RAYLAND, Ohio- (WTRF) It was a star-studded Saturday evening in the Ohio Valley.
The auditorium was packed for The Celebration With The Stars event at Buckeye Local High School.
The hosts: The Chrisagis Brothers.
The stars: Loni Anderson, Lindsay Wagner and Erik Estrada, all very deeply rooted in their faith as Christians.
These three Hollywood actors were in attendance for the Chrisagis brothers’ CD release party.
Brian Chrisagis says, “We are honored to have with us some legends, who are dear friends of ours and we have known Erik Estrada for 37 years. Lindsay Wagner and Loni Anderson, they’re all absolutely incredible and dear friends of ours and what a blessing to have them for a CD release party.”
According to Shawn Chrisagis, “I think they’ve got to be the most iconic legends of the 70’s, and of course, the early 80s and actually their careers have gone on forever. They are so sweet and I think their longevity is not just because of their acting in the community, but because they are really sweet to the fans. They love people.”
Joshua Self came all the way from Tampa, Florida.
Self says, “It’s always fun to watch people you grew up watching. It’s an exciting time.”
Area residents, Holly Willis and Lori Doane, wouldn’t have missed it for the world.
Doane says, “It was nice, says the person, whose had 500 pictures in her room when she was a teenager. So, it was a big thing, a big thing.”
“Yes and we’re sisters and we played Chips on our bicycles, fought over whose boyfriend he was going to be. My heart was pounding a little bit in there and he is still very handsome, ” says Willis.
Doane chimes in, “…and sweet.”
“It was exciting,” says Willis.
WTRF 7News Meterologist Doctor Dave Walker and his wife, Lulu, were even at the event.
Lulu Walker continues, “When she was the bionic woman we watched all the series and we had such a wonderful time. So, I never expected to be with her.”
Dr. Dave knowningly says to his wife,”Guess, it’s on your bucket list.”
Lindsay Wagner best known, as Jamie Sommers in The Bionic Woman, devotes her time by sharing her love of holistic health and works with those who suffer from domestic violence.
Wagner had some doubts about acting, but she says an acting coach, who was also her mentor, told her she would know when the time was right to get into the business.
Wagner says, “I woke up one day and I went I think I’m ready because he told me when you have at least one foot on the ground, solid on your own and you feel strong enough as a person, as an individual, then go do it . I just woke up and I said I think I’m ready and so that began and it’s just a shooting star. It was crazy.”
Loni Anderson, who was most known for her role as beautiful Jennifer Marlowe in WKRP in Cincinnati, now focuses on family and her Christian faith.
Anderson is the spokesperson for COPD and works tirelessly with those who suffer from MS.
The Minnesota native says her father and her religious upbringing inspired her to act.
“I had the church. I had my family and I think being a Midwest girl I have to say that I was very lucky to grow up in such a loving environment where everybody was positive and helped one another,” says Anderson.
Since his days as the iconic police officer, Frank Poncherello, or Ponce, as he was called in the television hit series Chips, actor Erik Estrada continues to show his support of the police.
The Harlem-born actor always wanted to be a police officer in real life and walked into a high school acting class one day and got bit by the acting bug and never looked back.
Estrada says, “I said, Wow! This is an awesome feeling. I love this feeling. I want more of this feeling when I perform because people would say look at that, you were good in that part, look and that over there that was great what you did. I understand what they were saying, their feeling, but they didn’t feel what I felt when I was doing it and I felt that was very private, very personal, very mine. Nobody could take that away from me. So, I went for it.”
Each of the stars received a legacy award for their life and achievement from the Chrisagis brothers.
Anderson who wrote a book about her life says her legacy is about what she puts on paper.
“Everybody should write a book whether you publish it or not and leave it to your family because there might be a grandkid who when they get a little older says I should’ve asked grandma ,this, I should’ve asked grandpa, that. Now they’re not here anymore and I don’t know the answer to that question. So, I think just write stuff down so that your family knows who you were or to do a recording of what you think, your experiences what that has meant so you can leave that for everybody in the future.”
Estrada expressed his hope of how he wants everyone to best remember him.
According to Estrada, “It’s all about kids at the end of the day for me. It’s all about them and it’s all about kids who lose their innocence before you know a child’s innocence can never be replaced. I want to be remembered for the work that I do with internet crimes against children.”
As for Wagner, her wish is to be remembered as a better communicator than an actor.
Wagner adds, “I’m a pretty good actor, but for me it’s not fun unless I feel like I’ve got some stuff in there that makes me want to express it in the story or create a story because I guess I feel like that’s my purpose in life is to help others and somehow this acting thing got thrown at me. When I was a kid and I ended up going down that chute if the work that I did and chose helped someone and that I was fortunate enough to be able to pick and choose what I wanted to do after Bionic Woman and on Bionic Woman. We worked very hard to put various things into the show ideas, that I had, that weren’t necessarily acceptable at the time.”
During the event, it was evident to see that these stars loved sharing what they learned from their past, how they live in their present and the hope that they have for their future, a future that is filled with faith.