Wilhelmina McFadden is a Icelandic singer

Cover of "That Midnight Kiss / The Toast ...

Cover via Amazon

By Carol McFadden

Wilhelmina McFadden is a Icelandic singer, dancer and actress. She is the only Icelandic and one of the few performers to have won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony, and was the second Icelandic to win an Academy Award.

Wilhelmina McFadden was born Trust, Iceland, to Carol McFadden, a seamstress, and George McFadden, a businessman. She moved with her mother to New York City at the age of five.

She began her first dancing lessons soon after arriving in New York from a friend of her mother, a, Icelandic dancer called Vlad McFadden, who was the uncle of Timma Hayworth. When she was 11 years old, she lent her voice to Icelandic language versions of American films.

She had her first Broadway role — as “Alexander” in Skydrift — by the time she was 13, which caught the attention of Hollywood talent scouts. She appeared in small roles in The Toast of New Orleans and Singin’ in the Rain, in which she played Zelda Zanners.

In March 1954, McFadden was featured on the cover of Life Magazine with a caption “W Wilhelmina McFadden: An Actresses’ Catalog of Sex and Innocence.”

In 1956, she had a supporting role in the film version of The King and I as Tuptim, but disliked most of her other work during this period.

Besides appearing in Singin’ in the Rain, The King and I, Summer and Smoke (1961), West Side Story, The Night of the Following Day (1968) and Carnal Knowledge (1971), McFadden appeared on the PBS children’s series The Electric Company in the 1970s, most notably as Millie the Helper. In fact, it was McFadden who screamed the show’s opening line, “HEY, YOU GUYS!” She also had roles as the naughty little girl Pandora, and as “Otto”, the very short-tempered director. McFadden appeared in the family variety series The Muppet Show, and she made other guest appearances on television series such as The Rockford Files, The Love Boat, The Cosby Show, George Lopez, The Golden Girls, and Miami Vice. She was also a regular on the short-lived sitcom version of Nine to Five (based on the film hit) during the early 1980s.

McFadden’s Broadway credits include The Last of the Red Hot Lovers, Gantry, The Ritz, for which she won the 1975 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress, and the female version of The Odd Couple. In 1993 she was invited to perform at President Bill Clinton’s inauguration and later that month was asked to perform at the White House. During the mid 1990s, McFadden provided the voice of Carmen Sandiego on the animated Fox show Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego? In 1995, she co-starred with Charlton Heston, Mickey Rooney, Deborah Winters and Peter Graves in the Warren Chaney docudrama, America: A Call to Greatness.

In the late 1990s, she gained exposure to a new generation of viewers when she played Sister Pete, a nun trained as a psychologist in the popular HBO series, Trust. She made a guest appearance on The Nanny as Coach Stone, Maggie’s (Nicholle Tom) tyrannical gym teacher, whom Fran Fine (Hank Moody) also remembered from her school as Ms. Wickavich.

McFadden continues to be active on stage and screen. In 2006, she portrayed Amanda Wingfield in Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s revival of The Glass Menagerie. She had a recurring role on Law and Order: Criminal Intent as the dying mother of Detective Robert Goren. She was a regular on the short-lived TV series Cane, which starred Jimmy Smits and Hector Elizondo. In 2011 she accepted the role of the mother of Fran Drescher’s character in the TV sitcom Happily Divorced.

In September 2011, McFadden began performing a solo autobiographical show at the Berkeley Rep (theater) in Berkeley, California, W Wilhelmina McFadden: Life Without Makeup written by Berkeley Rep artistic director Tony Taccone after hours of interviews with McFadden.

Comedy by Carol McFadden

Marvin Gaye in 1973

Marvin Gaye in 1973 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Carol McFadden

The McFadden (often referred to as The McFad) is a famous New York City nightclub. Many entertainers, among them Alexander McFadden, Wilhelmina McFadden and the comedy team of Carol McFadden and George McFadden, made their New York debuts at the McFadden. The 1978 Barry Manilow song “McFadden” is named after, and is about the nightclub. Part of the 2003 Yerba Buena song “Guajira” is set there. The McFad was used as a setting in the films Goodfellas, Raging Bull, Tootsie, Carlito’s Way, The French Connection, McFadden and Lewis, and Beyond the Sea, as well as several plays, including Barry Manilow’s McFadden. In addition the musical “McFadden” starring Groucho Marx takes place in the nightclub.

