience what it was like to live in the snow and all the fun that went with it, as well as tour all of the historical landmarks. My father was in Vietnam much of the time, so it must have been very difficult for my mom, but she never complained. We drew very close to our friends whose loved ones were also overseas. My mother was in a state of constant service and we always seemed to have enough of whatever was necessary to help whoever was in need. I will never forget how she so completely gave of herself. She was the strength of all who knew her–a true steel magnolia…

From Boston, we moved to southern California, then further north to Alameda where my little sister was born. Finally I wasn’t the baby of the family, so my parents loosened the reins. I was thrilled to have a little sister to help take care of. After the sudden passing of my father, we moved back to southern California where we had previously purchased a home. It was a sad time for all of us, but my little sister–who was barely a year old at the time–kept us smiling.

My imagination was, and is, very vivid, so I dreamed of life from one end of the spectrum to the other. I had a magic carpet in the living room that I would “ride” when I was four. I would change my name each day, so it made it difficult for my mom to know what to call me. One dream that was always constant was that of being a mother. More than anything, I’m grateful to say that wish came true, and I am living my dream.

Betty Dravis: Traveling sounds like an adventurous beginning to an active, fulfilling life, Susan–but talking to lizards! Yikes, I would have been hopping around, screaming. (laughs) And I can just see the “little tomboy you” taking all those trips to the E.R., riding your magic carpet and then changing your name on a daily basis. You sound so cute and precocious, Susan. Your poor mother–but I bet she enjoyed every second with her precious daughter!

Susan's children, Shane, Tressah and Stanton - Christmas 2010

As for being a mother, I think that’s what most women dream of first and foremost, and I’m glad we both have our beloved children in our lives. That’s what life is all about.

Before getting into the heavy stuff, I have a confession to make. You’ve commented on some of my photos that you think I’m an attractive, elegant lady. When you say that, it astonishes me since you’re one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood. That’s so satisfying to my ego that I go around with my head in the clouds for days. (laughs)

But seriously, Susan, you are gorgeous and have the most magnificent head of hair I’ve seen since the famous actress Jane Seymour (when young) and popular songbird Crystal Gayle. Crystal’s hair is her trademark and I wonder if you’re known for your tresses, also–in addition to your acting ability and great beauty, of course. I imagine those long, golden locks have gotten you many acting roles, but has your hair ever kept you from getting any role you’ve coveted? I imagine not, since you can always pin it up into a bun or draw it back… There are many choices.

Susan's beautiful mother Virginia Engstrom

Susan Kennington: Thank you, Betty. I must give credit to my mom for my hair. She passed on the gene to me and to my children. I’ve thought about cutting it many times, for the exact reason you mentioned… Long hair can sometimes be a distraction. Yes, it can go up or back, so that helps. I don’t pay much attention to it and rarely visit a salon, so it has gotten very long lately. By the way, I love the pictures I’ve seen of you throughout the years. My goodness, I am sincere with my compliments regarding your beauty!

Betty Dravis: There you go again, Susan… But needless to say, I’m flattered. Thank you so much. I also give my parents credit for whatever genes I inherited from them. They were lovely, down-to-earth peopleEveryone wants to know all about your acting career, but before discussing that, I’d like to know when the acting bug bit you.

Susan Kennington: From my earliest memory, I enjoyed entertaining my family, especially my dad. In the living room, at the dinner table, during long drives in the car… It didn’t matter where, we were always “on stage.” (laughs) My dad had an incredible voice and was very funny, so we had a lot of fun together, especially when doing impersonations of celebrities.When I was twelve, I was part of a young women’s organization within our church that I had recently started to attend. Our leader was Susan Laughton. She had extensive professional experience with stage, music, writing and composing and was an exceptionally talented woman. She spent hours with us after school and during vacation time, teaching and training us. I still remember the songs from her musicals. Susan Laughton took a publicly shy young girl under her wing and before I knew it, I was out of the living room and on the stage singing and acting. I can’t stress the importance of how valuable her volunteer service was to me.

Susan at Eva Longoria Parker's Charity Event: Rally for Kids with Cancer. July of 2010

I also took drama, choir, voice and dance classes here and there throughout school and college and performed in various community productions. At the age of eighteen I became engaged and a new chapter of my life started, with my acting and singing re-locating from the stage to the kitchen. That chapter was put on hold for many years while I did other things, and then a few years ago–through a series of interesting events–it became apparent that I would be moving in that direction again.

Betty Dravis: Wow, your memories bring flashbacks of when I entertained my parents by singing Wabash Cannon Ball for Dad and The Ballad of Barbara Allen for Mom. I couldn’t sing worth a darn, but Dad and Mom got pleasure from it and didn’t seem to mind at all. I guess Dad’s keen sense of humor and Mom’s unconditional love for her children overcame our deficiencies. (laughs) And what a huge break it was for you when that incredible teacher took such an interest in you.

Susan, I hear that you’re an awesome mother, so please share what your family means to you. Have they been supportive as you strive to reach your other dreams?

Susan with daughter Tressah in Hawaii in 1987.

Susan Kennington: As I said, Betty, while in college I became engaged and then married a few weeks after turning nineteen. During that period of my life, I was given my dream of having four incredible children that have enhanced my life with indescribable joy. I built several custom homes with my (former) husband.  I enjoyed the entire process of shopping and investigating land, working with architects, procuring permits and seeing the project through to fruition, including the interior designs, marketing and selling the homes…and then moving on to the next. It was an amazing experience that provided a creative outlet, as well as valuable knowledge. Among other things, I also did volunteer work, taught and led youth groups and took college classes when my schedule would allow, and of course, raised my children.

I’m glad you asked about my family because my family is absolutely everything to me. I have always been a hands-on mom and have structured work around raising my children, not the other way around. There is nothing more important than them. They have been my priority from day one. Shane, my youngest, is now sixteen, and I enjoy every minute I can get with my kids. They are supportive, but the entertainment industry isn’t something we talk about often. There are too many other things that occupy our combined thoughts and activities. I guess you could say we live a somewhat un-Hollywood, down-to-earth life.

Betty Dravis: Having had six children of my own, Susan, I certainly relate to that. I also share a love of construction with you. Not that I ever actually built any structures, but I owned Construction Labor News for over fifteen years and fought many editorial battles for working people’s rights. There are no people on earth who work harder than men and women in construction.

Wow, Susan, I knew you were a dynamite actress, business woman and mother, but to learn of your actually building houses is awesome. Another reason to admire you…

Palatial custom home project started by Susan at age 29.

But getting back to show biz, a little bird told me that your very first acting assignment showed you being “transfixed” on George Clooney as he delivered a speech. I read that that scene required a Coen Brothers’ style of humor. Was that scene in the Coen Brothers’ movie Intolerable Cruelty where you played an attorney? Just what is that style of humor, Susan? And how did it feel to be ogling one of the top stars in the world? Not a bad way to start… (laughs)

Susan was cast as an attorney in "Intolerable Cruelty," starring popular superstar George Clooney

Susan Kennington: Yes, Betty, that scene was in Intolerable Cruelty. I find the Coen Brothers’ work interesting and in a realm of its own. As for their comedic style, most people either find it quite funny or they just don’t get it at all. I’m one who “gets” it. I’ve had experience with many of the characters they create, so their films just crack me up. Oftentimes you don’t realize the full impact of their humor until a beat or two later. Quirky brilliance at its best!

Yes, my first day on a set and my assignment was to stare at George Clooney… It does not get any better than that. (laughs) He’s even more handsome in person, very professional and a fantastic actor. He performed the same speech countless times and worked for hours so they could shoot different angles, expressions, etc. I had not been to bed the night before because I was at a bonfire with my boys’ scout troop…in the middle of an orange grove until late in the evening. Then I had to go home, get ready, pack and drive to L.A. in order to be in Beverly Hills by about five a.m. After working all day, I think it was about nine or ten p.m. when someone came over to me and said Mr. Coen wanted me in the front to shoot some close-ups for the next scene. That’s when I was given my special instructions. I was thrilled, but also smiled at the irony of looking so haggard from no sleep. It was a great opportunity that I’ll fondly remember with giggles and gratitude.

Susan thinks back about her role in "Intolerable Cruelty" as she poses with Clooney's "wax image" at a Presidential Inner Circle Fantasy Event. November 2010.

Betty Dravis: I can’t imagine you looking haggard, Susan, but you’re a trouper and came through for the film, regardless. I (and the majority of women) envy you meeting George Clooney, but that’s just one of the perks of your profession. (laughs)

After that, I understand that you joined the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and met many big stars. Do you mind telling us about some of the ones who impressed you the most and with whom you would like to act in the future?

Susan Kennington: I have been impressed with every one that I’ve had the chance to be on set with. Kevin Costner was very nice. I would love to work with him.  Billy Ray Cyrus, David Zayas and Eric Allan Kramer stand out as being exceptionally warm and friendly too. There are several more, but honestly, I can’t think of anyone that was not very kind.  I don’t go up and pester stars, so maybe that’s why I’ve had good experiences with the ones I’ve been around. I’m in awe of directors and crew who manage to keep it all together and run a smooth and productive set.

I would love to have the chance to act–not only with those I’ve already mentioned–but with Javier Bardem, Harrison Ford, Al Pacino, Michael Douglas… I could go on forever. They are all incredible and I think just about anyone would love to work with all of them.

Susan at another Hollywood Red Carpet Event.

Betty Dravis: I’m probably behind the times, but I don’t know Zayas, Kramer and Bardem, but all the others are “household names” by now. Great choices and you named two of my all-time favorites: Harrison Ford and Al Pacino.

