President and Founder of The Hollywood Museum in the Historic Max Factor Building. She is also Chair of the Board of Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.
Q: What has been your favorite memory associated with the Hollywood Museum? “The idea of turning the old Max Factor Make-Up Studio and factory into a Hollywood museum was going to be risky – to say the least, but I needed to do this. After all, this was where Hollywood’s make-up king, Max Factor gave our favorite Golden Era actors their “looks.” It’s where Marilyn Monroe became a blonde and Lucille Ball got her signature red hair… I always imagine the stories that I would hear if these walls could talk. I knew this great art deco Hollywood Regency style building was the perfect place to tell the Hollywood story.”
Q: You are President of the Hollywood Museum and the Vice Chair of the California Film Commission what does that mean to you? “Do not ever let anyone cast a shadow on your dreams, and do not let anyone define who you are. I am thrilled to be at this stage of my life experiences, I am to be able to help others open doors to their dreams.”
Q: How would you describe the evolution of women in Hollywood and what advice do you have for women today? “Initially the world thought women’s contributions to Hollywood to be very narrow; in the early days, women worked specifically in the live acting field and were costume makers. However, as the Hollywood entertainment industry began to flourish – studios began to recognize the benefits of women’s life experiences and viewpoints, their ability to contribute to most of the industry professions, and to enrich the public’s entertainment experience; women began assuming influential roles in front of and behind the camera. Today, it is commonplace for a studio to have a woman at the helm. Be proud of who you are, your background and beginnings, and recognize the importance of your personal and professional journey, your accomplishments and experiences.”
Q: Your parents were educators, as were you. Is it surprising that your life is so different professionally? “Education allows you to open your mind, broaden your thoughts and this helps us to feed our imaginations – This allowed me to look at the Max Factor Building and see something that others most likely could not see or were maybe unwilling to see, and quite frankly they probably didn’t dare to dream to see. The restoration of the building was just the beginning. This project was like a puzzle, to say the least. The creation of a world-class museum showcasing the accomplishments of Los Angeles’ most recognizable export, while breathing economic life back into this well-known historic landmark in the heart of Hollywood was not going to be easy. I recognized this was going to take lots of imagination, an openness to many different possibilities, and lots of hard work. To this day, I don’t look at being the president and founder of one of the recognized premier museums in the world to celebrate film and television as a stretch from being an educator – every day the Hollywood Museum in the historic Max Factor Building enjoys sharing knowledge and information through approximately 10,000 exhibits that span more than 100 years of Hollywood history, with our local visitors and tourists from around the world.”