LOS ANGELES — As she preps for her next audition, actress Susan Crowley is a bit overwhelmed. Her husband and fellow actor Anthony Armatrading usually handles the tech side of things – but he's been in the hospital since January after having an aortic aneurism.
They have been acting for about 50 years now. They never reached movie stardom, but they've gotten by doing what they love.
"Literally at any given time, there's probably 2% of the entire acting population actually employed," she said.
Crowley said the struggle was made even worse during the pandemic and then exponentially worse when her husband fell ill in January. Armatrading didn't qualify for the SAG-AFTRA insurance after not meeting the earning's threshold in 2020.
It was a terrifying time for Crowley until she was introduced to the Motion Picture Television Fund. Not only did MPTF help them get insurance and gave them a grant to help with medical bills, but the organization has also been there every step of the way.
MPTF has long been helping people like Armatrading and Crowley. They recently celebrated a century of providing emotional and financial support for people in the entertainment industry. They specifically give a lot of help to people later in life, essentially allowing them to keep practicing the craft they love. Board member and supporter George Clooney said he loves being able to help because he remembers all those who helpedForhim.
"I slept on the floor of a closet in my buddy's apartment for two years. I was lucky to have friends who were willing to share what little they had to keep me afloat. We are part of a legacy all of us of someone doing some extraordinary things that helped us get to where we are," she said.
While life comes full circle for Clooney, it's been the biggest sigh of relief for Crowley. She tries to stay strong, working on self-tapes to hopefully get some jobs, taking care of the home and their dog, Facetiming with her husband, but sometimes, she thinks about life without MPTF and breaks down.
"Without the MPTF, I don't think he would've made it," she said.