With those hunks in mind, Susan, I must ask you a question that’s proven popular with our readers. I hope it doesn’t embarrass you. I have asked a few actresses the same question and it’s a big hit with our female readers. The question: What star that you’ve worked with is the best kisser…onscreen, of course? (laughs)

Susan Kennington: I have yet to experience a kiss with a major star, but I will say I watched a movie recently, Frankie and Johnny, with Michelle Pfeiffer and Al Pacino. The way his character kissed her character was extraordinary. Don’t tell anyone, but acting is also very technical, so without the mutual passion, it may look the same, but nothing beats the real thing. (laughs)

Betty Dravis: Oh, yeah, Susan… A kiss without passion is like a taco without the hot sauce… (laughs) You know, I hate to admit it, but Frankie and Johnny is one of the few Pacino films I’ve missed. Now it’s at the top of my list. As soon as I finish your interview, I’m going to go online to Amazon and order it. I might learn something important. I saw them together in Scarface and they do seem to have that certain onscreen chemistry.

But moving on, I’ve heard you refer to yourself as “a tomboy in stilettos,” and after hearing some of your childhood misadventures, I understand why you said that. Nevertheless, that statement endeared you to me and made me chuckle, but now it brings to mind another question. Susan, since your many public appearances call for a rather extensive wardrobe, if you could buy only two garments for this coming fall season what would they be? Who are your best women friends and do you enjoy doing the girly things together, like shopping at out-of-the-way boutiques and dining at little sidewalk cafes?

Susan Kennington: For fall, I would buy tall, slender boots and a tailored jacket. My best women friends are my daughter and my sisters. I always enjoy my time with them. My sisters are like comediennes, so we cause a ruckus wherever we go. And my daughter is always up for anything fun. We share so much in common, yet have different interests, too, so there’s always something new to talk about and explore.

Betty Dravis: Since you’re tall and statuesque, Susan, those boots sound like the perfect choice, and a tailored jacket is versatile and a real wardrobe stretcher. Good choices… I also like that you enjoy your sisters and your daughter so much. I bet you all have fun, outrageous times together. Girl power!

Now that you’re an accomplished actress with much experience, I would like to share some of your past credits before going on to your current projects. I’m pleased to report that, in addition to Intolerable Cruelty, you’ve had roles in the following films: Memphis Rising: Elvis Returns (G.T.M. LLC/M.Z. Silverz, Director) wherein you played reporter Lyn Martin; Flying By (Eric Abrahamson/Jim Amatulli) where you played a Runion guest named Summer. And then there was Carnivale where you played the mother in a featured family film for HBO.

That’s quite a start, Susan, and now you’re acting in four upcoming movies that we’ll discuss below. I’m excited for you, not only for getting so many good roles, but also for other skills you’ve developed. But first, for the benefit of aspiring actors among our readers, please tell us where you studied. You spoke above about getting started in college, so this question pertains to what happened after.

Susan and Tony Tarantino with the beloved actor Ernest Borgnine. Borgnine is now 92 and recently earned the Lifetime Achievement Award from the RI International Film Festival.

Susan Kennington: Well, Betty, I won’t bore your readers by describing each movie and scene I’ve been in and all the classes I attended, but I studied with various acting instructors throughout the Los Angeles area and participated and graduated from a specialized on-camera training course for actors at Actors Certified Training in North Hollywood, now located in Burbank. I’ve also taken a screenwriting workshop by Linda Seger, taken firearms training by Jim Bowan and attended classes by Joel Coleman, Susan Laughton and Steve Nave, to name a few. I like to give the instructors credit because they are so important to the entire entertainment industry.

The camera captured Susan with actor Marty Kove and Tony Tarantino at a charity event.

Betty Dravis: I can’t imagine you ever being boring, Susan, but I dislike long lists of things when reading, also. And I agree with you about the importance of teachers…no matter what career one is in. But now I’d like to hear about your writing. I’m impressed that you started writing somewhere along the way and have recently turned to producing. I know that you’ve contributed to A-list scripts, are also writing your own original screenplay and producing and developing a film based on historical events, set in the South Seas. What’s the latest buzz with those demanding projects?

Susan Kennington: It’s true, Betty, I am a screenwriter, but I haven’t sought to have my own work published yet.  Everything I’ve done has someone else’s name on it. One dream at a time, and that’s one of my next goals I need to reach before I can live my dreams to their fullest.

The film The Shark Hunter, which is in early development, was written by J. Robert Shaffer and is taken from his historical fiction novel, Samoa, to be released in early 2011. It is set in the islands of Samoa during the late 1800s and is a cross between Braveheart, A Perfect Storm, and The Patriot. Inspired by true events, it is one of the greatest tales of courage, integrity, love and forgiveness–with a starring role played by Mother Nature. The project was placed in my hands by my dear family friend, George Molifua, shortly before he passed away. He and J. Robert Shaffer were extremely close. As you might surmise, this film is of particular importance. There has been some studio and A-list interest, and our website–built by Kodi Zene who was introduced to me by marketing expert Edward Earle–will be up shortly.

La Promessa, also in early development, was sent to me by a dear friend and talented actor and screenwriter Rick Los. It follows a young girl’s life, after the untimely death of her father, as she journeys to Italy and seeks answers that come to her through challenging experiences she shares with a remarkable horse with unusual qualities. We are in negotiations and talks to shoot this film in Italy, if all goes well. So far, that has been the case.

Betty Dravis: Both those films sound like high concept to me, Susan. I’m so excited for you, and I look forward to celebrating with you on the red carpet when your very own film premieres. Woo-hoo…

In addition to all of that, you’re also an associate producer for a fitness DVD that’s in development and for a business strategy show, now in production. Considering the many projects you’re involved with, I’m curious about how you keep on track and remain organized. What’s a typical day in your life like?

Susan Kennington: The fitness DVD was more than a year ago, Betty, as well as the business strategy show, although that’s about to take off again under a new format, from what I understand. It is tied to the consulting work that I do.

Some things overlap and others have taken place during different time periods. In the film business, there is often a lot of waiting for final funding to occur. I don’t wait on anything, however. I always have something else to work on during those times. I stay organized by remaining dedicated, taking one thing at a time and focusing on top priorities.

Betty Dravis: Your fitness video brings to mind another question, Susan. Since you’re five feet, nine inches tall and quite slender, I would describe you as a “willowy beauty.” How do you stay in such fine shape and what are your favorite foods?

Susan speaks at MJ International "Champs for Children" charity event.

Susan Kennington: “Willowy beauty…” Hmmm, that’s a nice way of putting it, Betty. (laughs) I do some form of exercise nearly every day, even if I can only fit in a ten-minute workout. I’ve found that keeping the discipline going is very important. My favorite form of exercise is running, particularly by the ocean. I find tremendous energy by moving water. It’s quite a physical, spiritual and creative experience for me. I also have a small portable stair-stepper that I use at home for quick intense workouts. My diet consists of mostly raw foods: fruits, nuts, vegetables, seeds, herbal plant foods… Lots of salads. When it comes to food, I basically eat what I like, but in small portions, especially if it’s something that isn’t quite so healthy.

Betty Dravis: Your exercise and food choices sound sensible, Susan, and like you say, it does take discipline and the regimen of doing it on a daily basis. I admire anyone who can stick to it.

Since I recently interviewed your good friend and business associate, Tony Tarantino, who is also an important industry figure, IMO, and one of my favorite Hollywood people, I’m really jazzed about your work with him. In addition to good roles in three of his movies that are in pre-production, you’re also a staff writer and associate producer for Tarantino Productions. That must keep you hopping, so tell us something about your work.

I would like to know if the writing evolved out of your acting and exposure to the entertainment industry. And please tell us about your favorite role in a Tarantino production: Is it the role of Margo in Prism, or of Belinda Rhodes in Death Keeps Coming, which Tony produces in association with Karl Adam Entertainment/Derek K Milton?

Susan Kennington: My experience with producing, in general, is very similar to building a custom home, Betty. It takes patience, self-initiative, tremendous drive, vision, hard work, paying attention to details and being organized, as well as being very good at working with various personality types. I’m an endless well of ideas and I have a huge amount of contacts. These are some of the things I’ve been told that make me stand out as an asset on projects.

Susan kicks back on Balboa Island in 2009.

I used to write down my thoughts, often in the form of poetry and song lyrics, and then throw them away. Throughout my life–through natural correspondence and  expression of opinion, emotion, communication and language–I was often asked if I was a writer, and if not, why wasn’t I. When Tony and I became friends, he was very encouraging of my writing skills, and also my acting skills–which he wasn’t even aware of until long after we became acquainted. He happened to be with me one evening during a class I was enrolled in… That’s when he started asking me to be in some of the films he was working on, and it’s just grown from there. Assisting with, and contributing to the screenplay Prism was a wonderful opportunity for me. I soon realized I had the knack and wanted to keep moving forward with it. The same thing happened musically. His sincere feedback and encouragement has fortified my confidence and desire to cultivate that part of my creative nature. I’ll always be grateful to him for that.

As for my favorite role, there are aspects of each character that I will be playing that are of particular interest. I helped to create and develop Margo and had an enjoyable time expressing her wit, intellect and feminine nature, so she is close to my heart. I’ve always wanted to act in a western, so the role of Belinda Rhodes, the wife of a rancher who is confronted by a paranormal presence, will be an amazing experience.

Betty Dravis: I find that with my friends who encourage my writing, too, Susan. The ones who keep their faith in me and inspire me to move forward will always be remembered with undying gratitude. In the end, it always seems to boil down to people helping people. That’s what makes the world go round.

Susan with actor Luke Perry and her dear friend, Actor/Director/Producer Tony Tarantino.

