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Writers Guild of America, “Member News”, June, 2000

By Patricia Eliot Tobias

John Wells and Daniel Petrie, Jr., President and Vice President of the WGAw, have been named to the Entertainment Industry Advisory Board of Rx Laughter, a first-of- its-kind UCLA Medical Center research project studying the healing benefits of laughter.

During the five-year study, which focuses on ill children and adolescents with depressed immune systems, researchers at UCLA's Jonsson Cancer Center will try to determine if laughter can help reduce pain, and prevent and treat diseases.

Board members include children and grandchildren of Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Harpo Marx, W.C. Fields and Lou Costello. In addition, Bob Carroll, Jr., and Madelyn Pugh Davis, writers of I Love Lucy, the founder of Action for Children's Television and the presidents of the ATAS, the WB Television Network, the Children's Television Workshop, the DGA and the WGAw are serving on the board. Comedy Central is underwriting the first phase of the project. The project is being spearheaded by former television network executive Sherry Dunay Hilber.

If a positive biological response to laughter is found, the cartoons, TV shows and films could be incorporated into the care of ill children during procedures such as blood draws and chemotherapy to alleviate stress and fear.

Find out more by visiting www.rxlaughter.org.

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Bob Carroll, Jr., Madelyn Pugh Davis and dialysis
patient Tony Serrano

Photo by Scott Roeben



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