Greta BLACKBURN aka Lorraine


Jenny Beck & Greta Blackburn

NEW - 3/09/2011 - GRETA BLACKBURN's (Lorraine) birthday was yesterday.  Next year marks THE BIG BIRTHDAY!  Greta likes to have a healthy, good time, so I'm expecting her to throw a huge bash next year!  GRETA is the co-author of the new book The Immortality Edge (Dec. 2010). Check it out! From GRETA: "To all who sent me birthday regards, I am humbled by your attention and support. I can't thank ALL of you enough and wish there were enough hours in the day to reply to each and everyone of you with a LONG, heartfelt thanks but hopefully this will suffice ! THANK YOU!!!"

NEW - 8/28/07 - Heard from GRETA BLACKBURN!  "Hey Ilana!  I have a small update: I now have a myspace page--just like Jane, I see! (  It is primitive at this point but I would love to hear from folks!  Please spread the word!   I will add to it soon but for now it is a basic up and running propostion. Please tell people to check back in a few weeks as well as it will be updated with NEWS!  I will be featured on VH-1 within a few weeks on 'The Fabulous Life Of..' series on "What Hollywood's over 40 celebs do to stay sexy and get young men!" (COUGARS!) I will have an airdate soon!  Keep me posted!  Thanks!  Greta B."

NEW - 6/18/07 - Heard from GRETA BLACKBURN! (Lorraine.)  She is working on a sci-fi project and will give us more details when she has them.

NEW - 10/21/03 - GRETA gave ilana the update on her life! "Ilana, Lots of updates but biggest fornow is that I will be hawking a FAB fitness product, an ab exerciser belt that really works!, on QVC soon. I will get you the airdates when I get them.

Traveling all over the country with my fitness segments everywhere from FOX to MSNBC to WGN in Chi. Also will be seen starting Jan 1 on Fox Sports Net hosting the Ms. Fitness USA show. That show runs in January at different times starting New Year's Day at 3PM in most markets. In May the Ms. Fitness World, which I also host, will air. Fun & entertaining contests!

Did a segment for Robin Leachs' Penthouse Las Vegas,' a new Fox late night show which is beginning to air.

Anyone interested in going to Kauai, HI  March 6-13 for a fitness week with me should contact: for more info and prices.

It will be off the chart! Yoga, spiritual power walks, Hell Hill Hikes, as well as normal fab Hawaii stuff like surfing, snorkeling. Lots of informative and educational seminars about what to eat and when to eat and all that jazz as well!

I'm also developing a TV biopic about Margaret Ringenberg, a WASP  (Women's Air Service Pilots) in WWII. Will produce it. very interesting subject matter and she is from my hometown in Indiana!  That's it for now, in a nutshell. Greta"

NEW - 2/16/03 - GRETA BLACKBURN contacted ilana with news!  "I am on Fox Sports Net all month hosting The Ms. Fitness World competitions. Was on all last month for Ms. Fitness USA. Co-starred on first episode of "Dragnet". Working on a reality show I am producing and hosting in Rarotonga that will shoot in April. Please spread the word to all to watch "I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Outta Here" and vote for my good friend Robin Leach. Viewers call in to keep their favorite celebs on the show- which shoots in the Australian Outback and Robin is a terrific guy! So get out the word! Thanks! More later! GB."

Everyone knows who Greta Blackburn from V:TFB is.  She's "Lorraine," the Visitor who helped the Resistance take over during Cmdr. John's "de-facing" scene.  Lorraine, stationed on the Mothership, helped Martin to make sure the Resistance's television feed would stay live on the air.

Back in the day before "V" the novel (by A.C. Crispin) was released, the question was: "Did Lorraine take over for Visitor Barbara?"  After all, we see Barbara helping Donovan out in V;TO, and then poof!  Then in V:TFB this new blonde, Lorraine, is there instead. If you read the book, you'd know that Barbara is the one who dressed up as Donovan and tried to save Julie from Diana's clutches in the conversion chamber.  Barbara was shot and died.

On the subject of dying, that's what I was doing when I was watching an episode of Jane Badler's "The Highwayman."  Our very own Brian Tosko , president of the Jane Badler Society, charmed his way onto the set several times to the point where the powers that be asked him to be an extra in an episode!  Since it was shot in Arizona and I was in NJ, I got to see the aired episode a couple of hours ahead of Brian.  I'm watching the show, and I see Brian!!!  And then... I see Greta Blackburn!  What?!  Yes, Brian was in the same scene as Greta!  Talk about "V" heaven!

