Tag Archives: Christopher Atkins

Cynthia Gibb And The Healing Arts

There was plenty to love about last weekend’s Westport Arts Center gala.

A full house at the Westport Country Playhouse honored Joyce  Thompson, and Cindy and John Vaccaro, for their many contributions to cultural life.  The WAC announced a $1.2 million gift from the Artur and Heida Hermanns Holde Foundation.

There was even time to tango.

But the highlight of the evening may have been Cynthia Gibb‘s passionate speech about the importance of the arts to her life — and to Westport.

Cynthia Gibb, honoring the arts last weekend. (Photo/Kathleen O'Rourke)

The actor/singer/dancer — whose career includes TV (“Search for Tomorrow,” “Fame”), movies, commercial and voice-overs (and who got her start as a model while still at Staples, and dating “Blue Lagoon” star Christopher Atkins) — says that her talk helped her realize how much her youth in Westport impacted who she is today.

“I realize now that the arts were very healing for me,” she said earlier this week.

“They gave me the freedom to explore my life in ways I might not have.  The arts have been joyful, cathartic, painful, and ultimately a gift that’s been so emotionally satisfying.”

In fact, Cynthia — whose parents moved from Vermont to Westport in 1967 specifically for the arts — said, “I don’t know if I’d had done all this if I hadn’t grown up here.  From the beginning of school, and throughout the years, I was exposed to drama, music and dance.  Dorothy Straub, John Hanulik, Al Pia — where would I be without those people?”

She noted that it’s not just artists who benefit from the arts.  Westport history classes, for example, teach that what goes on in society — politically, religiously and economically — is reflected in its art.

Cynthia Gibb

Cynthia spent 30 years in Los Angeles, “surrounded by people who make their living in the arts.”  Even there, though, she did not find the same support for the arts as here.

People still move to Westport for the arts, she said.  Two years ago, she did too.

Her children are enjoying arts education here — and academics, and athletics.

Meanwhile, Cynthia offers singers, actors and public speakers instruction in vocal technique, performance coaching and career management advice.

So there she was onstage at last weekend’s event.  She talked about Westport and the arts, and appreciated the chance to give back to the town.  She’s still doing what she loves, in the town that instilled a passion for it in her.

Though, she said, “I had a tough time doing the tango up there.”

Cindy Gibb Comes Home

In the early 1980s, the most beautiful couple in the world could have been Christopher Atkins and Cindy Gibb.

The “Blue Lagoon” heartthrob dated the Ford model — a Staples student — for 4 years.  They were a paparazzi’s dream.

Cindy Gibb and Christopher Atkins

Cindy Gibb and Christopher Atkins, back in the day.

After shedding his Lagoon loincloth, Christopher Atkins lost his life savings to an embezzling manager, had an alcohol-related breakdown, and is finally back acting in movies and TV shows (including former “Lagoon” co-star Brooke Shields’ short-lived “Suddenly Susan”).

Cindy Gibb led a smoother life.

She spent 2 years on the soap opera “Search for Tomorrow,” then had a lead in the hit series “Fame.”

She starred opposite  Rob Lowe and Patrick Swayze in “Youngblood,” and worked with Oliver Stone, Burt Reynolds, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Robert Guillaume.  She played Karen Carpenter in the biopic of the anorexic singer’s life.

She has worked as an actress, dancer and singer for 30 years.  Her credits include 13 features, 3 network series, 24 TV movies, countless TV pilots, commercials, voiceovers and print work.

Cynthia Gibb

Cynthia Gibb today

Her work demanded she be in California.  This fall, however, her shooting schedule has brought her back East.  Cindy — now known as Cynthia Gibb — has been living in Westport.

She loves it.

Her children are in elementary school here — gaining a far better education, she says.  The weather is spectacular.  And she’s developed a master class, offering singers, actors and public speakers instruction in vocal technique, along with performance coaching and career management advice.

She looks forward to working with aspiring talent in the area.

Her return to her hometown — and the recent death of Patrick Swayze — has caused her to reflect on where she’s been, where she is now, and what lies ahead.

“I am aware of how abunding the blessings have been in my life — not the least of which has been to chase my dreams and makek them realities,” she says.

“My children and my career both fall into this category.  The incredible people, places and experiences that my work and family have afforded me are too many to list.  Suffice it to say that they have colored who I am today, for which I am so grateful.”

(For more information, click on www.cynthiagibb.me).