Stefanie Powers (born Stefanie Zofya Paul; November 2, 1942) is an American actress best known for her role as Jennifer Hart in the American mystery television series Hart to Hart, alongside Robert Wagner, which aired for five seasons from 1979 to 1984, on ABC. Powers and Wagner later reunited for eight Hart to Hart TV movies in the 1990s.
Powers attending the "Night of 100 Stars" for the 82nd Academy Awards viewing party in March 2010
|Born||Stefanie Zofya Paul
November 2, 1942
Hollywood, California, U.S.
|Other names||Taffy Paul|
|Spouse(s)||Gary Lockwood (1966–1972)
Patrick De La Chenais (1993–1999)
Powers was possibly born Stefanie Zofya Paul in Hollywood, California, though her name is often given as Stefania Zsofia (or Zofia) Federkiewicz. In her autobiography she says "Moje prawdziwe nazwisko to Federkiewicz" ("My real (Polish) name is Federkiewicz").
Her parents divorced during her childhood. Powers was estranged from her father, whom she barely references and whose name is never mentioned in her memoir, One from the Hart, in which she refers to the "tension and unhappiness created by my father's presence". Her father was a Jewish immigrant from Eastern Europe. She remained extremely close throughout her life to her mother, born Juliana Dimitria Golan (1912–2009) in New York, of Polish descent. Her mother, who died in Los Angeles from pneumonia at 96 years old, would be known late in life and in local obituaries as Julie Powers. Stefanie Powers had an elder brother, Jeffrey Julian Paul (1940–2013), as well as a half-sister, Charlene Groman. Powers was a cheerleader at Hollywood High School; one of her schoolmates was Nancy Sinatra. In 1965, using the alias Taffy Paul, she made an obscure independent film, The Young Sinner.
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Powers appeared in several motion pictures in the early 1960s in secondary roles such as the thriller Experiment in Terror, If a Man Answers, and McLintock! (1963). She played a schoolgirl in Tammy Tell Me True (1961), and Bunny, the police chief's daughter, in Palm Springs Weekend (1963). She appeared in the 1962 hospital melodrama The Interns, and its sequel, The New Interns in 1964. In 1965, she played opposite Tallulah Bankhead in Die! Die! My Darling (originally released in England as Fanatic).
In 1966, her "tempestuous" good looks led to being cast in the starring role as the passive and demure April Dancer, in the short-lived NBC television series spy thriller The Girl from U.N.C.L.E., a spin-off of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Shortly after the series' debut, she was featured on the cover of TV Guide (December 31, 1966 – January 6, 1967). The article mentions her "117-pound frame is kept supple with 11 minutes of Royal Canadian Air Force exercises every morning... Unlike her fellow U.N.C.L.E. agents, the ladylike April is not required to kill the bad guys. Her feminine charms serve as the bait, while her partner Noel Harrison provides the fireworks." The series lasted for only one season (29 one-hour episodes), airing from September 16, 1966 to April 11, 1967.
In 1967, Powers appeared in Warning Shot with David Janssen. Her 1970s films include The Boatniks (1970) and Herbie Rides Again (sequel to The Love Bug). She was a guest star on the Robert Wagner series It Takes a Thief in 1970. The two went on to co-star in the popular Hart to Hart series nine years later. Before the Hart to Hart success, she starred in The Feather and Father Gang as Toni "Feather" Danton, a successful lawyer, whose father, Harry Danton, was a smooth-talking ex-con man (played by Harold Gould). It ran for a half-season (13 episodes).
Powers many guest-roles on other popular TV shows include: McCloud (1971), The Mod Squad (1972), Kung Fu (1974), The Rockford Files (1975), Three for the Road (1975), The Six Million Dollar Man (1976), The Bionic Woman (1976), and McMillan & Wife (1977). Powers appeared in these shows long after she signed a contract with Universal Studios in 1970. Coincidentally, her longtime friend and Hart to Hart series' star, Wagner, signed a contract with Universal, but did not guest-star on more shows than Powers did.
Powers starred with Roger Moore, Telly Savalas, David Niven, Sonny Bono and Elliott Gould, in the 1979 British war adventure film Escape to Athena, in which a group of Anglo-American prisoners of the Germans scramble to liberate themselves and some Greek art treasures. The film is Powers' last theatrical feature film to date.
In 1977, Powers played Sally Whalen, in the 6-part television miniseries Washington: Behind Closed Doors, produced by Paramount Television and broadcast by ABC. It is based on John Ehrlichman's book The Company, a novel inspired by the author's time with the Nixon administration. The series had Powers cast alongside a strong cast including Cliff Robertson, Jason Robards, Robert Vaughn, Lois Nettleton and John Houseman.
Powers became most widely known as a television star for her role as Jennifer Hart, in the American mystery television series Hart to Hart, alongside Robert Wagner as Jonathon Hart, both portraying a married pair of amateur sleuths, The Hart to Hart TV series aired for five seasons from 1979 to 1984 on ABC. Powers and Wagner later reunited for eight Hart to Hart TV movies in the 1990s.