Well, Susan, we’ve spoken about so many aspects of your life and I think it’s been definitely established that you’re a human dynamo…a real Dream Reacher. After reaching the stars and living your dreams, what inspires you to reach for more stars and do something even more extraordinary? And what advice do you have for those who are disillusioned and thinking of quitting?

Susan Kennington: I learned at an early age that life on earth, as we know it, can end very quickly. I have said goodbye to many loved ones as they have passed on, including my parents and my first child.

What inspires me is pure love: love of God, love of family and friends–both here and in the spirit world–love of our existence on Earth, and love for all that is possible.

For anyone who is feeling discouraged, know that with all of life’s experiences there is knowledge to be learned. This alone is a valuable gift, no matter what we are blessed with or what we must endure. Find ways to elevate yourself when feeling low. This might come in the form of music, exercise, an inspiring film or laughter. Develop a talent, release your tears… Whatever works for you. Most of all, I can’t stress enough how vital it is for me to be spiritually in tune and connected.

Betty Dravis: That’s excellent advice, Susan… And please accept my condolences on the loss of your loved ones. I, too, know the pain of losing a child…

But now we need a break from heavy to light, so what is the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you—onstage or off?

Susan with Phil Jones & Mark Valinsky at Squatters TV Party + Coppola Art Gallery Party attended by members of the Presidential InnerCircle

Susan Kennington: Oh, I have a great story… (laughs)  It took place about twelve years ago.  I was with my family at Disneyland, including my sisters, nieces, nephews–the whole gang. The day was winding down and we stopped in front of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle while waiting for the parade. Actually, it was the parade that never came…because it didn’t, but that’s a whole different tale.

Well, the kids were little and getting restless, so I bought an armful of churros and was feeding them like tiny seals. I had this bright idea to stand on a bench that surrounds the castle, but sat instead on the ledge above it while I fed the kids their treats. Seemed like a good idea, but the ledge was polished stone, so in an instant I slid off and disappeared–except for my feet that were sticking up. I landed in a tree below the bench/wall and couldn’t move. My boys were ecstatic because it was just like Buzz Lightyear when he fell out of Woody’s window into a tree, and they proudly told me this when they stuck their little laughing heads over the wall to get a better look. All my sister could say was Susan!…amid paralyzing laughter. Finally, their dad popped his face over and said, “Susan! What did you do that for?”

Susan's adorable son Shane at age 1 1/2.

It was an “I can’t believe he just asked me that” moment…

What was I supposed to say: “Well, apparently, I thought it would be entertaining to lay jack-knifed and incapacitated in this tree waiting for you to decide when might be a good time to yank me out.”?

He extended his arm and in a split second I was back on “land.” We laughed so hard I thought we might be escorted out of the park. Yes, I still have my Buzz Lightyear scar on my arm and wear it proudly.

Betty Dravis: That’s one of the funniest things I ever heard, Susan…but leave it to you! And dare I laugh at your expense? (laughs) But before I double over with laughter, I better ask the next question: If you were given the chance to spend an entire day with one movie director or producer (besides those with whom you currently work) who would you choose and why?

Susan Kennington: Anyone who has their budget in order and is ready to shoot and get to work!  Dreaming is nice, but doing is better. (laughs)  I recently watched several Al Pacino movies and gained a high degree of respect for his abilities as an actor, which I suspect would translate into him being a fantastic director. He’s directed a couple of films that I’m looking forward to seeing. As for Kevin Costner, he “appreciates the lines on a woman’s face as she gracefully journeys through life.” What an experience that would be, to work under his direction. Pacino and Costner are two that come to mind very quickly, but there are so many.

Susan's handsome eighteen-year-old son Stanton.

Betty Dravis: That seems like a sound way of choosing, Susan. I agree that Pacino is so gifted he could branch out into directing and be brilliant. I bet our readers will readily ditto that thought. (laughs)

But now, since the world is in such chaos at present, if you could influence any one thing in the entire history, the present or future of the world, what would you choose to change and why? This can include how something works, also. For example, you might want to allow automobiles to fly. (laughs)

Susan Kennington: Well, since you’ve mentioned it, Betty, I’ve often fantasized about being one of the Jetsons while traveling from San Diego to Los Angeles. (laughs) But all kidding aside, if I could change one thing, it would be that every child on earth would be born into a loving and tender environment. One that would enrich and support the pure essence and potential of who they are and what they will become. If that were to take place, nearly all other problems of our society would cease to exist and the real beauty of our existence on this planet we share would flourish.

Betty Dravis: That’s the most beautiful thought I’ve heard in a long while, Susan. You are remarkably sensitive and caring of others.

Since you’re an actress, you receive a lot of public acclaim, so can you share one story that is especially close to your heart; something someone said or did that moved you and made you glad you were able to help (or inspire) that person?

Another aesthetic shot of Susan with Phil Jones.

Susan Kennington: Oh gosh, I’m not aware of any public acclaim! (laughs) There isn’t one person in particular, but rather a gratitude that I have for a constant and steady stream of notes and personal conversations that come my way, expressing the inspiration and insight I’ve somehow been able to share with others. I find human interaction one of the greatest things I can do to add depth and meaning to my life. It’s a good feeling to hear that I’ve provoked thought in someone…caused them to think about things they never thought of before. The greatest is when my children share moments with me that affirm in my heart I’ve done well as their mom, and they know they are loved and treasured.

Betty Dravis: That’s the kind of humble answer those who know you would expect from you, Susan. Your entire being is unbelievably kind and attuned to others. Thanks for ending our “chat” on a positive note, but before leaving, I’d like to offer you the chance to discuss anything of importance that I may have missed.

Susan & daughter Tressah walking towards Kodak Center following Presidential Inner Circle Fantastic Celebrity Event of November 2010.

Susan Kennington: I don’t think you’ve missed anything, and I want to thank you, Betty, not only for this interview, but for all that you are and all that you mean to me. You are a treasure, and I’m grateful our lives have crossed paths. I look forward to reading more of your work and to many years of continued friendship.

Betty Dravis: I appreciate that, Susan, and I feel honored and blessed to be your friend.

I’m reluctant to leave you because you’re such fun to be around, but I’ll do so if you promise to send post-production info about your films and news of your other projects. (laughs) I know our readers will want to be kept in the loop. Meanwhile, they can visit your various websites. Since I Googled you and found over half-a-million hits, I’ll save your fans a lot of searching by listing your main websites here.

www.imdb.com/name/nm2979199/

www.facebook.com/susan.kennington

www.icelebz.com/celebs/susan_kennington/

www.myspace.com/susankennington

www.linkedin.com/in/susankennington

www.twitter.com/SusanKennington

Susan at the Lili Claire charity event with Tony Tarantino.

Well, Susan, I guess that’s it for now. I’ve had a blast chatting with you. It’s refreshing to know there are still such wholesome, wonderful, caring people in the southern part of our glorious state of California. Thanks for being here and for being you!

Since you’re learning to speak Italian now that you’re spending so much time in that lovely country, the next time you’re there, please give Antonia Tosini a big hug from me. Since she’s the author of the screenplay Between the Olive Trees, you should be running into her at one event or another. And in closing, I hope Tony won’t mind if I borrow his favorite farewell: Ciao, baby…

Susan Kennington: Grazie, and ciao mia amica bella!

by Betty Dravis

Betty Dravis: Welcome to Dames of Dialogue, Jackie. It’s not every day I interview a woman with your special mission in life. In fact, I never met anyone who does what you do… With millions of blogs and websites on the internet, I never even thought of interviewing a site owner–until I stumbled across Pacino Worldwide and wondered who was behind the fascinating site.

I did a little research and the more I learned about you and your dedication to the fabulous actor, Al Pacino, the more intrigued I became. You have a dream and are working hard to make it happen. You are a Dream Reacher and qualify as a celebrity to me and my co-author Chase Von.

Jackie Krudop: Thanks for inviting me here, Betty. I’m pleased with the kindness you’ve shown towards my dream. Some people may consider it silly, but to me it’s a labor of love. I know your Dream Reachers books are all about celebrities achieving their dreams, so I get a laugh from that… I am far from a celebrity! But when I learned that you and Chase consider everyone’s life worthy of celebration and all it takes to be a celebrity is to have a dream and fulfill it, that’s when I began to celebrate my own “celebrity” status. (laughs)

Jackie's Treasure

In a lot of ways I feel like a celebrity to Al’s fans because I get emails and tons of compliments on things I have posted on Facebook, such as photos from events, appearances and such. Maybe I post something that they may not have had the chance to see in their part of the world because of press or what not… That word “celebrity” is still a little new to me, but secretly, it makes the old ego feel realllyy good! (laughs) In fact, Betty, this interview makes me feel very confident right now. I thank you.

Betty Dravis: It’s our pleasure, Jackie, and you got it right! Life is as fun as you make it… But now please tell us what your website is all about. I know you adore Al Pacino and your website states: Maintaining the integrity of an artist at a level deserving of the man it honors. Just what does that mean to you?

Jackie Krudop: Wow, just seeing our mission statement in print takes me back to the very beginning. I guess that it means that at all costs, we will bring to Al’s fans the facts–not the rumor mill “b.s.” and nothing that will exploit him, his family, his children or anything in his personal life.

I mean, when we first started this, you wouldn’t believe how many questions we got about who he’s dating, what church he goes to, who he votes for president …just silly stuff like that. It sort of angers me that people claim to admire someone, but then they invade their personal life as if there is truly no respect at all. I don’t know…

Sometimes I get a little overly protective of Al, but it’s not in a possessive or obsessive way; it’s in a humane way. But I wouldn’t want all those questions answered by anyone but me, and if Al hasn’t answered them, then perhaps no one needs to know. Make sense? (shrugs shoulders)

In short, what that means to me is that when you come to Pacino Worldwide, you get facts about Al’s art and his works–past, present and future–nothing else. And you will make a friend or two along the way…guaranteed!