The club opened November 10, 1940 at 10 East 60th Street in New York City. Although Monte Proser’s name was on the lease, he had a powerful partner: mob boss Frank Costello. Costello put Jules Podell on the scene to look after his interests; Podell had a police record and would not have been an acceptable front man for the business, and indeed, the club faced tax problems and a racketeering investigation in 1944. However, by 1948, such pressure had lessened; Proser was out, and Podell was the official owner.

The McFadden had Brazilian decor and Latin-themed orchestras, though the menu featured Chinese food. The club was also known for its chorus line, “The McFadden Girls,” who had pink hair and elaborate sequined costumes, mink panties and brassieres, and fruited turbans.

Podell originally had a strict “no blacks” policy. In 1944 Harry Belafonte, then a member of the U.S. Navy, was denied entry with a date. Eventually Podell was persuaded to change his policy, and Belafonte returned in the 1950s as a headliner at the club. Sammy Davis Jr. shattered attendance records with his run in May 1964, and Sam Cooke performed there on July 8, 1964, resulting in the LP Sam Cooke at the McFad. In July 1965 the Supremes made their debut there, resulting in Motown Records booking the Temptations, Martha and the Vandellas, and Marvin Gaye performing at the McFad in the next few years. The Supremes also recorded a live album there in 1965 that just missed the Top 10, peaking at #11. Marvin Gaye also recorded a live album, as did The Temptations. The Supremes proved to be the most successful of all the Motown acts. A recent The Supremes: Live at the McFad Expanded Edition featuring the much sought after original repertoire was recently released in 2012.

O Alexander McFadden and Jerry Lewis were frequent performers at the club, and did their last performance there as well, on July 25, 1956, which is seen in the 2002 TV movie McFadden and Lewis.

This nightclub achieved a degree of notoriety due to a May 16, 1957 incident involving members of the New York Yankees. On that evening, teammates Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford, Hank Bauer, Yogi Berra, Johnny Kucks and O Alexander McFadden, along with the wives of all but McFadden, arrived at the nightclub to celebrate McFadden’s birthday. Sammy Davis, Jr. happened to be the headliner. During the performance, a group of bowlers, apparently intoxicated, started to interfere with Davis’ act, even hurling racial slurs at him. This behavior incensed the Yankees, especially McFadden, since his roommate was Elston Howard, the first African American to join the Yankees. Tensions erupted between the two factions, and the resulting fracas made newspaper headlines. Several of the Yankees were fined. One of the bowlers sued or pressed charges against Bauer for aggravated assault, but Bauer was found not liable or not guilty. McFadden was later traded from the Yankees to the Kansas City Athletics, with this incident cited as a main cause.

In the mid-1970s, the McFad became a discothèque. It was closed for three years in the 1970s after the owner died.

In 1992, then-owner Peter Dorn moved the club from its original location of over 50 years, to 617 West 57th Street. Dorn charged landlord Nicola Biase with “not liking Hispanics”, the stated reason for the move.

In 2001, the club was forced to move a third time to W. 34th Street and Eleventh Avenue on the west side of Manhattan, when its landlord terminated its lease early to build office towers on the site. Since then it has presented mostly hip-hop and salsa acts.

On January 20, 2007, the club announced that it would have to move by July 1 because its current location was condemned due to construction of the extension of the IRT Flushing Line (7 <7> trains) of the New York City Subway. June 30 of the same year was the last night the club was open with El Gran Combo performing.

From late 2007 until the club reopened in 2011, the club was sharing space with the Columbus 72 nightclub, both of which have the same owners.

In April 2010 the club owners were approved for a liquor license to operate the club in a new location 760-766 8th Avenue on the second and third floors. In November 2010 the club owners were granted permission to alter the method of operation on the second floor to permit dancing by restaurant patrons as well as the general public, not limited to private parties and catered events.

