The Starz crime caper series “Power,” created by Courtney A. Kemp, spent the entirety of its six-year run regularly in the top tier of cable audience rankings.
The trials of James “Ghost” St. Patrick (Omari Hardwick), his New York City drug business associates and adversaries, and his family were able to generate the same level of attention and breathless expectation among a large fanbase between 2014 and 2019.
Along with the consistently engrossing writing by Kemp and crew, “Power” also benefited greatly from a strong ensemble cast.
From Naturi Naughton’s steely and subtle portrayal as Tasha St. Patrick to Joseph Sikora’s scene-stealing intensity as Tommy Egan to the rich core performance by Hardwick himself anchoring it all, the actors on the show constantly made sure that the stakes of the action seemed real.
It should come as no surprise that when Starz decided to create new “Power” spin-offs or “books” as a result of the series’ popularity, they chose to focus on particular, formerly supporting cast members each.
“Book II” centered on Tariq (Michael Rainey Jr.), “Book III” examined Kanan Stark’s (Mekai Curtis) formative years, and “Book IV” followed Tommy. The seasoned performer who portrayed Tommy’s mother Kate in the first season of “Power” made a formal return for the latter series. You may have seen her before on some of the projects listed here.
Patricia Kalember Cut Her Teeth on Soap Operas and Tv Movies
Patricia Kalember plays Kate Egan in the film. Kalember, who was born in 1956 in Schenectady, New York, briefly considered pursuing a career in law before deciding to enroll in Indiana University’s theatre school (via Someday Productions).
Her career as a soap opera actor began in the 1980s, first with a two-year recurring role as Meredith on NBC’s “Texas,” and later as regular Merrill Vochek on ABC’s “Loving.” She was subsequently chosen for the lead part in the 1986 CBS medical drama “Kay O’Brien” (seen above), in which she played the title character, a harried second-year surgical resident at a fictional New York City hospital.
Despite the failure of the program, which had just eight episodes, Kalember was able to capitalize on it by landing a role as Joanna Farrell on the ABC workplace comedy “Just in Time,” which is set in a California magazine office. Six episodes were produced.
In addition to her early appearances on daytime and evening television, Patricia Kalember also enjoyed a long career as a mainstay of made-for-TV movies between the 1980s and 1990s. In the 1988 ABC movie “Little Girl Lost,” she portrayed Andrea Newman.
She also played Linda, the sister of protagonist Shari in NBC’s “Shattered Trust: The Shari Karney Story,” as well as Alexandra, one of Arthur Patterson’s (Donald Moffat) three unaware biological daughters, in “Kaleidoscope” and “Kaleidoscope.”
Her First Big Mainstream Break Came with Thirtysomething
A pivotal time in American television history occurred in the late 1980s. Overall, you could say that it was a time when stories in popular culture started to seriously address the cultural shifts that had occurred in the nation over the previous two decades.
And one program that was particularly representative of this change was ABC’s “Thirtysomething,” which tracked in real time the emotional maturation and process of disenchantment that the baby boomer generation went through as it entered adulthood.
The hour-long drama from Edward Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz was hailed by critics at the time as one of the pioneering examples of artistically inclined TV (via Museum of Broadcast Communications).
It portrayed the daily lives of a group of friends in their thirties in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Gary Shepherd (Peter Horton), a college lecturer and serial womanizer who has commitment issues and a lack of direction in adulthood, was one of the characters that most vividly expressed the underlying sense of melancholy and disaffection at the heart of the series.
Gary’s connection with Susannah Hart, a quiet social worker who becomes his girlfriend and the mother of his kid, finally changes Gary’s character.
Patricia Kalember’s major mainstream breakout role was Susannah, who appeared in a total of 15 episodes between Seasons 2 and 4. Susannah solidified her place in the late 20th-century American imagination by embodying the new difficulties of post-gender revolution married life alongside Gary.
