By Barbara Ann Zippi
I started in business as ARTEMIS Productions, Public Relations and Special Events in 1981 and joined my first professional association in the industry, PPRA Philadelphia Public Relations Association. I was excited to receive my first published membership directory and expected to be published in alphabetical order by business name, seeing my listing in the “A” as opposed to the “Z” part of the directory. Surprise, surprise, they publish by your member name and I started my over 35 years in this business still at the end of the alphabet.
I know PPRA member Nina Zucker can understand this perfectly. She’s REALLY the end of the alphabet.
Getting involved with PPRA was the best thing I did in those initial years serving on the Board of Directors to Treasurer and getting to ‘do my time’ under the leadership of the ‘retiring’ grande dames, Sylvia Kauders and another dynamo of PR Sally Berlin. Perfect ladies to follow as examples. Both staying active and involved throughout their entire lives, regardless of the career, What better way to stay young ! I learned the ropes from the best.
Thanks to new PPRA member and Ciao Bella Living Italian Style Associate Producer, Sandee Bengel, her efforts in transporting Sylvia to the studio gave her special quiet time with her and allowed me the opportunity in the Radnor Studios to interview Sylvia, a Jewish American who has played the role of “Italian Ladies” in her acting career. A perfect subject for our show.
RIP Sylvia, I was proud to host you on the set of Ciao Bella Living Italian Style !
From working for Mayor Frank Rizzo to playing Mrs. Conte in the HBO series “The Sopranos”, Sylvia Wolinsky Kauders born on December 1, 1921 in South Philadelphia, the daughter of Russian immigrants was raised in Upper Darby and reached audiences worldwide.
After retiring from a successful, 28 year career in Public Relations and Special Events under Five Philadelphia Mayors, ending with Rizzo, she took on acting as a full time career stating, “The age range I give on my résumé is ’65 to death.’
On playing Mrs. Conte, who shocked Tony Soprano by unleashing a vile outburst at noisy neighbors. “I got a kick out of it, everybody being so shocked that this sweet little old lady could say those words”. Sylvia stated “I was never a beauty, but what I was was talented and smart,” someone has to play the small roles, and I love the work.“
Movies roles include: “Witness” (1985); “Crimes and Misdemeanors” (1989); “Manhattan Murder Mystery” (1993); “Predator 2” (1990); “City Hall” (1990); “My Life” (1993); “The Big Wedding” (1993); “Analyze That” (2002); “Mr. Deeds” (2002); “American Splendor” (2003); “The Wrestler” (2008); “Man on a Ledge” (2012); “Peeples” (2013); “Inside Llewyn Davis” (2013).