||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (December 2011)|
Powers in March 7, 2010
|Born||Stefanie Zofya Paul
November 2, 1942
Hollywood, California, U.S.
|Other names||Taffy Paul|
|Spouse(s)||Patrick De La Chenais
Stefanie Powers (born November 2, 1942) is an American film and television actress best known for her role as Jennifer Hart in the 1980s television series Hart to Hart.
Powers was born Stefanie Zofya Paul in Hollywood, California. Her parents divorced during her childhood. Powers was estranged from her father, whom she barely references and whose name is never mentioned in her memoir, One from the Hart, in which she refers to the "tension and unhappiness created by my father's presence". She remained extremely close throughout her life to her Polish mother, Julianna Dimitria (née Golan or Golen; 1912–2009).
She has a brother, Jeffrey Julian Paul (born June 12, 1940) as well as a half-sister. Powers was a cheerleader at Hollywood High School; one of her schoolmates was Nancy Sinatra. In 1965, using the alias Taffy Paul, she made an obscure independent film, The Young Sinner.
Powers appeared in several motion pictures in the early 1960s in secondary roles such as the thriller Experiment in Terror, which starred Glenn Ford and Lee Remick, the comedy If a Man Answers with Sandra Dee and Bobby Darin, and in McLintock! (1963), starring John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara. She played a schoolgirl in Tammy Tell Me True (1961) and Bunny, the police chief's daughter, in Palm Springs Weekend (1963). She appeared in the 1962 hospital melodrama The Interns and its sequel The New Interns in 1964. In 1965 she played opposite Tallulah Bankhead in Die! Die! My Darling (originally released in England as Fanatic).
In 1966 her "tempestuous" good looks led to a starring role as April Dancer in the short-lived NBC television spy thriller series The Girl from U.N.C.L.E., a spin-off of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Shortly after the series' debut, she was featured on the cover of TV Guide (December 31, 1966 – January 6, 1967). The article mentions her "117-pound frame is kept supple with 11 minutes of Royal Canadian Air Force exercises every morning... Unlike her fellow U.N.C.L.E. agents, the ladylike April is not required to kill the bad guys. Her feminine charms serve as the bait, while her partner Noel Harrison provides the fireworks." Dancer was written as a demure, passive figure instead of an action heroine who would be like an American version of The Avengers' Emma Peel. The series lasted for only one season (29 one-hour episodes), airing from September 16, 1966 to April 11, 1967.
In 1967 she appeared in Warning Shot with David Janssen. Her 1970s films include The Boatniks (1970) and Herbie Rides Again (sequel to The Love Bug). She was a guest star on the Robert Wagner series It Takes a Thief in 1970. The two would go on to co-star in the popular Hart to Hart series nine years later. Prior to the Hart to Hart success, she starred in The Feather and Father Gang as Toni "Feather" Danton, a successful lawyer, whose father, Harry Danton, was a smooth-talking ex-con man (played by Harold Gould). It ran for a half-season (13 episodes).
Guest roles on other popular TV shows include: McCloud (1971), The Mod Squad (1972), Kung Fu (1974), The Rockford Files (1975), Three for the Road (1975), The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman (1976), and McMillan & Wife (1977). These shows were the ones that Powers appeared, long after she signed a contract with Universal Studios in 1970, coincidentally, her longtime friend and Hart to Hart series' star, Wagner, signed up a contract with Universal, but did not guest-star on more shows than Powers did. Her role as stripper Dottie Del Mar in 1979's Escape to Athena with Roger Moore turned out to be Powers' last theatrical film to date.
Powers became widely known as a television star for her role opposite Robert Wagner as a married pair of amateur sleuths in the 1979-84 series Hart to Hart, for which she received two Emmy and five Golden Globe Award Best Television Actress nominations. In 1984 she starred in the miniseries Mistral's Daughter, based on Judith Krantz's novel. In the 1990s Powers and Wagner reunited to make eight Hart to Hart made-for-TV two-hour movies. In 1985 Powers starred as twins who swap places leading to dire consequences in the two-part made-for-TV movie Deceptions.
She starred briefly in a 1991 London musical, Matador, which closed prematurely due to the sharp drop in tourism during the Persian Gulf War. She was awarded the Sarah Siddons Award in 1993 for her stage performance in Love Letters. In 1996 she toured as Margo Channing in a production of [All About Eve] which was slated to go to New York in hopes of a Broadway revival, which did not materialize. She toured the UK in 2002 playing Anna Leonowens in a revival of The King and I. She toured the U.S. in 2004 and 2005 in that role.
Powers released her debut CD in 2003, titled, On The Same Page. The album features selections from the classic Great American Songbook era. Since 2006 she has been the U.S. location presenter on the long running Through the Keyhole panel show. On April 30, 2008 she was reunited with Robert Wagner for the filming of a special Hart to Hart edition of the BBC's The Graham Norton Show. On March 12, 2011, she received the Steiger Award (Germany) for accomplishment in the arts.
In 2000-01 she starred in the BBC's popular long running British soap opera Doctors as Jane Powers, a wealthy businesswoman, and the mother of Dr Caroline Powers. Jane Powers, after being widowed, was due to marry her much younger fiancé David Wilde, but in the lead up to the wedding her daughter (Caroline) and fiancé David fell in love and ran off together. Powers took part in the 11th series of I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! but was the first celebrity to be eliminated on November 25, 2011.
Powers started a tour of Looped, a play about her old co-star Tallulah Bankhead, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on February 26, 2013, after Valerie Harper withdrew due to health problems.
Stefanie Powers has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6778 Hollywood Boulevard.
Powers was married to actor Gary Lockwood between 1966 and 1972. Her relationship with actor William Holden led to their joint involvement with wildlife conservation. He died in 1981; by the following year, Powers was the Founder President of the William Holden Wildlife Foundation and a director of the Mount Kenya Game Ranch and Wildlife Conservancy in Nanyuki, Kenya. In the United States, she works with both the Cincinnati and Atlanta zoos. She devotes a great deal of time to the cause and is an international guest speaker on wildlife preservation.
A polo player, she was among the first foreign members of the Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club in England, whose membership includes HRH The Prince of Wales. In 2005, she competed in the Joules United Kingdom National Women's Championships at Ascot.
In November 2008, Powers, who was a smoker for twenty years, was diagnosed with alveolar carcinoma, a form of lung cancer. She had surgery to remove part of her right lung on January 29, 2009, the same month her mother died of pneumonia, aged 96, in Los Angeles.
- Stefanie Zofya Paul birth registration, californiabirthindex.org; accessed April 3, 2014.
- Stefanie Powers at the Internet Movie Database
- JEFFREY PAUL birth registration, familytreelegends.com; accessed April 3, 2014.
- Jeffrey Paul profile, californiabirthindex.org; accessed April 3, 2014.
- One from the Heart: a memoir. Gallery Books, Simon and Schuster, Inc. pp. 9, 256. ISBN 978-1-4391-7210-0.
- "50 Plus Senior News". Powers Surge. Retrieved June 13, 2006.
- IMDb profile; accessed June 16, 2014.
- The William Holden Wildlife Foundation website; accessed 16 June 2014.
- "Broadcasting House". January 22, 2012.
- Marriage to Patrick Houitte de la Chesnais
- Powers discusses cancer battle, lifescript.com; accessed April 3, 2014.