And now onto the interview!  Special thanks goes out to Erin for helping me contact Greta. And super duper special thanks to Greta for taking time out of her busy schedule to put up with me!


1. Was it always your goal to move to NYC when you lived in Indiana?  If so, why did you originally choose NYC instead of California?

I took a Theater Arts field trip while in high school to NYC and after that, it was all over but the shouting. I fantasized about living there and before I knew it, I was! I never thought I'd live anywhere else, particularly once I had moved there. I LOVE New York. I moved to California for work reasons and I love it here too, now. I love both places and want to continue to be able to spend time on both coasts.

2. Did you take vocal coaching lessons to get rid of your Indiana accent?

At the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in NY they offered vocal coaching and I worked on the accent there. I had never had a real twang to speak of, my speech was pretty standard, but is needed a little tweaking. It's funny, people always think I'm from NY now because I picked up a little East Coast edge there.

3. Tell us about your childhood passions and dreams and how they are the same or different from your passions and dreams now?

My childhood dreams were always around three things: acting, writing, and sports. I wanted to be an actress, but I always had this fixation with paper and books and taking a blank page and making something happen on it. I also wanted desperately to be involved in physical activity, but had no support in that area. I wasn't encouraged to do anything physical because my focus was so much on the drama and the academic stuff. I would go to the local YMCA, however, and watch the gymnasts and other athletes and my body just ached to be able to move and do like they did. I guess I'm lucky in that what I do now, which is so much and so varied, really reflects those early passions.

4. When you moved to California, did you support yourself with a "real" job until you got on your acting fee?  If so, what type of job(s)?

I was lucky. I had fallen in love with an actor and we lived together so I didn't really have to starve or clean toilets to pay the rent. I was modeling from the first day I arrived in Los Angeles - I had gotten a bathing suit job in Cabo San Lucas and from that day on I just kept doing fashion ads, commercials, and acting stuff.

5. How old were you when you moved to Calif from NYC?

Are we going to talk age now? Can you do complicated math? I was in my LATE twenties when I moved to California, but I was working and playing much younger than that. I co-starred in a little mummy type movie as a college student. The night before we began filming I turned 30. I spent that night having dinner with Bette Davis who reassured me that life, for women, was best between the ages of 30-50. That made me feel pretty Ok about the turning 30 thing.

6. What steps did you take on landing your role as co-host on the NBC pilot "Roadshow?"

They had been auditioning people for weeks. I got a call to go meet the producers on a Friday night at, like 6 or 7 PM. They had a few people in mind for my role, but were not completely decided. I met with them, we talked, and when I left the room, I turned to them and said something like, "I know you're under the gun and have to make a decision this weekend. If you have a brain in your goddamn heads you'll just hire me and get on with it.  They called that weekend to tell me I had gotten the part.

7. Did you ever get an agent or did you do all your marketing yourself?  For either answer, please tell some stories.

I got an agent. Like most actors, I've gone through a slew of representatives. It's funny, I don't have any good agent stories because any I would tell would sound like sour grapes. Now that I'm so involved with producing events and magazines and generating PR for my fitness projects and working in that arena I see what it takes to do a job like agenting and do it well. I would make one hell of an unreal agent. Most of them are fairly clueless.

8. Describe the audition for "V" from beginning to end <grin>.  ie How'd you hear about the part all the way through the audition process (who you met at the audition, etc) through you getting the phone call or note with the good news.

I knew very little about this part. It's funny, my really good jobs have sort of come out of the blue. I was getting ready to go play a game of tennis and my agent called and said there's this sci-fi show casting and they want to see you within the hour. I was feeling kind of pissy and really wanted to play tennis and had to really think about even going to the audition. Finally, I jumped into the shower, didn't even dry my hair, threw on some leather pants and went, half wet, in black leather. They had told me it was playing some sort of heroine type and that I was a sort of butch femme who ended up saving the world so I figured black leather would work. The wet hair? Well, that was my way of saying, "Take me or leave me" I guess.

9. What was your reaction when you first learned you'll be playing a lizard  from outerspace?

I was excited. I had no idea, still, what it really entailed. But, as a character actress as opposed to the frilly little thing I thought that something offbeat was perfect for me.

