Queen Named to Replace McCullough
surprises" are expected from actress Rebeca Arthur as 1989 Azalea
Queen, officials of the N.C. Azalea Festival said Friday.
Ms. Arthur --
who plays the dizzy stewardess Mary Anne on ABC's comedy Perfect
Strangers -- will replace Julie McCullough as Queen Azalea
XLII, festival President Bill Cameron said.
talked with Rebeca, she's very excited to be coming, and we're
very glad to have her," Cameron said Friday in a press
conference at the Azalea Festival office in Long Leaf Mall.
who also performed on Guiding Light and Search for
Tomorrow, had been among the women originally considered for
the crown, Cameron said. That was one reason she could be
chosen so quickly, he added.
officials formally dropped Ms. McCullough as Queen Tuesday,
after public outcry over her past as a Playboy
Asked if Ms.
Arthur had any similar "surprises" in her background,
Cameron grinned and said, "No surprises. I hope
reporters he had briefed the actress on the incident.
"She's a professional," he said, "and won't have
to be worried about what's history."
native, Ms. Arthur studied dance and theater as the University
to her soap opera roles, she has appeared on episodes of Remington
Steele and Newhart, on a Rodney Dangerfield
television special and in the movie About Last Night.
the cast of Perfect Strangers in 1986 as one of the two
next-door neighbors of Larry (played by Mark Linn-Baker.)
Her character, Mary Anne, also dates Larry's off-beat,
foreign-born cousin Balki (Bronson Pinchot.)
Ms. Arthur is a friend of last year's Azalea Queen, Kim Morgan
Greene, and that she had been encouraged by Ms. Greene's
descriptions of the festival.
As queen, Ms.
Arthur will be crowned at the April 15 Coronation Pageant,
featuring Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. She will
also appear at festival events, including the April 14 Azalea
Variety Show at Legion Stadium and the April 15 Azalea Parade.
arrival, aboard the paddle-wheeler Henrietta II, is
scheduled for 10:15 a.m. April 13 in Riverfront Park.