A Special Welcome To Our Newest Western Council Members!
The Actors Fund has a roster of generous and dedicated individuals who serve on our Board of Directors and its related committees, all of which serve to further the welfare of all professionals in the performing arts and in entertainment. Many of these people participate in our numerous special councils, each of which is focused on specific key issues and programs, including The Board of Trustees, Friends of The Lillian Booth Actors Home, National Board of Advisors, The Artists’ Committee, The Dancers’ Resource Advisory Council, Looking Ahead Advisory Council, and The Western Council, which supports the programs, projects and services of The Actors Fund, and develops and executes fundraising activities and projects on the West Coast. At its June 5 meeting, the Western Council elected six new members – and we’d like to welcome them on board! (For a complete list of Western Council members, visit our website.)
JOHN BOWAB is an American director and producer of television and theatre. Bowab began his career in theatre, directing a number of stage productions. Such as Mame (1983), The Night of the Hunter (2003) and most recently 70, Girls, 70 (2010). In the late 1970s, he moved on to television, amassing a large number of notable directing credits, including The Cosby Show, Benson, Bosom Buddies, Gimme a Break!, Small Wonder, Making a Living, Full House, Who’s the Boss?, The Facts of Life, Family Matters, Double Trouble, and Ellen. Along with Marty Wiviott, he has been producing The Fund’s Musical Mondays series for many years.
BUDD FRIEDMAN is best known as the founder and original proprietor and MC of the Improvisation Comedy Club, which opened in 1963 on West 44th Street near the SE corner of 9th Avenue, in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood. He was instrumental in launching the comedy careers of Rodney Dangerfield, Richard Lewis, Robert Klein, Jay Leno, Andy Kaufman, Freddie Prinze, Steve Landesberg, Jimmie Walker, and for a brief time, managed Bette Midler at the early stages of her career. It was with Friedman’s help and guidance that Ms. Midler first appeared on The Tonight Show. He is also an actor and producer. Friedman also opened an Improv club at Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, California as well as Fantasy Springs Resort and Casino in Indio, California.
KATHERINE FUGATE wrote the screenplay for Garry Marshall’s hit romantic comedy Valentine’s Day and the follow-up film, New Year’s Eve. Fugate created and executive produced the hit Lifetime Television series Army Wives, an ensemble drama about the relationships and struggles of a diverse group of women living on an active army base with their families – it is the most successful series in the network’s history. Fugate previously wrote the screenplay for the 2004 feature The Prince & Me, directed by Martha Coolidge and starring Julia Stiles, and the largely autobiographical 2003 film Carolina, starring Shirley MacLaine in the role of Grandma Mirabeau (based on Fugate’s own late grandmother). She also wrote for the series Xena: Warrior Princess, contributing an episode that was voted into the top 10 of its entire six-season run.
DAN GUERRERO began his eclectic career in New York, to which he moved from East LA at age 20 to sing and dance in musicals. He performed off-Broadway, in regional theatre and summer stock productions, and in countless cabaret revues – including one that took him to the Nixon White House. He later became a successful Broadway talent agent in the years ranging from A Chorus Line to Cats, representing Tony Award winners and future Hollywood names. After moving back to L.A., Dan became a born-again Hispanic fiercely working for more positive Latino images on the screen as a casting director, writer and – for the past dozen years – as a producer and director. Guerrero has been widely-acclaimed as a highly creative independent producer of diverse programming for network and cable television in both English and Spanish, including NBC, PBS, HBO, FOX, Univision and Telemundo.
MICHAEL MEDICO wrote and directed the short film Bitch. for a friend’s Oscar Party “extra short” competition, and it went on to receive a great deal of attention on the festival circuit and was named best short film of 2009 in Frontiers LA magazine. His second film, Power Play was a finalist in the 60oneminutes.org competition. He is also the creator and director of A2IM’s anti-piracy campaign entitled Stealing Sucks. Before directing, Michael spent many years in New York and Los Angeles as an actor. His television credits include Grey’s Anatomy, House, The New Adventures of Old Christine, Threshold, Frasier, Will & Grace, Sex and the City, Law & Order: SVU, Roswell, Angel, and others. He is also the creator and executive producer of HOT IN HOLLYWOOD a celebrity-driven benefit that has raised more than half a million dollars in three years for domestic and international AIDS organizations.
MARTY WIVIOTT began his longtime association with the Nederlander Organization in 1990, and since 1996 has been the General Manager of Nederlander theatrical activities in Los Angeles. He oversees Broadway LA, the Nederlander subscription series in Los Angeles, and is the Manager of the Historic Pantages Theatre. Prior to 1990, Mr. Wiviott was Producer of the Long Beach Civic Light Opera, and during his eight year tenure it become one of the most successful regional theatres in the country, with a subscription base of over 30,000 and critically acclaimed productions such as Sunday In The Park With George, Follies and Jesus Christ, Superstar. In addition, Wiviotts LBCLO productions included many popular operettas such as Bittersweet with Shirley Jones, Song of Norway with Ann Blyth and The Merry Widow with Edie Adams. He also produced The Unsinkable Molly Brown in Long Beach with its original film star, Debbie Reynolds (which went on to a two-year national tour), and was the first to produce Cathy Rigby in Peter Pan prior to her national tours.