10. Have you kept in touch with any of the actors or crew members after  V:TFB?

Jane Badler and I were pretty good friends for a long while after. Other than that, I guess would be Marc Singer. He and I used to run into each other at celebrity sports events all the time.

11. Are there any funny stories or bloopers that happened on the set?

Just the red dust. Let's not even talk about the red dust. I have visions of thirty years down the road we all have red flocking on our lungs. Kind of Like Agent Orange but not as toxic.

12. What type of food did they serve for breakfast/lunch/dinner?

Catering was good on that show. Your basic chicken, fish, salad, but nicely done.

13.  Are you married / have kids or want to say hi to anyone through the website?

I am currently single. I don't have any kids but I do have the world's coolest niece. Her Daddy is a famous rock and roll singer and you can imagine between my sister, who is about 6 Ft. tall, as am I, and blonde, as am I, and her Daddy's great genetics, that Layla is a pretty spectacular kid. Total jock. Maybe Olympic caliber swimmer, we'll see. A bit too soon to tell since she's just nine. So my sis and Layla are a big hobby. And my Mom, who lives near my sister in Northern California is a favorite project. My Mom has decided, at this stage in her life, to become a celebrity impersonator. She just did her first gig as Elvis and Cher is next. I have a Wheaton terrier I rescued from the pound- Lucky. Very cool dog. Looks like Benji but thinks she's one of The Omen Rottweilers. Protective as all get-out. It's funny, as a kid I never fantasized that I would be a Mommy like a lot of other kids. Plus, my relationships with men have always been with men who were smart enough to see how single-minded and focused I can be and they all, to a person, feared that if kids were added into the picture they (the men) would lose out to the kids. I experienced a little bit of that pressure from a man who wanted me barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen, but I got the heck outta that as quickly as I could. I may adopt some day, since that has always factored into the picture. We'll see!

14. What are your hobbies?

I've started a band called Bitch Kitty and I love that. I'm also learning to drum. So I sing in Bitch Kitty and maybe some day I'll do the drumming, too! I'm a tri-athlete. Love sports. Anything to do with biking, running, skiing, and, most of all, YOGA! I just invented a new style of yoga called Funk and Flow and we'll see how that goes.

15. What types of movies and music are you into?

Love little arty movies that take place in the kitchen of a little house in the French countryside and there are only three actors and no special effects. Just saw My Big Fat Greek Wedding and loved it. (Let's not go into John Corbett and his sex appeal! I had never seen him before and about died when he showed up onscreen.) My favorite music is Rhythm and Blues. Favorite artists include Hall & Oates (now THAT is the perfect man, Daryl Hall), Average White Band, like that. But I love most music, although I'm not big on reggae. Love old school rockers like Bob Seger, the world's most amazing singer Paul Rogers (sometimes member of Bad Company), Steve Perry - also an amazing voice but what the heck happened to him? Of the new crop of artists I like Shakira, Creed, Black Crowes, like that. Stevie Nicks' latest CD ranks right up there with all-time faves like Boz Scaggs of Silk Degrees and Seger's Live Bullet. The Paul Rogers video Merchants of Cool is a must-have for any music fan. There is no one out there today who can just stand onstage with a mike and a voice and blow the whole audience away. Music is so important to us. It's evocative therapy. It takes us back to times when we were really happy- even if they were just a week ago. Nothing else can transport and elevate like that in so short a time. It's window, for me, to total disinhibition. When the music is right, I can go completely ego-less and mindless and just let the music speak through me, whether I'm dancing or signing. I am never less inhibited or care less about how cool I look or whatever than when I am dancing or singing. It transports me out of my considerations.

16.  Do you have time to read books?  If so, who is your preferred author?

Not as much time as I'd like. I grew up reading books. While other kids were playing and socializing I was holed up reading in my room. I adore Pat Conroy (Prince of Tides) and look forward to his new book this fall. Love a good Koontz scary book. Love good non-fiction. Have a strange affinity for Korean War history books. Maybe that's because I lived in Korea for eight months filming a movie (in the late 80?Ts) and the subject of the film was the Korean War and I did a lot of research for that role.  (I played a nun!). The Korean War is a very interesting subject. I guess I related, on a small level, to the plight of the who were sent over there dressed in their standard summer infantry uniforms only to discover the force of the cold Siberian winter winds that blew down upon them. We lost thousand of men to the climate simply because they weren't dressed properly! I went over there in January, after having been told that the weather was like that of Southern California, dressed in light sweaters and leggings. To my surprise, it was 10 below zero many nights! Bigger problem was finding clothes that fit a lanky American in Korea. I had to go into Seoul where they make custom clothes for the tourists and special order coats and clothing to even fit me.

