Susan Anton is singing a new tune these days.
The singer and actress is the host of “Idol Chat TV,” which brings together the cast of classic TV shows, movies and musical performances. The first episode will feature former child stars Jerry Mathers and Tony Dow of “Leave It to Beaver” fame. The family sitcom produced 235 episodes and ran from 1957 to 1963.
But Anton is no stranger to kicking off a knockout performance. The former Miss California was one of the many blonde bombshells from the 70s and 80s to light up the screen. She then appeared in hundreds of film and television projects.
The 70-year-old told Fox News about “Idol Chat TV,” becoming a sought-after poster, as well as befriending Kenny Rogers and Frank Sinatra.
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Fox News: What made you want to host “Idol Chat TV”?
Susan Anton: When I first heard about the premise, I was completely over it. These were either people I worked with or people I have certainly admired over the years. Like the guys from “Leave It to Beaver” – it was a regular show in my house. So it was a pleasure to help the cast reconnect after all this time, as well as meeting people who have played a big part in my life.
Fox News: Which episode was the most moving to film and why?
Antoine : It would have to be the Pointer Sisters. Two of the sisters are deceased and the other two have not seen each other for so long. So we brought them together and revisited their careers at the Hollywood Museum. There were tears, for sure.
And then “The Love Boat” was special because Gavin MacLeod was always with us. We interviewed him and two weeks later he passed away. So it was very meaningful that we helped the cast come together one last time. They were a real family and when you see the episode you will feel this love they had.
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Fox News: If the series were to be picked up for Season 2, who would you like to see starring and why?
Antoine : I would love to get the “Waltons” kids together and see how everyone is doing today. I loved watching this show so it would be really fun for me. I also love Donny and Marie so it would be great to catch up with them too. And the biggest for me would be Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta for “Grease”. And then, of course, it would be a treat to get the “Baywatch” team together.
Fox News: Speaking of “Baywatch”, how was the filming of this series?
Antoine : I thought it was fun. Who wouldn’t want to hit the beach every morning in Southern California, work a few hours, and get their paycheck? I said, “Sign me up. And the casting was so much fun. Pam [Anderson] – it was her first year so she wasn’t even famous yet. She was so funny and warm. David Hasselhoff is so much fun to work with and he kept the cast in a good mood at all times. It was a really fun job.
Fox News: Have you ever faced any pressure to look a certain way?
Antoine : You know, I was lucky. I don’t know what it was like for the younger cast members, but I was chosen as a mom for one of the lifeguards. So I didn’t have to run in slow motion in my little red swimsuit. *Laughs*. But I remember everyone having a good time on set.
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Fox News: You were a popular poster in the 70s and 80s. How did you understand the attention you received?
Antoine : It was strange. I come from a small town in Southern California called Yucaipa. I even went to a one-class school when I was in elementary school. I drove my horse to school. So show business wasn’t exactly what I aspired to pursue when I was little. But I managed to find myself in lucky situations. And I think it was the right time. It was around the time when girls like Farrah Fawcett, Cheryl Tiegs, and Lynda Carter were making their mark.
Fox News: Have you been compared to Farrah Fawcett early on?
Antoine : Yeah – We both had big smiles and big hair. But I’ve always been very grateful for Farrah’s success. I met her briefly and wish I had the chance to know her. She helped pave the way for the new blonde bombshell. At that time, the blonde sex goddess wasn’t in favor like she used to be, but she made it happen again in a big way.
Fox News: You have had a very successful musical career. What surprised you the most about Kenny Rogers?
Antoine : First of all, I must say that I have been incredibly blessed to work with some of the friendliest people in the entertainment industry. And Kenny Rogers was exactly what you imagined him to be and more. He was loving, so generous and always happy to share the stage with you. He supported and encouraged you. And, my God, he was so much fun off stage.
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He was always making jokes and shenanigans. After a show, he loved to visit drive-ins for fast food. He would be like a kid in a limo. And when we got there by car, he just introduced himself casually. People were amazed. Imagine Kenny Rogers driving to Jack in the Box. He’s just the kind of guy he was. He was always ready to have fun… He was a big star then, and yet he was still humble and kind. He never took anything for granted. I think that was part of his charm.
Fox News: Et Frank Sinatra ?
Antoine : Sinatra was the epitome of a gentleman. So much has been said and written about him. What I witnessed was an incredibly gracious host. He was very aware of everyone in the room. No matter the size of that room, he could tell if someone’s glass was empty and he made sure they were taken care of. He always made you feel like you were the most important person in the room. He was very, very passionate about his music.
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I remember we used to have debates about the songwriters of the day. I grew up in the 60s with bands like the Beatles. Frank would say, “There are no good songwriters today. And I would say, “I’m sorry, but I don’t agree. Everyone in the room was panting. Like wait a minute, do you disagree with Frank Sinatra? Nobody does that. But he welcomed these debates. He enjoyed having an intellectual conversation with you. We would have these amazing conversations about what makes a great song and how something stands the test of time. These conversations helped me choose the material wisely.
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Fox News: What memory of Mel Tillis do you still hold dear today?
Antoine : Oh, I remember we did a show in Utah. At that time, it was difficult to find readily available coffee and alcohol, and the man loved his beer. He had a private plane and would bring his people over on weekends so he could enjoy his cold beers. And here is this grown man hiding his beer from the Osmonds who were also performing. He was just a darling.
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Fox News: Your relationship with Dudley Moore was the talk of the town due to the height difference. How did you experience the exam?
Antoine : Oh, we just found some humor in it. We knew we weren’t an apparently usual couple. I was a good foot and a half taller than him. But here’s the thing, when you’re with someone who fills your heart with joy and love, things like that don’t matter. And this is something that we achieved quickly. And I think we showed it to people as well. The heart goes where it wants. He doesn’t care about your skin color, height, or anything else.