*When beauty, talent and intelligence meet, with a comedic edge, you have an unstoppable combination. Kathleen Bradley has all of those elements.
The former “The Price Is Right” beauty validates those elements in her tell-all book, “Backstage at The Price Is Right: Memoirs Of A Barker Beauty.”
You’ve seen Kathleen on television, on stage and in movies. She was the first African American model on television game show “The Price Is Right.” She also traveled to over 85 countries as a member of the Motown group “The Love Machine.” But many of you may know Kathleen as the sexy neighbor, Mrs. Parker in the comedy smash “Friday.”
“Men wanted me and women wanted to be like me,” laughed Kathleen. “We shot the movie in 30 days, but I was only on the set for three days to shoot my few scenes. It was fun, I met a lot of great people while working on the set, like Bernie Mac, Anne Marie Horsford, Regina King, “Tiny” Lister, Paula Jae Parkerand of course Chris Tucker and executive producer/actor/rapper Ice Cube. ‘Friday’ proved to be a great springboard for many of the young inspiring actors from when we filmed that movie over 19 years ago,most of my co-stars went on to greater fame in the film industry.”
Kathleen still has associations with several of the actors from the comedy hit.
“A lot of those people became my close friends, many of whom I still stay in touch with,” she said. “Even my little husband (in ‘Friday’) Tony Cox, he and I still stay in contact and play bid whist togetherwhenever we get a chance. It was a wonderful experience being a vital part of this black cult comedy film. ”
In her book “Backstage at The Price Is Right: Memoirs of A Barker Beauty,” Kathleen gives readers a behind the scenes look at the turbulent relationship with Bob Barker and with the models on the show.
“I love writing, I’ve always loved to write,” said Kathleen, when asked why she decided to do a tell-all book. “After the show was over, and I was let go, of course I was a little perturbed, a little pissed off as to how it went down, being fired unjustifiably.”
Bradley was motivated to do the tell-all book after being inspired by a celebrity author.
“Oddly enough, I was out at the airport in Ohio, coming back from visiting with my mother, who was ill and I saw the book, ‘Video Vixens,’ by Karrine Steffans,” she said.
Inspired by the book by Steffans, which was a New York Times bestseller, Bradley knew her experience in the entertainment industry, performing with the popular group The Love Machine, being the first African American beauty on the iconic show, “The Price Is Right,” and playing the sensuous role as Ms. Parker in the comedy hit “Friday,” would strike a chord with readers.
“I said, if she can do it, I know I can do it,” she reflected. “As a matter of fact, I give Karrine Steffans kudos in the acknowledgements in my book for inspiring me to write this book.”
“Backstage at The Price Is Right: Memoirs Of A Barker Beauty” gives readers true insight as to many of the goings on backstage in the entertainment industry, particularly in the highly competitive arena of television.
“I tried to tread lightly in saying things, and talking about people in the book, which is not my nature, but I told the truth as I knew themand saw them and experienced for ten years,” she said about being on the CBS game show. “It was a roller coaster.”
The book clarifies what was being reported in the media about “The Price Is Right” scandal, including Bradley’s relationships with the veteran models on the show, the affairs and behavior of host Bob Barker and the various lawsuits and mood on the set of the popular American game show.
Her association and friendship with long time “Price Is Right” model Dian Parkinson is mentioned, primarily because of Parkinson’s lawsuit against “The Price of Right” after being let go from the show. Parkinson’s termination from the show was a precursor of a changing dynamic on the set of the show, with allegations of sexual harassment, racial discrimination and other violations that were widely reported in the media. “She was a good friend, but she talked a lot and had her own agenda,” said Kathleenabout Parkinson. Parkinson allegedly had several romantic associations with big stars, mentioned in the tell-all book.
“Now I can expose the truth, she (Dian) said ‘girl, don’t you sayanything to anybody,well I didn’t, then,” she laughed. “But heck, that’s been almost 15 years ago.Whatever I’ve said in my book holds merit and is true. Like I stated in my interview on the EXTRA TV show, this is about me telling my story about my ten years on the show and I’m sticking to it.”
In a chapter in her book, “Fan Letters, Prisoners of Love,” Bradley-Redd prints a number of letters from her fans, including letters from men that were incarcerated.
“Those guys actually loved ‘The Price Is Right,’” she said, while singing a version of James Brown’s “Prisoner of Love.” “Back in that time, it was 1990-2000 and me being the first African American model on the show and woman of color, even Hispanics and anybody with a shade of brown could relate to, the prisoners loved it. They would send tons of fan letters into the show. All of our fan mail was screened by the production staff and some of them we never received because they were way too harsh and vulgar. I mean really crazy, racy and provocative, and some of them that we did read, were kind of out there, some of them were pleasant, cool and supportive, but most weren’t.”
But the most inspiring letters she received were those from young ladies, those that tried to emulate her and her success on the television show.
“I was happy to do a lot of guest speaking during that time for young inspiring women in pageants, in hosting and emceeing and definitely letting these young ladies know to always hold their heads up high in self-esteem and value and to make sure they don’t let these young men control their lives, especially with high school students,” said Kathleen, who hopes to mentor more young ladies in the future. Kathleen, who self-published her book, is also an advocate of self-publishing. She believes that self-publishing has a high degree of merit. “Everybody has a story, just tell it,” she said. “Start writing it down. Just start and things will begin to manifest and before you realize it you will have your story told.”
Her relationship with her family is the most important thing in her life and she details the ups and downs of her family life, including the loss of close brother Scotty.
“It was just too sudden and I wasn’t ready for that,” she reflected. “That was very difficult and hard on me.”
One of her biggest inspirations and supporters throughout the process of writing the book was her husband Terrence Redd.
“He has always been supportive in all my ventures and projects; my darling sweet husband has put up with me for over twenty-five years. He is deserving of a platinum medal,” she laughed. “He has actually done a lot of the artwork both interior and the exterior (cover) for the book. He was very challenged with the layout of the interior photos, becausewe both wanted something exceptional and not the typical photo layout you see in most books. There are actually over 60 photos displayed throughout the book in two sections with a unique layout on each page.He’s 100% behind me.”
Would you like to know more about Kathleen Bradley? Visit www.kathleenbradley.tv. Her book, “Backstage At The Price Is Right: Memoirs Of A Barker Beauty” is available through The R Group Publishing on the site. It also will be available on Amazon.com and other retail and online bookstores. Kathleen Bradley will soon be embarking on a book tour, be sure to visit her website for details.
“The book is made for pure entertainment and truth as I saw it,” said Kathleen, who is still gorgeous. “I wanted to write the book and tell my story.”