Della Reese has rugged life as TV star, mother

AFRO Archived History

by: Vernon Scott Hollywood Correspondent
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Television star and singer Della Reese died on Nov. 19. In 1969 the AFRO sat down with her to talk about her new television talk show ‘Della’ and life after her previous marriages ended. Reese would go on to become most famous for her role in the religious television show ‘Touched by an Angel.’

Aug. 23, 1969

HOLLYWOOD (UPI) Della Reese is the star of her own hour-long television series and works so hard during the week she spends weekends lying down.

Della is divorced and lives in the Hollywood Hills above the Sunset Strip.

Della did the decorating herself with little or no assistance from her daughter Deloreese, 9.

The family is rounded out by a poodle named, simply, Dog. Deloreese and Dog spend hours climbing the hillsides while Miss Reese is working at the studio on Vine Street, a 10-minute ride from home.

Usually Della is up at 6:30 and works until 7:30 p.m.—a 13-hour day. She begins rehearsals at 8:30 in the morning and tapes the show from 12:45 to 1:45 with a live audience out front.

Thereafter the star finds time for a bite to eat before tackling business affairs, answering mail and planning the next day’s show.

In the summer months Deloreese earns her allowance by joining her mother at the studio to run errands. Her mother works hard at giving her daughter the impression she is indispensible to the show.

Because Della’s schedule is crowded and long, her social life is almost nil. She tumbles into bed after dinner, too tired to watch television or read.

On weekends she sleeps from 10-12 hours a night. She rarely leaves the house on Saturdays and Sundays.

“I don’t have time for tennis or the beach like some other television people do,” she says. “All I want to do in my free time is recharge my batteries.”

Like most women, Della loves shopping in exclusive dress shops and department stores. But she hasn’t much time for shopping either.

“I need some shoes and new clothes, but I can’t get away from work,” she complains. “Once in a while I’ll dash into a store, but not often.”

Della has been single for eight years, but isn’t considering marriage in the near future, “because nobody has asked me. Men feel like a working girl like me might overpower them.”

The hard-working performer says she would like to marry again, but her husband would have to be a man who would let her continue working.

“It’s what I like best,” Della says.

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