Broadway Tails, theatrical animal trainer Bill Berloni's forthcoming book, is rife with interesting anecdotes that come with spending over three decades working with the biggest names (and pooches) in theater. One such anecdote involves none other than Sarah Jessica Parker, back when SJP was years away from donning Christian Louboutin heels and fake-marrying at the New York Public Library.
Berloni worked with the young actress when she took the titular role in "Annie." As the trainer for Sandy, Annie's adorable dog from the story, he interacted quite a bit with Parker, who he writes was not naturally at ease around dogs (her family traveled constantly and favored cats, it seems). One day, SJP and Sandy were tasked with performing during a Bob Hope special. The event would be filmed in front of 20,000 servicemen and -women.
After they performed "Tomorrow," Parker turned to Berloni and quietly told him that the dog had drooled on her arm ("Gross! He drooled on me."). The only problem? Her microphone was on, and soon the entire audience was laughing and applauding. "Sarah's face was utter embarassment," Berloni writes. "But I fell over laughing. From then on Sarah would wait until we were completely alone to joke about Sandy. Sarah ultimately grew up to be a true dog lover."
Here's a photo of a young SJP. Did you recognize the "Sex and the City" star?
Photo by Martha Swope, © New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, courtesy of Broadway Tails: Heartfelt Stories of Rescued Dogs who Became Showbiz Superstars, by Bill Berlnoi and Jim Hanrahan (Lyons Press, 2012)
And here she is now:
Broadway Tails will be released Sept. 19 on Lyons Press, an imprint of Globe Pequot Press. The book is available for purchase on Amazon.
Watch young stars in audition for their early roles below: