TV Stars

I had the absolute honour of being able to interview Richard Kline for my blog. Richard played the character of Larry Dallas, the sleazy used car salesman and best friend of Jack Tripper (John Ritter) on my favourite sitcom, Three's Company, and when I heard he is about to star in a Broadway production of All That Glitters, about Liberace, I fired off an email asking him for an interview. I was overjoyed when he replied to say I may send him questions - many people don't bother to reply - and was even more happy when I actually did get answers to my questions. The mark of a gentleman is to stick to your word and treat everybody with respect. So it's with extreme gratitude that I can bring you this once in a lifetime piece.

PS: You are about to star in All That Glitters,  the story of Liberace, as Liberace! Liberace was a flamboyant character and the role will involve singing and playing the piano – how are you enjoying this multifaceted role?

RK: The role contains some wonderful ballads and a bit of piano playing. The script is at times hilarious and dramatic--especially in the second act where I play Liberace at the end of his life


I remember the day well - standing in front of the TV in sad, shocked, silence as the announcer told us that John Ritterhad passed away suddenly. A lot of celebs had passed away, but John Ritter's death was on the same level as that of Princess Diana - you just knew that we had lost somebody amazing. We still feel that loss today, but MORE than that - John Ritter still makes us laugh today. In my own family, we have spent most of this year laughing at Jack Tripper as we rediscovered Three's Company and all his other work. Well - I rediscovered it, my children discovered it for the first time. And when, like me, and like my son, you struggle with issues such as depression and social anxiety and you suddenly find solace and peace in the work of someone who just makes you LAUGH, you want to give something back.

It's with this in mind that I contacted the John Ritter Foundation for Aortic Health. I wanted to know more about the heart defect which had taken John Ritter from us, but I also wanted to see if there was some way that I in South Africa could say thank you. I seem to remember hearing that John Ritter once said that he would like to find a cure for a disease, and the best way of saying thank you is by spreading word about aortic health.

I'm immensely grateful (and star struck!) to receive such wonderful information as has been provided to us by Amy Yasbeck - star of Problem ChildWings, and many others, wife of John Ritter and founder of The John Ritter Foundation for Aortic Health.


A few days ago I had the privilege of chatting to Suanne Braun who is currently starring in I Have Life: Alison, 20 Years On.

I Have Life: Alison, 20 Years On  is the story of Alison Botha which is currently showing at the Auto and General Theatre on the Square in Sandton. Most South Africans will remember the time 20 years ago when Alison’s story hit the media. She survived a shockingly harrowing and brutal rape and attack in Port Elizabeth, went on to see the rapists get convicted and to become a motivational speaker. The story is one of triumph and is portrayed incredibly by the incredibly versatile and well known Suanne Braun. Suanne Braun made her professional debut in 1988 working as a TV presenter in her native South Africa.  She was signed by the William Morris Agency in America  and has appeared in a number of American television shows including the sci fi series Stargate SG-1 in which she played goddess Hathor.

What a fun interview I have the pleasure to present right now!!

I have to say that I have had so much fun with this blog and have met so many fun and interesting people who have really contributed to my life in so many ways.  

Today - and again thank you to both Lindsay Blakeand Pinky Coogan for making this happen - I have the honour of chatting to actor Keith Coogan, who you will recognise as having featured in many very popular series and movies as a child through the 1980s and late 1970s as well as continuing his career into his adulthood.

As a child, you appeared on episodes of The Waltons, The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, Laverne & Shirley, Mork & Mindy, Eight Is Enough, Knight Rider, Growing Pains, Silver Spoons, Fame, and CHiPs.  What was it like to work on those shows? It must have been so much fun working with guys like Robin Williams, Rick Schroeder, David Hasselhof, etc. Do you have any favourites and were there any actors that you took mentorship from? 

From nearly destroying Walton's Mountain, riding around in K.I.T.T., and drinking milk and Pepsi with Laverne, to chumming it up with Ponch, Ricky, and Mork, I had one of the coolest childhoods.  Not only were most of these shows ones that I watched religiously, but most of the time all of the actors and the sets were just as much fun as you would think.  Occasionally I was bummed that the Love Boat never left the soundstage at 20th Century Fox, but part of what I love about being in show business is the artifice and art that goes into bringing the show.  I always loved facades, with plaster and fiberglass standing in for brick and mortar, and I loved the technology and equipment that worked behind the scenes to bring you your favorite shows.  So, I was never really disappointed with the reality behind the scenes, rather, I was fascinated by the magic act and trickery that went into making film and television.  Sometimes there might be an actor or actress that had a big ego, but I learned early on how to "work around them". Overall, it was a rompin', stompin, funhouse that I got paid to play around in.


Aaron Harvie is an all star in every sense of the word. You know him fromMasterChef Australia 2010 and the recentAll Stars series and he is all star in every sense of the word. He's one of the nicest, most affable people I've had the pleasure of dealing with this for this site... and he can cook!! But too bad, girls.. he is taken. 

You know when you come away thinking that you've 'met' someone special, it's gonna be a great blog post! 

Firstly, thank you so much to my friend Alison Fourie of AMF Typing  for recommending me to interview Aaron. You made a great call! With Aaron's interest in pop culture, his support of charities including The Salvation Army, and his inspirational use of cooking as therapy, thus teaching people a way to cope with life's struggles, he's the perfect interviewee for Pop Speaking and I am touched and humbled by his humility. Thank you Aaron for sharing and for being you. 

Sometimes I wonder what it's like being the one asked questions, specially when you have someone who doesn't really know much about your subject of expertise. I really know NOTHING about cooking, though I love watching the creativity and ingenuity of those who do, and Aaron managed my questions with flair and brilliance! 

My first off the mark question:

How did you become a chef? Did you study and if so where, and who or what (if anyone) inspired you to cook?

Well first of all, I am not a Chef, just a passionate home cook! The rules of MasterChef state that you cannot be a trained Chef or have held a position in a kitchen, working the line cooking for 10 years prior to entering. I have always been a keen student of food; my father was an inspiration to me growing up, as he is one of the best cooks I know.

You got to the final seven in Masterchef Australia 2010 and were eliminated after a fish and chips challenge. I think the fact that it’s sometimes the simple things that undo us is indicative of how stressful it must have been in that kitchen!!

I did get eliminated on a Fish and Chips challenge, but it was the chips not the fish that was my undoing…. They were pretty soggy!!!


There’s nothing I love more than being able to interview someone young, vibey and up and coming and I got just that when I got the chance to interview SA's up and coming golden girl Suzzi Swanepoel who has just come out of Season 1 of Sterlopers (Kyknet) in which she played one of the leads, Isabel Richter. 

She has also just released her single Ek Probeer which you can download free on SoundCloud! 

You got into Idols a few seasons back - was that your first big exposure, getting publicity or getting known out there?

Yes, because when you do theatre people don’t necessarily recognize you. It's mainly TV actors and celebrities who are in the media so ja,  Idols was definitely my first taste of life in the spot-light 

It was quite hectic. I was young, only 24, when I did Idols. I didn’t really know who I was and how I wanted to represent myself. Now that I’m 29, I have a much clearer idea of who I am and what I want to do with my life

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