Gloria Gifford shines her spotlight on talented actors from all backgrounds, choosing plays reflecting the human condition.
Some people come to Hollywood to become a star. Once Gloria Gifford got her resume going, she chose to concentrate on sharing her gifts with others through her work in acting, producing, directing, and operating a theater company and conservatory bearing her name (The Gloria Gifford Conservatory for Performing Arts). Take her latest production, "Love Allways," for example. The pastiche of short pieces, penned by Renee Taylor and Joe Bologna, reflects relationships amid the shifting morals and values of America.
Gloria’s live theater and film directing credits (among nearly 100!) include "Summer and Smoke," "On Golden Pond," "Wait Until Dark," "Our Lady of 121stStreet.” She has cultivated a stable of fresh, young talent attending Glendale Community College, with productions that include Sam Shepard's "Fool for Love," and Shakespeare classics "The Comedy of Errors" and "Much Ado About Nothing. She is also partially responsible for the writing of "Down on Your Knees and Up to the Moon" in 2016. Talent she's discovered and refined includes such recognizable actors as Efren Ramirez (Napoleon Dynamite)" Carlos Bernard (24), Max Greenfield (The New Girl), Jenna Elfman and Bianca Lawson.
On the big screen, Gloria appeared in such 80s classics as 48 Hours, This Is Spinal Tap (the scene where she was “airport security” and found the cucumber), DC Cab, Vice Versa, Going Berserk, Big Trouble (director John Cassavetes’ last film), Halloween II and Death of a Centerfold (with Jamie Lee Curtis). She made Hollywood history in local theater producing the first play George Clooney acted in "The Biz," directed by Miguel Ferrer. Members of Generations X & Y got to know her on television as a series regular on the groundbreaking drama Life Goes On, as well as The Nanny, Tracy Takes On, and Hanging With Mr. Cooper.
Gloria's passions, besides books and music, remain acting, teaching and directing. She started teaching acting to children in the mid-1980s. In the mid-1990s, she had a long run at the Beverly Hills playhouse teaching adults, under the mentorship and support of Milton Katselas. During that decade, she had a long run at the Beverly Hills Playhouse. She worked as a teacher there during the 1990s, under the mentorship and support of Milton Katselas. As she gained a reputation as one of the playhouse’s top teachers, she was brought into the American Film Institute (AFI) through Rick Rosenthal, the director of Halloween II. She taught a Masters course for directors on how to work with actors for six years
Her conservatory is a labor of love on many levels. “Since we’re doing all these productions, and our company continues to grow, we spend way too much time together when a play is in production, sometimes up to seven days a week,” Gloria remarks on the family dynamic of her company. “The theater becomes our home. Serious actors, like medical students, have to commit with intensity, as it is often not enough to do two or three classes a week. I encourage my students to work on their body, speech, art, watch old movies, read, go to museums, and do plays. I also have friends, including Juliette Lewis, Donna Pescow, Mark Hamill, and Joe Mantegna talk to the students about acting, Garry Marshall also had been a frequent guest at The GGC, and hired our students.”