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Talk Softly: A Memoirby Cynthia O'Neal
Synopses & Reviews
Actress and model Cynthia O'Neal was living her dream life--married to the famous stage and screen actor Patrick O'Neal, the mother of two young sons, resident of The Dakota downstairs from John Lennon, owner of the successful Ginger Man restaurant, and friend to many brilliant musicians and performers. When the AIDS epidemic hit the arts community hard, her life changed course suddenly, surprisingly, and completely. Cynthia did not hesitate to throw herself into the fray. With the support of longtime friend Mike Nichols, she founded Friends in Deed and soon found herself spending her days in hospitals, cramped rooms, and dirty apartments: anywhere a patient needed a hug, a hand held, or confidence boosted. And when Patrick became ill and passed away in 1994, Cynthia had to work through her own grief instead of someone else's, and she found her life transformed again.
Talk Softly is the story of a life well-lived--with passion and compassion, in celebration of the joy of each moment, endlessly surprising.
Born in Los Angeles, Cynthia O'Neal modeled and appeared in films, including Carnal Knowledge and Primary Colors. In 1991, she founded Friends in Deed--The Crisis Center for Life-Threatening Illness--to provide emotional and spiritual support for anyone diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, cancer, and other life-threatening physical illnesses, where all services are free of charge. Friends in Deed also runs an HIV prevention program for teens in New York City public schools, having reached over one hundred thousand at-risk students since the program began. O'Neal currently lives in New York City.
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