Hart to Hart
“I have made 27 theatrical films but I am not and never have been a movie star. I am a worker bee, one of those people who act to live, not live to act. As far as my TV work is concerned, I am indiscriminate. I found work all the time and maybe people feel comfortable with someone in their home whom they've seen so many times before.” Stefanie Powers
Stefanie Powers is an actress best known for portraying Jennifer Hart on the ABC TV series “Hart to Hart” (1979-1984), from which she earned Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for her performance. Prior to her success on the series, she starred in the short lived shows “The Girl from U.N.C.L.E.,” (NBC, 1966-1967) and “The Feather and Father Gang” (1977). Starting her career in the late 1950s, Powers appeared in many films, including “Experiment in Terror” (1962), “McLintock” (1963), “Die! Die! My Darling” (1965), “Stagecoach” (1966) and “Herbie Rides Again” (1974), before working primarily on television. The winner of the 1980 People's Choice Award Favorite Female Performer in a New TV Program more recently returned to the big screen in “Rabbit Fever” (2006), her first film since “Escape to Athena” (1979). Powers has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame thank to her contribution to television.
A two time divorcee, Powers was dating Academy Award winning actor William Holden at the time of his death on November 12, 1981. Through the relationship, she became involved with wildlife conservation and was appointed President of the William Holden Wildlife Foundation following Holden's death. She stated, “William Holden is the most significant human being in my life.”
Stefania Zofya Federkiewicz
Childhood and Family:
Stefanie Powers was born Stefania Zofya Federkiewicz on November 2, 1942, in Hollywood, California. Her birth name comes from her Polish lineage. After her parents separated, young Stefanie and her older brother, Jeff, were raised by their mother, Julia Golen, and their stepfather. She attended Hollywood High School in Los Angeles, California, and was a cheerleader in school. She also took acting classes at 20th Century Fox, MGM and Columbia. At age 15, Stefanie worked temporarily as a dancer for The Jets in the Hollywood production of “West Side Story.”
Stefanie married actor Gary Lockwood (born February 11, 1937) on August 27, 1966. The couple divorced in 1972. She then married Patrick Houitte De La Chesnais on April 1, 1993, but they divorced in 1999.
The Feather and Father Gang
“I began to work at fifteen and when I was put under contract at Columbia, they still believed in ‘grooming' their young hopefuls. That process allowed me to learn how movies were made since the studio was my playground.” Stefanie Powers
Stefanie Powers got her professional acting start in 1958 when she was cast with Robert Culp and James Dunn in the TV film “Now Is Tomorrow.” Then billed as Taffy Paul, Powers landed guest roles on television shows like “The Case of the Dangerous Robin” (1960), “The Ann Sothern Show” (1961), “Lock Up” (1961) and “Bat Masterson” (1961) before making her feature debut in “Tammy Tell Me True” (1961), a comedy directed by Harry Keller that starred Sandra Dee, John Gavin and Charles Drake.
In 1962, after a chance meeting with director Black Edward, Powers was cast as Lee Remick's younger sister, Toby Sherwood, in Edwards' thriller “Experiment in Terror,” which was adapted from the 1961 novel “Operation Terror.” The same year, she also played the supporting role of Nurse Gloria Mead on the hospital melodrama “The Interns,” a role she reprised in the 1964 sequel “The New Interns.” She was also reunited with Sandra Dee on the Golden Globe nominated comedy “If a Man Answers” (1962) for director Henry Levin. She then played Bunny Dixon in the romantic comedy “Palm Springs Weekend” (1963), opposite Troy Donahue, Connie Stevens and Ty Hardin, and the daughter of John Wayne in the comedy “McLintock” (1963). After working with Lana Turner, Cliff Robertson, Hugh O'Brian and Ruth Roman on the film “Love Has Many Faces” (1965, directed by Jerry Bresler), she was cast as Patricia Carroll in the British thriller “Die! Die! My Darling,” (1965) opposite Tallulah Bankhead. She also starred with Tom Laughlin in the 1965 film “Like Father, Like Son,” which was written and directed by Laughlin, and in the remake “Stagecoach” (1966), opposite Bing Crosby, Ann-Margret, Alex Cord, Slim Pickens, Van Heflin and Keenan Wynn.
Powers returned to the small screen in 1963 with performances in an unsold pilot and episodes of the series “Bonanza” and “Route 66.” Her first regular gig arrived in 1966 when she was cast in the title role of April Dancer on the NBC spy series “The Girl from U.N.C.L.E.,” (1966-1967) opposite Noel Harrison. The show was canceled after 29 episodes.
