Sally Field, Academy Award winner and Tony nominee for "The Glass Menagerie," was recently asked, "What is it with you and Southern women?"
I laughed at this, because, like Sally, I'm from Southern CA, and I've played my share of Southern belles. "The perniciously determined" Barbara in "Johnny On a Spot" Off Broadway was a particularly fun firecracker!
And like Sally, I grew up with "Southern women" on both sides of my family. The Daniels were Scottish but settled in Alabama, and then eventually made their way to Texas. I still remember hearing my great-aunt Willie's deep Southern accent. It was the salt of the earth!
And my Grandma Goddard, my mom's mom (below left with me as a wee tyke and my gorgeous mom on the right), looked just like Ann Richards, perfectly coiffed, and had a Texas twang to boot!
So when I played Truvy in Steel Magnolias, I couldn't help but think of these tremendously tenacious women. My Grandma Goddard, especially, would've gotten a kick out of me playing the owner of a beauty salon since she was all about looking as spectacular as possible. She would've approved of Truvy's saying, "There's no such thing as natural beauty."