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Susan Saint James (1946)

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  Summary  

Susan Saint James is an American actress and activist, most widely known for her work in television during the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s.

  Biography  

 early life
Born Susan Jane Miller in Los Angeles, California to a Connecticut family, Saint James was raised in Rockford, Illinois where she began modeling as a teenager. During this time, she attended the Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart in Lake Forest, Illinois. She later attended the Connecticut College for Women. Saint James became a household name at the age of 22, starring as an editorial assistant, Peggy Maxwell, on The Name of the Game. Then came starring roles as Rock Hudson's younger supportive wife, Sally McMillan, in a popular 1970s crime drama, McMillan & Wife, and as Jane Curtin's childhood friend, Kate McArdle, in a 1980s sitcom, Kate & Allie.

 career
At 20, she moved to California, where she began her acting career. Her first screen role was in the TV-movie Fame Is the Name of the Game with Tony Franciosa, launching her career when the film became a series two years later. Among her other early television appearances were two episodes of the first season of Ironside ("Girl in the Night", December 1967 and two months later, playing a different role in the episode "Something for Nothing"). She also had a supporting role in Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows , the sequel to The Trouble with Angels.

From 1968 to 1971, as a result of her very first role, in Fame Is the Name of the Game, she had a regular part in the series The Name of the Game, winning an Emmy Award for her role in 1969 and establishing her as a popular young actress. She provided series continuity by appearing in most episodes regardless of whether the lead that week was Franciosa, Gene Barry, Robert Stack, Peter Falk, Robert Culp, Darren McGavin, or Robert Wagner, all of whom helmed episodes in the revolving "wheel" format. At the same time she had a recurring role as Chuck , Alexander Mundy's fellow thief and "friend with benefits" in four episodes of the series It Takes a Thief. She also appeared in the pilot episode of Alias Smith and Jones . From 1971 until 1976, she played Sally McMillan opposite Rock Hudson in the series McMillan & Wife and received four Emmy Award nominations.

She left the show to further her career as an actress in feature films such as co-starring with Peter Fonda in the film Outlaw Blues. She achieved a significant success in the vampire comedy Love at First Bite . Between films, she made a guest appearance in the March 3, 1980 episode of M*A*S*H (Episode 192: War Co-Respondent). After other film ventures failed to establish her, she returned to television, appearing in the comedy series Kate & Allie opposite Jane Curtin from 1984 until 1989. She received a further three Emmy Award nominations for this role.

Saint James was also a celebrity and commentator for World Wrestling Federation 's WrestleMania 2 event in 1986 along with Vince McMahon.

In her mid-40s, Saint James proclaimed herself retired after Kate & Allie ended. In addition to motherhood (her youngest son was born during the fourth season of Kate & Allie), she's been an active volunteer with the Special Olympics ; she has in the past also served on their board and served as Civitan International's celebrity chairperson for their Special Olympics involvement. In 1998, Saint James, her sister Mercedes Dewey and friend Barrie Johnson founded "Seedling and Pip", a baby gift basket business. She is also a board member of the Telluride Foundation

Saint James has occasionally emerged from retirement to appear in television series guest roles, such as the mother of (her real-life lookalike niece) Christa Miller in the first season of The Drew Carey Show, and ten years later, as a defense attorney on the February 28, 2006 episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. She also starred in a Warner Theatre 1999 production of The Miracle Worker. On June 11, 2008, Saint James was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

 personal life
When she was 21, she married aspiring writer-director Richard Neubert, the marriage lasted a year. Saint James married a second time in 1971, to Thomas Lucas, a makeup artist. They had a daughter, Sunshine Lucas , and a son, Harmony Lucas . The marriage lasted six years. While guest-hosting Saturday Night Live in 1981, Saint James met her future third husband, then-SNL executive producer Dick Ebersol. They married within the year. The marriage produced three sons, Charles, William, and Edward . In March 2002, Saint James filed for divorce from Ebersol, but the couple reconciled later that summer. Ebersol was chairman of NBC Sports until May 2011.

On November 28, 2004, a private plane carrying Ebersol and two of their sons crashed in Colorado; Ebersol and son Charles survived, but son Teddy, age 14 at the time, died, as did the pilot and flight attendant . Teddy Ebersol's Red Sox Fields at Lederman Park is named in memory of Saint James' son, and an episode of the television series Scrubs was dedicated to him.

Saint James holds honorary degrees from five Connecticut institutions — The University of Connecticut, the University of Bridgeport, Southern Connecticut State University, Albertus Magnus College, and the University of New Haven. She was a featured speaker at The Women's Conference in 2007, at a session called "Beyond Courage: Overcoming the Unimaginable."

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Susan Saint James", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.