Candy Spelling is on a new path in life, one that's taken her into a reality TV series and to Broadway as a producer.
Spelling is one of the celebrities giving away their money on E!'s new "Bank of Hollywood," in which people make the case for requests ranging from touching (a van for children with disabilities) to intriguing (a yogi on a merry mission to spread laughter).
Spelling also is producing a revival of "Promises, Promises" on Broadway, set to open in April.
It's all a far cry from her years as a self-described "trophy wife" _ a term she uses with a wry smile _ to producer Aaron Spelling, her husband of 38 years who died in 2006. His career included "Charlie's Angels," "Beverly Hills, 90210" and other hit TV series.
Candy Spelling says the E! show (9 p.m. EST Monday) is both a way to help people and to say, "Hey, this is who I am."
"I'd always been very shy because my husband was the best storyteller. We didn't need two of them in the house, and I enjoyed just listening to him," she said. "But now I'm by myself, I need to go out and talk to people. I can't just be reclusive."
Spelling seemed anything but reclusive when she was interviewed in a poolside room of her palatial house, an Andy Warhol portrait of her on the wall as a backdrop. She was cordial and polite as she answered questions, including one about daughter Tori (once estranged, the two are back in touch, Spelling said).
And although the Spelling home, dubbed "The Manor," makes a comfortable hideaway, it's one Spelling plans to leave permanently.
The 56,000-square-foot house in the exclusive Holmby Hills neighborhood became the most expensive U.S. home on the market last spring with a $150 million asking price. While she awaits a buyer with very deep pockets, Spelling is looking forward to moving to a smaller place _ a two-story, 16,500-square-foot condo under construction near Beverly Hills.
Spelling, who has a charitable foundation, got involved in "Bank of Hollywood" because Ryan Seacrest asked. The "American Idol" host is executive producer of the E! series.
Seacrest "talked me into it," Spelling said. "But I'm happy I did it. ... It gives us a chance as panelists to make differences in people's lives. And that was like, `Wow.'"
The celebrities, including Melody Thornton of Pussycat Dolls fame, donated their payment for the show to make up the unspecified pool of money, and then threw in some extra, E! said.
Spelling said she's not attempting to compete with Tori, the former "Beverly Hills, 90210" cast member who's established herself as a reality star.
"God, no. And she's an incredible all-around actress. She's always loved comedy and really shines in it, but she's a great dramatic actress," Spelling said of her daughter.
For Candy Spelling, the Broadway musical stands as her unique accomplishment.
"It's not stepping on anyone's toes," Spelling said. "My husband didn't do it, no one's done it in our family, so this is a first. I'm really excited."
E! Entertainment Television is owned by Comcast Entertainment Group.
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