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Bright Promise

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and there was nothing else we could do but accept it."

During World War II, Richard Eastham served in the Army as an officer. While he has a high regard for the Armed Forces, he doesn't hesitate to give his current evaluation of the situation..."I would like to see," he said, "more humanizing of the services; more awareness of the people who serve as men and women."

"One thing that always disturbs me is to hear someone refer to our military personnel as 'our boys.' No matter what their intentions are, they are, really, doing a disservice by calling our 'men' boys. And, believe me, once you have had to face up to an enemy; once you have had to live with the thought that at any moment you might die...no matter how young you were when you joined the Army or any of the Armed Services...no matter how relatively immature you might have been...you become a man immediately.

"I think the young people of today are on the right track. Not that all of them are going about what they want done the way you or I might like to see them 'do their thing.' But, in protesting against war, they are calling attention to a fact any man who has been in combat would attest to; that it is far from a 'glorious' exercise; far from a noble experience. Of course, when a country is attacked, it must defend itself. But," he shrugged, "we have to remember, even at those times, that is not the war that is noble and glorious, but the sacrifice to preserve and protect our land that merits such praise. Still," he went on, "we all know...don't we...that the time has come for the whole world to realize that war is no longer the way to solve human problems that it might even become the very last 'slution' we'll ever find if it is not stopped once and for all.

"And, that leads me to another point I want to make. Teachers. Professors. Universities.

"If we should humanize the Armed Forces, then we should also recognize what the universities have traditionally done - and must be permitted to continue to do - for humanity as a whole.

"Traditionally, and for centuries, the university has been more than just a block of buildings housing students and teachers and books and manuscripts and laboratories, etc. It has also been a place where ideas can come through and where they can be examined and dissected and coaxed into truth without outside pressures forcing compromises with the truth.

"To me, a teacher that refuses to do more than simply 'instruct'; refuses to encourage free thought and expression, is a dishonest person. And, of course, where a teacher is prevented from being a true teacher, and where students are prevented from taking advantage of the university as it should be utilized - well, there we have the beginnings of oppression for all of us.

"And," he grinned again, "need I remind you that in Bright Promise I play a man who tries to exert such control over his Alma Mater. And, I do try to play him as 'honestly' as I believe I feel him to be.

"Perhaps one of the finest fringe benefits of having been a performer who has been privileged to travel across the country many times has been the opportunities I've had to meet people from everywhere; from all sorts of backgrounds; with all sorts of ideas.

"And, one thing I've learned is that all people - or," he smiled, "at least most people - want the same things; peace, security and justice. It's just," he shrugged, "that some people have yet to realize that there are still some others who are denied justice either because they're too poor to pay for good attorneys or because they belong to certain racial or economic groups that somehow make them, in the minds of those who do these things, less qualified to enjoy the rights guaranteed to all of us.

"You know," he smiled again, "why I enjoy being 'hated' or 'disliked' by fans who see me off screen? Well, one reason has to be actor' ego. I like to believe that I've managed to project a characterization that has rung true. But, another reason is that the very man I play in Bright Promise is somewhat representative of those who try to compromise our guaranteed rights and freedoms; who try to stop the progression of new ideas; new thoughts; new philosophies. And," he continued, "obviously, there are a lot of people in this country who don't like what my series' character is trying to do because they sense that while he may speak of his actions as being 'honest' and in the best interests of the university, he is really putting obstacles in the way of freedom...And,I don't believe any one of us in this country would want to see us lose our precious American way of life."

Richard Eastham's credit list reads like a history of Broadway and Hollywood.

He's played Cesar in Fanny; the Ezio Pinza role in South Pacific; Billy Bigelow in Carousel and has appeared in countless films including Walt Disney's delightful That Darned Cat.

"I don't do much singing, professionally, any more," he said. "My career seems to have taken a turn for the non-musical side, and while I love music and still sing for my friends - if they politely, but foolishly, ask me to grace them with a song or two and I wind up going through half of my repertoire - I find straight acting very rewarding. For one thing, you make many more fans. Or, I should say, you create many more images for your fans to remember. I realized that when I appeared in the TV series Tombstone Territory, and although I wasn't a gun-totin' type in it - I played the publisher of the Tombstone Epitaph - people would recognize me on the street and, since my main interest in life is people, it gave me a chance to meet more of them and talk with them - and learn from them."

The warm afternoon sun was sinking lower behind the Hollywood Hills, and we knew it was time for us to go. With a last look around at the house and at the man who had made it into a warm home, we said our goodbyes.

The last thing Richard Eastham said to us was, "Remember, if you can't say anything nice about me...I'd appreciate it!"

Well, sorry about that Richard Eastham.

Like it or not, we simply decided to tell the truth. And, after all, isn't that what you have always tried to do with your life?

BY SELI GROVES

Edited by CarlD2

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actor and playwright (he's just finishing a screenplay for an independent production, by the way) could attempt to put into words.

"Let's just say this," he told us, "I had always heard the question...'am I my brohter's keeper?' And, I had always believed that the answer, for me, is...'Yes.' So long as someone is in need and I have something which can help that person, it was my duty to reach out to him and give him that help.

"And then, of course, with the birth of each of my three daughters (Savannah, the baby, is not quite a year old; Penelope is going on 8, and Marissa is 9), I realized that my ties to more indissoluble because, through my daughters, I will reach out to wider horizons and, needless to say, generations to come. So, if I felt a kinship with my fellow man before...I felt it even more urgently now.

"Still, there was nothing yet that made me feel that I could, or, necessarily, had to demonstrate this kinship by going to one particular church.

