Powers, Stefanie (Federkiewicz, Stefania)
born: 1942 -
television and film actress
article by: Gene Harubin Zygmont
On November 25, 1992, a new star was added to the Hollywood Walk of Fame: Stefanie Powers. This honor, bestowed on her by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce was a culmination and acknowledgement of her work in movies and television since she was but 15 years of age.
Stefanie Powers was born Stefania Zofia Federkiewicz on November 2, 1942 at the Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital. Her parents were both second generation Polish-Americans.
"Stefka" as she is known to family and friends, has played leading roles in television since 1966, when she starred in the title role of The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. She also starred in two other series, Feather and Father and the popular, long- running, Hart to Hart. She has appeared in so many television mini-series that, at one time, she was dubbed "Queen of the Mini-Series." In her motion picture career, she has worked for Columbia, Warner Brothers, and Paramount Studios and has played with John Wayne, Bing Crosby, Helen Hayes, Tallulah Bankhead, to name just a few.
In between film and television commitments, Powers often returns to the stage in plays and musical comedies and has appeared in theaters throughout the United States and in London, England, She has also been active behind the scenes as writer and co-producer with Karoger Productions. She has been nominated for many acting and writing awards and has received the People's Choice Award, British TV Times Award, the German Bambi, Polish Heritage Award, Sarah Siddons Award and the Genii Award for American Women in Radio and Television.
Although she has no relatives in Poland (both sets of grandparents emigrated to the United States) Stefka has visited the land of her ancestors, most recently in 1989, as spokesperson for Animex ham producers. At that time she was presented with the Polish Ham Award and accepted it graciously in excellent Polish. To this day, she has retained a fondness for Polish food, especially pierogi.
In private lite she is married to Count Patric de la Chesnais. She is an inveterate traveler and an avid sportswoman. Polo is one of her passions. As president of the William Holden Wildlife Foundation, she is dedicated to the preservation of African wildlife, and aims at conserving vanishing species by breeding and releasing these into the wilderness or by shipping them to zoos worldwide. She also works with the Ministry of Tourism in Senegal to promote photographic safaris. She is conversant in some seven languages, including Polish, Swahili, French and Italian, all of which stand her in good stead in her worldwide travels. Stefka once summarized her life by quoting Patrick Dennis' character of Auntie Marne: "Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death." Not so Stefanie Powers.
From: "Polish Americans in California, Volume II" ; edited by: Gene Harubin Zygmont and Artur Zygmont; Gillian Olechno-Huszcza (Part I); Henrietta Simons (Part II); National Center for Urban and Ethnic Affairs and Polish American Historical Association; 1995.
TV and movie actress
Born 1942. A veteran of over 200 television appearances, best known for ABC's 1980s hit Hart to Hart, for which she received two Emmy and five Golden Globe nominations for "best TV actress". She was born as Stefania Zofia Federkiewicz to Polish-American parents in Hollywood, California.
At 15 she signed a movie deal with Columbia Pictures and was labeled as one of America's brightest rising stars. The stunning redhead appeared in several movies in the early 1960s and eventually focused on television, gaining international fame as Jennifer Hart.
In 1974, Powers formed a relationship with actor and pioneer of African preservation, William Holden, and became involved in conservation work at his Kenyan ranch. Following Holden's death in 1981, Powers became the president of the William Holden Wildlife Foundation. She has been a tireless advocate of wildlife preservation and animal rights, but has not given up acting.
In 1993 she won the Sarah Siddons Award for her stage performance in Love Letters. In 2003-2005 she toured the UK and the U.S. in the singing role of Anna Leonowens in a revival of The King and I. For her contribution to the television industry, Powers received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.From: Good News 2005 - 2006. A publication of the American Institute of Polish Culture of Miami, Florida.
Also see the book: "Stefanie Powers: Superlife!" (exercise book) by Stephanie Popwers and Judy Quine, Simon and Schuster, New York, 1985