Judi Hanna, a former TV news anchor and radio reporter, passed away on March 14, 2014, in San Bernardino, Calif.
She was 68. Born in San Luis Obispo, Calif. to the late Joe and Betty Hanna, she grew up in Breckenridge.
After graduating high school as the class Salutatorian, Judi attended the University of Texas, where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Radio/Television/Film in just 31/2 years.
From 1969 until 1974, she served as a reporter, anchor, and producer at television station WFAA in Dallas.
At the time, rampant sexism was the rule, but Judi was a fiery redhead who persevered with her biting humor, wicked intelligence, and an inability to turn down a party invitation.
She had a penchant for stealing the spotlight, even when interviewing notable figures like Rock Hudson, Alex Haley, and Gloria Steinem.
She later moved to radio, where she was the News Anchor and Public Affairs Director at KNUS-FM, entertaining commuters with the day's news.
In the ‘80s, while raising her two children, Judi became the Public Affairs Officer at the Canadian Consulate in Dallas, which she later said was her favorite job.
After spending her whole life in Texas, Judi decided a change was in order, and set out to California in the early 2000s.
She quickly adapted to Hollywood, appearing as a “background artist” in such TV shows as “Ally McBeal” and “The Practice” as well as alongside Jim Carrey in the film “The Majestic.”
If you pay close attention, you can spot her smiling and dancing in a ballroom scene of the Coen brothers' film “The Man Who Wasn't There.” She also worked behind the scenes. After studying under the legendary Bob Garry, she became a Script Supervisor on numerous films, easily befriending stars like James Franco (who, along with everyone else, would refer to her as “Mom”).
Once, while working on set on Mother's Day, she attempted to shame her son by having the actor and musician Meat Loaf contact him and demand to know why he hadn't yet called his mother (Adam called her immediately afterward).
In the late 2000s, Judi finally settled down in Twin Peaks, Calif., in a cozy cabin with her longterm boyfriend, Jim, and beloved dog Cousin.
She was a voracious reader, a huge John Stewart fan, talented painter and writer, could be ruthlessly sarcastic, and was always insanely proud of her children.
If you ever had the pleasure of meeting Judi, you would remember her forever.
She will be sorely missed by almost everyone who knew her (“almost” because she did tend to ruffle some feathers along the way).
There will be a private memorial service.
She is survived by her fiancé Jim West; brothers: Steve Hanna and Mark Hanna; children: Kate Albright-Hanna and Adam Albright-Hanna; grandsons: Gabriel Ozores-Albright and Ike Welch-Albright; and her dog Phoebe. Memorial donations may be made in Judi's name to the Crest Forest Fire Station, 23407 Crest Forest Dr, Crestline, CA 92325.