Jane Seymour, Mary McDonnell among PSWIFT honorees
November 10, 2015
Article taken from The Desert Sun
When Jane Seymour was growing up in England, she didn’t know there was such a thing as glass ceilings. It wasn’t till she tried her hand at Hollywood that she came upon a few stumbling blocks that gave her pause.
She had just gotten the lead in “Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman,” but was initially told it would never make it as a series because it had a woman as the main character and it was a medical show. The multiple Emmy and Golden Globe winner proved them all wrong.
“I’m very proud to say that “Dr. Quinn” did make it as a series. It’s in 98 countries. It’s probably one of the best exports that America has globally to all cultures and something I’m very proud to have been a part of,” she said.
Seymour was one of five women honored Tuesday with a Broken Glass award by Palm Springs Women in Film and Television for her substantial achievement in the arts.
The other award honorees included:
- Mary McDonnell, who is currently starring on the TNT hit “Major Crimes” and is a two time Oscar nominee for her roles in “Dances with Wolves” and “Passion Fish,” received the Gena award.
- Donna MacMillan, a philanthropist and art patron who has contributed greatly to the Palm Springs Art Museum where she currently serves as its newly elected chairwoman, received the Humanitarian award.
- Joyce Bulifant, who appeared in the movie “Airplane!” and many television shows including “Perry Mason,” “The Real McCoys,” “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” and “The Love Boat,” received the Desert Diva award.
- Beverly Johnson, the first African American model to appear on the cover of Vogue in 1974 – pioneering the way for other minority models in the then-predominantly white fashion industry, received the Voice of Courage award.
The luncheon at Agua Caliente Resort and Spa was attended by hundreds of members and former award recipients including Denise DuBarry , Lindsay Wagner and Shari Belafonte.
Belafonte is a previous award recipient, but also presented and accepted the award on behalf of Johnson who was not able to attend because of travels to promote her new memoir.
She did however provide a video to thank the organization for the honor and encourage women to speak their “truth.”
“I’ve had quite a year. As some of you know besides doing my memoirs … I also came out and I spoke out on behalf of some women that were assaulted and also I told about my encounter and with that came an avalanche of women who found their voice,” said Johnson.
She is referring to the more than two dozen women who have stepped forward and accused Bill Cosby of drugging them or sexually assaulting them after she shared her personal story of when Cosby drugged her in the mid-80s.
“As women we were taught to be voiceless and I feel that today it’s a new day and as women we have found our voices and I have been encouraged to speak my truth and I encourage all of you to speak yours.”
During her speech, McDonnell drew a lot of laughs and applause from the room when she complimented all the ladies on their youthful appearances.
“I’m looking around at the women in this room, the honorees, some women I’ve known for a while, some women I’m just meeting; I think women are looking really frickin’ great,” she said.
“Literally, 10 years, certainly 20 and 30 years ago, once we got past the child bearing years, we were deemed kind of not useful at least in terms of the image. Talk about breaking the glass ceiling. We can choose now to get younger. Are you kidding me, I think that should be celebrated,” said McDonnell, referring to cosmetic surgery.
On a more serious note, McDonnell did thank all her fellow honorees for inspiring her and applauded all the women who have come before her.
“I find this award emotional. I was thinking of all the women who have come before us who have never received this kind of award and spent their lives quietly and sometimes stealthily, chipping away so that their daughters and daughter’s daughters wouldn’t have to suffer, wouldn’t have to claw, wouldn’t have to fight for everything they wanted,” she said.