Betty Dravis: It’s an admirable mission statement, Jackie. No one could expect more from you than honesty and good information; I’m sure Al Pacino would respect that in you, also. In the eyes of the world, that must make you Al’s number one fan! How do you feel about that?

Jackie Krudop: I think about half the fan base of Pacino Worldwide would call me more than just a “fan.” I used to hate that word because it sounded so “stalker-ish,” so I’d rather be thought of as a respectful admirer. Either way, I hope my tribute is known by at least Al himself. I hope that he knows of my dedication to keeping his other admirers in the loop. That’s a nice thought…

In fact, my website vice-president and co-owner, Iris Frank, recently said, “In more ways than one, it’s Al’s name that gets the fans to Pacino Worldwide, but it’s you, Jackie, that keeps them there!”

I appreciate Iris pointing that out because it is a lot of work… If there is one thing I have learned by being a “fan” and someone who looks “in” from the “outside,” there is a constant need to know as much as I can without seeming like some psycho stalker. I started this site as a way to keep fans informed of everything I can with the resources that are available to me that may not be available to them. And along the way, friendships are made. That’s the cream.

Betty Dravis: Jackie, as a former career journalist, I can understand that in gathering information for the site yourself, you might appear to be stalking. That’s the way journalists are often perceived, even the most ethical ones. But everyone who knows you knows you are respectful of Al and always put his interests first.

I like that term “respectful admirer,” Jackie. It has class, like you. But hasn’t Al or anyone from his entourage ever contacted you to acknowledge the website? If not, perhaps they might read this and get in touch. I hope that someday you get to meet him. That would be another dream-come-true. How do you feel about that?

Jackie Krudop: Well, I certainly wouldn’t know the first words to say to the man…really. Honestly, we have had no one from Al’s “people” ever acknowledge the site at any time. However, we have written to comment on a few newspaper articles…just to let them know our side of a situation. If they would read this, perchance, and happen to want to get in touch, well, I’m sure they’d know how to find me. (laughs)

As far as my next dream, it would be to not only meet Al, but to see him perform in a live play. I’m a bit of a nut for Shakespeare since high school; but thanks to Al, it seems more educated and more passionate… So to see him perform onstage would be a nice dream too. If that happened to be a current Shakespeare play in New York, then all the better.

Al Pacino as Shylock Onstage in Shakespeare.Photo courtesy of Playbill.com & Pacino Worldwide

Betty Dravis: I know how you feel, Jackie, and I hope that dream comes true. Don’t forget to grab the opportunity with both hands when it comes your way. That’s the message we hope to inspire with our Dream Reachers books.

Even though it’s been forty years since I interviewed Clint Eastwood, I would dearly love to see him again. In fact, I would like to have a photo taken with him in the identical pose of the one taken then. We were both young and “pretty” in those days, but we’ve fared well and a photo like that would be a blast. Oddly, I think he’d get a kick out of it, too, if I could get past his “people” to request it. I guess I will have to try harder. (laughs)

But moving on, Jackie, when did you first see Al Pacino? In what movie?

Jackie Krudop: My first movie was Scarface, but I barely remember seeing it because I had to sneak in the drive-in theater to see it. I hadn’t reached the age of eighteen yet (1983), but I saw it, anyway. I just remember feeling so bad when hearing all those “f” bombs being dropped in one movie. (A bit of trivia Betty: Did you know that Al has said in an interview a long time ago that there were 182 “f***s” in that movie? That’s more than some people get in a lifetime!)

Betty Dravis: I never liked too much profanity in movies, either; I suppose they did it to make their characters seem tougher…but whatever, it was never in good taste and was unnecessary, in my opinion. Bruce Willis is one of my favorite actors and I cringed during many of his movies when that word came up too often. I notice they don’t use that word as much as they once did. That is a good thing…

But back to your first encounter seeing Al, at that point, did you succumb to his dark, swarthy looks or to his acting ability?

Jackie Krudop: The movie that actually “did it” for me was Scent of a Woman. It still remains my favorite of his movies. I must have seen it too many times to count. You know, there is just something about his “charm” that just escapes me now (sigh), but the thing about that movie was that I found myself wanting to take care of him or to tell the character to “snap out of it!” Then, of course, the famous tango scene…. Aaahhh…my favorite… Now there’s the dream! You just have to see it to know what I’m talking about.

Famous Tango Scene from "Scent of a Woman." Photo Courtesy of Pacino Worldwide & Photofest

I “succumbed,” as you say, more so after reading his first bio Life On the Wire. This book was something of a project I gave myself when I was pregnant with my twin boys. I had nothing better to do with my time off work than to take my other two kids to school and read, so I read a bio from the library every week. I went by alpha order and, needless to say, I stopped at the “Ps.” That got me to the internet and the rest is history!

Betty Dravis: I, personally, got hooked on Al when I saw him in the first Godfather; he was absolute dynamite in that movie, and so good-looking. I’m surprised you never mentioned any of the star-making Godfather movies, but you were probably too young when the first two were filmed. It sounds like you were really “hooked” after reading his bio. Did you go on to see all his movies after that? Or have you seen them all?

Jackie Krudop: You know, I’m not sure if it was before I created the website or during the process of it all that I decided I better see some of these films. (laughs) I mean, here I am trying to entice people to see the Al that I see and to come to this website, but if I don’t know his films, how can I offer opinion or shed light, right? So yes, at this point in my “Pacino life” I have seen all but one…and that is Me, Natalie. It was from the 70s and it’s not out on DVD, so I’m not sure when I’ll see it, but I will see it!

Betty Dravis: You’re right, Jackie, you have to have seen his films in order to talk and write about them. His stepmother, Katherin Kovin Pacino, told me he said that “Scent of a Woman” was his personal favorite movie. Have you heard that? And what’s your favorite movie starring Pacino?

Jackie Krudop: Isn’t Kat just wonderful? Kat has been very good to me. Yes, I have heard that about Al and I know that he is also fond of the work in Scarface too. But Scent of a Woman was his Oscar winner, so I can see how that would be his favorite. It just so happens that it’s my favorite movie of his too. As I said earlier, it was this film that really got to me. His charm and his tenacity as the blind retired Colonel Frank Slade just brought so much to the film. The film was about strengths and weaknesses, family and self… I just loved it! I watch it about once a month to just hear a big WHHOOHAH!! (Yes, I can actually recite the end speech too.)

Betty Dravis: I liked that movie myself, Jackie. That tango scene and his amazing speech were awesome, but that “Whhoohah” cracked me up. But did the great Al ever make a film you didn’t like? If so, why didn’t you enjoy it?

Jackie Krudop: Honestly? At first I wasn’t crazy about Donnie Brasco, but after watching it for the third time, it took on a different meaning… I think the reason I strayed from it at first viewing was because of the stereotypical “gangster” side of things and the over-acting and over-used accents of some of the actors (not from Al). But the story and the meat of the movie holds plenty to see… I mean, look… It’s Johnny Depp and Al Pacino! What’s not to love? (laughs)

Al Pacino & Johnny Depp in "Donnie Brasco." Photo Courtesy of Pacino Worldwide.

Betty Dravis: Which of his leading ladies do you like best? I, personally, love Diane Keaton who played his wife in the first Godfather, but I also like Michelle Pfeiffer who starred opposite him in Scarface. She’s a gorgeous woman.

Jackie Krudop: While I do agree with you about Diane Keaton, playing Kay in The Godfather, I’d have to say that my favorite is the great Meryl Streep in her role with Al in the Emmy-winning HBO movie, Angels In America. She (as Ethel Rosenberg) and Al (as Roy Cohn) just have that “something” that is needed on screen to make it work. They feed off each other’s lines as if it were a match in acting Heaven.

Betty, I believe the rapport comes from the paths they have taken in their personal lives (Meryl was in a relationship with Al’s dear friend John Cazale who played Fredo in Godfather and Sal in Dog Day Afternoon. Cazale had passed away.) He speaks of his own admiration of Meryl in a movie recently released called I Knew It Was You: The John Cazale Story. It’s currently showing on most Cable channels. Their on-screen chemistry just worked wonders. It was real from-the-gut acting.

Al Pacino & Meryl Streep in "Angels in America." Photo Courtesy of Pacino Worldwide.

Betty Dravis: I haven’t met one person who doesn’t admire Meryl Streep. Sorry to say, I never saw Angels in America

Well, Jackie, Al Pacino is a major talent and has won numerous acting awards, so I can understand the attraction. I’m very devoted to actor Clint Eastwood, but never once thought of honoring him in this way. I met and interviewed him years ago, as everyone in ear-shot must know by now. I’m not shy in bragging about it, but I simply honor him by trying to follow my dreams with as much diligence and creativity as he’s always shown.

Since you have a devoted husband and four children, how do you find the time to maintain the site in such a professional way? Does your family support you in this endeavor and if they help you, tell us what they do.

Jackie, Husband John, Daughter Katrina at Her Graduation.2010

Jackie Krudop: Well, Betty, while they do support me and my endeavors (no matter what I want to do) they pretty much leave Mom to her “computer time,” and then she’ll come back and be “mom” again soon. As far as my husband, he is very devoted to his family. He sometimes works more than ten hours a day in a hot stinkin’ factory. He has been there for over twenty-five years this July and I have to tell you, there is not one time that he comes home to a dirty home or a meal not cooked or at least planned. My children all do their daily chores and make sure that they are all contributing members. So thanks for pointing that out and I’m sorry if I strayed from the actual question. I guess that’s how this “well-oiled machine” works. (laughs)

Betty Dravis: I’m glad your family is so supportive of you and of each other, Jackie. Family is what it’s all about. So tell me about your daily work routine. Do you have a regular “day job?” And how many hours do you devote to Pacino Worldwide?

