1912 – 2018
Remembrances From our Members
In the Green Room after Celebrating Connie’s 100th Birthday on The Tonight Show. Saratoga Ballantine, Connie Sawyer, Anthony Gruppuso.
I used to drive Ivy Bethune and later Barbara Perry to auditions and inevitably Connie would be there. She would liven up the waiting room with her sense of humor and her dynamic personality. Everyone knew her, everyone was delighted to see her (even though she was the competition)! Ivy told me that over the years when she and Connie would be up for the same role and Connie would book it, Connie would tell Ivy “you’ll get the next one”. This made Ivy happy and often she would book a job soon after. Occasionally I would drive Connie also when her daughters were busy and she was such great company, she would entertain me on the long drive there and back from the MPTF with great stories from her life in show business. These stories are in her book I NEVER WANTED TO BE A STAR-AND I WASN’T, available on Amazon. It’s a really fun and fast read with lots of pictures. I highly recommend it. Bon voyage Connie! You will be missed.
I have had to drive Connie many times to events at TW. Darryl had heard a lot about her but never met her. [One day] I am helping her into my car and she says loudly. “Jill, you know my short term memory is shit, so If I ask you your name don’t be upset.”
I said, “I know Connie but your long term is great. Tell me some stories about Vegas.”
She talked the entire trip about the Marx brothers and what wild men they were, how they liked to gamble. On and on. When we got to TW I drop her off and Darryl and I go park the car. Darryl laughs and says “I do not think her long term is very good. Those were some fanciful stories.”
I looked at him and told nothing fanciful about that woman has worked with the best. He tells that story all the time.
At AFTRA convention Nashville, TN. Connie Sawyer, Marvin Kaplan, Jacque Lynn Colton.
I have so very many memories. But one funny one happened a year and a half ago. I went with some TW members to celebrate Ivy Bethune’s birthday party. I had had that horrible accident and was on crutches. She and I were walking down the hall to the party. She was on her walker and I on my crutches. She is was way faster than me and really yelled out at me “don’t be so slow…hurry up”.
I said “Connie…I’m on crutches”.
She said “I’m on a walker and I can’t wait for slow pokes”.
I was laughing so hard. That spirit of hers will live on in my heart. Of course all of us will always be able to hear her voice ring out at our meetings and from the critiques during our Monday night and Tuesday night workshops….”I CAN’T HEAR YOU!!!!!!!!”