Ellie Weingardt

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The Press Loves Ellie Weingardt!

Chicago Tribune
By Steve Rosenbloom : The RosenBlog
How Penny Marshall made 'League' pass muster
"I love Penny Marshall and I love "A League of Their Own." I love that we're showing it Wednesday night at the Music Box and I’d love for you to get off your computers and join Tribune Film Critic Michael Phillips and me. But only after you go here to buy tickets. Time’s running out, and $15 is a bargain for a big-screen showing of a classic movie in a way you haven’t seen it for decades. A deal for the whole family. The price also includes Phillips’ full Skyped interview with Marshall and a post-screening Q&A in which we’ll be joined by Ellie Weingardt, the Highland Park actress who portrayed the charm school teacher in the film." 

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Michigan Avenue Magazine
December Cover Star
Michigan Avenue and Horseshoe Casino rolled out the red carpet to welcome December cover star—and new Chicago resident— Rosie O’Donnell to our fair city. The actress and talk-show host graciously took photos with fans and answered a slew of questions about her recent engagement to longtime girlfriend, Michelle Rounds. There was even an A League of Their Own reunion, as Ellie Weingardt, who played the etiquette expert, popped up on the red carpet to surprise O’Donnell. Marveling at Horseshoe’s close proximity to the city, Rosie had one request of the crowd: “Meet me at the dollar slots. Mommy doesn’t do nickels.”
SKYLINE
By Ann Gerber
Asteroids? No chance. Ellie will save the world
Can Ellie save the world playing as a futuristic heroine while androids, humanoids and animaloids battle each other in a global war?

We're putting our money on versatile, redheaded actress Ellie Weingardt of Highland Park, who stars in a budding filmmaker's "C.I.N.E." science-fiction movie.

Columbia College film student Duane Hiavira, 25, and a crew of 20; created an underground world in south-suburban sewers where a green amphibian woman navigated through the dark channels. Not to worry. Ellie will win the debacle. After all, this slim; pretty, about-to-b'-- a-granny, has portrayed Joan Rivers, Kate Hepburn, Marilyn ionroe, Zsa Zsa, Bette Davis, Dr. Ruth, Mae West on stage and was the charm-school teacher in the movie "A League of Their Own," with Madonna and Tom 4. flanks, directed by Penny Marshall. Ellie is a latecomer to showbiz. After Lindblom High, Ellie was a secretary at CBS-TV, married Mr. Right (Ron Weingardt), had four kids and found life in Highland Park boring when their children left the nest. She took acting lessons with a neighbor and was a natural for voice-over work, commercials for Coca-Cola, Sears, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Ameritech.
 
In 1993 this dynamo was named Best Chicagoland Female Voice-over Talent Elite won a Joan Rivers look-alike contest and flew to Hollywood, loved it, but was amazed to learn that most of the other Rivers champs were men in drag! There are so many facets to dy­namic Ellie's life that I asked her to write a line or two about her every-day happening &... Brace yourself. "Over the weekend, I was a nun. (Would a convent take a Jewish girl?) I was Sister Mary Catherine, for a corporate Blues Brothers party (International Society of Weights and Measures) In the Hilton. "Armed with a ruler, I intimidat­ed and amused the crowd till the Blues Brothers showed up, and we performed some of their famous hits from the film. The next even­ing, I performed as Joan Rivers doing a half-hour stand-up routine for the guests of Birchwood Country Club hosted by Bob and Florence Werner. "Next week I'll be Lucille Ball for a party at the Grand Geneva. Last night I was a guest lecturer at Columbia College on voice-over work for Charles Fuller's class. He's a voiceover legend in his own right," asserts vivacious Ellie. "Tomorrow night, I begin my screenwriting re-write workshop. 

I have authored two screenplays, "Murder ... Not a Problem" and “Velum." Any producers out there?" A naturally funny lady, she writes her own comedy material, and Ellie is a bigger hoot than Joan Rivers. "I have just been made a board member of our Rotary Club, the Good Morning Club or Highland Park I consider this a great honor. It's always fun meeting new friends and learning exciting new things about people Rotary helps people in all walks of life all over the world. I am still a board member of the Myra Rubenstein Weis Resource Center at the Highland Park Hospital, which opens the world of medicine to the layman. It is in memory of a beautiful young wom­an taken in the prime of her life." More Ellie: "I. have worked with some of the most famous people in the world - Madonna, Gina, Tom, Rosie, and had the thrill of seeing myself on screen at a Hollywood Premier. 

