Billy talks about the joys of working with Katie Couric, a woman who is making history both professionally and personally.
As a makeup artist, I have the opportunity to work with some of the most beautiful and successful women in the world. Katie Couric is definitely one of those women. We've been spending our mornings with Katie for 15 years, ever since she became co-host of NBC's FCber-successful Today show. Katie recently announced that she will be moving from Today to the CBS Evening News, becoming the first-ever female solo anchor of a network evening newscast.
I first had the opportunity to work with Katie a few years ago when I was booked to do her makeup for a photo shoot, and I have worked with her several times since for some magazine covers, for the photograph that appeared on the jacket of her children's book The Brand New Kid and, most recently, for her annual colon cancer fundraiser, which she has hosted for three years.
We all watched as Katie journeyed through her late husband Jay's battle with colon cancer. Although he lost his fight in '98, leaving behind Katie and two daughters, Katie is still very committed, both in her personal and professional life, to raising the public's awareness of the disease. She is determined to help prevent anyone else from losing a husband, father, brother or son to the cancer. Katie was honored with a Peabody award for her series "Confronting Colon Cancer," which aired in 2000, and she was also hugely instrumental in establishing the Jay Monahan Center for Gastrointestinal Health at New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. Her involvement in this cause is credited with raising the rate of colonoscopy screenings in America by 20 percent.
For the last three years, Katie has hosted a fundraiser in New York City benefiting the National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance (NCCRA), which she co-founded. This year's event, "Hollywood Meets Motown," showcased about 40 film, recording industry, television and Broadway stars who turned out in support, including John Legend, Mary J. Blige, Tony Bennett, Elvis Costello and Chaka Khan. Together, the three fundraisers have generated a large portion of the $27 million she has helped raise to fight colon cancer.
Katie is a blast to be around, and I would love working with her no matter what type of business she was in. But I have to say, it's really fun working with someone who I know is making history. Rock on, Katie! Correction: In last month's column, the photos accompanying the text were incorrectly identified by American Salon. Both of the images were from French magazine, which is owned, published and photographed by Thierry Legous.