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Actress Sally Struthers

- Sally Struthers
Sally Struthers
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pickle fork

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Wednesday, July 4, 2012, 7:57 p.m.

For a soft-hearted woman, Sally Struthers has played a remarkable number of heard-hearted and no-nonsense dames.

Through Sunday, she's making a return appearance as one of them — the scheming, kid-hating orphanage matron Miss Hannigan in Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera's production of “Annie” at the Benedum Theater, Downtown. Struthers made her Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera debut in “Annie” in 2003.

Since then, she has returned to play Jeannette, the tough-talking piano player in the company's “The Full Monty” in 2007 and as the cynical, unsentimental theater producer Carmen Bernstein in its 2010 production of “Curtains.”

Those with long memories remember her as Gloria Stivic on the iconic television series “All in the Family,” and for her three decades of commitment to organizations that offer aid to hungry and uneducated children in the United States and many Third World countries.

Struthers made her Broadway debut in “Wally's Cafe” with Rita Moreno, and she also appeared on Broadway in Neil Simon's female version of “The Odd Couple” and as Miss Lynch in the revival of “Grease.”

She arrives in Pittsburgh fresh from her appearance at the Ogunquit Playhouse in Maine, where she played Louise Seger in the musical, “Always ... Patsy Cline,” a role that earned her the best actress award from the Los Angeles Artistic Director Theatre Awards.

The star who would play me in the movie version of my life and why:

Charlize Theron, because I am always mistaken for her, but her legs are a little longer than mine.

Childhood hero and why:

My grandparents, two aunts, and uncle. They picked up the slack, and helped my mother raise my sister and me when our father left us.

My favorite sandwich, plus fixings:

Tuna melt, and I like it with two dill pickles

Pick one:

A. Go-Gos

B. Goo-Goo Dolls

C. Lady Gaga

D. Yo Gabba Gabba

C. Lady Gaga, because I am often mistaken for her, too, and I do love her.

The superpower I wish I had in real life and why:

It's not a superhero power to most; the ability to say no is something I have not been able to grasp.

Favorite brunch food:

Bloody Mary

Favorite guilty pleasure:

A second Bloody Mary

I can't live without my: iPod, cellphone, DVR or laptop?

Since I don't own any of those, I can't live without air conditioning.

My favorite reality show:

"Dancing with the Stars"

Something I would do over if I could and why

I'd have another child, because one is not enough

The song that always gets me out on the dance floor and why:

Anything by the Bee Gees

Top thing on my ‘Bucket List' to do before I'm gone:

Fall in love again

In five years, I'd like to:

Be 9 years younger

If I could tour with any two bands, they'd be:

Elton John and Rolling Stones

The piece of memorabilia from my childhood I wish I still had.

My Mickey Mouse Club mouse ears I sent away for as a child. I watched the Mouseketeer Club everyday on TV.

My favorite thing about Pittsburgh is:

The confluence of the Monongahela and the Allegheny rivers

Star I'd like to dance with on "Dancing with the Stars":

I'd like to dance with Tom Burgeron, because he is so funny.

Three people I'd love to have dinner with:

Abraham Lincoln, Mother Theresa and Ellen DeGeneres

The role I haven't yet played but hope to:

I hope to play a role that will win me an Oscar

One word my mother would use to describe me:

My mother would always say Sally was born with, "funny."

The oldest thing in my refrigerator is:

My open box of baking soda

When I was 10, I wanted to be:

A medical doctor like my father

I'm deathly afraid of:


If I was auditioning for "American Idol," my song would be:

"Me and Bobby McGee"

The first stage play or musical I saw (when and where):

The first professional musical I ever saw, my father drove my sister and me to Seattle from Portland to see the Broadway traveling company of "Bye Bye Birdie," and I fell in love with theater.

The best stage play or musical I've ever seen:

"Billy Elliot"

My quirkiest inherited trait:

The inability to leave my house before I've finished a crossword puzzle and the overwhelming desire to get the whole room laughing

Saturday mornings, you'll find me:

Finishing a crossword puzzle, drinking a Bloody Mary, definitely in that order

In high school, I was:

Happy go lucky, overachiever. You name it, I did it.

If I wasn't an actor, I'd be:

An interior decorator; I do it all the time for free in my friend's homes.

The movie that always makes me cry:


Life would be better without:

Rude people and mean people

Celebrity crush:

My celebrity crush forever has been Gregory Peck.

My childhood nickname was:

I had several, my mother called me Samantha Featherhead, my sister called me Packy, because I walked like a baby elephant, my grandfather called me tall timber, because I was not tall, and my dad called me short stuff for obvious reasons, my grandmother called me little gold nugget. No one called me Sally.

My first job:

As a receptionist at my father's medical office on Saturdays

My worst job:

At a movie theater in the middle of Los Angeles, where I cleaned the ladies rooms and was an usher

I never travel without my:


People would be surprised to know that I:

Don't actually live in the TV

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