I entertained Tom Cruise In my kitchen while he was filming 'Risky Business' on our block. I have a small cameo appearance in it if you look real close. I won a trip to Hollywood and the Academy Awards on a radio show... a trip to LA to appear on the Joan Rivers Show as a look-alike on Fox 32... and paraded around the Hollywood Casino as a celebrity look alike for the establishment "After appearing In Star Magazine as a viable Lucy double for the movie on her life when I went to L.A. for the 'Great Lucy-Desi Search'. "My husband, Ron, is a successful, retired manufacturer, having founded Sun Process Co. over 25 years ago. We have four kids, two boys and two girls. The two boys are married and budding corporate types, Todd and Marc. The two girls, Dana and Traci, have other interests. One is a musician and the other a schoolteacher. "Three live near home. Dana just got her master's degree in English as a second language and began her teaching career in August.” Traci lives in Portland and is working in a rock group, which is cutting an album as we speak The name of her group is Brother Egg. She plays bass and is a lead singer. Ron and I moved to HP 20 years ago. We have two dogs, Sampson and Dallas, and a cat named Sandy We have been married 34 years, concludes Ellie. You've seen her in plays at the Ivanhoe, Steppenwolf, and in "Shear Madness." 

See? I told you the androids and. the animaloids don't have a chance. Energetic Ellie will infiltrate their inner circle, charm them to death with her Joan Rivers imitation, and we'll all be saved. 

SKYLINE By Ann Gerber
Best Ad !
BEST AD we've laughed at in a long time is one for Altoids, the "curiously strong breath mints." Those little white pellets that chase bad breath have an overdressed fashion victim holding a box that she's just been given, and she moans, "I've never been so hurt!" The becurled matron is none other than our versatile model/actress Ellie Weingardt of Highland Park. 

You can see her in the ads in the June Vogue, July Mademoiselle and June GQ. to name a few. Pretty redhead Ellie just completed a role as a dragon-tattooed singing barfly in the new flick "The Visitor" with Jean Reno and Christine Applegate. Reno was ruined by a wizard in the Middle Ages and in this time-warp movie comes looking for his lost love - Christine.
EIlie Weingardt's recent performance as Veta Simmons in "Harvey""Old Orchard County, Club Theater"

... superior performance (Chicago Tribune) Tom Sammons
... great charm and talent (Des Plaines Times) Betty Nicolai
... cut out for better things (Herald) Scott Fosdick
... shines as the neurotic. Veta Louise Simmons... (Countryside Reminder) Rick Ansorge 
Her work speaks for itself!
The Chicago Production Weekly by Kelly Garry
Ellie Weingardt: persona grata 
It all began for ElIie Weingardt when she won a trip to the Academy Awards some fifteen years ago. Looking around at the tuxed-out crowd, she thought "I could do this!" Next came acting classes, community theater and a stint at the Steppenwolf Theatre. All along the way Weingardt pursued voiceover work.

"My first spot was for Arby's Roast Beef. I can remember it perfectly." (In fact, Weingardt's fantastic memory enables her to remember her lines from almost every spot she's voiced) "It felt like someone let me out of the cage.

Since then, she has won the Windy Award for best Chicagoland female voice over talent for her work on Coca-Cola Classic. Weingardt has also sold Sears, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and Ameritech over the air waves. Currently airing is a Fruitfuls spot where she plays a Brooklyn hairdresser. Weingardt isn't much for labels and sees voiceover work has an extension of acting.

"It manifests itself physically. You assume the emotions, you have a persona. Persona is something Weingardt has plenty of. She has professionally impersonated Katherine Hepburn, Lucille Ball and won a contest as Joan Rivers on Fox32 that got her an appearance on Rivers' late show.

Weingardt's on-camera work includes six scenes in Penny Marshall's "A League of Their Own" as a charm school teacher. In an independent, sci-fli trilogy she plays the lead, an android/human, that had her jumping into sewers and being chased by alien space craft.

SCREEN MAGAZINE
By Claire Weingarden
A New Role: Ellie Weingardt plays teacher
She's played all types characters from barflies to Joan Rivers, but now EIIie Weingardt, the self-toasted "Champagne of Voice-Overs" is ready for her next role - teacher. Weingardt, who has lent her voice to hundreds of commercials and industrial films, teaches several classes at Columbia College II in Chicago.

Her classes are in voice acting and copy interpretation. She, along with Audio Engineer Milt Smith, has completed the Certificate in Voice-Over program at Columbia II. "Chuck Fuller invited me to guest lecture at Columbia for his students, and when he relocated to Florida, he recommended me for the job," she says.
 
"It makes me feel so good to help people learn the craft. It's amazing what you know, but you don't know you know." Weingardt says she is currently in production on her class' CD demos (each class is limited to 10 students to maximize individual attention). "I tell my students that imagination is their greatest gift," she says. "Without it, you are in a glass cubicle with a window and a microphone. Use everything at your disposal.