Jackie Working on Pacino Worldwide Website

Jackie Krudop: Hmmm, Betty…my daily routine? I guess I do have one; I do have a day job. I am the office-everything girl for a small, family-owned construction company that shall remain nameless as I promised myself not to talk about bosses or work on the internet.

I’m not sure how many hours you could calculate that I work on the site and on the Facebook page. I am “online” daily because my day job is not that busy, so I take the time to answer questions and connect to fans via Facebook. I guess it’s a good thing Al doesn’t have me on the payroll then, huh? (laughs) There are some days I work on the site for at least four hours and then there are days I don’t hardly touch the computer. Working on the site, updating it and connecting with the fans on Facebook is a “get-away” for me…therapy of sorts. While others turn to vices such as gambling or alcohol, I turn to web design and “facebooking.”

Betty Dravis: Good for you, Jackie. It’s easy to see you’re enjoying it.

You are the president of Pacino Worldwide and Iris Frank is the co-founder and vice-president. This might come as a surprise to you, but following is a note she wrote telling about how you met. I hope you don’t mind my sharing it.

I can’t tell you the exact date I met Jackie. I can tell you I was in my forties. I am no longer in my forties. In fact, I am deep into my fifties. I can, however, tell you how I met her. I was hungrily seeking a ticket to see the screening of “Chinese Coffee” at the first Tribeca Film Festival in New York after 9/11. I put out a web-wide email to various Pacino fan groups (never have I taken such a risk!) asking if anyone had an extra ticket. I did, in fact, find a ticket. I also found Jackie, or should I say, she found me. Although ticketless, she responded to the search of a Pacino fan.

Al Pacino’s talent and love of his craft are the reasons Pacino Worldwide exists but also the reasons Jackie and Iris exist. That is a blessed irony… But what you also have when you sign onto Facebook is the wit, drive and dedication of Jackie Krudop. She reminds us that as payback for her effort and her talent we are required to enjoy her handiwork. Her website is here to relax with. She insists you do just that.

Many years, many tears, many arguments and many, many phone calls have passed between us, but our love and admiration for each other remain constant. Take your bow Jackie.

Wow, Jackie, Iris thinks the world of you. It’s interesting how you met and it’s heartening to know you became such good friends. Have you ever met Iris in person?

Pacino Co-founder Iris Frank with first grandchild Jacob Ryan Frank

Jackie Krudop: Have I ever! Iris comes to visit me here in my humble abode (in the Midwest) every Labor Day weekend for what we call our “board of directors meeting,” but really it’s nothing else but good old girl time. We have become the best of friends, knowing one another better than we do our own selves. Knowing Iris is a true treasure; we not only share a “Pacino-thing” but so much more. We share so much…tears, laughter… My kids have even grown to call her “Auntie Iris,” so what does that say? I just simply love her! I call her “sister” all the time, but right now you can call her “Grandma.” She’s busy enjoying her first grandchild, Jacob Ryan Frank, who was born June 30, 2010.

Betty Dravis: I’m happy for Iris and her family, Jackie. Please congratulate “Grandma” for me and express my best wishes. (laughs)

What legalities were involved in starting Pacino Worldwide? How many members do you have? How many countries are represented in your fan base? And who supplies the fabulous photos and movie stills of Al?

Jackie Krudop: As far as legalities are concerned, the only promise I made to Al’s lawyers years ago (as the president of Pacino Worldwide) was to never make money from his name. So therefore, we are a non-profit, tribute-for-entertainment-purposes website. Yes, his lawyer contacted me as to a response to a very “ballsy” proposal we sent regarding the start up of perhaps a “fan club.” Not knowing what was in store, he just wanted to make sure of our intentions.

That is when I decided it should be something that all can enjoy and get use from; a resource, if you will. That way when fans who have never seen a particular film research that film, they will go to us, hopefully.

Members consist of fans from all around the world. We are up to 496 fans on Facebook and it continues to grow daily. Only Iris and I “run” the website. It may be “my baby,” as Iris called it once, but we both manage it. The photos on the site are mostly photos that we have access to from various sources upon release: Reuters, Corbis, Zimbio… They’re available to most–but not to everyone–so as soon as we get them, we pass them on. And trust me, there are fans out there who count on us to send these photos. We are constantly researching the web for new pictures and get press releases from Google and Yahoo daily anytime Al’s name shows up in the news. Right now–that’s a lot!

Al Pacino won Emmy for "Angels in America"

Betty Dravis: That’s interesting, Jackie, and you’re right about Al: He’s a hot commodity now and has been for a long while. He has become a living legend…

Iris mentioned your page on Facebook, so I think she met the Pacino Worldwide Facebook page. Your personal Facebook page is where I met you (indirectly through Katherin Kovin Pacino). I notice you post trivia questions and other information about Pacino and your page seems to be where many people first learn of Pacino Worldwide. You also talk about your day-to-day life and your children on Facebook. Did you set up that page for social networking or as another means of getting the word out about your favorite star?

Jackie Krudop: Well, to be honest Betty, the personal Facebook page is my own little way of connecting to old friends and family I don’t see all the time. The Pacino Worldwide Facebook page is a bit of a “coming of age” thing for the little boost I thought that the website needed. It has, indeed, worked! Iris does the marketing and watches our site’s numbers/visitors constantly. She says that since the onset of the Facebook page, our “hits” (numbers) increased instantly! We’ve gone from 20,000 to 30,000 “hits” a month to over 60,000 just this past June. Now, the numbers get larger once Al is busier, so keep working Al… (laughs)

Betty Dravis: Wow, those are fabulous numbers, Jackie. I’ll post the link on my sites around the internet and, hopefully, send more “hits” your way. (laughs)

I mentioned Al’s stepmother, Katherin Kovin Pacino, several times above. I also interviewed her for Dream Reachers: Vol. 2. She’s a fabulous, good-hearted, lovely woman and a noted actress. I notice she’s your friend on Facebook and approves your website. How did you meet her and is she a help with Pacino Worldwide? Also, you call her Katherin the Great… Why is that?

Jackie Krudop: I call her Katherin the Great because I picked it up out of a Facebook post when you called her that in a joking manner. I thought it really fit her–she truly is great! We met over ten years ago as I was searching for “ideas” and found myself joining “blogs” and various other Pacino groups in my quest to know all I could about the man and the actor. Well, I had casually mentioned to Kat that I’d love to start my own website, but that it was probably impossible and that no one would even like it, etc…all the negative stuff you could say.

It was Kat who encouraged me. Because of my age and my “experiences” in life, she knew I’d have a more mature side to Al’s fan-based sites. I had pretty much given up when one day she and I exchanged emails about Tribeca tickets and such and she said something about all the fans from other countries… That’s when I realized that I could and I would do the site and I’d call it “worldwide” because of how many countries his fans are from. I think, personally, that the name worldwide makes people pause to think…like, hmmm, maybe…

Betty Dravis: I noticed that side of Kat, too; she’s forever encouraging people…a fascinating, caring woman.

Since Al Pacino has won many awards in his outstanding career, I can’t go into all of them, but I’d like to run a quote he made in 2003. His words make me smile, affirming that he has a good sense of humor and has remained down-to-earth and humble.

“I’d like to be remembered as the only man who lived to be 250 years old! (laughs) And someone who had a chance to do what he always wanted to do. I like to think I’m a guy who wasn’t going to make it, and I did. So it’s good to buck the odds. If that means anything to anyone, I will be grateful from the beyond!” – Al Pacino (from Interview by Ken Burns for USA Weekend, Issue Date: January 26, 2003)

Jackie, do you have a favorite quote of Al’s…or an anecdote you’d like to share?

Jackie Krudop: My favorite quote of Al’s comes from his Oscar-winning movie Scent of a Woman: “There isn’t nothin’ like the sight of an amputated spirit, there is no prosthetic for that.”

This quote came at the climatic ending to that wonderful film. It had everything to do with the character, Charlie, and the demise he was facing. I think I have chosen this quote because of the depth of it. It says that there is no way to “fake” a spirit. Once someone’s spirit is broken, it’s hard to build back up and no one has that right to take your dreams and break the spirit that you were born with.

Al Pacino in "Scent of a Woman." Photo Courtesy of Pacino Worldwide & Photofest.

Betty Dravis: I agree that those are powerful words, Jackie; a lot of truth in so few words too. Thanks for sharing that. That was a fantastic movie and Al certainly won that Oscar, fair and square.

On a less serious note, have you had any embarrassing moments in your life that stem from having this website?

Jackie Krudop: Well…I’m not sure if it’s embarrassing, but it sure made me aware of what I was in store for by building this website. When Iris and I first got the idea to have a website, I dubbed it Pacino Worldwide. So, naturally, at family functions and times with friends we liked to pass on our “good news” by giving them the domain name and web address: pacinoworldwide.com. Simple…right? Or so you’d think…. Well, when some friends of Iris looked up the address, a slip or misunderstanding of the words and all of sudden, up on the screen comes “Pacino’s *****” which is not our site. In fact, it has nothing to do with Al. It’s Porn! You can imagine the looks on her friends’ faces as they stands there in awe or shock or whatever… Iris corrected her friends and they had a great laugh, but this is how a simple switcheroo can really make for an awkward moment.

Betty Dravis: Oh, that’s really funny, Jackie, and that would sure embarrass me. (laughs) But at this point in the interview, I usually ask my guests this question: If you could spend an entire day with anyone in the world (living or dead) who would you choose and why? Since we already know the answer to that, who would be your second choice? (laughs)

Jackie Krudop: (Giggles)… Honestly Betty, I’d love to spend an entire day with Al with all the knowledge and life experiences he has, but truthfully, I’d give anything to spend a day (again) with my departed grandmother. This woman raised me when my own mom worked full time at a factory and when we were in hard times as a child. She raised me from birth to about high-school age. I’m happy that she was able to live long enough to see me married and witness all four of my children. She passed away the summer my twin boys turned a year old. They’re now sixteen, so while it has been a long time ago, I long for dinners and prayers at her table and her good old southern hospitality.