"But, now I do attend my neighborhood church, and I have been able to put my own religious beliefs into practice on a level I hadn't been able to put my own religious beliefs into practice on a level I hadn't been able to reach before. And, I suppose, I could say that if I'm not a better man for it, at least I'm doing a better job at what I've always tried to do...as a man."

What brought Mark Miller to the church in his neighborhood was a little piece of 'news' he gleaned from his wife, Bea, after she returned from services one day. And, it was learning that tidbit of truth that provided him with an answer he realized he had been searching for most of his life.

"Am I my brother's keeper?"

Up to then, Mark Miller thought he knew the answer. He was prepared to reach out a helping hand...when it was needed.

But now, because of what he had just learned, he knew that it was not enough merely to wait to be 'asked' to help; that it was just as important to do something that would make those calls for help diminish in time; eventually never again needing to be sounded through time.

"Bea told me that the congregation was getting involved in all sorts of social projects that went beyond the boundaries of the church; or even the neighborhood. And, I realized that this was my opportunity to put my beliefs about man - and his responsibilities to the world he lives in - to work.

"I found myself walking through the doors of the church one day and meeting with several committee heads and telling them, 'Just tell me what you have for me to do, and I'll do it.'"

He smiled, "Little did I realize what I was letting myself in for. And, when I got home with a list of 'suggestions' about how my services might be put to use, I thought - well, I not only bit off more than I could chew, but what I might be able to get down would leave me with a case of emotional indigestion that would defy any doctor to cure.

"But, you know," he went on, "when you're doing something you love to do, there always seems to be enough time to do it.

"I don't think I've been busier in my professional life since I took on those church-connected activities. Yet, there is time for everything; including," he grinned, "time to just enjoy my family, even time to go off on long vacations.

"You know my wife, Bea, is related, through marriage in her family, to some of those really rich Greek ship owners, and we've been fortunate enough to spend time aboard one of those luxury yachts cruising around the Greek islands.

"Fortunately," he laughs, "Bea is the sort of a woman who puts all of these things in proper perspective. Although her kin can buy anything they fancy, her idea of happiness is being my wife and living the kind of life I can provide for her.

"But, getting back to the other topic we were talking about...Bea and I feel richer, in ways we couldn't possibly weight or describe, for having commited ourselves to the various obligations we have chosen to assume.

"You hear so many people talking about human problems. Some of them seem to be full of despair, and even those who show some degree of optimism aren't as enthusiastic about the future as they would like to be. Yet, there are solutions. The only real problem we have is our unwillingness to face up to what we have to do to reach those solutions.

"We must understand why some people around us are poor and not immediately classify them as lazy or ignorant or unwilling to help themselves. No one wants to live in deprivation. No parent wants to raise a child who will inherit a world as bad or worse than the one his parents were born into.

"Pollution doesn't have to continue to destroy our natural environment. Children in ghettos and barrios don't have to go to sleep at night with pains of hunger in their empty bellies or wake up to face another day of hopelessness.

"These are not irreversible conditions. But, they will continue to get worse - and engulf all of us in time - if we don't do something to stop them now and reverse the trend before it's too late.

"In our church, for example, there are people who work with children in deprived areas. There are people who seek out adults trapped in their miseries. There are people who teach and people who help heal. Whatever is good is being done. And, there's no such thing as an effort being too 'meaningless' or too 'unimportant' not to be put into effect. You know, the bad conditions around us didn't suddenly mushroom into being. They snowballed over time - and it takes time to push them out of our world. To let the sunshine of hope come through - well, now is the time to begin the process.

"Bea and I, as parents, can do a great deal for our children. But, if we really love our daughters and want the best for them, then we have to do our best for other children, as well. We all live in a world that is getting smaller by the minute. There is no longer any way we can continue to put up walls around sights we don't want to see; no longer any way to keep the walls, already up, from crumbling a s the pressures against them continue.

"Am I my brother's keeper? I think the real answer is..."I am my brother's brother in the Family of Man and I know what I must do - what we all must do - if we want to make the kind of world we would hope our children and children's children will inherit.

"Yes, I do go to church now. And, now I go because I believe I've found my way of finding Him..."

With more people like Mark Miller, the star of Bright Promise, the days of our lives and the lives of those who come after us might well dawn brighter than we might have dared hope for before.

BY FRED ARTHUR

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just catching up on these great articles.

Marion Brash looks very brash indeed.

Variety reported that Judith McConnell had signed on for Bright Promise in Jan 72.Obviously the show was canned before she made it to air,unless she appeared briefly in the final weeks.

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I wish we knew who she would have played.

Thanks so much for reading. I know it isn't the most exciting stuff - I just tend to post what I can find on the actors involved.

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I remember my mother talking about Dana Andrews. Back in 1944, when the iconic mystery film 'Laura,' was lensed,(directed by Otto Preminger) the production company actually shot on location exterior scenes in White Plains, NY (Westchester County). My mother was working at a bank at the time, and eveyone was excited about having a movie filmed in the area.

I always remember the opening credits featuring Dana Andrews -- in the university setting.

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From Daytime TV, February 1972 issue.

June Vincent is now playing the role of Dr. Amanda Winniger and Sherry Alberoni is Jody Harper. Paul Lukather (Bill Ferguson) left the cast.

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Joan Hotchkis, who played Myra Lake on Secret Storm, was offered a role on Bright Promise after My World and Welcome To It was canceled, but she declined.

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Paul Lukather (Bill Ferguson)

5020007.jpg Anne Jeffreys YBW1859.jpg(Sylvia Bancroft)Nancy Stephens (Jennifer Matthews)4351850.jpg Dana Andrewsjal577.jpg

Edited by Paul Raven

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