Produced by Chel Tassey, Rob Tassey, Kim Stryker, Christy Lee Taylor and Barbara S. Lee
Local actress Conte appearing on Lifetime hit TV series

Saturday, September 12, 2009

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Legendary Hollywood star Burt Reynolds was her first acting instructor.

And now, professional actress Andrea Conte, a Jupiter resident, will be seen Sunday, Sept. 13 as co-star of an episode of the new hit show, "Drop Dead Diva" on the Lifetime Television Network. The guest star of the show, that features actress Brooke Elliott as the lawyer, is Paula Abdul, who recently resigned from the judge's panel of "American Idol."

Not only that, Conte is appearing in no less than three other films that have been released recently or will all be coming out soon in theaters, television or at various film festivals held around the globe.

Her Florida made feature films include "Letters To God," directed by David Nixon set to be released in theaters in the spring of 2010, along with local actress, jazz singer Avery Sommers; "Loving the Bad Man," made in Miami, starring Stephen Baldwin, in which she played "Tina, the bar flower;" and the locally produced "Turkles," the family-friendly film, produced by Frank Eberling, which is full of cast members from Reynolds' master acting classes at the Burt Reynolds Institute for Film and Theatre, just now wrapping up the shooting schedule in North County. In that, she played a TV anchorwoman "Brooke Trout" of WJUP (with the slogan, "we're not happy until you're not happy").

"Diva" was shot entirely in Atlanta, " explained the dark-haired, brown-eyed beauty, over a glass of red wine and a shared hors d'oeuvre at Too Bazaar in Jupiter. "I had just moved back here permanently from L.A. where I had been living, studying and working over the past three years, learning the business side with promotions and marketing.

I needed to move back here to be with my husband, David Noble, the most patient, understanding husband on the planet," explained Conte. "He flew out to L.A. to help me move and drive home cross- country. He knew I would have a meltdown packing up my apartment. He is so supportive and I wouldn't have been able to get so far with my career without his amazing support. I was torn in two, between both places. I'm a true acting workaholic and love the professional atmosphere out there in California.

While on the road I got a call back for a film I had auditioned for the day before, "Letters To God." So I flew back to the call-back and got not the part I auditioned for, but another role that was even better, then no sooner returned when I received a call from my Atlanta agent, The Burns Agency, for "Drop Dead Diva," and I also had the Miami film to do, and all in a space of a few weeks.

Conte says she was most excited to be cast for Lifetime Television's break-out hit of the summer, "Drop Dead Diva," which reportedly scored its highest ratings ever among women ages 18-49 in the last few episodes.

This comedic drama tells the story of Deb, a shallow model who dies in a sudden accident and then finds her soul has resurfaced in the body of Jane, (Brooke Elliott), a brilliant, plus-size attorney.

Deb must come to terms with inhabiting Jane's plus-size frame in the ultimate showdown between brains and beauty. It's described as "Heaven Can Wait" with women and a message.

Wanting to be a performer since she was a small child, Conte didn't attend her first acting classes until she was 32. Her first instructor was Jupiter's own Reynolds, in his master acting class. "I owe so very much to Mr. Reynolds," she says. "His teachings are in my head. I learned so much from him, especially about giving back to people coming up. He is wonderful about helping and coaching young talent. Thank you Mr. Reynolds!"

She studied with him, Charles Nelson Reilly, Bruce Dern and Larry Silverberg at BRIFT. She also studied again with him and other greats at the Beverly Hills Playhouse in Los Angles while interning with her agent Marjory Sperling at Pacific West Artists.

Considered a "triple threat" actress, meaning she can do it all: act, sing and dance, Conte has a number of films to her credit, in addition to televisions shows, and theater. She is a member of SAG (Screen Actors Guild and AEA (Actors' Equity Association), attesting to her professionalism.

Conte, who describes her age as "35 40," ("Nobody puts their real age on a resume. Are you kidding?"). She did classical training with Sir Richard Clifford, studied comedy and Improv with Durning and the late Dom Deluise, voice and singing with Jeffrey Allen in L.A., jazz and tap at Atlantic Arts in Jupiter and graduated from the prestigious Lee Strasberg Institute in New York City, not to mention a B.A. in Acting from State University of New York and did some advanced theater studies in Rome and Florence, Italy.

Conte brushes back a handful of her thick mane of naturally wavy hair and says, "I can't say enough about my experience on the ‘Drop Dead Diva' show. It was fantastic. Much faster moving in television than films. I was flown to Atlanta, met by a limo and taken directly to the studio where the makeup and hair and costume people were waiting. My accommodations were top-notch and I was treated like a co-star in every respect. The director, David Petrarca, very well known in the business, was superb."

"In this episode titled "The Dress," I play "Margo," the manager of the PDQ Boutique and had most of my lines with the star, Brooke Elliott, who was sweet and lovely to work with. My costume is an all black, tight knit dress over black tights, a set of spanks (tight body suit) and huge gold medallion necklace and black shoes.

Two sound men struggled to shove a microphone pack up inside my tights, spanks and dress and it ended up not far from the ‘whoop-de-do' strapped to my thigh between my legs. Trying to walk and deliver lines was a hoot," she said with a chuckle. "Especially in five-inch heels!"

"I had the greatest time in my life doing that show," Conte was quick to add. "It was the best job I've had in my career so far! The only trouble is, I want more of the same. Much, much more!"

"Drop Dead Diva" airs on the Lifetime Television at 9 p.m. and again at 11 p.m., Sept. 13, then again on Monday, Sept. 14 at 9 p.m. Go to for more information.

For more about Andrea Conte, visit