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    Siblings in the Entertainment Industry

    I’ve been trying to watch “Gross Point Blank” for several years since it came out in 1997. As I’ve said to you before it’s the kiss of death when I lay down to watch something on television and it immediately puts me to sleep.

    Well, one afternoon when I was easing the pressure on my bottom side I decided to watch this movie on DVD.

    John Cusack as Martin Blank plays a guy who is hired to “off” people and John’s sister, Joan Cusack plays his secretary and “girl Friday” who negotiates his contracts. They represent one of those unusual things in entertainment – family members who work well together. They not only are both successful actors but they also often appear in the same movies together.

    I remember when I came to New York City trying to make it as an actress in the early 1980s, I met Cindy Dutton (now Princi) and her sister Stacey Dutton. Cindy literally took me off the street and offered me a place to live and got me my first bartending gig at Amy’s Pub on Ninth Avenue in the 40s – I think on 46th Street, in the heart of Hell’s Kitchen..

    I remember I was living on 50th Street on Ninth Avenue in one of the lousiest apartments I lived in New York. I can’t remember who my roommate was at the time. But I do remember the area being laden with prostitutes and drug dealers.

    I remember telling my parents what area I was living in and they were horrified.

    Cindy and Stacey were both struggling actresses.

    Stacey later became a successful agent for the likes of Bon Jovi and more recently hosted a cable TV reality show.

    Cindy now lives in London with her husband Tony and their children. She showed me the ropes in New York when I first arrived there and was also a bartender.  She and I had somewhat parallel paths as aspiring actresses who mainly worked in the restaurant industry.

    Stacey and I worked at a restaurant in the West Village in Manhattan. As I recall the owners were difficult for lack of a less printable word.

    Stacey and I also worked at Columbus Restaurant together. In short, I was friends with them for awhile.

    One of the nice things about the internet, I have reestablished contact with both of them. Stacey came across my Web site on the Internet and e-mailed me which then put me in contact with Cindy and we now exchange cards and family doings.

    Like the Cusacks, Cindy and Stacey seemed close and compatible over the years I have known them.

    Even in the entertainment industry, it’s nice to see strong family ties that stand the test of time.

    Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland who pursued an acting career in NYC and Los Angeles, now pursues free lance writing from Caroga Lake in Fulton County. Previous columns may be accessed at her web site www.kathrynskorner.com