She Joined the Ranks of TV Icons as One of NBC’s Sisters
After her “Thirtysomething” debut, Patricia Kalember continued to work steadily, making appearances in, among others, the movies “Jacob’s Ladder” and “Big Girls Don’t Cry… They Get Even.”
She also landed what would become her most infamous part at that time, propelling her into the ranks of true American TV icons: On NBC’s “Sisters,” Georgiana “Georgie” Reed Whitsig.
“Sisters,” which was created by Ron Cowen and Daniel Lipman, is one of the most well-known family drama programs of all time. It ran for a total of 128 episodes over six seasons, continuously garnering strong ratings and receiving significant award recognition.
The series centers on the lives of four sisters who reside in the Illinois community of Winnetka and deal with the difficulties of modern womanhood and interpersonal conflicts. Mind you, when “Sisters” first aired in 1991, this was largely new terrain for primetime TV dramas.
The formidable quartet of Kalember, Swoosie Kurtz, Sela Ward, and Julianne Phillips filled the roles of the sisters, Georgie, Alex, Teddy, and Frankie, in that order. Although Kalember’s Georgie was an anchor for the Reed family and for the entire show, Alex and Teddy were the two more prominent characters.
She was the loving, almost mother-like figure to whom the other sisters tended to turn in times of overwhelming uncertainty because she was mature, levelheaded, dependable, and content with her life as a homemaker and occasional realtor.
She played the late Colleen Hess in Signs
Depending on who you ask, “Signs,” a seminal work of pop cinema from the 2000s, is remembered very differently. Others mock it as a corny, badly aged schlock fest, while some see it as a genre gem.
20 years later, “Signs” still holds a lot of interest because of what it reveals about the sensibilities and obsessions of its controversial and fascinating director; more specifically, because of how it exemplifies his tendency to consistently believe in his stories, wear his heart on his sleeve, and insist on the exploration of lofty themes.
For instance, although being billed as an alien invasion thriller, “Signs” is actually a very human drama about sorrow, faith, and parental duty that uses genre conventions to further its central themes. In that regard, Colleen, the late wife of Father Graham Hess (Mel Gibson) and mother to Morgan (Rory Culkin) and Bo, might be the most significant figure in the entire movie (Abigail Breslin).
Despite the fact that she is already dead before the movie starts, her absence dominates and defines the story. In spite of any supernatural mischief, Graham’s faith crisis is brought on by his grief for Rachel, and the Hess family experiences anxiety and anguish as a result.
The heart of the entire production, however, is the flashback scenes starring Patricia Kalember as Colleen, who, in only a few minutes of screen time, completely changes the essence of what we’ve witnessed.
She Was Arthur and Dot’s Mother Joan on Prime Video’s the Tick
Patricia Kalember made numerous notable TV series appearances in the 2010s. She appeared in the critically acclaimed HBO miniseries “Olive Kitteridge,” made guest appearances on “The Good Wife,” “White Collar,” and “Veep,” and had recurring roles as Dr. Keller on “Blue Bloods,” Senator Kate Fletcher on “Madam Secretary,” and Marka Nichols, Nicky’s mother on “Orange is the New Black.”
However, excluding “Power,” “The Tick” on Amazon Prime Video was the program that featured her the most frequently during that time.
With Peter Serafinowicz playing the title overexcited superhero to perfection, this adaptation of the cult classic comics by Ben Edlund, created by Edlund himself, brought the unique humor of the Tick’s storylines to a gorgeous live-action canvas.
As in the comics, Arthur, an accountant who eventually transforms into a superhero in his own right, serves as his dependable sidekick in his battle against the City’s evildoers. This version spends time on Arthur’s preparation for donning a superhero suit as well as his relationships with his mother Joan (played by Patricia Kalember) and sister Dot (Valorie Curry).
Joan, a somewhat minor character in Season 1, becomes more noticeable in Season 2, becoming more involved in her kids’ criminal activities, and finally being one of the main protagonists of an entire spotlight episode, the fittingly named “Joan!”
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