Another of my favorite TV appearances was on the delightful series Happy Days, starring Ron Howard and Henry Winkler.
In this episode (“Great Expectations,” which aired 16 April 1974), I play a beatnik named Deirdre.
I’m proud to share one of my favorite scenes with you, one that makes me giggle even watching it today. My part in the duet is to sing “It’s” at the appropriate times. The look of concentration on my face is priceless. My character is trying to remember the timing of her one word.
The next scene is me on the ledge, humming my “It’s” part of the song, contemplating jumping.
“Stop trying to fix your outside
and start realizing the perfection on your inside.”
What if everything about your life is already perfect?
What if the laws that keep the planets and stars in orbit
are holding you in your perfect place right now? What a
wonderful way to start a day… to feel planted deep in the
rich soil of perfect abundance and opportunity. We just
have to start from where we are and bloom where we are
NOTE: This interview with Udana Power was conducted by publicist Bill Murphy in late Spring, 2013. This is Part 3 (covering the years 1976-1979) of what’s likely to be a 4-5 part series of interviews with Udana about her appearances on TV and in movies. We hope you enjoy it!
Bill Murphy (BM): Let’s start with Hawaii Five-0, 1976. You did this episode (“Tour De Force, Killer Aboard”) just after LaVerne & Shirley. The show was filmed in Hawaii, so they must have flown you out there, right?
Udana Power (UP): Yes.
BM: What was that experience like?
UP: It was the first time I’d been to Hawaii. It was into the unknown. Exciting. Cliff Gorman [who played the bad guy in the episode] was there. I called him as I got in just to connect with him as an actor. But he didn’t want to. I think he thought I was asking for a date. I wasn’t. The episode was really fun. I didn’t get to see much of Jack Lord. I mean, when you’re working on something like that you’re only there doing your scenes and connecting with the director and the people you’re doing the scenes with as well as the full crew. I remember being in the station wagon [in her first scene]. Remember station wagons?
BM: Oh, yeah. [laughs]
UP: They don’t have station wagons any more. And it was a woody [wood paneled sides] station wagon. The sides were metal, painted to look like wood. (laughter) So 70s and 80s. Here’s another thing I noticed, and I noticed this in the episode of Soap: many women had dark hair, and there were no highlights in the hair. It was pre highlights. [Laughs]
UP: I was killed off in the first few scenes. [Laughs]
BM: Yeah. I think you lasted about 10 minutes into the episode.
UP: Yep. But I threw myself into it like it was a leading role. I was interested in making sure that the scenes were good. I felt like I was up to speed. I knew my lines and, as Spencer Tracy advised a young actor, I knew my lines and didn’t bump into the furniture.
BM: Cliff Gorman. What was he like to work with?
UP: Terrific. He was an excellent actor. Very professional. Intense. I really appreciated Continue reading
From the introduction:
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My poem “My Prayer” was recently published online in Our Voices Magazine, the publication created to “touch, inspire and enlighten in a way that assists us in discovering and living our life purpose.”
On March 6, 2013, Udana Power spoke to The Only Love Project, an organization committed to inter-faith, inter-spiritual bridge building.
The Only Love Project is based on the premise that “only love dispels hate,” and it is open to all who desire to change the world for the better, one community at a time.
Bill Murphy (BM): Could you tell us, briefly, a little bit about your background?
Udana Power (UP): Well, I’ve always wanted to know God. I don’t know where it came from, but I had to know. And I wanted to know. I mean, I was journaling about it when I was 11 and 12 years old. Sometimes I would just journal all night. I wanted to be also an actress. I was compelled to be, don’t know why. And I would write Love and God and Art and Nature and Sex – all those words started with capital letters. Because somehow all that was part of my searching.
I don’t know what it was. It was core. Now I call it the Law of Blooming, being connected to our source. But at that time, I didn’t know what it was. I was just vaguely trying to find it.
So, my desire to be an actress was for many reasons. I had a gift for it, but I had to know the Source. When I was acting, or when I ultimately started singing, I would reconnect to the Source place within me, and let that flow of energy sing through me. I would line it all up, and it would take over and flow. I remember when I was flown to New York by Alan Jay Lerner and auditioned in front of the producers of Coco, starring Katharine Hepburn. It was in her only stage musical. Alan and I walked into the big lobby of the Mark Hellenger Theater one afternoon. It was empty. It felt like I was walking into my own dream. I remember Alan was holding my hand. I was very young and very naïve at the time, and I felt like I was walking into a cathedral. As we crossed the lobby and walked I into the great, big, empty theatre, there were a few men in suits there. One of them was Andre Previn. Everyone introduced themselves and then they asked me to go up on stage and sing.
