Patty Farmer, Barbara Van Orden Set for THE PERSIAN ROOM PRESENTS Book Signing, 6/27
On June 27th, The Santa Monica Library will host a signing with author, Patty Farmer, and special guest Barbara Van Orden for "THE PERSIAN ROOM PRESENTS." Portions of the book sales benefit Childhelp.
Founded in 1959 by Sara O'Meara and Yvonne Fedderson, Childhelp is a leading national non-profit organization dedicated to helping victims of child abuse and neglect. Childhelp® exists to meet the physical, emotional, educational, and spiritual needs of abused, neglected and at-risk children. We focus our efforts on advocacy, prevention, treatment, and community outreach.
Since she was a little girl, CA and NY resident, Patty Farmer dreamed of living at the Plaza-just like that scamp Eloise, whose storybook adventures she relished. Decades later, that dream came true and she found herself permanently ensconced in an apartment on the eighth floor of the famed hotel-and more passionate than ever about exploring every nook of it and immersing herself in its history. The Persian Room Presents is the first book in a series she is planning about many aspects of her beloved landmark home.
Barbara Van Orden's highly publicized return to the stage after the devastating accident that resulted in 18 surgeries and years of rehabilitation has been well received by audiences and critics alike. "Barbara was crossing the street when she was hit by a car that resulted in 12 breaks in her right leg, five breaks in the left, internal bleeding, crushed back, broken ribs, a fractured disc in her neck and a three inch gash in her skull. After years of therapy and 18 surgeries later, life was still being lived from a hospital room and she had to learn to walk all over again."
Before the accident she was a leading cover model and represented products such as Leggs, Ford, American Express, Clairol, Breck, Ivory Snow, London Fog,m Donna Karan, Maybelline, Maidenform, Calvin Klein, Wells fargo, Chistian Dior, Neutrogena and much more. A career at the top came to a crash. She began in the Catskill Mountains at Grossingers Singers Hotel, opening for many of the greats, such as Milton Berle, Don Rickles and Red Buttons, to name a few. She went on to do all of the Playboy Clubs working with talents such as Buddy Hackett, Morey Amsterdam and Soupy Sales. A move to the West Coast was inevitable, and she assumed a recurring role in television's Welcome Back Kotter, shortly adding many TV films and series episodes to her resume. In between films and series, Barbara opened for many Vegas headliners. While in Vegas opening for Shecky Green, Frank Sinatra came to the show. After the show, she was thrilled when he asked her if she would open for him in the Persian Room at the Plaza Hotel in New York.
Just a taste of the stories Farmer collected from famous Persian Room luminaries', incude:
*** Leslie Uggams reminisces about the rollicking New Year's Eve party she threw after her show.
*** Tony Butala of the Lettermen recounts the group's groundbreaking use of a “camera song.”
*** Diahann Carroll remembers taking one sleeping pill and a bottle of Champagne up to her suite to mount a half-hearted suicide attempt.
*** Carol Lawrence relives the chills she felt when Cary Grant marched up to the stage and gave her a kiss (during an act proclaimed by Ed Sullivan to be ”the best nightclub extravaganza he had ever seen”).
Call it the biography of a place, a collaborative memoir, a history-but whatever you call it, The Persian Room Presents will transport you to the most elegant and magical night spot New York has ever known. For more than forty years, from 1934 to 1975, the Persian Room was the place to be in New York City. An unparalleled array of performers graced its stage. And, though more than three decades have passed since the final ovation, there are many from both sides of the footlights who remember its charms.
Among the many stars who spoke for the record are Andy Williams, Marge Champion, Polly Bergen, Diahann Carroll, Connie Stevens, Lesley Gore, Patti Page, Carol Lawrence, Jack Jones, Michele Lee, Lainie Kazan, Julie Wilson, Tony Butala, Tony Sandler, Celeste Holm, Kaye Ballard, and Roslyn Kind. Don Dellair regaled the author with humorous tales of both Hildegarde and Liberace. Hilary Knight-the legendary illustrator who brought Eloise to life-spoke wistfully of Kay Thompson and Lisa Kirk.