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Renée Taylor's "MY LIFE ON A DIET" at the George Street Playhouse

Renée Taylor
George Street Playhouse

Renée Taylor is an Academy Award nominated and Emmy Award winning writer and actress who also loves jazz.  Taylor co-wrote and stars in the autobiographical comedy MY LIFE ON A DIET through December 15 at the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

In the one-woman show, Taylor looks back on a life full of memorable roles in Hollywood and on Broadway, and just as many fad diets.

Taylor, known by many of her fans for playing "Silvia Fine" in the hit CBS television sitcom The Nanny, sat down with WBGO's Doug Doyle to talk about her career and her co-writer and late husband Joseph Bologna.  Bologna directed MY LIFE ON A DIET until he passed in 2017.

Renée Taylor remembers going to several of the hot jazz clubs in New York City.

"I was the hat check girl at Birdland just so I could hear the music." 

What does she like about jazz?

"I like the riffs.  I like when bands just go off."

Two of Taylor's jazz favorites she got to meet were singer Mel Torme and trumpeter Miles Davis.

"He (Miles Davis) was just a great musician and he could just express himself, and the love, the constant love was in his music."

Renée Taylor
Credit Doug Doyle for WBGO
Renée Taylor and Doug Doyle in the studios of WBGO

The legendary perfomer agrees what she does on stage is jazz.

"It is jazz because you don't do the same thing twice.  It's never the same show.  Sometimes the same laughs don't come.  I get laughs in places I didn't get them before.  It's always interesting to go out there and see what's going to happen.

Through the years, Taylor has had connections with some of the most iconic celebrities and performers.  She went to acting school with Marilyn Monroe and a little known singer Barbra Streisand was the opening act for her comedy show in New York in the early 1960's. 

"She was pheonomenal even then.  I think she was 17."

Taylor tells a personal story about Streisand in her award-winning show.

Click above to hear the entire interview with Renée Taylor.

Doug Doyle has been News Director at WBGO since 1998 and has taken his department to new heights in coverage and recognition. Doug and his staff have received more than 200 awards from organizations like PRNDI, AP, New York Association of Black Journalists, Garden State Association of Black Journalists and the New Jersey Society of Professional Journalists.