In 1985, Powers starred as twins who swap places leading to dire consequences in the two-part made-for-TV movie Deceptions.
In 1987, she starred in the real-life TV drama, At Mother's Request, as the frightening Frances Schreuder, who goaded her 17-year-old-son into killing her father. Directed by Michael Tuchner, the script was adapted for television by Richard DeLong Adams and aired on CBS.
Powers starred alongside John Barrowman in a 1991 London stage musical, Matador, at the Queen's Theater. with a book inspired by Spanish corrida legend El Cordobes. The production was staged by Elijah Moshinsky for producer Laurence Myers, with choreography by Arlene Phillips and Rafael Aguilar, and scenery by William Dudley.
Powers starred in a 1993 drama stage production Love Letters alongside Robert Wagner, performed at the Chicago Theatre. The two players, portrayed Melissa Gardner and Andrew Makepeace Ladd III, to tell the story of their 40-year, mostly long-distance relationship without getting up from their chairs.
Powers released her debut music CD in 2003, titled, On The Same Page. The album features selections from the classic Great American Songbook era.
In 2000–01, she starred in the BBC's popular long-running British medical drama, Doctors as Jane Powers, a wealthy businesswoman, and the mother of Dr. Caroline Powers. Jane Powers, after being widowed, was due to marry her much younger fiancé David Wilde, but in the lead-up to the wedding, her daughter (Caroline) and fiancé David fell in love and ran off together. Her last appearance was on June 1st, 2001.
Powers was a contestant on the reality TV show, 11th series of I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!, in which celebrities retreat into the jungle. She was the first celebrity to be eliminated on November 25, 2011.
Powers starred in the musical Gotta Dance, which premiered in Chicago in December 2015 through January 2016. The cast also stars Georgia Engel, Lillias White, and Andre DeShields. The musical is directed and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell, with a book by Chad Beguelin and Bob Martin, and the score by Matthew Sklar and Nell Benjamin.
Powers was married to actor Gary Lockwood from 1966–72. Her relationship with actor William Holden led to their joint involvement with wildlife conservation. He died in 1981; by the following year, Powers was the founder and president of the William Holden Wildlife Foundation and a director of the Mount Kenya Game Ranch and Wildlife Conservancy in Nanyuki, Kenya. In the United States, she works with both the Cincinnati and Atlanta zoos. She devotes a great deal of time to the cause and is an international guest speaker on wildlife preservation.
On April 1, 1993, she married Patrick Houitte de la Chesnais (born May 7, 1951, Versailles, France); the couple divorced in 1999.
Powers has no children.
A polo player, she was among the first foreign members of the Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club in the United Kingdom, whose membership includes HRH The Prince of Wales. In 2005, she competed in the Joules United Kingdom National Women's Championships at Ascot.
In November 2008, Powers, who was a smoker for 20 years, was diagnosed with alveolar carcinoma, a form of lung cancer. She had surgery to remove part of her right lung on January 29, 2009, the same month her mother died of pneumonia, aged 96, in Los Angeles.
|2014||Mr. Fiction||Marilyn||TV movie|
|2014||Ring by Spring||Madam Rue||TV movie|
|2013||Reading, Writing and Romance||Brenda||TV movie|
|2010||Meet My Mom||Louise Metcalf||TV movie|
|1998||Someone Is Watching||Michelle Dupre||TV movie|
|1996||Till Death Do Us Hart||Jennifer Hart||TV movie|
|1996||Harts in High Season||TV movie|
|1995||Two Harts in 3/4 Time||TV movie|
|1995||Secrets of the Hart||TV movie|
|1994||Old Friends Never Die||TV movie|
|1994||Crimes of the Hart||TV movie|
|1994||Home is Where the Hart Is||TV movie|
|1993||Hart to Hart Returns||TV movie|
|1988||Beryl Markham: A Shadow on the Sun||Beryl Markham||TV movie|
|1985||Hollywood Wives||Montana Gray||TV miniseries|
|1984||Family Secrets||Jessie Calloway||TV movie|
|1984||Mistral's Daughter||Maggie Lunel||TV miniseries|
|1979–84||Hart to Hart||Jennifer Hart||110 episodes|
|1979||Escape to Athena||Dottie Del Mar|
|1978||A Death in Canaan||Joan Barthel||TV movie|
|1978||The Astral Factor||Candy Barrett||Alternate title: Invisible Strangler|
