"I was knocked sideways. I hadn't ever thought about it or considered anything like that. I'm so thrilled and surprised —and humbled by it."

Julie Andrews on her reaction to the news of being the 2006 Sag Lifetime Achievement Award nominee

Des Moines Register - 28 Sept 2006
By Jennifer Jacobs

Andrews, Fonda booked for '07 lecture series

Two actresses, two media figures and an expert in the field of international kidnapping make up the 2007 lineup for The Des Moines Register's Smart Talk women's lecture series.

The year's speakers will be:

- Jane Fonda, known for her acting, exercise videos and opposition to the Vietnam War, on Monday, Feb. 26. Fonda retired from acting in 1991, but returned to film with "Monster-in-Law" in 2005, the same year her memoir, "My Life So Far," was published.

- Betty Mahmoody, author of the Pulitzer Prize-nominated book "Not Without My Daughter," on Monday, March 26. In 1984, Mahmoody escaped from imprisonment by her abusive husband in Islamic Iran, a land where women had no rights and Americans were despised. Her life was portrayed by Sally Field in the 1991 movie of the same title.

- Mary Stier, president and publisher of The Des Moines Register, on Monday, April 23. Stier, a graduate of the University of Iowa, is the senior group president of the Gannett Midwest and Sun Coast Newspaper Groups. These newspaper groups include 26 daily newspapers.

Stier, who hosted 15 previous Smart Talk lectures, will receive no performance fee. Instead, $10,000 will be donated to a local charity that audience members will select.

- Soledad O'Brien, co-anchor of the CNN news program "American Morning," on Wednesday, May 16. A Harvard graduate and mother of four children under the age of 6, O'Brien has reported on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and the conflict in Lebanon.

- Julie Andrews, an English actress best known for playing Maria Von Trapp in "The Sound of Music" and a queen in "The Princess Diaries," on Monday, June 4.

For those who didn't buy tickets for last season, it won't be easy to get tickets this year. Tickets are currently only available to 2006 subscribers, who should expect a renewal brochure in the mail by Oct. 9. Subscribers can renew their same seats, change seating or add to their order by the Nov. 1 deadline.

The series sold out last year, so all 2,735 seats are currently spoken for, said Bob Benia, series producer. "Should any seats remain after the renewal deadline, series subscriptions will be offered for public sale," he said.

In its fourth year in Des Moines, the series will be held at the Civic Center of Greater Des Moines, 221 Walnut St. All presentations will begin at 7:30 p.m.

The speakers for the 2007 Des Moines Register's Smart Talk women's lecture series will be:

• Jane Fonda Feb. 26
• Betty Mahmoody March 26
• Mary Stier April 23
• Julie Andrews June 4

• Soledad O’Brien May 16

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