Turner Classic Movies (TCM) today announced the second year of Trailblazing Women, a multi-year initiative in partnership with Women in Film Los Angeles (WIF) to raise awareness about the historical contributions of women in the film industry. This year’s programming event will feature acclaimed actresses Bette Midler, Jane Fonda, Rita Moreno and Dana Delany as co-hosts examining the remarkable impact of actresses on the movie industry. Hosted by actress, producer and director Illeana Douglas, Trailblazing Women premieres Oct. 4 and airs every Tuesday and Thursday throughout the October.
The theme of the 2016 programming slate -Trailblazing Women: Actresses Who Made a Difference - highlights actresses during the early days of cinema through modern times with more than 40 films being shown. Joining Douglas as co-hosts will be:
- Bette Midler – the Grammy® and Emmy® winning actress will examine Controlling Their Own Destiny, discussing actresses who made strides to mange their own careers in the midst of the Studio System including Marilyn Monroe (The Prince and the Showgirl, 1957), Mae West (She Done Him Wrong, 1933), Katharine Hepburn (The Philadelphia Story, 1940) and Olivia de Havilland (Devotion, 1946), whose successful lawsuit against Warner Bros. ended the seven-year contract system
- Jane Fonda – the two-time Academy Award® winner will discuss Activism and actresses who became passionate advocates for a variety of causes, including Fonda’s own work as well Barbra Streisand (The Way We Were, 1973), an active philanthropist in political and social causes with her Streisand Foundation; Myrna Loy (The Thin Man, 1934), who served in the Red Cross during World War II; and Susan Sarandon (Joe, 1970), a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador
- Rita Moreno – one of the few actors to have ever achieved the “EGOT” (winning an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Award), Moreno will share her insights on Breaking Barriers, including Anna May Wong (Piccadilly, 1929), considered to be Hollywood’s first Chinese-American movie star; Hattie McDaniel who became the first African-American to win an Academy Award for her performance in Gone With the Wind (1939); and Dorothy Dandridge (Bright Road, 1953) who was the first African American woman to be nominated for the Best Actress Oscar
- Dana Delany - the actress and philanthropist will explore the Philanthropic work of actresses from Audrey Hepburn’s (Wait Until Dark, 1957) work with UNICEF to Elizabeth Taylor’s (Giant, 1956) AIDS Foundation, to Doris Day’s (Please Don’t Eat the Daisies, 1960) Animal Foundation and Debbie Reynolds’ (The Tender Trap, 1955) work as president of The Thalians
- Jane Alexander – the actress and former chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts will explore Politics and Government Service, looking at actresses who had secondary careers away from the silver screen, including Shirley Temple Black (Bright Eyes, 1934), best remembered for her work as a child star who then began serving as a US Diplomat in the 1960s and eventually becoming the US Ambassador to Ghana; Glenda Jackson (Women in Love, 1969), who won two Best Actress Oscars and also served as a Member of Parliament in the British House of Commons; and Gina Lollobrigida (Hotel Pardiso, 1966) who became a a UN goodwill ambassador
- Lee Grant – the actress will explore Fighting the Blacklist including discussing her own story and introducing her performance in Shampoo (1975) along with examining the careers of Gale Sondergaard (The Letter, 1940), Marsha Hunt (Raw Deal, 1948), Dorothy Comingore (Citizen Kane, 1941) and Rosaura Revueltas (Salt of the Earth, 1954)
- Dr. Emily Carman - an assistant professor of film studies at Chapman University, Carman will focus on the Wartime Contributions of several actresses during World War II, including Bette Davis (Hollywood Canteen, 1944) and Marlene Dietrich’s (A Foreign Affair, 1948) efforts to sell war bonds; and Hedy Lamarr (The Conspirators, 1944) who not only sold war bonds but developed a Spread Spectrum Radio technology to help with Allied communication
- Cari Beauchamp – the award-winning author and film documentarian will look at The Business of Film and Television and those actresses whose careers existed as much behind the camera as in front of it including Mary Pickford (Little Annie Rooney, 1925), Dorothy Davenport Reid (Mothers of Men, 1917), and Mary Tyler Moore (Ordinary People, 1980)
“Coming off the last year’s successful Trailblazing Women programming event highlighting the work of female directors, we are excited to continue to showcase the incredible influence of women in our industry,” said Jennifer Dorian, general manager of TCM. “We’re thrilled to offer fans this comprehensive programming event featuring some of the great icons of our time as they explore the formidable effect actresses have had in movie history.”
“This years Trailblazing Women initiative allows us to feature a variety of actresses and showcase their work both on screen and off, driving home the incredible impact these actresses had throughout history and how they paved the way for the future of the industry and culture,” said Charles Tabesh, senior vice president of programming for TCM.
“We are proud to once again join TCM on this series, not only to celebrate the historic achievements of these great actresses and trailblazers, but also to emphasize the need for gender parity in front of the camera in contemporary cinema, said Kirsten Schaffer, WIF executive director. “These programs make it clear that there has been and continues to be a wealth of talent available. In 2015, 32 percent of leads or co-leads in the top 100 films were women, we’d like to see that number get to 50 percent.”