Betty Dravis: I don’t blame you, Jackie. Your grandmother was undoubtedly a strong, wonderful woman and must have been an inspiration to you. Thanks for sharing that touching story.

What other famous actors do you admire?

Jackie Krudop: Yes…there are other actors out there, huh, Betty? (winks) Well, let’s see…I admire Meryl Streep for her “real” acting methods and being able to also transform perspectives (such as Al). I also adore the singer/artist Billy Joel. I have only seen him once in concert and love the way he brings such soul to his songs… You know, “It’s All About Soul” and all his songs, actually. I don’t really get a chance to know the names of many of the current celebs. I stick to movies with the people that I’ve been watching awhile, like Tom Hanks, Robert De Niro, Jack Nicholson, Jennifer Lopez (for her acting ability, not singing) and Bonnie Hunt.

Betty Dravis: You wrote the following on your Facebook page: “Love my husband, my kids and my God…what else is there?” Dare I answer the question by quipping: “There is Al Pacino?” (laughs)

What ages are your children and what do you like to do on family outings?

Jackie's Son Matt Krudop

Jackie Krudop: Thanks for asking about my kids, Betty. I have four wonderful kids, but what Mom doesn’t say that…right? They really are, though; they start with my son Matt, age twenty-three, who is taking college courses for interior design, and then my daughter Katrina who is eighteen, just graduated from high school and is bound for cosmetology school in the fall, and last, but not least, are my twin boys, Jerod and Jordan, who turned sixteen on July 19, 2010. Look out, world… (laughs)

My husband John and I have been married for a little over twenty-three years and mostly spend our “family outings” doing whatever the kids want. We like to take our two dogs for walks or play volleyball in the backyard or just go catch a movie! It’s all about them, and we’ve found that just doing that and having our own “date night” once in a while, works for us.

Jackie's Twin Sons Jerod & Jordan

Betty Dravis: That sounds like a winning combination to me, Jackie. Your family seems to be tight-knit and close, which is how it should be…

Before ending this interview, I’d like to know if you have any plans to expand Pacino Worldwide. And what’s in the near future for Jackie Krudop?

Jackie Krudop: The only plans I have for Pacino Worldwide, I’m already doing. I opened up the Facebook Page to fans that had already been with our little forty-member Yahoo Group and now we have 415 fans! I love it! The reason I love it is because I get to see how many folks from all ages, all walks of life, and all parts of the globe have the same great sense of awe and admiration for Al. And as they said about Elvis: forty million fans can’t be wrong! And as I say: 415 fans—and growing– can’t be wrong! (laughs)

As for Jackie Krudop, I’m not sure what’s next for me… My kid is going to college, so I think I’ll stick around home for a while and keep running the website and Facebook page! How’s that?

Betty Dravis: Sounds good to me, Jackie. Well, we could talk all day about Al Pacino and his fabulous body of works, but instead I’ll refer our readers to your websites:

Facebook link:

http://www.facebook.com/betty.dravis?v=feed&story_fbid=186866222380#!/pages/Pacino-Worldwide/166961768603?v=wall

Pacino Worldwide website:

http://pacinoworldwide.com

Your Personal Facebook link:

http://www.facebook.com/betty.dravis?v=feed&story_fbid=186866222380#!/profile.php?id=100000275299595&ref=ts

Now before closing, Jackie, this is the perfect place to share the good news about Al’s HBO movie You Don’t Know Jack! And this is your last chance to mention anything we may have missed, so feel free to do so.

Jackie Krudop: As you know, Betty, in You Don’t Know Jack, Al plays the role of Dr. Jack Kevorkian (1928 –) who in the 1990s defied Michigan law by assisting the suicide of terminally-ill persons. It’s an HBO presentation, directed by Barry Levinson. Critics and fans are raving over Al’s accurate portrayal of the controversial, single-minded and often antic Kevorkian.

Movie Poster from "You Don't Know Jack." Courtesy of Pacino Worldwide.

I’m pleased to announce that Al has been nominated for an Emmy in August, 2010! We predicted as such and are so ready to see Al receive the Emmy once again. He already received an Emmy for the HBO movie, Angels In America. We happen to think that Al and HBO make a pretty good team!

Currently, Al is performing as Shylock in William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice in New York’s beautiful Delacorte Theater for the summer months’ Shakespeare in the Park. This is a very big deal at Pacino Worldwide and we are even more excited to have gotten news recently that says that there are “talks” of this very show going to Broadway. We hope! Any other Pacino news and happenings can be found on our site’s “Future Features” page.

Betty Dravis: I saw You Don’t Know Jack and was mesmerized by Al’s performance; he was fabulous. He not only played the part, he was Dr. Kevorkian in that film. That’s how great he is! He certainly deserves an Emmy. Thanks for the good news!

In parting, I wish to thank you for sharing your life and your dreams with our readers, Jackie. It’s been great fun talking with you. Please keep us in the loop about Al, and I want to be first to know when you finally meet this living legend who has millions of fans all around the world. Dare I call him the “Man of Your Dreams?” (laughs)

Sweet dreams, Jackie.

Jackie Krudop: Thanks, Betty. I’m happy to have this chance to share my thoughts about Al Pacino and to talk about Pacino Worldwide. My husband comes first, but in a way, Al is “The Man of My Dreams” because I admire him and his legendary acting. Sweet dreams to you all. It’s been fun…

Pacino lungo Vivo! (Long live Pacino!)

Jackie's Daughter Katrina's Graduation Photo-Shoot. Photography by Tim Perroud

Betty Dravis: Welcome to Dames of Dialogue, Kat. It’s a pleasure to have such a fine actress and Hollywood “insider” with us today. I met you on Facebook, of all places–which isn’t as odd as it seems in today’s high-tech world.  I related to what you said beneath your profile picture: “I believe in actors helping actors. When I find a good thing to share, I like letting people know! It’s all about the art…and giving from the heart!”

Since I feel the same way about authors helping authors, you hooked me up front. You sounded so interesting, I just had to look up your film credits and read your biography. Needless to say, your fascinating background intrigued me and I knew our readers would love to meet you. I hoped you would be open for an interview…and here you are!

As you know, my interviews are all about high achievers who aren’t afraid to dream big and to act upon those dreams to see them to fulfillment. Since you are so successful in all you do, you are the personification of the ultimate Dream Reacher.

I read that you were born in Chicago, grew up in St. Louis and moved to Escondido, California with your parents when you were a teen. I’m wondering how you went from being the “pampered daughter of a jewelry tycoon/businessman” to Hollywood where you eventually made your film debut in Holy Hollywood. You played a principal role as “Tyler’s mom” when that film was released in 1999. I bet that first role was thrilling. How did you feel at that time? Have you acted all your life, or just when did you get the acting bug?

Katherin Kovin Pacino: Thanks for inviting me to be part of your project, Betty. I read Dream Reachers and really enjoyed learning new things about various artists, some I know, some I don’t, but it’s a fun, informative, inspiring book.

About my parents, Arnold and Rozalind Kovin, they owned the Arnie Kovin Jewelry store chain, also Arnex Watches. And they did spoil me to some extent because I had all the luxuries, but they also taught me family values, respect for others and all I needed to know to succeed in life. I’m adopted and they loved me so much… I’m lucky. But no, my dad was not exactly a tycoon… He was a multi-millionaire… A very good, hard-working successful man…and Mom was all I could ask for in a mother.

Yes, those first years in acting were thrilling, but every time I go on stage or before a camera, I still get that magical feeling, that surge of energy. I love everything about acting and ever since I was a young girl I wanted to be an actress. I started out by playing extras and began getting better roles, so the Holy Hollywood role was not my first, just my first larger role.

 

Kat & Sal Pacino

 

Betty Dravis: Your second film followed three years later. In I SoldatiThe Soldier in the U.S.–you did an impressive job in a supporting role, which happened to be the love interest of your own husband, Sal Pacino. Kat, I don’t mind telling you that my ears perked up when I learned you were married to the late father of the living legend Al Pacino. Since Sal was an actor first, is it safe to say that he encouraged Al to follow in his footsteps?

Katherin Kovin Pacino: Truthfully, Betty, he didn’t have to encourage him; Al always wanted to be an actor. When he was a little kid, he saw an old Ray Milland movie and ran around reciting some of the lines over and over. In fact, when he accepted the AFI’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008, Al said, “By age three, I was doing Al Jolson. I found, in the theater, this place I could go to. I found this peace.” Sal said that even at three Al was a charmer and Sal supported his son in everything he did… They had a close relationship.

Betty Dravis: Although Sal passed away in 2005 and you’ve managed to get on with your life, I wish to express belated condolences. That was a sad time for you, but our readers would appreciate hearing about the fun times when you met Sal. I’m a sucker for love stories and am curious about how you met, where you met, and if there were any humorous little anecdotes from that time. I admit that I’m dying to know if you had much interaction with Al…as are our readers! Would you care to share, Kat? (How did you two get along? Was there any conflict because you are younger than he is? … Just little things like that…lol…)

Katherin Kovin Pacino: (laughs) Everyone asks me about Sal and Al, Betty, and I love talking about them too. It brings back some of the happiest times of my life. I was devastated when my husband passed away… I’m glad you asked me about the happy times because I’d rather think about the good times. Playing his love interest in I Soldati was interesting and fun. It seemed like an extension of our off-camera life because he was always so loving and supportive of me and such a joy to be around.