In 1970, Powers returned to the big screen alongside James Olson and Margaretta Scott in the British horror film “Crescendo,” which was helmed by Alan Gibson. She then acted with Robert Morse Don Ameche and Phil Silvers in the Disney film “The Boatniks” and played Laurie Gunn in the 1972 western “The Magnificent Seven Ride!” She did not appear in another film until 1974's “Herbie Rides Again,” where she played Nicole Harris. It was followed by roles on such films as “Gone with the West” (1975, as Little Moon), “It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time” (1975, as Georgina), “The Astral Factor” (1976, as Candy Barrett) and “Escape to Athena” (1979, as Dottie Del Mar).
Powers began to concentrate on the small screen in the 1970s when she guest starred in numerous shows, including “It Takes a Thief,” “Police Surgeon,” “The F.B.I.,” “Love, American Style,” “Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law,” “Banacek,” “Mod Squad” and “Marcus Welby, M.D.,” to name just a few. She also acted in many TV films, like “Five Desperate Women,” “Paper Man,” and “Ellery Queen: Don't Look Behind You,” to give a sampling. In addition, Powers portrayed Shalon in three episodes of “The Six Million Dollar Man” (1976) and an episode of the spin-off series “The Bionic Woman” (also 1976) and Sally Whalen in the TV miniseries “Washington: Behind Closed Doors” (1977), opposite Cliff Robertson and Jason Robards. The actress returned to series TV as a regular in the short lived crime series “The Feather and Father Gang,” which ran for 13 episodes between March to July 1977.
However, Powers did not enjoy a huge breakthrough until she won the role of Jennifer Hart on the Sidney Sheldon created TV series “Hart to Hart,” opposite Robert Wagner. The show ran on ABC from August 25, 1979, to May 22, 1984. For her good performance, Powers received Emmy nominations for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series (1981 and 1982) and Golden Globe nominations for Best TV Actress - Drama (1980) and Best Performance by an Actress in a TV-Series - Drama (1981, 1982, 1983 and 1984).
Powers made her producing debut in the television film “Family Secrets,” where she played the role of Jessie Calloway. The same year, she starred as Maggy Lunel in the TV miniseries “Mistral's Daughter” (1984), opposite Lee Remick and Stacy Keach. She went on to appear in various TV films throughout the remainder of the decade, such as “Deceptions” (1985), “Maggie” (1986), “At Mother's Request” (1987), “Beryl Markham: A Shadow on the Sun” (1988), which she produced, “She Was Marked for Murder” (1988) and “Love and Betrayal” (1989).
After starring in the TV films “When Will I Be Loved” (1990), “The Burden of Proof ” (1992) and “Survive the Night” (1993), Powers was reunited with former costar Robert Wagner for a series of “Hart to Hart” reunion TV movies made between 1993 and 1996, such as “Hart to Hart Returns” (1993), “Home Is Where the Hart Is” (1994), “Crimes of the Hart” (1994), “Old Friends Never Die” (1994), “Secrets of the Hart” (1995), “Two Harts in 3/4 Time” (1995), “Harts in High Season” (1996) and “Till Death Do Us Hart” (1996). She also produced all the “Hart to Hart” TV films. In addition, she appeared in the TV film “Good King Wenceslas” and guest starred in an episode of “Cybill” (1995). In 1996, she was cast as Margo Channing in a tour of “Applause” and was named host of the cable movie channel “Romance Classics” the following year.
In the new millennium, Powers guest starred in an episode of “What About Joan” called “Joan Meets the Parents” (2001). She followed it up with a recurring role on the British hit series “Doctors” (7 episodes, 2001). The same year on stage, she starred as Anna in a revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein's “The King and I.”
The next year, Powers starred as Michelle Dupre in the TV film “Someone Is Watching,” opposite Mickey Toft and Margot Kidder. She resurfaced in 2006 in the film “Rabbit Fever,” which marked her first film in nearly three decades. The film starred Lisa Barbuscia, Julian Rhind-Tutt and Tara Summers. Two years later, she appeared with Ben Silverstone, Patrick Swayze and Martine McCutcheon in the drama “Jump” (2008). In 2010, she costarred with Lori Loughlin and Johnny Messner in the television movie “Meet My Mom.”
Powers is rumored to be portraying Joelle Costeaux in the upcoming film “Transfer at Aachen” (2011), which is being directed by Paul Warner.
People's Choice: Favorite Female Performer in a New TV Program, 1980