MALIBU —From the time Audrey Landers was a little girl she was a star on television. Her beautiful mother Ruth Landers has been a fixture in Hollywood for decades as well, managing the careers of her beautiful daughters. Never a pushy stage mother, Ruth was always a positive role model for her girls and Audrey Landers, the former Dallas star who portrayed Afton Cooper tells Canyon News exclusively about her new life out of the spotlight, managing her son’s music career and with her beautiful mother’s help, she’s created a wonderful fashion line as well. Audrey was an old friend that I loved catching up with this week and she answered every question given with grace and a great deal of fun and excitement.
Q-Audrey, I met you many years ago on the set of Dallas, you were stunning then and still are. How do you stay so young?
A-“Thank you so much for the kind words! I try to live a healthy life style —and that helps a lot. I know I don’t exercise enough, but I am very active, I never sit still. Raising my two boys —they’re now 16 —is an ongoing adventure, and I’m the instigator in our escapades! But I’m still a girly girl. I guess I do everything in moderation. I don’t drink except for an occasional glass of champagne. I never smoked, and I didn’t have any substance abuse problems; sorry to be so boring! I think the key to staying young is finding something in your life that makes you happy. Inner beauty really does make a person shine on the outside.”
Q-What have you been up to professionally since we last saw you?
A-“Boy it feels like that was a couple of lifetimes ago or at least a few chapters back. ‘Dallas’ was a big part of the 1980s and into the ’90s. I was in and out for eight years over the span of the show, leaving to do ‘A Chorus Line: The Movie’ and then returning to ‘Dallas.’ In the early ’90s I did a year on ‘One Life to Live’ in NY. Then I had my babies and decided to take a break from the biz to be a mom- until the ‘Dallas’ TV movie. I had been acting non-stop since I was 12 years old, and thought I wanted to retire. However, I continued to record and perform all over Europe, and have a dozen gold or platinum albums. I release one every few years. Also, while immersed in raising toddlers, I couldn’t stop the creative juices, so my mom [Ruth] produced and I wrote 47 half-hour episodes of the ‘Huggabug Club,’ an award-winning musical educational series for kids, which Ruth donated to PBS. I also wrote the 250 original songs in the series, and appeared as Miss Audrey the den mother of the club. It ran for five years til 2001 and now has been picked up by various stations. After Huggabug I really wanted to retire —again —so we left LA and moved to paradise. By the time my kids were ‘tweens’ I had more inspiration. So as a family, again, we produced, wrote and I directed an independent feature called Circus Island. It was a family adventure in so many ways!
“I also recorded an album of mother-son duets with my son, Daniel, when he was 10 years old that lead to a solo career and to Daniel being named Europe’s Rising Star of the Year when he was 14. So, much of my time is spent managing his career, as my mom managed mine, producing his albums, coaching him, etc. He is an amazingly talented writer, composer, and performer. We just finished a three-day music video shoot, and I will edit it later this week. I will have some help editing, since this will be my first time editing something shot with the RED camera. I’m certain that I’m missing a lot, but this leads to your next question.”
Q-Tell us about your new fashion company and tell us who else is involved in it?
A-“Our fashion line is called Landers STAR Collection. It has been a dream for my mother and me to create a line of ladies’ apparel that brings glamour and elegance to women of all ages. Ruth and I have been business partners in so many ventures over the past two decades from film, music, and TV production, to our real estate companies. Ruth also managed my career, and was an integral part in creating the glamorous image that I had, and of course, the clothing is what stands out. We have always wanted to share the secrets to ‘glamouflage’ that we learned, having worked with top designers and stylists around the globe. Our philosophy is that “‘Every woman is a star, and she deserves to shine’.”
Q-Your mother (Ruth) has been a very inspiring person in your life, is she one of the people who motivates you to continue doing your best?
A-“My mother is my inspiration. She has more than motivated me, she has pushed me when necessary, and I say this in the most positive of intents. It could have been very easy for me to sit back and be content with where I was at any given time in my life —and that’s as far as I would have gone. But if I had not been motivated by my mother to reach higher and higher, I would not have experienced a fraction of my life’s goals and dreams.”
Q-Where are your clothes available?
A-“We premiered our collection in Europe in 2007, and this fall we launched our line on ShopNBC TV and shopnbc.com. We will be expanding to ‘brick and mortar’ so the best way to find out the latest would be to check out the fan page on Facebook: The Landers STAR Collection.”
Q-You were on so many shows in the past. Will we be seeing you again on television?
A-“I have been very busy developing our fashion collection, but I would love to get back to acting at some point. Over the last two years I made brief appearances on ‘Burn Notice’ on USA network, as well as playing a fun character in a comedy for Fox Films, but I have to admit, the producers made it so easy for me. They were filmed in Florida, where I live much of the time. The producers kind of handed me the parts on a silver platter. It doesn’t often happen that way in real life.”
Q-Have you kept in touch with any of your “Dallas” costars?
A-“We had a fantastic reunion gala in Dallas, Texas last year, and I had the chance to see costars I hadn’t seen in years. Being at Southfork was a great trip down memory lane. It was as if no time had passed. Since then, we have stayed in touch.”
Photographs Courtesy: Landers STAR Collection