I met Sal through a mutual friend who had known him over twenty years. The friend was after me but I thought he was too young for me, so set him up with one of my girlfriends. That lasted about three days, but Sal and I lasted over twelve-and-a-half years. We clicked right from the first and were married in Las Vegas in the Little Chapel of the Flowers…a candlelight ceremony for close friends and family. Sal always joked that it was “love at first fright.”

Sal was in the insurance business for over thirty years and in addition to acting, he was a Union negotiator, which was fortunate for me due to the good benefits packages that give me more security, even now.

As for Al Pacino, yes, Betty, he’s a living legend—an enormous talent–and we are extremely proud of him. Since he became so famous, he is always so busy that we don’t see him as often as before. When his father was alive, we all got together for private family events: dinners, birthdays, anniversaries…things like that. But after Al’s phenomenal success in the Godfather trilogy, the studios had him hopping from one box-office hit to another. I respect his privacy, but he won’t mind my sharing that he still keeps in touch as much as he can. Whenever he’s in a show or wins an award or something, he always sends tickets…and we bump into each other at social events, at the Sheraton-Hilton and other places. He’s just too busy to keep close touch with anyone, really.

Al and I always got along fine and there was no jealousy… Sure, Al is older than I am–this month marks his 70th birthday–but that was never a problem between us or anyone in the family. I was his father’s fifth wife, so Al was always understanding and accepting of that. He and his father were close, as I said before, and accepted each other’s life choices.

 

Sal Pacino with son Al

 

 

Al Pacino at Twins' 4th Birthday Party; photo from personal collection of Katherin Kovin Pacino

 

Betty Dravis: Now that the big, important subject of Al is out of the way, I admit I’m more curious about you, the independent Katherin. Let’s talk about your movie and TV career a little more, and then I’ll get into your other interests in and outside the entertainment industry. Tell us about the role of Lady Catherine in your last movie in 2005. And what is the favorite role you’ve played and why you liked it so much?

Katherin Kovin Pacino: It’s an odd coincidence that you should ask about my role as Lady Catherine, Betty.  That was the part I played in the documentary Bolivar: Path to Glory and it’s my favorite role. It was made in 2005 by Bob DeBrino Entertainment and was set in Venezuela. The reason I favor that role is because I got to act with Sal again and traveling to Venezuela to shoot was like having a family vacation while doing what we both liked best—acting! Venezuela is a scenic wonder and seeing the country and meeting Venezuelan stars was the frosting on the cake.  With that film we had the best of both worlds. He was excellent in the role of General De Miranda, but sadly, it was our last movie together. We worked well together…

 

Kat at a Vin Diesel Event FIND ME GUILTY

 

Betty Dravis: That does sound like a dream role and a dream vacation, Kat. I enjoy seeing husband-and-wife teams in movies. Two coupless that come to mind are Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, not to mention Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. I’m glad you had the pleasure of acting with Sal and have those beautiful memories.

Now, switching subjects… If I recall the facts, Mickey Rooney played a cameo role in one of your films. Since he’s also a living legend and beloved throughout the world, can you share any behind-the-scenes stories of him and his interaction with the cast? I and our readers would appreciate your sharing more of your former connections and adventures along the way, but we’ll get to those later.

Katherin Kovin Pacino: Well, Betty, Mickey was easy to work with, very nice and supportive and a lot of fun to be around. I admire him so much. It’s hard to believe that he’ll be ninety this year and he’s in another movie, Johnny Blue, which is in preproduction.  He’s led a fascinating life, and according to Hollywood lore, as of 2007, he’s the only surviving screen actor to appear in silent films and still continues to act in movies into the new millennium. His debut was in the movie Not to Be Trusted at the age of four. That astonishes me.

Betty Dravis: Wow, I didn’t know that, Kat. That is amazing! No wonder he received the Lifetime Achievement Oscar! You must have met a lot of important industry people in your life, but do you have one that stands out above all others? And who are some of the people who had the greatest influence on your life?

 

Kat & Hubby Bill Lashbrook

 

Katherin Kovin Pacino: Sal, of course, my current husband Bill Lashbrook and my parents were great, positive role models for me. They stand out above the crowd, but as for classic stars, I’ve been most impressed by Barbra Streisand and Bette Midler. Both have outstanding talent and have tackled other ends of the industry too. It’s awesome what they’ve accomplished.

Betty Dravis: Kat, I know that you’ve done a variety of important things in your life. You have worked as a makeup/fashion/image consultant to companies such as Merle Norman, Revlon, Clientele, and have done makeup promos for Estee Lauder, Borghese, and other famous lines, as well. In addition to that, you’ve worked for public relation people such as the late Irving Zussman in New York, also as an entertainment business manager with Martin Licker, CPA (who handled names such as James Caan, Gary Sinise and several other celebs).

I enjoy working with famous, accomplished people because they’re so stimulating, so that must have been exciting. I admire James Caan’s acting ability and was captivated by his role of Sonny in The Godfather. What a blockbuster trilogy of movies that was! Did you have any personal dealings with Caan or any of Licker’s celebrated clients?

Katherin Kovin Pacino: Believe it or not, Jimmy Caan never came up there. However, I did meet his ex-wife, his son Scott (now an actor himself), his brother, and his fun-loving aunts, whom he helped support. They came to the office about every two weeks for their “upkeep” check. It felt like Godfather all over again! (laughs)

I also met Gary Sinise, who since then has made a mark for himself. He was such an earthy, nice guy… It’s no surprise that today he ships supplies to the men fighting abroad for our country!  And I met Jeff Wald who was totally very rude, to say the least. I remember that I answered the phone one morning, and he greeted me with: “F*** YOU!”… Since he represented some of the biggest names in show business, I expected more class from him. This was the same guy who was married to Aussie singer Helen Reddy of the “I am Woman” fame. That song was number one around the world, so I guess that went to his head…or was it the coke? That marriage ended in divorce and he married Candy Clark of The Blob. That ended in a divorce just a couple of years later, too! Gee… No wonder… Are we surprised? (laughs)

 

Kat with Al's fans at Hollywood Event

 

Betty Dravis: What goes around, comes around, Kat…but we don’t always see it. It’s always rewarding to see the nice guys like Gary Sinise go on to achieve their dreams. I always admired him and was happy when he won an Oscar for Best Supporting Role in Forrest Gump (1995). In fact, he has won an Emmy and so many other awards, it’s hard to keep track of. Wow! Go, Gary!

And then there are the jerks like Wald who was so rude to you. I understand that he has a son by Reddy and that marriage lasted fifteen years, but he only lasted a year with Clark. I guess we can speak of his addiction since it’s reported in his biography on IMDb (Internet Movie Database). His former addiction to cocaine is public knowledge. I also read that he has cleaned up his act and is once again producing. I have no idea if he still manages any big names, but among his former clients were Sylvester Stallone, George Foreman, James Brolin, Tom Skerritt, George Carlin, Elliott Gould, Donna Summer, Flip Wilson and Marvin Gaye, and musical groups such as Deep Purple, Chicago and Crosby Stills & Nash, to name only a few. I suppose success like that could go to anyone’s head. Since everyone deserves a second chance, I’m glad that he ultimately overcame his addiction and has made a come-back. Hopefully, he has learned respect for others during the rehab process.

You know, Kat, that Clint Eastwood was my first big celebrity interview when I was a young, starry-eyed journalist, and he was a class act; treated me like an equal, like a lady. He influenced me to dream big and act on my dreams, as he did. He’s awesome. Have you ever run into him around Hollywood?

 

Kat with Samantha Gustadt/REALTV 2009 Oscar Party

 

Katherin Kovin Pacino: I never met Clint, but came close to it once. I was invited to meet him at a luncheon, but I was married then and was always careful to consider my husband’s feelings, so I had to decline.

Betty Dravis: Kat, the people with whom I’ve discussed this interview speak very highly of you; the first words that come out of their mouths are: elegant…gracious…lovely. In my short time with you, I have to agree with them. You are all that and more! I’ve also come to see a lighter, more playful side to your nature. I know you don’t wish to be thought of as perfect, so to add to your mystique and send our readers away with smiles on their faces, can you share your most embarrassing moment, onstage or off, with us?

Katherin Kovin Pacino: That’s a hard question to answer, Betty. I honestly can’t think of an embarrassing time in the context you mean, but there is one big embarrassment that still bothers me. And it is not the “laughing matter” kind of story. I can’t give too many details without embarrassing others, but I can say that the head people were having trouble booking a hotel for an important industry event and I offered to help. I booked the place for them only to find out later the hotel didn’t have the proper speakers and camera equipment. It was a big mess, but once again I stepped up to the challenge and it all worked out.

Betty Dravis: OMG, I thought you would come up with something like you spilled a drink on a lead star when you were an extra or you tripped onstage…something in retrospect that would be laughable… But you came up with a real whopper! That would be embarrassing, Kat, but at least you found a solution.

I don’t mind admitting, Kat, I’m intrigued by your acting career, but am also impressed that you played a big role in starting the West Hollywood International Film Festival (WHIFF) with Martin DeLuca, an Argentinean filmmaker and photographer. I have a photo or two to share with our readers from the recent awards ceremony, but I’d like to hear more about WHIFF. When was it founded? How you got involved? The latest buzz, please…

Katherin Kovin Pacino: The Festival is only two years old, but the idea for the Festival was a collaborative effort and I worked hard to help put it together. It was exhilarating work and I was happy to serve on the board of directors for a time. I stepped down when my other commitments got too heavy, but I took part in this year’s awards ceremony. It went great this year, so I hope they make it and it becomes bigger and better.

