Life List

Ladies We Love: Nancy O’Dell

September 30, 2009 at 11:19 am , by

Nancy O'Dell2You might recognize her as co-anchor on Access Hollywood or from her near-stint on last season’s Dancing With the Stars (a knee injury kept her from competing), but Nancy O’Dell is also a mother of three, an author and a philanthropist. Some other fun facts: She plays the piano, is a seven-time Emmy nominee and won Miss South Carolina in 1987. But these days Nancy has a new mission: promoting the importance of healthy bones for children and adults. She recently teamed up with Yoplait and nutrition expert Katherine Brooking to spread the word, and given the statistics (76 percent of the population isn’t getting enough vitamin D in their daily diets, and 72 percent isn’t getting enough calcium), we happily applaud her efforts!

What makes me a lady: To me, being a lady means being classy, and I think the classiest people are those who treat others the way they would like to be treated themselves. I always try to think of others and their feelings when doing anything.

Favorite guilty pleasure: Watching WWE—World Wrestling Entertainment. My stepson, Carson, got me hooked on WWE because it’s always on in the house. It’s quite the entertainment—like one big soap opera! I know all of the wrestlers and their stories from watching Monday Night Raw. But now, I know them all personally as WWE is a great charitable organization and they helped me launch Betty’s Battle, a foundation to fight ALS in honor of my mom.

Three things on my life list: 1. To see a cure found for ALS, Lou Gehrig’s Disease, in my lifetime. My mom and best friend passed away last year from ALS. It is one of the most horrific diseases and I pray that someday in the near future no other family will have to go through what mine did. 2. Raising my children in a way that they feel an overwhelming amount of love. I want them to know, without a doubt, that their parents will be there for them 100 percent of the time for everything! 3. To have a little country home on the hillside in Tuscany where we can go for several months of the year after retirement. I’d love to be sipping wine there, holding hands with my husband while exchanging stories and growing old together.

If I could have a superpower, it would be: To be invisible so that I could evaluate everyone’s true intentions without them knowing it. Plus, it would be nice not to have to get into hair and makeup every day!

Ladies I admire: My beautiful mom, who passed away last year—she couldn’t have hurt a fly if she had tried. The late Eunice Shriver; she was the founder of Special Olympics, an amazing organization that’s made such a difference in so many lives and has changed the way we, as a society, think of and treat those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It also spawned the organization Best Buddies, founded by Eunice’s son, Anthony Shriver. My aunt Ellen was a person with Down Syndrome and I know firsthand the difference organizations like Best Buddies and Special Olympics make.

I also admire Oprah Winfrey. She has somehow found the secret formula of being a powerful woman, but not being perceived as the “B” word, as so powerful women often are. What’s better is that she’s consistently positive, encouraging and empowering. And she is an amazing journalist.

Another woman is Linda Finnell, the Senior Vice President of Programming & Development at NBC Universal. I love that a woman is in such a powerful, high level position in Hollywood but even more so, I love that she is a classy woman as defined above. She is a great boss, but more importantly, a kind person.

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Ladies We Love: Tilda Swinton

September 10, 2009 at 9:56 am , by

Tilda SwintonDuring Oscar-winner Tilda Swinton’s varied and accomplished career, she has appeared in such films as Vanilla Sky, Chronicles of Narnia, Michael Clayton and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Recently she starred in the stirring film Julia,which was just released on DVD.

What makes me a lady: Enough sleep.

Favorite guilty pleasure: Licking the cake bowl.

Three things on my life list: Program a multiplex, sail for long enough to forget the year, grow a great yellow rose.

If I could have a superpower, it would be: To talk to the animals.

Ladies I admire: Patti Smith, Justin Bond, Margaret Rutherford.

Want to know more about Tilda? Check out our full interview with her.

Ladies We Love: Amy Clark

September 2, 2009 at 8:34 am , by

amy-allen-clarkHave you ever wanted to sit down with a woman you admire and pick her brain? Well you’ve come to the right place. Every Wednesday in Portrait of a Lady you’ll get a snapshot of women we think are just great. Know a lady you think deserves some of the spotlight? Tell us about her! E-mail us at and she could be featured in a future post.

We’re kicking things off with Amy Clark, a married mother of two who founded the popular She created the site five years ago so moms would have a place to go for daily advice on just about anything. Today the site has grown into an online community, complete with three blogs, and last year she was even named one of the 50 Most Powerful and Influential Women in Social Media!

What makes me a lady: I am extremely resourceful. When my husband lost his job, I discovered just how far I could make our money stretch. I found a peace and pride in living a thrifty life. Rising up to life’s challenges and changing them into victories is a very empowering feeling. I am so thankful for those life experiences, which definitely shaped me into becoming the lady I am today.

Favorite guilty pleasure: I definitely indulge in inexpensive pleasures. I love a giant Diet Coke from McDonald’s, foot soaks on Friday nights, knitting, Bunco with my best girlfriends and sleeping in late!
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