TV pioneer Steve Allen (1921-2000), shown at right seated at his piano, invited Cheryl Rhoads and her partner Doug Wood to his home for lunch on Aug. 12, 1985 and Cheryl and Steve later became friends while serving together on the advisory board of The Parents' Television Council.
Cheryl Felicia Rhoads got her start in Hollywood as an acting coach on the network TV series Star Search with host Ed McMahon in 1986. Cheryl was the coach for winner of the Star Search $100,000 prize, Cyndi James Gossett, below.
In more recent years, Cheryl's students have booked acting roles on CSI: Cold Case, Without a Trace, The Practice, The Amanda Bynes Show, and Malcom in the Middle.
Cheryl recently was the associate producer for a new independent film, The Game. As an actress she scored a comedy "knock out punch" in the 2004 sit com Rodney. She guest starred on the Annie Potts series for the Lifetime Channel called Any Day Now.
She also made appearances on Saved by the Bell and Married with Children. Cheryl was a series regular along with actor Ben Affleck on Against the Grain on NBC. Her very popular and endearing performances as Mother Goose in the Mother Goose Video/DVD Treasury won for Cheryl a legion of fans who grew up with her tapes. Cheryl is a member of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and other entertainment unions.
Cheryl has written inside commentaries for network TV series. She produced and directed the acclaimed comedy revue at The Groundlings Theatre in LA with the title Accompanied by Adults featuring complimentary performances by both adults and children. The unusual format was praised by The Los Angeles Times.
As a segment producer for ABC-TV's America's Funniest People,Cheryl searched for and supervised the selection of new comedic talent from all over the U.S. She was on the staff of two other acting schools before forming her own school in 2008. While she was located in Los Angeles, The New Times Los Angeles Magazine praised Cheryl's comedy classes for kids and teens as the "BEST in Los Angeles."
Shortly after Cheryl moved to LA from Chicago in 1985, TV host Merv Griffin (1925-2007), pictured at left, invited Cheryl and her comedy partner in The Fine Line comedy duo, Doug Wood, to make their network TV debut on The Merv Griffin Show.
To the delight of Cheryl and Doug, Merv Griffin invited them back a week later to perform again and this second time film-legend Orson Welles (1915-1985) was also a guest on the show and Welles watched them perform their skits. Welles is pictured at left as he looked in 1985 and he is also pictured above at right as he looked when he made "Citizen Kane" in 1941. At the end of Cheryl and Doug's performance, Orson Welles can be seen on tape paying them a great compliment when he stood up to applaud and turned in their direction and said "fantastic." This was a thrill for two young actors brand new to Hollywood. Every actor always appreciates praise from a role model, teacher, or peer and Cheryl Rhoads always tries hard to encourage her students and find something to praise in their work. Advice, as long as it is constructive, is a lways a useful tool in building the self esteem and confidence of students when the praise is sincere. Too many teachers in some disciplines unfortunately tear down the work of new students and are overly critical perhaps in the mistaken belief that they need to impress students with their own talent or credentials . But Cheryl always gratefully recalls the kindness that Merv Griffin, Orson Welles, Steve Allen, and McLean Stevenson showed to her and her partner when they first arived In LA. Cheryl believes in building up her students both as actors and as people.
One TV star who saw the comedy team perform and took an early interest in helping Cheryl Rhoads and Doug Wood to find their first professional representation through his contacts at the William Morris Agency was McLean Stevenson (1927-1996). McLean is shown at right in his role at Lt. Col.Henry Blake on Larry Gelbart's popular CBS series M*A*S*H. McLean's sister, actress Ann Whitney, recommended that he try to help the young actors and he bacame a mentor and friend. McLean was nominated for an Emmy Award for writing one of the M*A*S*H episodes but he left the show during the 1974-1975 season. Mentors are very important to young actors as they are to young people in any profession. Cheryl felt blessed to be able to meet many mentors who helped her when she started in LA including McLean, Daws Butler, Steve Allen, and many others.
The great animated film voice actor June Foray, pictured at right, was another kind mentor to Cheryl duing her years in LA. June created the voices of many famous cartoon characters. CLICK HERE to see a clip featuring June's most famous TV cartoon character from ABC-TV in the 1960s, Rocky The Flying Squirrel.
Also in 1985, Cheryl Rhoads and her partner were signed both as actors and as comedy show writers for the NBC summer replacement show, The Motown Revue, which was hosted by Smokey Robinson, pictured at left.
In the fall season of 1993, Cheryl Felicia Rhoads, pictured at right, played the part of "Winona Bruhns" as a series regular in the esemble cast of a NBC-TV show about life in a football-crazy Texas town called "Against the Grain" Other cast members included Donna Bullock, Denise Richards, Ben Affleck, John Terry, Stephen Tobolowsky, Robyn Lively, Vanessa Lee Evigan, Michael Cudlitz, Janine Jackson, and Wayne Knight.