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When the curtain came down on the July 31, 2000 performance of the Great Radio City Music Hall Spectacular at the Flamingo Hilton in Las Vegas, Nevada, the occasion marked not only the end of the longtime association of Susan Anton with the production (more than 5000 performances), but a milestone as one of the most enduring and versatile performers in show business. Yes, it was in 1973 that Susan Anton first burst into public consciousness and, ever since, she has been captivating theater, television and film-going audiences with a style and easy charm that is found among only a handful of performers.
Her 5 1/2 year tenure in Las Vegas as Special Guest Star with the Great Radio City Music hall Spectacular and its renowned Rockettes, preceded by a 2 year U.S. national tour of the same production, make her not only one of the most popular and glamorous stars on the Las Vegas Strip, but a true veteran of the theater. During a time off from the Radio City show, Susan Anton headlined her own one woman show to sold-out audiences for 2 months at the prestigious Desert Inn Hotel and brought back to Las Vegas a type of entertainment rarely found there today.
Susan Anton was raised in the small town of Oak Glen, California, on an apple ranch. Each morning, she would rider her horse to a one-room schoolhouse where, in her third year, she was one of only two people in the entire third grade class. Her first foray into performing came during the third grade talent show where she played Hungarian Rhapsody on the piano. Oak Glen legend has it that Susan won the talent show that year "hands down."
Susan Anton attended high school in the neighboring valley of Yucaipa. It was there that her life began to change dramatically. On a dare from her high school boyfriend, she entered the Miss Redlands beauty contest. Entranced with the charisma of such performers as Doris Day, Susan Hayward and Ginger Rogers, Susan elected to sing the torch song "Since I Fell For You." The powerful performance, aside from her intellect and obvious beauty, left the judges with no choice but to award her the Redlands title. The contest was a prelude to Miss America and the first step to what would become an illustrious career spanning more than 25 years.
Susan Anton continued her success in pageants by winning the Miss California crown in 1969 and went on the become second runner-up to Miss America in 1970. She enjoyed the talent portion of the pageant so much that her plan to become a Child Psychologist went by the wayside and the idea of becoming an entertainer prompted her to pack her bags and move to Hollywood.
Well, not exactly Hollywood, but Pasadena. Unfortunately any thought Susan had of a quick segue to stardom were quickly diminished when she found herself cleaning office buildings at night to pay the rent.
She received her first big break when she inherited the title of the Muriel Cigar Girl form internationally famous singer Edie Adams. Susan appeared in numerous television commercials as the Muriel Girl. Her co-stars in those spots often included other budding stars such as Treat Williams and Tom Selleck. The campaign, hugely popular with the American public, was the catalyst for many appearances on the Las Vegas Strip. She appeared frequently on The Merv Griffin Show and quickly became of of Merv's favorite guests. Her appearances on Merv placed her firmly in the national spotlight and served as a launch for her transition into theater, films and television.
Susan Anton made her Broadway debut by replacing Candice Bergen in David Rabe's Tony nominated play "Hurleyburly," directed by Mike Nichols. The show featured Susan and a cast of established stars and newcomers, including Danny Aiello, Kevin Spacey and Frank Langella. Preceding "Hurleyburly," she starred in the U.S. national touring company of the Neil Simon/Marvin Hamlisch musical "They're Playing Our Song," and toured the U.S. with Elizabeth Ashley in "A Couple of White Chicks Sitting Around Talking." She returned to Broadway in 1991 to co-star with Keith Carridine and the original Broadways cast of Tommy Tune's Tony award-winning musical "The Will Rogers Follies."
Susan Anton first appeared on the big screen in the film "Goldengirl," and went on to appear in other films such as "Making Mr. Right" with John Malkovich and "Cannonball Run II" with Shirley MacLaine and Burt Reynolds. She has also been a significant star on the small screen. For three seasons, she was part of the cast of the world's most popular television series "Baywatch" playing the role of Jackie Quinn. She starred in the international series "Sail Away With Susan Anton" as well as The Travel Channel's "Las Vegas!" and "Perfect Buns," one of the most prominent exercise infomercials on television.
Susan Anton has guested on many talk shows and has guested and done special hosting segments of "Good Morning America," "E! Entertainment Television," "Entertainment Tonight," the 1999 CBS Special "Battle of the Sexes in Ice" and "Famous Homes & Hideaways."
in the early 80's, she played to sold-out concert venues throughout the world while touring for two years with Kenny Rogers. New York audiences and critics lavished praise on her three and four week singing engagements at New York's prestigious Rainbow & Stars. The New York Times describer her as "...a convincing pop/soul artist..(who) reveals a strong, supple voice along with an intelligent, well balanced interpretive approach. She revealed a contralto register of dramatic resonance."
The Los Angeles Times said, "With vocal flair, Anton certainly knows her way around a song and can turn on the passion as she emotes. She exudes the youthful glow, vitality and physical allure of a 20-year-old."
She has headlined the Atlantic City Hilton Hotel, as well as the Stratosphere Hotel in Las Vegas and Hollywood's famed Whisky A Go-Go.
As she embraces the new millennium, Susan Anton brings with her a wealth of experiences that will undoubtedly ensure her continued success and garner even more fans.
Film credits include --
Notable songs include -- .
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