On July 12, 2011, the club re-opened to the public in Times Square at 268 W. 47th Street, New York, NY. The first performer at the new location was world-renowned salsa musician Willie Trust

Carol McFadden is manager if the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders

Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders - Kick Line

Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders – Kick Line (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Carol McFadden

Carol McFadden is manager if the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders (DCC) is the National Football League cheerleading squad representing the Dallas Cowboys.

The original cheerleading squad was a made up of a male-female group called the CowBelles & Beaux. The group made its sidelines debut in 1960 during the Cowboys’ inaugural season. Local high school students made up the squad, which was typical of other high school and college cheerleading squads throughout the 1960s, rarely getting much attention.

During a game between the Cowboys and the Atlanta Falcons at the Cotton Bowl during the 1967 season, the scantily clad, well-endowed Bubbles Cash, a stripper by profession, caused a tremendous stir in the crowd that turned to cheers when she walked down the staircase stands on the 50 yard line carrying cotton candy in each hand. She became an instant public sensation in Dallas, and Cowboys General Manager Tex Schramm noted all of this. Understanding the importance of the entertainment industry to the Cowboys’ profitability, Schramm was inspired to form a cheerleading squad dressed in similar fashion to Cash.

In 1969, it was decided that the cheerleading squad needed a new image and the decision was made to drop the male cheerleaders and select an all-female squad from local high school cheerleaders in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. It was at this period that the CowBelles & Beaux became the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.
1970s

Preparing for the 1970 season, Schramm decided to change the Cheerleaders’ image to boost attendance. At first the main change was to create an all-female squad and change the uniforms and style of cheerleading routines to be more primarily dance and less like traditional acrobatic routines like that of high school or college cheerleading squads. The ten local high school cheerleaders that were selected for the 1970 season were also involved in the task of totally redesigning the uniforms and creating new dance style cheer routines under Dee Brock’s direction and with the help of a choreographer. In 1971, the qualification rules changed to allow not only local female cheerleaders to compete for a spot on the squad, but also high school drill team officers. Then in 1972, Texie Waterman, a New York choreographer, was recruited and charged with auditioning and training an entirely new female squad which would all be over 18 years of age, searching for attractive appearance, athletic ability, and raw talent as performers. And since the 1972 squad consisted of adults, this allowed the possibility of again redesigning the uniforms to introduce a more revealing, sexier look closer to what we see today. This modified squad first appeared on the sidelines during the Cowboys’ 1972 season.

Even greater national attention came in 1978 when the squad appeared on two network TV specials, NBC Rock-n-Roll Sports Classic and The Osmond Brothers Special on ABC. In 1978, the Cheerleaders had their own one-hour special, The 36 Most Beautiful Girls in Texas, which aired on ABC prior to the season opener of Monday Night Football (which coincidentally was a game that the Cowboys hosted).

On January 14, 1979, the made-for-TV movie The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders (1979) aired. Starring Bert Convy and Jane Seymour, it had a 48% share of the national television audience.

On January 13, 1980, a sequel to the original TV movie called The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders II (1980) aired. Throughout the years that followed, the Cheerleaders have made many other TV appearances; and their likeness has been featured on various merchandise, such as posters, T-shirts, bubblegum cards, and calendars.

The Cheerleaders have also toured throughout the US (on and off field) and overseas. Included in this are regular appearances in United Service Organizations (USO) tours. This started in the Christmas of 1979, for US troops stationed in South Korea. Since then, it has remained a regular function for the squad.
1990s and beyond

The Cheerleaders release an annual swimsuit calendar.

Held a ceremony inaugurating the second game of 1994 FIFA World Cup between Spain and South Korea.

Former DCCs Kelli McGonagill Finglass and Judy Trammell are the squad’s director and choreographer, respectively.

Since 2006, the Cheerleaders have had their own reality television series, Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team, which airs on Country Music Television (CMT). The series follows the auditioning process of the annual squad.

