Biography series features those over 100 years old

LOS ANGELES – The Living Century: The Extraordinary Lives of Ordinary People is looking for people over 100 years old to film for future episodes of the new biography series that is currently premiering on PBS throughout December.

This is believed to be the first time for an open casting call of centenarians to have their stories told on television.

Barbra Streisand and Cis Corman, president of Barwood Films, are executive producing the series with Steven Latham and Christopher Carson, and Emmy and Academy Award winning actor Jack Lemmon is hosting the program.

“We want to find people with the most amazing stories to tell,” said Steven Latham, the series’ creator. “Those over 100 – our relatives, friends and neighbors – have either touched history or made history.

“We need help finding these special people so we can bring their stories to the public.”

There are several ways to submit information about centenarians to The Living Century. People who know those over 100 can:

* Go to www.TheLivingCentury.com and click on “Casting Call” to enter information.

* E-mail the centenarian’s background and contact information to: Awards@TheLivingCentury; fax to 253-423-3683 or mail to The Living Century, P.O. Box 1197, Santa Monica, CA 90406-1197.

Besides the possibility of being selected to be on TV, entrants will have the chance of being honored with numerous recognition awards in 2001.

The Web site will also contain many of the life stories submitted by those who are not selected for the show.

There are 70,000 Americans who are at least 100. By the year 2050, there will be 834,000.

Each 30-minute episode profiles one person who has lived every day of the 20th century.

Their memories, their unique perceptions of the world and the radical changes they witnessed during their lifetime come alive through interviews, family photographs, home movies, archival footage and an original musical score.

“Three Miracles” is the first episode, which features 107-year-old Rose Freedman. She is the last remaining survivor of the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, lives on her own, wears a dress and high heels every day, is an avid basketball fan (Lakers) and recently began studying Spanish (her sixth language).

In “A Teacher and Student for Life,” 100-year-old Ray Crist was one of the main scientists in the development of the atomic bomb. His grandfather fought in the Civil War. He was a friend of Albert Einstein.

He does research at a college every day where his work is focused on protecting the environment.

Viewers can check when these shows are airing on their local PBS station at www.TheLivingCentury.com.

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