Bookpleasures.com is excited to have as our guest award-winning actress and activist Loretta Swit who is renowned for her starring role on TV's most honored series, Major Margaret "Hot Lips" Houlihan, for which she won two EMMY's and worldwide acclaim.

Loretta received the BETTY WHITE Award from Actors & Others for Animals on Dec 4th, 2016 choose that opportunity to announce the publication of SwitHeart: The Watercolour Artistry & Animal  Activism of Loretta Swit by/with Mies Hora (Ultimate Symbol) on Jan 1st, in conjunction with the 45th anniversary year of M.A.S.H., and the role that brought her international acclaim as Major Margaret "Hot Lips" Houlihan.

Among her numerous recent acknowledgements, she just received the Global Champion Award at Metropolitan Fashion Week (Along with Betty White and Ed Asner). Loretta is scheduled to receive The Compassion in Action Award(GES Africa Conservation Fund), 2 Career Achievement Awards (Film Festivals. Ft Lauderdale/ St. Augustine), Westminster Animal Welfare & Leadership Award, the Red Cross Humanitarian Award, Global Wildlife Conservation Award, and on Nov 12th, 2016 she was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Polish Film Festival.

Proceeds from her book will be donated to charities and programs that are as dedicated, as Ms. Swit is, to ending animal suffering and cruelty.

Norm: Good day Loretta and thanks for participating in our interview.How did you get involved in acting?

Loretta: It was not really any sort of growing interest or involvement... I always wanted to be an actress... since childhood, really.

Norm: Where did you learn acting and why do you enjoy it?

Loretta: A brilliant man, Gene Frankel, was my teacher. He had a theatre studio in New York's Greenwich Village.    Classes, rehearsals, performances in the Rep theatre on weekends. It was a blessed inundation.

Norm: As a follow up, how did you first hear about the part of Major Margaret "Hot Lips" Houlihan on M.A.S.H?

Loretta: My agent called me with an appointment to meet Gene Reynolds and Larry Gelbart. I had been in Hawaii filming the Jack Lord series of Hawaii 5-0.

Norm: Did you have any difficulty relating to the character?

Loretta: Not difficulty as much as a challenge.

Norm Was there any one episode of M.A.S.H that you found difficult to do?

Loretta: The scripts were like manna from heaven to an actor. Our writers were a remarkably talented group.

Norm: What would consider to be your greatest success (or successes) so far in your career as an actress?

Loretta: That's a toughie. I have enjoyed so many marvelous roles over the years, some of them more challenging than others, but all of them in their unique way, have been very fulfilling, Â and I think I learned from each of them, hopefully preparing myself for the next new challenge.

Norm: What's the most difficult thing for you about being an actress?

Loretta: Hmmm... I'm not quite sure what you mean. I love being an actor. Perhaps I can say the 'down time' is difficult because I'm all about performing and sharing with the audience. I'm blessed with a lot of energy, enjoy working non-stop. I love long runs: the opportunity to keep digging into the character, finding new things about them. Working is my holiday.

Norm: How did you become involved with the subject or theme of your book  SwitHeart: The Watercolour Artistry & Animal Activism of Loretta Swit?

Loretta: My publisher, Mies Hora, and I share mutually a dear friend, John Yurtchuk, who was transporting us from the Red Cross Ball where I had been given a humanitarian award. During the flight I was doing some work on my IPad and Mies saw some scans of my watercolours, and announced: "This is a book! You need to do a book! I'd like to turn these into a book...!" It was serendipity.

Norm: When did you begin painting as a water colorist and did you have any formal training?

Loretta: My mother told me I was six years old. She was able to be specific because I had asked her to enter a drawing of mine in a contest, and I won the first prize.   She never forgot that! Soooo proud. No, I've never had any formal training.

Norm: As a follow up, what inspires you to draw and paint?

Loretta: Animals, always, their grace and beauty. Nature and the ability to raise funds for charity with my artwork.

Norm: What were the goals and intentions in your book for you and Mies Hora, and how well do you feel you achieved them?

Loretta: I'm so very proud of the book. Mies' expertise... the glorious treatment of the reproductions. He's a gifted writer as well... I've learned so much working with him. The response to the quality of the ArtBook has been very rewarding. I'm hoping my new SwitHeart Animal Alliance foundation will be able to help animals everywhere.

Norm: What was the most difficult part in creating the book...

Loretta: Coordinating our very busy schedules was the only difficult part. and what did the two of you enjoy most about its creation?  Speaking for myself, I would have to say that we developed into a wonderful creative team that seldom disagreed, always talked things through, looked at situations from every angle, inevitably agreed and did so without compromise. Now THAT is something.

Norm: As a follow up, did you learn anything from creating your book and what was it?

Loretta: I loved the process, the development. We've started talking about a second edition, and that says it all. It was a labour of love.

Norm: Where can our readers find out more about you and the book?

Loretta: My WEBSITE


In addition to my bio and book signing dates, news and events, there is lots of information about the book, sample spreads, how to get a copy, etc. We also offer many ways to donate to my animal causes including posters, signed limited edition prints, and lovely greeting card sets, all based on watercolors from my book.

Norm: What projects are you working on at the present?

Loretta: I'm currently closing in a run of SIX DANCE LESSONS IN SIX WEEKS at the gorgeous Annenburg Theatre in Palm Springs, planning to tour with it. I'm shooting a pilot in May called "SUGAR".  I'm way behind on my commissions for animal portraits, and I'm looking forward to many book parties with my friends and colleagues who work tirelessly in the humane environment.

Norm: As this interview draws to a close what one question would you have liked me to ask you? Please share your answer.

Loretta: "What suggestions would you make to your fans if they wanted to help you in your fight to prevent cruelty and end animal suffering?"

There's so much you can do if you want to help:

1. Volunteer programs, e,g., if you have a few hours... help your local shelter and volunteer to walk some the shelter dogs. Learn about spaying and neutering, and help spread the info.

2. Add your support to every org trying to stamp out the hideous blight of puppy mills. Never, ever BUY a companion animal! ADOPT please. P l e a s e.

3. Donate what you can to help us: My non-profit foundation is called the SWITHEART ANIMAL ALLIANCE. info@SwitHeart.org

4. Buy a book or poster... all proceeds go to help those who cannot speak for themselves.

Norm:  Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions. It's been an absolute pleasure to connect with you good luck with 'SwitHeart: The Watercolour Artistry & Animal Activism of Loretta Swit.'