The Most Beloved TV Special of My Generation: Cinderella Starring Lesley Ann Warren

The most beloved television special of the children from my generation: CINDERELLA starring Lesley Ann Warren!

The most beloved television special of the children from my generation: CINDERELLA starring Lesley Ann Warren!

My generation, the tail end of the “Baby Boom” kids, won’t have to wait any longer to see Rogers and Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA starring Lesley Ann Warren again.  Our years of requesting that it be released as a DVD are over.  The outcome couldn’t be better.  The DVD has been released at long last, and it’s here!

CINDERELLA was a television special that was broadcast once, live, with Julie Andrews, but wasn’t recorded.  It proved to be so popular with television audiences that it was re-created, this time with Lesley Ann Warren in the title role.  Beginning in 1965, it was shown every year, for eight years in a row, on TV as a special for kids.  It was always a treat.  I remember seeing it the first time it came on and waiting for it every subsequent year.

It’s got quite a spectacular cast.  Ginger Rogers plays The Queen and Walter Pidgeon, her King.  Jo Van Fleet is the evil stepmother, counterbalanced by Celeste Holm as Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother.  Pat Carroll and Barbara Ruick are Cinderella’s stepsisters.  Her prince is played by Stuart Damon.

Tonight I had the fun of attending the DVD release party at Barnes & Noble 86th Street, where Richard Skipper interviewed Lesley Ann Warren to a packed room of happy CINDERELLA fans.  The audience was given a glimpse of the behind-the-scenes story of the making of the special.

Lesley Ann Warren relayed that she was constantly asked when the special would become available as a DVD.  Richard Skipper found Celeste Holm, who is also in the show, listed in the phone book when he moved to New York City (in the days before DVDs) and he just couldn’t resist.  He called her up and asked, “Is this the fairy godmother?”

Celeste Holm said, “Yes!”

Richard proceeded to ask her when CINDERELLA might be shown on television again.

Lesley Ann Warren told us tonight that the reason the show stopped being shown on the network back in the 1970s, after eight broadcasts, was that the executives thought times and audiences were changing.  They believed people wouldn’t want to see the musical any longer.  Well if that were really the case, then why would so many people have been asking, all these years – for decades now – to see this show again?

Here is the link to get your own copy of CINDERELLA…and share it with your children and grandchildren.  But you know what I think?  I think it should be given another network showing again, too!



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