It was a long walk. All I knew was this is where life was created. All I could think of was that and my personal relationship with God. I walked up to the big empty stage and sang “Greensleeves” in French and “God Bless The Child.” Alan said later that it was like they were watching a young Judy Garland.
And whenever I’ve been to a theatrical performance that’s truly wonderful there is something of the spiritual in it. So, that’s been my life, and that’s where I came from. I was an actress in theatre for many years, I was on television and film, I did a one-woman show for five years. And when I did my work, I called it a Yahweh. That’s a word for God. I couldn’t quite articulate what it was, but if I could fling myself out into that experience, and channel that. Then I was doing what I was put here to do.
And I did that many times over and over. People would come backstage just sobbing because the performance had such a profound effect on them. It wasn’t me – it was something that I flung myself into that came through me. For me it was interesting, and it was easy.
I remember the producer for Applause at the San Bernardino Civic Light Opera. Larry Kasha had produced it on Broadway and was directing it here. I played Eve opposite Yvonne De Carlo. The producer was a woman who Continue reading
NOTE: This interview with Udana Power was conducted by publicist Bill Murphy in late 2012. This is Part 2 of what’s likely to be a 3-4 part series of interviews with Udana about her appearances on TV and in movies. We hope you enjoy it!
BM: I believe we left off last time with Kolchak: The Night Stalker (1975). You know what the next one is in your career? Barbary Coast (1976).
UP: Oh my gosh!
BM: Tell me about Barbary Coast and your role as Sara.
UP: Sara. Did I send you a picture of it? I sent you a picture of it, didn’t I?
BM: Yes. It was you and Bill Shatner.
UP: Yeah, it was me and Bill Shatner, and I know I have some pictures of it, but it was old-fashioned setting. And I played this innocent little girl, young woman, in old-time San Francisco. It was a take off on the old movie, Barbary Coast. I don’t remember what I did so much. I just remember wearing this beautiful little high neck, and my hair being done up. I felt so pretty. It was just something unusual that I hadn’t done before. I was very 1800s. It was very Barbary Coast. And as I remember, he [Bill Shatner] would wear disguises. Doug McClure was in the show, too.
[NOTE: This episode of Barbara Coast that someone posted on YouTube doesn't feature Udana. It's just an interesting clip to watch because Barbary Coast has been off the air and unavailable for decades.]
I was a fan of Bill Shatner. Bill had amazing energy, pizzazz. I really liked him. He and I got along and we started talking, and I ended up a lot in his trailer. [laughs] And that started a relationship with Bill that went on for several years. And I just adored him. The show didn’t last for long. I don’t even know where we could find it on DVD. But I just thought [Bill] was Continue reading
NOTE: So many people have asked me about my career that I decided to spend time with my publicist, Bill Murphy, who interviewed me about my first few appearances on TV. Our conversation took place in September of 2012. This is Part 1 of what’s likely to be a 3-4 part series. I hope you enjoy it!
Bill: Let’s talk about your first TV appearance, which was Ironside in 1971. The episode was called “In the Line of Duty.” How did you get the gig on Ironside? What had you been doing? You were in your mid-twenties. So this must have been one of your first jobs.
Udana: That was literally my first job. I was going on auditions, and I had a manager who was helping me go on auditions, and I went to Universal Studios, and somehow I got chosen. I think [producer] Cy Chermak had something to do with that.
B: Let me check IMDB. Yep, Cy Chermak.
U: Got it. That’s so long ago. I had no idea who I was. I had no idea that I was pretty, all I knew was that I just wanted to act. Cy Chermak hired me for this, and I got my SAG card. That’s how I got my Screen Actors Guild card, and it cost me $280 to get my SAG card then. Now it’s $1000, $2000 or something like that. But at that point it was a whopping $280. [laughs]
U: And I got my Screen Actors Guild card. I kind of knew who Gary Mason was and Raymond Burr was, and I had, I remember I had a scene that I had to be very emotional in. I had to be crying. And there were four people in the scene. I think we were Continue reading