Denise DuBarry

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Denise DuBarry (born March 6, 1956) is an American actress, businesswoman, film producer, and philanthropist. She co-founded Thane International, Inc., a global leader in the direct response industry along with her husband, Bill Hay, in 1990. She served as its Chief Creative Officer for 15 years, from 1990–2005. As an actress, she is best known for her role as nurse Lieutenant Samantha Green, on the television series Black Sheep Squadron, and as Johanna Franklin in the film Being There. She was a pioneer in the infomercial industry as producer of Play the Piano Overnight in 1988, which won the Billboard Music Award for Best Music Instruction Video that year and then Play the Guitar Overnight which won the 1991 Billboard Music Award for Best Music Instruction.

Denise DuBarry (in 1989)

Early life[edit]

DuBarry was born in Killeen, Texas at the Fort Hood Army Base to Adrian Pierre DuBarry and his wife, Betty Louise (née King). Her parents moved back to Louisiana where they were from so that her father could finish his master's degree at LSU in Baton Rouge. The family later moved to Honduras, Mexico, Guatemala and Costa Rica, where DuBarry grew up from ages 2 to 10, and learned to speak fluent Spanish. The family moved throughout California, eventually settling in Granada Hills, California where Denise attended middle school and high school. A child of divorce and the eldest of five children, at 14 she was charged with looking after her siblings while her mother worked. Undaunted by the obligations thrust upon her, DuBarry Hay remained positive and focused throughout her childhood. As she watched her mother struggle to make ends meet, she resolved that she would take charge of her own life and not be reliant upon others for her welfare or happiness.

Yoga[edit]

DuBarry has been practicing yoga since 1979. She founded and owned Malibu Yoga [1] in 1986 which catered to a celebrity clientele. She gave the studio to a friend in 1990 when she relocated. She is a partner in Palm Desert, California's Bikram Yoga University Village Studio[2]

Career[edit]

1974–1979[edit]

At age 18, she went to work for her father in his paper export business, DuBarry International, and took acting lessons at night with Milton Katselas and Charles E. Conrad. She landed commercials for Michelob Beer, Chevrolet Camaro and worked as an extra in the kid's shows, Magic Mongo, Wonder Woman and she made an appearance on The Gong Show as beauty contestant, "Ms. Hold the Mayo". She competed in several real beauty contests including Ms. Malibu where she won "Most Photogenic". She was hired to co-star in a CBS Movie of the Week, Deadman's Curve. She landed a regular role on the last season of the NBC World War II television series, Black Sheep Squadron, and guest-starred on popular television shows, including Charlie's Angels and Trapper John, M.D.. Director Hal Ashby cast her in a featured role in the 1979 film Being There.[3]

1980–1989[edit]

In 1982 DuBarry and Gary Lockwood formed a production company, Xebec Productions, and she began writing and fundraising for film development and production, while she continued to act. In 1985, she appeared in the cult film Monster in the Closet. In 1986, she appeared in the film Lethal (aka KGB, the Secret War). In 1987, she and a partner produced Play the Piano Overnight. DuBarry enthusiastically presented what was, at the time, a new and unorthodox marketing vehicle to the product owner – the infomercial. Play the Piano Overnight was immensely successful, hundreds of thousands of videos were sold, and soon after Thane International was born.

1990–2005[edit]

She met her future husband Bill Hay through mutual friend Dick Robertson, then president of Warner Bros. Television Distribution. The couple formed[4] and produced and distributed,[5][6] Beat the Recession and a slew of other infomercials. DuBarry Hay’s entrepreneurial streak also extends to the booming yoga industry. Not only is she a certified Bikram yoga instructor and practitioner; prior to relocating to La Quinta in 1990, she founded Malibu Yoga in Malibu, California.

2005–Present[edit]

In 2005, DuBarry founded Kaswit, Inc., a direct response marketing company. Two of Kaswit's top direct response projects are the successful, US and internationally distributed infomercials: " Pilates Power Gym”, and “ Secrets to Training the Perfect Dog” with Don Sullivan, "The DogFather".Through her production company founded in 2006, Blue Moxie Entertainment, DuBarry produced the feature film, Shoot the Hero, which had its World Premiere at the 2010 Palm Springs International Film Festival.

Community service[edit]

She is involved with the local desert community and became president of Palm Springs Women in Film & Television, a non-profit organization whose goal is to empower women in the film and television industry to help advance their careers through networking and mentoring programs. PSWIFT initiatives launched under her leadership have been the pswift.com site and the psfilmoffice.com site, a virtual film office for the Palm Springs area designed to help bring more film and television production to the Coachella Valley. She fought to get the officially sanctioned "Oscar Night America" gala celebrating the Academy Awards to the Coachella Valley for 2008 and 2009. [1] [2] She serves as a trustee for Olive Crest homes for abused children. As Development Chair, she developed strategies for raising millions of dollars to build four residential homes, each housing six children, one of which is the DuBarry-Hay Family home.

DuBarry has served as a board member of the Annenberg Center for Health Sciences, the Palm Springs International Film Festival, Women Leaders Forum, the Electronic Retailing Association (ERA)[3] and Thane International. She serves on the advisory board of the Coachella Valley Economic Partnership (CVEP), and serves on the board of the Palm Springs Cultural Center and as board/Marketing Committee of Marywood/Palm Valley School, where she developed the International Guest Student Program.

Congresswoman Mary Bono presented DuBarry with the Desert Diva Award at the Palm Springs Women in Film and Television Broken Glass Awards. DuBarry received the "Woman of Distinction in the Arts" from the American League of Pen Women] for her work in the arts and she and Hay received a joint Ernst and Young "Entrepreneur of the Year Award" in 1998. DuBarry has a star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars.

Awards[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ January 19, 1989, pp. 12–13. "Uptight People Try for a Stretch"- Carrie McNamara(McNamara 1989)
  2. ^ Folmer, James. "Actress takes on a new role: DuBarry Hay opens Bikram yoga studio." The Desert Sun, February 21, 2011, p. B5.5
  3. ^ IMDb profile for Being There (film)
  4. ^ Thane International
  5. ^ Play the Guitar Overnight
  6. ^ Playboy's Secrets to Making Love to the Same Person Forever, which was shot at the Playboy mansion