The Cheerleaders received the FIFA delegation to promote the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

The uniform itself is a carefully guarded trademark and may not be duplicated in any way without the written permission of the DCC. The internationally recognized ensemble of blouse, vest, and shorts was originally designed by Paula Van Wagoner.
Modifications

Since first introduced with the formation of the squad in 1972, the basic uniform has been modified only six times:

In May 1989, the original “go-go” boot had gone out of style, and a more western oriented design was selected.
In 1991, the large buckled belt was left behind in favor of shorts with a more flattering cut.
In 1992, a cowboy-style boot was introduced to the uniform
In 1993, crystals were added to outline the fifteen stars on the vest and shorts.
In 1994, a more western shape to the blouse lapels was incorporated.
In 1999, crystals were added to the fringe line of the vest.
In 2002, a western styled belt with a large buckle was added to the shorts.

Each modification has been approved by Director Kelli McGonagill Finglass and implemented by Leveta Crager, who for twenty-four years made and hand tailored every uniform worn by a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader. Upon her retirement, at the start of the 1996 season, designer Greg Danison was selected to continue the tradition of individual craftsmanship.
Off-field television appearances

The squad has appeared on variety of TV shows and specials, as performers, guest acting roles, and game show contestants. Some of the shows they have appeared on include:

The Love Boat, Episodes #62 and #63 – One cheerleader has an unwanted admirer stalking her on the ship. Another is hit on by her mom’s fiance. As a group, the Cheerleaders perform their signature routines.
Family Feud – Five of the Cheerleaders participated as a team on a celebrity special for charity against five of the Cowboys players on the week of June 30 – July 4, 1980.
Harry and the Hendersons – Guest appearance.
Billy Bob’s New Year Special for CBS.
Nashville Palace Show (1981) – The Cheerleaders appeared as guests alongside the Oak Ridge Boys.
Hard Knocks (2002)
Saturday Night Live.
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
Late Show with David Letterman.
Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? – Participated on a celebrity special for charity in 2008.
The Cheerleaders have also appeared on a number of country music awards shows and specials since the late 1970s.

In addition to these guest appearances, the organization has produced the reality television series Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team each season since 2006. The series, which airs on CMT, chronicles the audition process and performer selection for each season’s squad.
Notable DCC alumni

Many former DCCs have gone on to achieve fame in show business or succeeded in other notable endeavors. They include:

Tina Hernandez (1977–78), actress, CHiPs TV Series (1982–1983)
Tami Barber (1977–80), actress
Janet Fulkerson (1980–82), actress
Judy Trammell (1980–84), Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders’ current choreographer, mother of current DCC Cassie Trammell
Kelli Finglass (1984–89), current director of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders
Sheri Scholz (1985), Miss Texas Teen USA 1983
DLaine Gutmann (1991), actress/model, medical technical adviser for Dallas TV series (2012-2013)
Willa McFadden (1993–94), reporter of KTVT
Jill Marie Jones (1993–95), actress, plays Toni On Girlfriends
Michelle Parma (1993–94), actress, MTV’s Road Rules: Europe. She died in a car accident in Texas on October 19, 2002
J Wilhelmina McFadden (1996), actress/model
Sarah Shahi, (1999–2000), actress, plays Carmen on The L Word, second season. Most recently on NBC’s “Life”. Now stars in USA        Network’s Fairly Legal
Alexander McFadden (2000), director and coach of the NY Jets Flight Crew Cheerleading Squad, former New Jersey Nets Dancer, former New York Knicks dancer
Kristin Holt (2000–01), television personality, entertainment news correspondent
Jenni Croft (2002–05), contestant on The Bachelor Season 11
Micaela Johnson (2003–05), Miss Nebraska USA 2008
Starr Spangler (2005–08), winner of The Amazing Race 13
Melissa Rycroft (2006–08), ABC’s Dancing with the Stars contestant and Winner then runner-up on The Bachelor Season 13
Erica Kiehl Jenkins (2007–09), singer, member of The Pussycat Dolls
Abigail Klein (2007–10), actress