MODESTO — An often funny and occasionally emotional Dot-Marie Jones offered a 30-minute chat on everything from milking cows to the death of Cory Monteith when she spoke to a sold-out crowd at Wednesdays Power of the Purse luncheon.
Jones, who stars as Coach Shannon Beiste on the hit television show Glee, discussed her childhood in Hilmar she was born in Turlock, she said, because it was on a weekend, theres no hospital in Hilmar and the veterinarians office was closed and her journey to Hollywood. She addressed the luncheon, an annual fundraiser for the United Way, at the Gallo Center for the Arts.
Along the way, Jones attended Modesto Junior College and California State University, Fresno; qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials for shot put in 1988 and 1992; worked at a juvenile hall; and won more than a decades worth of arm wrestling championships. Also, she made news this week after proposing to her girlfriend of nearly three years during a visit to Disneyland.
She got into show business after friends involved in television suggested she do so. She shot a pilot in which she played a man becoming a woman. Though the pilot did not get picked up as a series, the producers were the same people behind Glee, and they wrote in the coachs role with Jones in mind.
Jones discussed the recent death of actor Cory Monteith, who co-starred on Glee before his fatal drug overdose. Though Monteith had been open about his drug problems in the past, Jones said she had no idea he was again battling addiction.
Jones emphasized to her listeners the importance of appreciating themselves as they are. She pointed out that if she werent the size she is 6-foot-3 she wouldnt be exactly where she is today.