Emmy Award nominee Stefanie Powers will now play the role of legendary actress Tallulah Bankhead on the national tour of LOOPED. She replaces Valerie Harper, who was advised by doctors to take an immediate medical leave after having recently been hospitalized; she has flown back to Los Angeles with her husband Tony Cacciotti where she will receive continuing treatment and medical care.
"It is with deep sadness and regret that I will be unable to honor my commitment to the tour of LOOPED," Harper said. "This play has been such a gift and it was my hope and intention to play this role again in the upcoming tour. But given my doctor's recent recommendations, I must now put all my energy into getting well and renewing my strength."
"Matthew and I are obviously very sad that Val won't be able to continue," director Rob Ruggiero said of himself and playwright Matthew Lombardo. "Working with her on this project has been a delight and has brought us both so much joy and laughter. Right now Val needs to focus on her health and the future. We love and respect her immensely and support her during this challenging time. We are very grateful to Stefanie for stepping in so quickly."
David Fay, President of The Bushnell said, "While we are saddened to hear that Ms. Harper won't be appearing here, we are still eager to have LOOPED on our stage and look forward to Stefanie Powers giving another great performance."
Harper also praised Powers stating, "In my opinion, Stefanie is the perfect choice to take over this role. She is extraordinarily talented and will make one terrific Tallulah! I have called to give her my blessing and I urge everyone to go out and see this hysterically funny play and support Stefanie's participation."
Powers is no stranger to Tallulah Bankhead, having co-starred with her in the 1965 motion picture Die, Die, My Darling, playing Bankhead's daughter. It was during post-production of the film that Bankhead had trouble re-recording the infamous line, "And so Patricia, as I was telling you, that deluded rector has in literal effect closed the church to me," that is the incident on which the play LOOPED is based. Powers is best known for starring in the television series Hart to Hart with Robert Wagner and has received 2 Emmy Award and 5 Golden Globe nominations for Best Actress.
The LOOPED tour launches in Fort Lauderdale at The Parker Playhouse (February 26 - March 3) followed by a Baltimore run at The Hippodrome Theatre (March 5-17) then to Boston at The Majestic Theatre (April 30-May 5) followed by Hartford at The Bushnell (May 7-12). More cities will be announced for the Summer/Fall of 2013 as that information becomes available.
STEFANIE POWERS (Tallulah Bankhead) began her career at age 15, dancing for famed Broadway choreographer, Jerome Robbins. She was put under contract to Columbia Pictures in the final years of the Hollywood star system. While under contract, she appeared in 15 of the 31 motion pictures she has made, co-starring with screen legends such as John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Lana Turner, Ava Gardner, Cliff Robertson, Elliot Gould, Roger Moore, Donald Sutherland, Bing Crosby, Glenn Ford, Lee Remick, James Caan, and Sammy Davis. She recently co-starred with Richard Chamberlin in the critically acclaimed independent film, Three Days of Hamlet.
Her first television series, "The Girl from U.N.C.L.E.," marked a milestone in U.S. television's history as the first hour long series featuring a female in the leading role. Her television career includes over 25 mini-series, over 200 episodic guest starring appearances, 35 movies for television and two more television series, "Feather and Father" and the long running "Hart to Hart," starring opposite Robert Wagner. She became a member of the Screen Writers' Guild of America in the 1980s and has produced several of the screenplays she has written, one of which, "Family Secrets," was not only a stepping stone for the careers of James Spader and Gary Sinise but it garnered her a nomination for the best screenplay of the year by her peers in the Writers' Guild. Her writing has extended itself to a memoir called, One from the Hart, published by The Robson Press.