There's no limit to what you can be through your own imagination. I've been little kids, old men, young women, you name it." Weingardt recently compiled a new demo of her own. The CD, entitled "L'Instant Ellie," is made up of six categories - straight announce, characters, impressions, narrations, singing and an audio clip from "A League of their Own," the movie in which Weingardt played a charm school instructor.
NORTH SHORE MAGAZINE
Four Star Rating: The Glamour Babe 
She looks like a Hollywood glamour queen in her black one-piece bathing suit, shimmering gold cover-up and spiked gold heels. That's the way Ellie Weingardt greets you in her Highland Park home. We glide into the very pink tinted sun room, complete with ceiling fan. We gaze out at the pool, and then she gracefully serves up quiche.

"Perhaps we can sit in the hot tub later", she says. But now we have more pressing concerns. Let the gossip begin. We start with Ellie's close personal friend Madonna. "We laughed when her bra was stolen from Frederick's of Hollywood. Madonna told me, 'I don't know why anyone would want that smelly old thing!' " We toss back our heads in unison and laugh. OK, time to 'fess up. This is an act. Weingardt is playing a part. We asked and she delivered. Confession No. 2: Ellie only knows the Material Girl because of some material they have in a common - they starred in this summer's hit, "A League of Their Own."

Weingardt played the charm school teacher, the woman who tells the female baseball players to sit up straight, sip their tea and keep their legs crossed. "I say, 'Ladies, legs together always,' and then look at Madonna. Everyone on the set cracked up. Memorable character parts. Actresses kill for those. Weingardt got a little predatory herself, going after the role with the subtlety of a lion stalking a pound of ground round. "They were having auditions in Chicago and the role was described as matronly," says Weingardt, who is anything but. "Anyway, I showed up at the auditions in a black '40s dress, slingback heels, seamed hose, my hair rolled up. And I also did Joan Crawford lips and pencil-thin brows."

Did the other women auditioning hate her? "I don't know," she says, mulling it over. "Every head did turn." Including that of "League" director Penny Marshall, who told Weingardt that she "gave great face." A few weeks later Weingardt got the proverbial call; Hollywood wanted her. Weingardt, in her 40s, is not some Goodman grad with decades of experience. Ellie Bass grew up in Chicago. Where her father owned a haberdashery. At Lindblom High School she was the class soloist and acted in school plays. "I even wrote crazy poems,' she says as we dangle our toes in the Jacuzzi.

"Want to hear a poem?" Sure. "This is called 'Lune Man and the Planet of Max.' Here we go: 'Slip me some skin said my frantic friend. Man, this planet is the end.' You must remember that this was the '60s," she says. "That poem made me very famous in school." A sign of things to come? Weingardt graduated and landed at CBS-TV, where she was a secretary who moonlighted by singing on "The Music Wagon" show. But that ended when she married Ron Weingardt, a manufacturer, and had five kids. They moved to Highland Park, and "I was getting a little bored. My kids were leaving the nest." Then fate stepped in. Weingardt was doing volunteer work when she called in for a radio trivia contest and won an all-expenses-paid trip to the Academy Awards. "I pulled up to the awards in my limo and someone said, 'Who are you?' I said, 'Nobody.' I walked up that red carpet and people were taking pictures of me. I said, 'This is it! I've got to do this!' It was the craziest thing." Even crazier was when Weingardt and her husband followed Jack Nicholson's limo to a party at Spago. "We put on our sunglasses and got right in," she marvels. "Warren Beatty ogled me. It was my claim to fame." There was no turning back.
 
Weingardt took acting lessons with a neighbor, which led to voice-over work, commercials and various plays, including "Shear Madness." She landed in Hollywood again after winning a Joan Rivers look-alike contest. Yes, Ellie does knock-'em-dead impressions. "I toured Hollywood with two busloads of Joan look-alikes. It was weird. When we went to the bathroom, I discovered most of the Joans were men in drag." Filming a major motion picture like "League" was anything but a drag. We traipse back to the sun room, sip grapefruit juice and look at the snapshots. "Oh, here's actress Ann Ramsey. I adore her! Here's Tom Hanks. He's so funny! Here's Ann Cusack. Annie. I love this girl." A minute passes. "Want to see the script?" Weingardt inquires.
 
"Come with me." We wander upstairs. "Let's go into my bathroom," says the star. "It's my favorite." This, however, is not a bathroom - it's more like fantasy island. There's a sunken tub, television, VCR and coffee maker in addition to the usual bathroom amenities. You half expect Robin Leach to be hiding near the sink. "I watch movies in the tub," she says as we read the script. While she waits for Hollywood to come calling again, she'll be content to watch "League" in her tub when it comes out on video. And what did she think when she first saw herself on the big screen I thought, 'Oh, I look so thin!' "



Content copyright 2015. Ellie Weingardt. All rights reserved.
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