Anne Faulkner’s dream of becoming an actor began in the sixth grade when she wrote and appeared in the class play. For many years, she was active in local community theater in her home town of Middletown, Ohio. She worked behind the scenes for several television stations in various administrative positions. In 1970, Anne became the first woman vice president of Metromedia Television in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Although successful behind the cameras on the business side of the industry, Anne never abandoned her dream of acting in front of the camera. At age 50, she moved to New York to embark on a full-time acting career. Her persistence was rewarded with roles in daytime soap operas and commercials. Then in 1988 Anne moved to California where she auditioned and won a small part on Roseanne. This small part became a feature role that ran for two seasons. Anne has since performed in numerous commercials and several long-running television shows such as Knots Landing and 7th Heaven.
Now an active retiree, Anne is one of many entertainment industry seniors being helped by the Motion Picture & Television Fund (MPTF) through the Elder Connection program, funded by UniHealth Foundation. Founded in 1921 as a relief organization to help film industry workers who had fallen on hard times, today the MPTF provides healthcare and social services to the entertainment industry via an integrated health care system comprised of an acute care hospital, assisted-living cottages, skilled nursing facilities, clinics, community outreach and residential programs.
MPTF’s Elder Connection aims to enable the industry retirees to age safely in place in naturally recurring retirement communities (NORCs) throughout Los Angeles County, where the entertainment business grew from a studio system clustered in specific geographic locations. Industry employees bought homes close to the studios and have remained in these homes past retirement. Through Elder Connection, the MPTF, in partnership with other agencies, provides comprehensive and coordinated social, financial and healthcare services that enhance the quality of life for industry seniors and enable them to remain in their own homes. These might include home modifications and individualized care plans. Currently, special attention is being paid to seniors with moderate to low incomes and to caregivers, many of whom are juggling employment and families with caring for an elderly loved one.
For Anne, Elder Connection is a blessing. Her residence is in need of several modifications to make it safe and accessible as she ages. A new landing and stairs and bathroom modifications will help rejuvenate Anne’s mobile home so she will not have to move and can continue to participate in the entertainment community.
“One of the benefits of being a member of the Screen Actors Guild is that once I vested, I became eligible for lifetime health benefits, which is such a blessing,” says Anne. “I read about the Elder Connection program, but was not sure I would qualify. I was pleased to find out that I did, and now I have been introduced to their wonderful staff and to new resources in the community.”