I knew Deborah Raffin a long time ago, when both our skin was young and taut and her beauty was in full bloom.
She was a well-known model/actress, her jaw-slacking beauty belied her talent. Classic lines and talent to boot.
I knew her first when we both were on Circus of the Stars, the precurser (perhaps an oxymoron now that there is an abundance of cursing about "reality celebrity TV" ). Circus of the Stars was just that: stars or barely stars, just some of us stupid enough to do anything for attention, doing circus acts for TV. Deborah and I were... wait for it... jumping jet skis from ramps. We met out at a theme park and practiced and then, wearing our sequined costumes, jumped jet skis off ramps into the water. Silly, yes. Brave, not really. A weird memory. Priceless.
I then heard that she and her husband, Michael Viner, had opened an audio recording company, Dove Audio. They asked me to read the book Little Women.
When I spoke to Deborah, the producer, she said that I needn't do specific voices for each of the four March sisters and then Marmie. That would take a Meryl Streep and I was NO Meryl Streep. I arrived and did the first page of the text. "Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without any presents." and then read the rest of the page and then Deborah beeped into the recording studio and said." Jamie, can you try to do a little bit to distinguish each character?"
I wanted to kill her. I begged her to let me out, to let me pay for the studio time and pay for Judi Dench to come and do the read but Deborah persisted and it turned out fine. Very nice in fact. They built Dove Audio into a huge business, she the gorgeous executive, hardworking producer, he, the brute in the office.
I didn't see her often, ran into her here and there, dog related conversations and then my reading, last week, that she had died.
I remember Deborah Raffin, laughing and smiling her dazzling smile as we jet skied through this fake water park headed toward our ramp. Headed for our jump. Into the air.
She was special. She was unique and she was a lovely woman. I will miss her.