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Paula Poundstone

Paula PoundstoneWhile she’s always had a big gay following, and has long been rumored to be lesbian (while she was making headlines for her alcohol-influenced behaviour in public, it was widely reported that she had had a long-term relationship with another woman), Paula describes herself as nonsexual, and couldn’t care less about having a partner to help her raise her kids.
 
“I thank my lucky stars I don’t have a partner,” she says. “I happen to have been born into the world a totally asexual human being. I don’t think I’d be a good partner. I don’t want anyone else’s opinion. I’ll talk to friends who are married or are with somebody, and I shudder at the discussions they have.”
 
Because of this quoted use of the term asexual to describe herself, Paula Poundstone is widely referred to as a Famous Asexual by the asexual community. However, it is unclear whether she uses the term in the same way as we do, and she very rarely speaks openly about her private life.
 
Childhood
Paula was born on December 29, 1959 in Huntsville, Alabama and relocated to Sudbury, Massachusetts with her family. As a teenager in the 1970s, Paula was put into foster care with a family who already had 7 kids of their own.
 
Career
Paula dropped out of high school and then began performing stand-up comedy in Boston in 1979. She moved to California in the early 1980s and performed at the same clubs as Robin Williams, who introduced her to his management company.
 
In 1984 she made her first and only feature film performance in Hyperspace (known in Europe as Gremloids). In 1989 she was recognized with an American Comedy award for “Best Female Stand Up Comic.” In 1992 she appeared in her first HBO special, Cats, Cops and Stuff and earned a Cable ACE Award for her performance (she was the first female stand-up to win this award). She also starred in a self-titled talk show series for HBO (for which she won her second Cable ACE Award for Best Program Interviewer) and began a series of Political Correspondent spots for the Tonight Show which helped raise her public profile.
 
In 1993, Paula began writing a regular column called Hey, Paula! in Mother Jones Magazine, which she continued to do until 1998. In the same year, she began hosting her own variety show, The Paula Poundstone Show, on ABC which, unfortunately, was axed after just two episodes. She also presented behind-the-scenes coverage of that year’s EMMY Awards, for which she was critically acclaimed. During this time, she also became the first woman to perform at the White House Correspondents dinner.
 
By the mid 1990s, Paula had shifted her performances from comedy clubs to performing arts centers and theatres where her interactions with the crowd became the stuff of legend. In 1996 she reassumed the role of political correspondent, this time for The Rosie O’Donnell Show, and taped her second hour special for HBO, Paula Poundstone Goes to Harvard (the first time the university had ever allowed it’s name to be used in the title of a television show). In 2000 she became a regular panelist on the TV show To Tell the Truth for just one season.
 
She only actually stopped working for about 6 months during the events that brought her a lot of negative attention in the media. Since completing her alcohol rehab program she has been a regular panelist on Wait… Wait, Don’t Tell Me on National Public Radio and was the voice of Judge Stone on the kid’s show Science Court. She has been named among Comedy Central’s 100 Best Stand Ups of All Time.
 
Other credits include: The Muppets’ She Drives Me Crazy music video; frequent appearances on Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion; and Paula, the mom in Cartoon Network’s Home Movies. Paula has made numerous appearances on Late Night with David Letterman; Sesame Street; To Tell The Truth and Comic Relief. Paula won an EMMY Award for her field pieces on PBS’s Life & Times, and is also the author, along with her high school math teacher, Faye Ruopp, of three math text books for children published by Heinemann Press: The Sticky Problem of Parallelogram Pancakes; Venn Can We Be Friends? and You Can’t Keep Slope Down.
 
It took Paula eight years to write her first book, There’s Nothing In This Book That I Meant To Say.“That’s because I was writing it in real time,” Poundstone jokes, referring to the fact that she wrote it by hand rather than using a word-processor. Part memoir, part monologue, Paula’s unique book features biographies of legendary historical figures including Abraham Lincoln, Joan of Arc and Sitting Bull, among others, from which she can’t help digressing to tell her own.
 
An avid reader and author, Paula was named the national spokesperson for Friends of Libraries USA (FOLUSA) - a citizens support group with chapters all over the country that help raise money for their local libraries children’s summer reading programs, author events, special book collections, equipment, and whatever else they might need.
 
Children
Paula became a foster parent in the 1990s and, in 1997, Paula adopted two girls, Toshia and Allison, and later a baby boy named Thomas. In 1999, in an interview with Polk Online, she stated that “I don’t need anybody to look like me. I don’t have any desire to go through the birth experience. Sorry, you know, I don’t feel that I’m unwhole if I don’t do any of that.”
 
Public Scandal
In 2000, Paula drove her children to an ice cream parlor. Her behavior and demeanor at the parlor caused witnesses to report her to the authorities for drunkenness and concern for the welfare of her children.
 
In 2001, she voluntarily checked herself into Promises, a rehab clinic in Malibu, California. She had two nannies and a personal assistant on staff to take care of her children while she was away. She was arrested in June 2001 on three counts of committing a lewd act on an unidentified girl under the age of 14 and one count of child endangerment (the ice cream parlor incident). She faced thirteen years and four months if convicted.
 
At her preliminary hearing in September 2001 she pleaded no contest to one count of felony child endangerment and one misdemeanor count of inflicting injury on a child. She was sentenced to five years of supervised probation, as well as a mandated 180 days at the Promises rehab center. The prosecutors agreed to drop the lewd act charge and the Judge barred all involved from discussing the case in public, leaving questions as to the nature and situation of the ‘lewd act’.
 
In November of the same year, Paula was discovered taking unauthorized drugs at Promises Rehab Center, where she was serving out her 180 day sentence. The judge briefly threw her in Los Angeles County Jail for a number of hours before releasing her back to the rehab center.
 
In December 2001 she was granted supervised visits with her adopted children. A year later, in December 2002, the court gave Paula back custody of her adopted children, but she still had to serve the rest of her 5 year probation period.
 
Sources
http://www.paulapoundstone.com/html/contacts.htm
http://www.expressgaynews.com/2006/11-10/arts/cover/
http://www.nndb.com/people/340/000022274/
http://charlotte.creativeloafing.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A3716
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0005323/
 

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March 30th, 2008 by admin


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