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Tony Danza on the debut of his new reality series “Teach”

By Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith

HollywoodNews.com: Whatever else, Tony Danza certainly deserves credit for allowing the good, the bad and the unflattering to show on his Friday (10/1)-debuting A&E reality series, “Teach.” The former “Taxi” and “Who’s the Boss” star had the cameras with him for his full semester of teaching English at an urban Philadelphia high school – and it wasn’t pretty. Viewers will see 10th graders complaining that he talks too much, asking impertinent questions, worrying that he’s incompetent, and saying they didn’t have a clue who he was. They will see Tony crying.

How did he deal with this ego bruising? “I never thought about anything except trying to be a good teacher,” he tells us. “I very rarely even considered the show. I don’t mean to denigrate it, dismiss it or discount it. I thought the show would only be good if I was good teacher or a real car wreck.

“By the way, I felt a tremendous responsibility to these kids, to the other teachers, and to the school. It was overwhelming. Hence the crying. I became the crybaby of all time,” he goes on. “The kids call me crybaby. You start to care so much, it breaks your heart every minute.”

He’s learned, “When you’re a performer, you think of yourself all the time – how’s my hair, my body, my face? When you become a teacher, you have no time to think about yourself.”

As Tony explains on the show, he hopes to shine a light on the demands and difficulties facing teachers in these days of electronics-toting teens. He earned a teaching degree before becoming a TV star and, at 59, wanted to do something meaningful.

To read more go to Beck Smith Hollywood.

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About Beck / Smith

Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith are among America’s leading columnists. They’ve covered the Hollywood beat for decades — Elvis and “Easy Rider” through the Jonas Bros. and “Avatar” and all the stars and their triumphs and scandals in-between. Their Creators Syndicate column, Beck/Smith Hollywood Exclusive, is a source of top celebrity interviews and entertainment news in newspapers across the country as well as online. To read more about Marylin and Stacy go to BeckSmithHollywood.com

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One Comment

  • September 29, 2010 | Permalink |

    This story simply proves that the teaching profession is probably the most under-rated profession out there. It seems as though Danza put everything he had into one class. Just think what would happen if he had to deal with what every day ‘run-of-the-mill’ teachers have with five times as many students throughout the day.

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