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Frank Delaney Legacy Series

Frank Delaney Legacy Series

Launches with Christine Baranski


by KATHRYN BOUGHTON

Former BBC broadcaster and prolific author Frank Delaney loved the arts and reveled in the rich cultural landscape of Litchfield County. In life Delaney used his quick Irish wit, his profound knowledge of the arts and his abundant charm to promote the cultural milieu in his adopted home. Now a legacy series of interviews to be conducted by his widow, Diane Meier, will continue his good work for the Northwest Connecticut Arts Council.

Actress Christine Baranski will join Meier Sunday, June 3rd at 4PM, at Meier’s home in Kent in an afternoon conversation about Baranski’s life, times and remarkable career. Tickets for this intimate gathering with a reception are $125 and benefit the Northwest Connecticut Arts Council. There is limited seating.

“Frank began this series for the Northwest Connecticut Arts Council few years ago, and everyone agreed his conversation with Sam Waterston that year was warm and wonderful,” Meier said. “The Waterson interview was the first of what he hoped would be series of talks about the arts in Litchfield County and what we get out of being here in this wonderful environment.”

Meier, an author in her own right and a high-profile marketer for major corporations, said she will focus on the meaning of being an artist in Litchfield County. “It will be very much a conversation with Christine,” she said. “I hope that for those attending it is like overhearing two friends talk. I want to talk about her start as character actor—character actors are the workmen that keep our theaters going—and how she has made a spectacular career on television and the big screen.”

But even more, Meier wants to discuss Baranski’s life as an actor who made Litchfield County her home. “She’s lives here, she was married to another actor, their kids go to normal schools—she didn’t sell out and move to Hollywood. I very much want her to talk about having this kind of career and raising her children here. I don’t want to lose sight of the role the county has played in her life.”

Baranski is known for her roles on television series such as Cybill and The Big Bang Theory along with films such as Mamma Mia! and Into the Woods among many others. A graduate of Juilliard, she earned success on Broadway early on. She won her first Tony Award in the Broadway play The Real Thing with Jeremy Irons and. five years later, appeared in the film Reversal of Fortune, again playing a woman having an affair with a character played by Irons.

Baranski is a 15-time Emmy Award nominee, winning in 1995 for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her role as Maryanne Thorpe in Cybill. She has received further critical acclaim for her performance as Diane Lockhart in the legal drama series, The Good Wife and its spinoff series, The Good Fight (2017–present). She is also known for her recurring role as Dr. Beverly Hofstadter in the sitcom, The Big Bang Theory (2009–present).

Amy Wynn, executive director of the Northwest Connecticut Arts Council, expressed her appreciation for Delaney’s support for her organization and for Meier’s willingness to continue the series.
“Frank Delaney left a lasting positive mark on our industry and on our region through his wit, insight and support,” she said. “I appreciated his intellectual prodding during conversations which I always found helpful. We are so grateful that Diane is willing to continue this tradition in the spirit of Frank with this annual Legacy Series of intimate conversations with artists of note.”

Meier said Delaney, who was born and raised in Tipperary, Ireland, wholeheartedly embraced the United States. “He had loved the whole idea of America his whole life,” she said. “When he was 9 years old his Godmother gave him a copy of Robert Lewis Stevenson’s Treasure Island She said it would become his favorite book because he loved adventure but to pay attention to the man who wrote it. She told him that, sitting in a window in Edinburgh, Stevenson had imagined the Caribbean story. That made such an enormous impression on him, I think he fell in love with the idea of being a writer, and the fact that imagination is part of art. But Stevenson also married an American and moved here and Frank was intrigued by that, too. His hero had come to this country.”

America continued to make an impression on the precocious Irish lad. “He was madly crazy about President Kennedy,” his wife related. “He met him on Kennedy’s visit to Dublin. He and his sister were invited to be among the young people’s committee that welcomed Kennedy. Frank grew up believing you could only go so far if you were Irish. There were unspoken limits they felt about their country—it was kind of baked into them by England practically trying to colonize them. But he looked into Kennedy’s eyes and saw this classic, classy man and it occurred to him that he could be like that. It was much in his mind.”

Delaney enjoyed an illustrious career in Ireland and England before moving to the United States in the early 2000s and eventually becoming a US citizen. He produced 24 books—six of them while living in Kent—as well as four screenplays and numerous collections.

The funds raised from this event will help keep programs and services of the Northwest Connecticut Arts Council in place and accessible to the cultural community and the culture-loving public.

Only a few tickets remain for Sunday’s performance. For information and tickets call 860-618-0075, email info@artsnwct.org or click on the link below.



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