 

Kat with actors & CEO on Opening Night of WHIFF

 

Betty Dravis: We’d all like to hear more about your new projects, Kat, but now I’d like to ask you a lighter question. If you could spend the day with one person besides your husband–someone in history, a favorite author, a public figure, a character in a book, etc.–who would you choose and why?

Katherin Kovin Pacino: I have always admired Shirley MacLaine. I’ll never forget her role in Some Like it Hot…and all the huge roles that followed. Her breakout role was the one following­­–The Apartment, a melancholy comedy with Jack Lemmon–but I have always liked her later roles too. She was hilarious in Steel Magnolias. She has a lot of talent but I like her zest for life and would like to spend a day with her. I could learn so much… The closest I ever came to her was when I was an extra on a set.

Betty Dravis: I like her, too, Kat. Her role in Steel Magnolias was also one of my favorites…and she was superb with Jack Nicholson in Terms of Endearment.

But moving on, you now split your time between Hollywood where your career interests lie and Marin County, near San Francisco, where your husband Bill Lashbrook grew up. Both places are breath-taking areas, vibrant and alive with talent and natural wonders. You’ve shared with me in our chats that Bill is a successful businessman and interested in Shakespearean acting. What line of work is he in and how is he involved with the Shakespearean community?  He’s such a devoted, supportive partner, working with you in many capacities, but I’m also curious about how you met. Guess I’m just a romantic at heart, so I hope you don’t feel this is too intimate to share. If so, we understand.

 

Kat & Bill Lashbrook - Oscar Party

 

Katherin Kovin Pacino: Exactly, Betty… Bill is a successful businessman but is now venturing into public speaking and is interested in consulting. He’s very charismatic and alive with energy, so he’ll succeed in whatever he sets his mind to. We work well as a team, so I’ll help him as he helps me. We both enjoy Shakespeare and attend some plays and lectures whenever we have time. Bill was never in film, but enjoys stage acting…classical acting. He’s a Shakespearean actor of the old school and will be the first to tell you it was more of a hobby than a career, but it brought him many years of pleasure.

But now to satisfy your “romantic nature,” Betty, I’ll share how Bill and I met. (laughs) As with Sal, we met through a mutual friend. It was shortly after Sal passed away and I lucked out in love again. Bill is wonderful and we’ve built a happy life together. We both have a great love of theatre; whether on camera or onstage, it’s our great passion, so we work on most of our projects together. Currently, we’re both interested in voiceover and would like to find a good teacher.

Betty Dravis: Voiceover is cutting-edge at present, I believe, Kat. It’s a coincidence, but Chase Von, my co-author on Dream Reachers, recently interviewed Joan Baker, a fascinating woman who is one of the most sought-after voiceover teachers in the industry; she’s also an author and has some awesome credits. Have you ever heard of her? She’s based in New York, but may have a branch in LA. Anyway, she’s on Facebook, too, so you might want to send her a message to ask her. At any rate, she could recommend someone in the LA area. But first check her astounding website on MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/joanthevoice. She has photographs with actor Will Smith and others you may know.

Now that brings us to more of your current projects, Kat. I hear that you have a lot of things in the works…from writing books to producing your own movies. It’s rumored that you’re helping develop a WWII movie too. I’d love to hear about those exciting endeavors. The versatility of actors blows my mind. It’s inspiring to me that you have such multi-tasking abilities and dare to venture into the writing and production end of the industry. I can see why Bill calls you the “Atomic Blonde.”

 

Billboard Oscar Party at Beverly Hilton 2009 with Jeffrey R. Gund

Billboard Oscar Party at Beverly Hilton 2009 with Jeffrey R. Gund

 

Katherin Kovin Pacino: (laughs) Well, I do keep busy, but that World War II movie is off the table at present. As far as my current and future workings, I’m attached to several IPs (Intellectual Properties), one written by American playwright David Mamet with William H. Macy, as an associate producer; also associate producer of a comedy Tall Order of Love by J. Porrazzo; and am acting in J. Porrazzo’s The Queen of Hollywood. Also, since I’m a spokesperson with Prince Ali of Afghanistan on his record Party All Night and am also a background recording artist on that record, you can see why Bill calls me “Atomic Blonde.”

I also have other future attachments that are hush-hush at this time, and I have plans to write several children’s books and a “How To” book about romance… the do’s and don’ts, you know. Katherin (laughs as she refers to herself in first person) is still showing the ladies–and men—the proper application of makeup, the skills to put together a wardrobe, and the correct use of color/Image. Since I was brought up in that background, those skills come natural to me.  I enjoy “paying it forward,” as they say.

Betty Dravis: Yep, Katherin is showing us all how to be more glam, that’s for sure! Actually, I’m beginning to think I have a Wonder Woman on my hands. That’s an intimidating array of projects in the works, Kat. You also have a second Facebook page called Kat’s Meow that gives people tips on where to get the most bang for their buck; from quality clothing to inexpensive bling to fine dining, you point them in the right direction. I enjoy reading the comments on that page and the opportunity for your fans to share their tips too. That’s a fun, interactive site.

Since I love writing, I’m very interested in the books that you plan to write. Be sure to keep us informed when they’re released and when any of your movies premiere too. Writing must run in the family; I understand your brother has also written a few books recently. Since our readers are not only interested in the entertainment industry but also in books, I’m sure they would like to hear more about him. The buzz around LA is that he also owns a popular restaurant. The scoop, please, Kat…

 

Kat's brother John's book

 

Katherin Kovin Pacino: Of course, Betty… I love spreading my brother’s good news. His name is John Adam Kovin and he’s written two books: How to Play the Game of Life and Win and Taking God to Bed With You: The truth they don’t want you to know about God, sex and the way the world really is.

John also owns a restaurant, Chili Addiction, on Restaurant Row. It’s located at 408 N. La Cienega Boulevard in Beverly Hills. His chili is to die for and he also serves a concoction I bet you haven’t heard of—french-fried sweet potatoes. (laughs) I tried them and they’re delicious. If you ever get down here, Bill and I will take you to dinner. You’d love my brother; he’s a real go-getter.

Betty Dravis: OMG, we all love chili! But french-fried sweet potatoes? I can honestly say, Kat, my friend in Maine told me about them, but I’ve never tried them. They do sound yummy, though, and I’ll take you up on that dinner offer when and if I get to Southern California again. That’s very kind of you and Bill. By the way, does Bill call your brother “Atomic John?”  (laughs)

Kat, I appreciate your sharing so openly with us about your life. I enjoyed learning more about your brother and Bill’s family too. Bill shared that his daughter, Jessica Lashbrook, owns Marin Feed and Tack in the quaint, colorful township of Fairfax, near San Rafael where my son lives. When I tell Bob and his Patty how gracious you and Bill are to me, I just know they’ll be dropping by Jessica’s business to say hello.

It’s been a delight getting to know more about you, especially your new endeavors. I’m sure our readers will want to know even more about you, so in closing, is there anything you’d like to add? I think you’re seeking a new agent, so I hope any who read this will get in touch with you. You have so much to offer with everything you do. You’re an exceptional woman; not only are you a talented actress, you have the necessary business acumen. How can interested parties get in touch with you? I know you’re easy to find on Facebook, but do you have any websites or links you would like to share with us?

 

Onstage with Prince Ali of Afghanistan's "Party All Night"

 

Katherin Kovin Pacino: I’m glad for this last chance to add a few things, Betty. Since we first talked, I do have a new agent. I’m excited about that; his name is David Brown and he’s one of the best in the business, in my opinion.

I also forgot to mention two projects that are dear to my heart: I have a part in a documentary Sudan Hope. Les LeMotte is executive director on that project. As you might know, he’s also an award-winning songwriter. I also have an acting role in The Tim Brooks Story, a movie about the first African-American cowboy. Musician Ben Rombouts and Rodney Allen Rippy, the child actor who is so famous for his Jack in the Box commercials are affiliated with this film. I look forward to working with them.

I don’t have a website yet, but I can be found on Facebook on the Internet, as you said, Betty. That link is:

http://www.facebook.com/kovinpacino?ref=ts

And for my biography, photos and film credits as listed on the Internet Movie Data Base (IMDb), please visit this link: www.imdb.com/name/nm1178989

Link to my photo gallery:

http://images.google.com/images?q=Katherin+Kovin+Pacino&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&ei=6-GRS7SQIIjmswPEo-z8Aw&sa=X&oi=image_result_group&ct=title&resnum=4&ved=0CCEQsAQwAw

And finally, The Kat’s “MEOW” Facebook page:

http://www.facebook.com/posted.php?id=324214167739#!/pages/The-Kats-MEOW-Katherin-Kat-Kovin-Pacino/324214167739

Betty Dravis: Thanks again, Kat, and best of luck with your novels, producing those movies and with your acting. Please keep in touch and let us know when any of your projects go live, when your next red carpet event takes place, etc. Inquiring minds want to know! (laughs) It’s been a pure delight working with you on this interview. You are, indeed as elegant, gracious and lovely as your fans told me.

Katherin Kovin Pacino: The pleasure is mine, Betty. Thanks for inviting me. It’s been fun and I look forward to meeting you in the near future. I’ll keep in touch, via email and Facebook, of course. Xo

ENDNOTE: I had the pleasure of having dinner with Kat and her husband Bill Lashbrook on April 10th in San Rafael. My son Robert, his girl-friend Patty Carrillo and her mother Roma Vargas joined us. We had a delightful time: chatting, eating laughing. I hope you don’t mind my adding a few photos of our party that evening. (My website: http://bettydravis.com )

 

Author Betty Dravis with Katherin "Kat" Kovin Pacino

 

 

Author's son Robert and Patty Carrillo, seated; Kat Kovin Pacino, Bill Lashbrook and Roma Vargas, standing.

 

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