Donna Marie Nowak, Author and Cartoonist
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Published Articles
I've done many articles over the years, including pieces for national magazines and newspapers.  Although at one point I had the home phone numbers of such celebrities as Elizabeth Taylor, Jane Fonda, Grace Jones and Billy Idol and have interviewed famous people, I also really enjoy putting the spotlight on unknowns and jump-starting their career or finding an excuse to research and tackle one of my own obsessions.  This page will talk about only a selection of my work: 
  • I interviewed the lovely actress Barbara Feldon for FilmfaxAs you all know, she played Agent 99 on "Get Smart" for many years and was a familiar face from her smoky commercials as well.  Anyway, it was a long, detailed piece and she was a delight.  A little blurb about it can be found on the "Unclassified Get Smart Website."  Here is the link:  http://www.ilovegetsmart.com/mag2.html   And here is the excerpt:
Look Out Max! by Donna Nowak. Filmfax Plus, April/June 2004.
Gosh, that's the second biggest Barbara Feldon article I've ever read! This Feldon chronology is still available through Filmfax's back issues.

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This piece involved a lot of art work.

  • I did a four-year-series of interviews with master dance teachers, which appeared in a variety of dance magazines (print and online).  The dance masters interviewed included Chris Komar; Phil Black; Jeanne Bresciani; Brenda Bufalino; Dorothy Lister; Frank Hatchett; Luigi; Bettye Morrow; Anna Youskevitch; Mary Anthony; David Storey; and many others.  For some, it was the last interview, as in the case of Anna Youskevitch (formerly of Ballet Russes) and Chris Komar (of the Merce Cunningham company).  It was a remarkable experience and touched all areas of life, show business and movement.  The original tapes and transcripts have become a permanent part of the Dance Collection at Lincoln Center Performing Arts Library.

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  • I did a very extensive Q&A with cartoonist Jerry Robinson for Amazing Heroes, their "Batman" issue.  Jerry invented the Joker when he was working on the original "Batman" comics at age 17.  He has his own syndicate and has had an illustrious career.  Jerry and I became friends for a time and he gave me two original drawings he did of Ann Miller and Mickey Rooney for Playbill.  Both of these large drawings are signed by Ann Miller and Mickey Rooney (!!) and then endorsed by Jerry Robinson to me.  They are framed and hang in my bedroom at my parents' house.  What a wonderful gift!  The two drawings actually appear in the heavily-illustrated piece I did called Ace of Cartoons Jerry Robinson:  The Joker Was Just the Beginning(Actually they retitled my piece.  Didn't know they do that?  Yeah, they do!  Writers often aren't thrilled about it, but - eh - it's a living!)
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  • I did the above piece on women in pre-code Hollywood for Mystery Scene.  Ladies They Talk About helped get me active membership status at Mystery Writers of America, a wonderful organization for mystery writers.  Above is a photo of Clara Bow, Hollywood's "It" girl who also played naughty, not just nice, onscreen.  Naturally, I worked Joan Crawford into the piece and featured a gorgeous photo of her from "Letty Lynton."  (See below).
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  • On another "ladies" note, I covered the sexy sirens of Hammer horror films in Ladies with Teeth - The Heroines of Hammer which included an interview with the late and great horror goddess, Ingrid Pitt.  Has a sexier vampiress ever graced the golden screen than Ingrid Pitt?  Not to mention her work in "When Eagles Dare."  (You're missed, Ingrid!)
  • Yes, folks, since I enjoy a small but wonderful collection of original composition Shirley Temple dolls, I managed to write about the Shirley Temple doll, those "beacons of cheer," in Grit with Shirley Temple Doll Mania.  Various collectors were proud to feature their "girls" in my piece!  My own "girls" were in a snit that they didn't make the cut.  I had to lock the china closet so they couldn't create mayhem in my apartment while I was out.  Kids, it was only because I didn't have a digital camera at the time.  My dolls are beautiful and would've deserved the exposure.  Heigh-ho, as Emma Peel might say.
  • I also did an online travel piece about San Francisco, which includes my own photographs: 

San Francisco, Open Your Golden Gates

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  • I did extensive articles on both clowning (Clowns) and vaudeville (Playing to the Haircuts) for Dramatics MagazinePlaying to the Haircuts is also a permanent part of an educational website.
  • I interviewed the marvelous Charles Busch for The Guide to the Gay Northeast (Charles Busch is the Lady in Question).  What a wonderful man - made the world a happier place, in my book.  Mr. Busch also kindly wrote an endorsement for my book, Just Joan:  A Joan Crawford Appreciation.  On the same note, I did a piece on Ruby Rims for The New York Native (Ten Years of Ruby Tuesdays).  That was one of my first "commercial" pieces, in fact. 

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First page of piece I did on the Rockettes, helping career of young Rockette Stephanie Chase.

  • I interviewed Donald and Renee Paley Bain, co-authors of Murder, She Wrote, for The Strand Magazine (Murder, They Wrote) and these interviews are running in the members' bulletin of Mystery Writers of America.  Also did an interview with groupie Pamela Des Barres for Penthouse (Teen Angel), using the speaker phone at an ad agency and their dime!
  • After high school, I began doing articles for my hometown paper, The Moorestown Observer, and quickly had my own column and cartoon strip!  Doing the cartoon strip was loads of work, but fun!  It gave me a taste of what it was like to produce on demand -- and, trust me, it meant giving up part of my social life!

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A piece I did on a promising young Joffrey dancer while writing for town paper.

  • I did a piece for New Jersey Monthly.  Link is here: 

https://njmonthly.com/articles/jersey-living/people/haddonfield-plays-and-players-in-step-with-the-times/

 

Contact author at writerdonna7@hotmail.com