I was born in Los Angeles and grew up under the relentless sun and the dusty palm trees dreaming of becoming a great writer. Then Hollywood discovered me. At twenty-one I did a screen test for Universal Studios. Never having acted professionally, I somehow managed to get a seven-year contract. In that same month I married Bones Howe, record producer and bachelor father of three small children. At twenty-one you can do anything.
In my first acting job I was shot dead in the titles of a TV movie. They covered me with a sheet and carted me off to an ambulance. Only my hair showed. But in my next role I starred in a TV movie called Kicks where I shot Mickey Rooney dead. Over the next few years I acted in such movies as: The Ride To Hangman’s Tree co-starring with James Farentino; Coogan’s Bluff with Clint Eastwood; Gaily, Gaily directed by Norman Jewison; Rabbit Run with James Caan; and The Moonshine War, co-starring with Alan Alda.
I was acting and raising my new family. At night I attended the UCLA Extension where I studied creative writing. I still wanted to be a writer. In 1980 I wrote a play titled The Lady of the House, which was produced by the Los Angeles Theatre Center, and starred Salome Gens, Nan Martin, and Carol Lockatell. But this first success as a writer didn’t stop me from acting. I was now doing it all; even TV commercials. I sold everything: cars, shampoo, deodorant, Kool Aid, and beer.