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Linda Altman (left), women’s
division president, and Broadway
producer Fran Weissler, who
received a Spirit of Achievement
Award from Albert Einstein College
of Medicine.

The Day Tony Quinn
Learned Who’s Boss

By Tim Boxer

RAN WEISSLER, who earned Tony Awards for five of her Broadway productions (among them Fiddler on the Roof), told how she had to prove herself a professional woman to the most macho man on Broadway.

She related her story as one of six honorees at an Albert Einstein College of Medicine women’s luncheon chaired by Helene Kaye Kaplan at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York

In 1983 she and her husband/.partner Barry produced Zorba. Every night she would give Anthony Quinn notes about his performance. Every night he politely responded, "Thank you, I’ll discuss it with Barry."

Fran felt insulted but understood where Quinn was coming from. "He wasn’t just a superficial chauvinist," she said. "Back in Mexico his mother would walk three feet behind her husband. Men believed women belonged in the kitchen."

Bambi Felberbaum, women’s division
president-designate, Dr. Allen M. Spiegel,
college dean-designate, and women’s
division president Linda Altman

Fran Weissler, Helene Kaye Kaplan,
"Spirit of Achievement" honoree
Elizabeth F. Stribling, and board member
Adrianne Silver

One day Fran told Quinn that she and Barry would meet him for lunch at the Russian Tea Room to discuss her notes. He said great. That was the first time he answered without saying he’d check with Barry.

At the restaurant Quinn found Fran sitting alone. "Where’s Barry?" he asked. "He couldn’t make it," Fran said.

He turned to leave. "Tony, please sit down," Fran pleaded. "I know you’re a gentleman."

After lunch Quinn reached for the check.

"Why are you taking the check?" Fran asked.

"Because I’m the man."

"You may be the man but I’m your boss."

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