|1977||Washington: Behind Closed Doors||Sally Whalen||6 episodes|
|1977||The Feather and Father Gang||Toni "Feather" Danton||14 episodes|
|1976||The Bionic Woman||Shalon||Episode: "The Return of Bigfoot: Part 2"|
|1976||The Six Million Dollar Man||Shalon||Episode: "The Return of Bigfoot: Part 1"|
|1976||The Six Million Dollar Man||Shalon||Episode: "The Secret of Bigfoot: Part 1 / Part 2"|
|1975||It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time||Georgia Price|
|1975||The Streets of San Francisco||Rita King||Episode: "No Place to Hide"|
|1975||Gone with the West||Little Moon|
|1975||The Rockford Files||Christine Dusseau||Episode: "The Real Easy Red Dog"|
|1974||Herbie Rides Again||Nicole Harris|
|1974||Shootout in a One-Dog Town||Letty Crandell||TV movie|
|1972||The Magnificent Seven Ride||Ms. Laurie Gunn|
|1972||Cannon||Rene Stubber, Kelly Prentiss||2x08 "The Rip-off", 4x01 "Kelly’s Song"|
|1971||Sweet, Sweet Rachel||Rachel Stanton||TV movie|
|1971||Five Desperate Women||Gloria||TV movie|
|1971||Paper Man||Karen McMillan||TV movie|
|1971||McCloud||Model||Episode: "Top of the World, Ma!"|
|1970||The Boatniks||Kate Fairchild|
|1967||Warning Shot||Liz Thayer|
|1966–67||The Girl from U.N.C.L.E.||April Dancer||29 episodes|
|1965||Die! Die! My Darling!||Pat Carroll||Alternate title: Fanatic|
|1965||Love Has Many Faces||Carol Lambert|
|1965||The Young Sinner||Ginny Miller||Alternate title: Like Father, Like Son|
|1964||The New Interns||Gloria Worship|
|1963||Route 66||Julie Severn||Episode: "A Cage in Search of a Bird"|
|1963||Palm Springs Weekend||Bunny Dixon|
|1962||The Interns||Nurse Gloria Mead|
|1962||Experiment in Terror||Toby Sherwood||Alternate title: The Grip of Fear|
|1963||Bonanza||Calamity Jane||Episode: "Calamity Over the Comstock"|
|1962||If a Man Answers||Tina|
|1961||Tammy Tell Me True||Kay|
|1961||Bat Masterson||Ann Elkins||Episode: "Dead Man's Claim"|
- Stefanie Zofya Paul birth registration, californiabirthindex.org; accessed April 3, 2014.
- Joseph F. Clarke (1977). Pseudonyms. BCA. p. 134.
- Fred Landesman (7 May 2004). The John Wayne Filmography. McFarland. p. 223. ISBN 978-0-7864-3252-3.
- Stefanie Powers (25 October 2011). One from the Hart. Simon and Schuster. p. 204. ISBN 978-1-4391-7211-7.
- Her father's name is reportedly Morrison Bloomfield Paul, who claimed to be a cinematographer (see Spokane Chronicle, December 7, 1983, pg. 12)
An IMDb posting states that Powers' "... father, Morrison Bloomfield Paul, was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, to a Jewish immigrant family from Eastern Europe. Her mother ... was born in New York, to Polish Catholic immigrants", One from the Hart, Gallery Books (reprint edition, October 25, 2011), ISBN 1439172110/ISBN 978-1439172117.
- One from the Heart: a memoir. Gallery Books, Simon and Schuster, Inc. pp. 9, 256. ISBN 978-1-4391-7210-0.
- Jeffrey Paul birth registration, familytreelegends.com; accessed April 3, 2014.
- Jeffrey Paul profile, californiabirthindex.org; accessed April 3, 2014.
- "50 Plus Senior News". Powers Surge. Retrieved June 13, 2006.
- John J. O'Connor (September 24, 1984). "TV Review; 'Mistral's Daughter' Starts Tonight". The New York Times. Retrieved August 3, 2015.
- " 'Deceptions' Details" The New York Times, accessed August 3, 2015
- "About Us (see Awardees)", sarahsiddonssociety.org, accessed August 3, 2015.
- Lefkowitz, David. " 'Applause' Tour Closes for Retooling" playbill.com, November 25, 1996.
- "Powers & Webb Share Lead in King & I Tour", Theatre News, April 1, 2002
- Gans, Andrew. "Diva Talk: A Chat with The King & I's Powers Plus News of Salonga and Benanti" playbill.com, January 21, 2005
- " 'Doctors" Cast" tv.com, accessed August 3, 2015
- Fullerton, Krissie. "Photo Call: Stefanie Powers Is Tallulah Bankhead in 'Looped' Tour" playbill.com, March 5, 2013
- Cox, Gordon. "Stefanie Powers, Georgia Engel Join Cast of Broadway-Bound 'Gotta Dance'", Variety.com, June 29, 2015.
- "Stafanie Powers Listing" walkof fame.com, accessed August 4, 2015
- "About Us (see Awardees)", sarahsiddonssociety.org, accessed August 3, 2015.
- Medien, Hellen. "Projekte GmbH". Der Steiger Award. Büro Der Steiger Award. Retrieved September 16, 2015.
- The William Holden Wildlife Foundation website; accessed June 16, 2014.
- "Broadcasting House". January 22, 2012.
- Marriage to Patrick Houitte de la Chesnais, dailymail.co.uk; accessed March 14, 2015.
- Powers discusses cancer battle, lifescript.com; accessed April 3, 2014.