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She’s Beautiful Too

Toronto Sun - Sunday May 15 1983

Micki Moore was born I Shreveport, Louisiana and on the surface, the hostess of CityTV’s You’re Beautiful is pure southern belle - lush looks and lifting laughter.

But and examination of the hundreds of shows she has hosted over the past six years reveal her to ;be also a woman of intelligence and empathy. In private conversation, it becomes clear that in addition to those qualities, she is a determined, highly-organized woman whose intensity is softened by a self-deprecating sense of humor.

She does not take her image seriously, but she does take her work seriously and always has. “Pat of that was growing up in a small town and seeing the women there. They didn’t seem to be completing happy. Something was missing from their lives, they were not satisfied. I determined that a life lived only as a wife and mother was not for me.

Three Kids

There were three children, a sister, whose early death from a heart attack a year ago shocked the family and a brother. “I was the middle child, the problem solver.”

There parents stressed the need for a good education as well as a good marriage. “We were all expected to go to University. We never even thought about it.

That, combined with her own ambition to have a career, made Micki Moore a good student. She graduated from high school at 17, second n her class, with A’s in all her subjects, except one, typing. At Ohio State University she completed the degree program in radio and television in two years.

There she also fulfilled her parents’ second ambition for her. “They wanted me to marry a nice hard-working man and I did. He was my first romance, my one and only.”

He was also from Toronto and Micki Moore soon found a market here for her talents. She pounded on doors and got a job as an assistant in a television commercial production house. Then she went to work on her voice.

“I caught on real fast that if you could talk on camera there were not so many people trying to get the same job. You had a better chance if you could read well, so I put a lot of effort into learning. I took diction lessons and I re-made my voice. I got rid of my southern accent, and I got rid of the monotone.”

“Then with the naiveté of youth, I sent a program idea to CFTO and the next day I was on the air.”

She began demonstrating exercises and soon moved on to interviewing, an assignment that lasted for two years, until she gave up full-time work to have a baby.

After that, she freelanced. “I just never stopped. I wrote and I did improvisations. I wrote out program ideas and sent them to television shows. I modeled, I coordinated fashion shows. As a result, I have a lot of skills and I learned a lot. My life has been so intense, trying to balance my career and being a mother that I almost feel as though, for the first time in 35 years, I can sit down and take a little bit of time and rest.

Throughout those early years, her husband encouraged her and was always very proud of her. “He was also very busy with his career and we both had a lot of energy.” But after 10years the marriage ended, an inevitable result, perhaps of so much separate expenditure of energy.

But even though they divorced, they remain friends and continue to share responsibility of their two children, now 20 and 18. they live just a block apart n downtown Toronto, and celebrate all the family occasions together.

Micki Moore says, “I had always been very independent. But the real test is when you’re truly on your own and it was a very difficult time. The worst part is letting go of your fantasies of forever and ever. But it can be exhilarating when you come through all that in a positive way.”

After her divorce, she spent a summer in London and another in New York. There, she was so successful that she was tempted to stay and could have, since she is still an American citizen. “But I didn’t think New York was a place to raise kids.”

A program idea she sent to CITY was rejected, but when You’re Beautiful came along; they offered her the spot of hostess. “I had always wanted my own television show and I love the subject matter of ours. The stories we get deal with so many psychological problems and we meet real people who can rise above those things and have the courage to go on. I find that very hopeful.”

“I’ve lived many lives. I’ve been a homemaker, the mother, the working mother, the wife, the single woman. I bring all those experiences, empathy and sympathy to all those topics.”

“the show has always had a feminist slant. We did and delve into women’s issues and those issues are part of me. I am not an activist. I don’t go and march and join causes and that sort of thing. The education that has gone out on the airwaves, that’s my share”

She says that within that context she feels she is taken seriously although she adds, “You can’t live your life on what everybody else says. I’m very inner directed.”

“I don’t do what Barbara Frum does. We’re in a different sphere. She’s hard news and political commentary. But if I wanted to do that, I would put myself in that direction and I could do it. There is nothing in this life that I put my mind to that I can’t do. But I am doing what I want to do.”

You’re Beautiful makes its own demands. There are six to eight books a week to read, and the need to be up to date on everything that is going on in the field of human relation. For Micki Moore, that means keeping filing cabinets filled with clippings and her own research. But she had been doing that kind of research out of habit for years, so that is second nature to her.

Even so, the pressure is intense and to combat that she schedules some form of regular exercise - preferably jogging or singles tennis - into her day. She also takes short frequent breaks, and spends as much of her free time as possible with close friends and her children. I can’t work all day and be out all night.”

There have been two close relationships since her divorce. Although she now lives with a man and describes it as a very important part of her life, she says, “I don’t know whether we will get marred. I don’t know whether we want to get married. It’s important to me to have a relationship, but I am a butterfly. I also have to be free.”

Joan Sutton
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