It was terribly sad to learn of the passing of Devils Lake native Phyllis Frelich. She won a Tony Award for Best Actress in 1980 for the role created for her in Children of a Lesser God. The drama ran for more than two years on Broadway.
Many more stage and television roles would follow. She would be given North Dakota’s highest honor in 1981, the Theodore Roosevelt Rough Rider Award.
She was 70 when she died Thursday.
She graduated from the North Dakota School for the Deaf in Devils Lake (where she was revered) and from Gallaudet College in Washington, D.C., a college for the deaf and hard-of-hearing, where she got her start in acting.
Something like fifteen years ago I did an extended television interview with Phyllis in our Devils Lake studio for WDAZ News @5. She came with an entourage. It included a translator the deaf school and several members of her very, very supportive Devils Lake family. She was one of nine children.
I was flattered when her mother, also deaf, told me she watched News @5 regularly. We talked about closed captioning for television which had been a challenge technically on our end at the time.
Most memorably for me, I asked Phyllis something like, “Isn’t it a little sad that, after giving a wonderful performance on stage, you can’t hear the audience’s applause?” Without missing a beat, Phyllis said, “No. It’s not sad at all. I can FEEL the audience’s applause.” Those words have stuck with me for years. I’m pretty sure I’ll think of them every time I think of her or someone mention’s her name. It must be wonderful to feel the applause of an audience. Maybe even more wonderful than to be able to hear it.
Dan Corey and Michael Yoshida report from Philadelphia and the Frozen Four tonight on WDAZ News @5, 6 &10.
WDAZ Announces New Anchors
WDAZ is proud to announce that Terry Dullum has been promoted to the 6pm anchor at WDAZ News. Terry Dullum has been with WDAZ for the past 39 years, first as a reporter and then as the 5pm anchor.
Terry Dullum has been with WDAZ for the past 39 years, first as a reporter and then as the 5pm anchor. Viewers will be pleased to learn that Terry will continue to anchor the 5pm news as he takes on his new position anchoring the 6pm news. Stacie Van Dyke will co-anchor with Terry Dullum at 5 & 6.
“I’m looking forward to continuing to co-anchor WDAZ News at 5 with Stacie Van Dyke and now joining her on WDAZ News at 6 as well,” said Terry. “There’s simply no one I’d rather work with.”
“I’m very grateful to have worked so closely with Terry and had him as a mentor for a year now. So happy to have him move to the 6,” said Stacie.
“Terry is one of the most amazing people I have ever worked with in my nearly 20 years in the news business,” says WDAZ News Director Julie Moravchik. “We are lucky to have someone on staff with his level of experience and commitment to the people of the Grand Forks area. It is truly an honor to promote him to the 6:00 anchor position.”
Terry is a North Dakota native and a graduate of the University of North Dakota. He has been with WDAZ News since 1975. He was part of a news team that won a national Edward R. Murrow award for coverage of the Red River Valley flood of 1997. His popular video essays, the Dullum File, are seen the last Friday of each month on WDAZ News at 6. He is also a popular speaker throughout the region.
Victor Correa joins News at Ten
At the same time, WDAZ is excited to announce that reporter Victor Correa has been promoted to the 10pm anchor. He will co-anchor with Stacie Van Dyke.
“I’m very honored to have been given the opportunity,” says Victor Correa. “It has been an honor working as a reporter for WDAZ and serving the amazing people of this area. I’m ready to step up to the challenge, in my new role as the 10:00 anchor.”
“So excited to work with Victor and for more viewers to get to know his infectious personality,” said Stacie.
“This is an exciting time at WDAZ TV, I am thrilled to be promoting Victor Correa to 10pm anchor,” says News Director Julie Moravchik. “Victor is a hard worker, a positive person and he’s earned this position. It’s always nice when you can promote within.”
Victor spent his life in a military family, living all over the world; Nevada, Texas, New Mexico, Guam, Idaho, Japan and North Dakota. Before graduating from the University of North Dakota with a degree in communication, Victor interned at Studio One, a student run news station at UND as a news reporter and associate producer.
Moravchik says they had a number of applicants from across the nation. “But I looked out into my own newsroom and saw two of the greatest people I have ever worked with in the business and they are already right here at WDAZ,” says Moravchik. “So it was a thrill to promote both Terry and Victor to the positions I feel they earned. I know they will continue to serve our community well and make the viewers proud.”
Terry will take over as the 6pm anchor and Victor will begin his job as the 10:00 anchor beginning Monday, April 14th.
Ginny & I had a great time at the Circle of the Friends Humane Society’s Raise Your Paws for Pets dinner and auction Thursday night in Grand Forks. It was very successful with double the number of people as last year, well over two hundred.
My favorite new part of the dinner was a kind of pet parade with adopted, foster and available animals and their people. All of them were very well behaved. So were the animals.
Had a couple of calls at WDAZ on Thursday asking about tickets. Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending upon how you look at it, the dinner was sold out well ahead of time. I suspect the dinner will be even bigger and better next year.
Thanks to Arlette Moen, Gary Shields and everyone at the Circle of Friends for inviting me to emcee once again this year. As usual, it was a blast.