17. (question from a "V" Fan): What was it like doing a nude scene in 48 Hours?

Gross! Well, at first. Once I got to actually shooting the scene I forgot about the fact that I was naked. Luckily, they agreed to having a pretty closed set- which meant minimal crew members around. But still, you're buck naked, standing there with everything hanging out and trying to act like you don't care. James Remar, who was in the scene with me, was very cool. The fact that he's a babe didn't help, though. He's gorgeous and has a fantastic body himself and I think it would have been easier, maybe, with some old, creepy character actor. Who knows? Being naked on the set is still being naked on the set, no matter how you swing it, no pun intended.

18. Please talk about anything else you want to talk about here.

've been so focused on the normal things that I'm getting a little bit of, let's call it cabin fever, to do a movie project. I have an idea I've been developing for a couple of years now for a genre of films that I'd like to produce and star in. Just fun, entertaining, funny fluff- with pretty people starring- that you can go mindless to. Working off and on to make that happen. Would love to be madly in love. That's always fun. I've just gotten so particular because I have such a cool life and don't really need anyone and I have a hard time imagining what the guy would look like who could just sweep me off my feet. And by look like I don't just mean physically. I like physical attractiveness, of course, but I want such a total package. Put it this way, I imagine my perfect guy as successful, sophisticated (or else exceptionally sweet and wonderful- or both!), athletic, sexy, smart as hell, funny, secure, evolved, and blah blah blah. That's a pretty rare package, I think. Who knows? Anyway, I have terrific friends and great guys I date so there's no big rush.

19. What are you doing with your life now?

My brother passed away last May and that was a defining moment in my life. Life shifted the day my brother died. I'm focused on trying to be more loving to those who matter to me most. I'm trying not to let petty little crap take up my time or my day. I'm figuring out what I want to be when I grow up- now.

20. Do you prefer your workout schedule over acting or is it like comparing apples to oranges?

It's apples and oranges. When you're in an acting gig with a great director and a great role and a great cast and a fantastic script, there's nothing better. When you're working in a crappy production with a bad script, bad dialog, bad casting, and a bad director,.well, I'd rather be at a yoga retreat than working on that project!

21. What is it like being the editor of a major fitness magazine?  How do you find the time for everything?

I wish I knew the answer to the time question because, truth be told, I don't know how I do it. It's a lot of work and deadlines but in the end it's also very creative. And, contrary to the acting business, I get to be the boss. I've had to get really diligent about cutting out extraneous phone calls, emails, and activities that aren't productive or restorative.

22. What's your typical day like?  Don't need to hear the details about starting off brushing your teeth.

Typical day: Spinning class in the early morning. Or a run. Maybe, if I have the time, a quick gym trip for a weight workout. I have a great home gym, too but it's nice to get out of the office sometimes since I spend so much time there. Then I'm on the phones or at the computer for a few hours. Fielding story ideas, working on my own fitness projects. I have an assistant and we might take a midday break to see what's up and what needs to happen for the rest of the day.

Some personal calls to Mom, Sis, like that. Maybe talk to a cute guy if I'm dating. Gotta make time for the personal life! Then back at it until late. I might grab a yoga class in the evening or rehearse the music. Depends. Dinner date nice if I really like the person, otherwise why bother? I do a lot of traveling, too. So I spend a lot of time in planes and on the road and in fabulous places doing stories for the magazine or looking for locations for fitness events. I'm blessed in that another of my childhood fantasies- seeing the world and jet-setting around- has also come true. So a typical day might be waking up in paradise, having a jog on the beach, getting a massage at some incredible spa and then lunch on the beach and - you get the picture. But I work my butt off and when I get the perks, I've really earned them. I've also been doing a lot of TV appearances on the fitness front so I might spend a day taping a segment for some afternoon talk show or something.

Thanks for taking out the time for us, Greta!  Feel free to add more if you ever want to!  Note to V Fans: I didn't plan on 22 questions -- it just turned out that way! How's *that* for our favorite number?!