HELLO AMERICA!—While actor Kirk Kelley-Kahn, the grandson of late actress Juanita Moore was visiting other family members in Texas, his beloved grandmother suffered a heart attack at her home in Hollywood. They were both excited about appearing together in a new play “I Feel Sin Comin’ On.” When he heard the news of her passing, he was devastated.

“It was as though I had been hit by lightning,” he said. “The idea that my granny was gone made it hard for me to breathe.  I was hoping that I’d wake up and find it was a dream. But it wasn’t, and the pain and everything I felt was real. The person I loved and respected more than anything in life wouldn’t be there anymore.”

During the last months of her life, Juanita tried to advise her grandson concerning survival in one of the toughest businesses in the world. “Granny,” he offered, “reminded me that no matter how much success you have in the business, it’s important that you don’t forget who you are and where you come from. 

“She said that it is so easy to believe the PR that is published about you in fan magazines and media. And you begin to believe that you’re bigger than life and you’re above the law and everything else. She reminded me often that there are people out there just waiting for you to fall on your butt just once; it will give them a reason to bring you down or throw stones. She often said that being “real” also contributes to “survival.” It’s a powerful force no matter the issue or challenge.”

Kirk remembered how often his grandmother reminded him that he should keep learning and understanding the craft of acting, not only in front of the camera, but behind as well. “I realize now how important that advice was because I do have a strong interest in directing and even producing one day. She never wanted me to be limited to one aspect of the arts.”

It is obvious that Kirk Kelley-Kahn is well grounded in reality. He is constantly in numerous workshops and classes to prepare himself for any creative challenge offered him. “I’ve always wanted my grandmother to be proud of me,” he said. “And my deepest feeling is that she’s still there watching every move I make. And it makes me feel good! And somehow, I know she is.”