Behind all the glitz and glamour of Hollywood is a dedicated team of individuals who work to bring the entertainment industry to life – everything from writing scripts to coordinating lighting and casts.
But what happens to those people when they’re the ones who need assistance? How can they find support when they need it most? Who takes care of them as they age, if they fall ill, or when their family is in trouble? It’s an issue that’s close to Catherine Zeta-Jones’ heart. She said as an actress in Hollywood, she knows it’s extremely important to take care of her own. And as part of one of the movie industry’s most notable legacy families, she understands how difficult it can be as one gets older.
“So many elderly people are discarded as not important and irrelevant,” she says. “Many of these talented residents weren’t prepared for retirement and literally had nowhere to go.”
That’s where the Motion Picture and Television Fund – a non-profit organization that offers assistance to those who work in the entertainment industry with everything from aging and education, to unemployment and health care. Zeta-Jones, and her husband Michael Douglas, are actively involved in fundraising for the organization.
In fact, Zeta-Jones’ father-in-law, Kirk Douglas, was one of the founding members of the fund. Since becoming involved, Zeta-Jones and her family advocate for those people who dedicated years of their life to Hollywood and now may need help of their own – which includes helping to fund the organization’s senior living center.
At the center there’s a special area named after Kirk Douglas’ father Harry, where people suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia receive the absolute best care.
“It’s a beautiful place, with huge patios off their bedrooms, walking gardens, a beautiful friendly dog, and a remarkable and loving staff,” she says.
Zeta-Jones is especially passionate about helping people aging out of the entertainment industry get access to housing, health care, and socialization. The charity’s campus is a specialized community where retirees live and play, and get access to various health care services. She loved it so much that the last time she visited, she and a friend scoped out the area for their own future living quarters. Zeta-Jones has her eye on a corner room.
“I love visiting the MPTF campus,” she says. “Not only is it unbelievably beautiful, but the people who live there truly make it home.”