Loretta Chandler’s Star Shines Brightly In Hollywood Sky

When Loretta Chandler first heard those words she was a pompon girl at Central High School, a talented gospel singer who craved opera and a minister’s daughter with big dreams.

Today, Miss Chandler has made the words and dreams come true. She has found fame as an actress on — appropriately enough – the television series “Fame”. The 22-year-old actress was in Pueblo for a few days last week to spend Christmas with her family, the Rev. F.L. and Rosetta Chandler. Her father is the pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church.

Taking time during her brief vacation for an interview, Miss Chandler talked of her burgeoning career. Her demeanor and quiet voice contradicted any “star” expectations, as did her soft dark eyes that nearly disguised her self-professed aggressiveness, resiliency and confidence.

Her courtesy and poise, through showed her to be an actress accustomed to interviews, auditions and performing on cue. “Fame” – filmed at MGM studios in Culver City, CA – is a syndicated weekly series about students at a high school for performing arts in New York City. The series is based on a film of the same title that was released during the late 1970s. Miss Chandler said she remembers the film well.

“When the movie, ‘Fame’ first came out some friends from Central and I went to see it. I loved that movie. There was so much magic on screen, I wanted to be part of it.” She said. “It’s hard for me to believe that I really am now.” Miss Chandler was a sophomore studying opera at the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, CA, when she heard about auditions for the show last springs. Some of my friends from Cal-Arts wanted to try out, so I thought I would too. I was hoping to see the show’s stars,” she said with a smile.

With a soaring voice and a few dance steps and the attitude of “Oh, you never know,” Miss Chandler faced a cattle-call audition that included more than 6,000 young women in New York and California. She was selected a finalist after the first day of auditions and was called back to dance for Debbie Allen, one of the show’s stars and choreographers.

After hearing a polite “We’ll let you know,” Miss Chandler returned to school to await the producers’ decision. A week later, the call came. “Waiting was so nerve-racking”, she said. “Then when that call came that they’d picked me, it felt so good.” Miss Chandler said it wasn’t just luck that landed her the role of Dusty Tyler on “Fame… God was all over that and he still is to this day.”

It was a good break, but it was a lot of hard work too. I prayed and worked for it. I really did”, she said. “The way you present yourself at the audition, because all I got was five seconds to show ‘em what I’ve got. So I gave them my very best.”…