BRISTOL – Bristol native Amy Vanderoef, who will be appearing on WFSB today, has had long and varied career but she says that she got her start as a Miss Mum winner.
Vanderoef said that she is excited to make her second appearance on WFSB’s “Better Connecticut” program at 3 p.m., during the second half-hour.
A freelance talent, she will be appearing as a lifestyle expert and a spokesperson for beauty products. But, in the past, her resume has included being a winner of Miss Connecticut, an Emmy-nominated host of Good Morning Texas, a performer at USO shows in Bosnia, Macedonia, Iceland, Germany and Croatia, touring with PBS’s “Magic School Bus” stage show and lending her talents to commercials and voiceover work.
She has also appeared on such programs as “Dancing with the Stars” and “The View” as well as ABC daytime dramas “All My Children” and “One Life to Live.”
“Although I have been living in Dallas for 15 years, I still have such affection for Connecticut and Bristol,” said Vanderoef. “I knew exactly what I wanted to be growing up and what really helped me get started was the Miss Chrysanthemum pageant, which I won in 1990. It was the coolest thing ever at the time – we had it in the middle of the old mall. Being Miss Mum taught me how to be a spokesperson and it taught me speaking skills as I emceed different events.”
Coming back to Bristol, Vanderoef says that it has changed so much since when she lived there that she sometimes has to use a GPS to find her way. However, she looks forward to visiting with her brother.
Vanderoef attended Bristol Eastern High School and would later go on to graduate from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City. Her very first job was as a page at the Manross Memorial Library in Forestville.
“I don’t know why they hired a loudmouth like me, but the women I worked with there were so supportive of me and what I wanted to do with my life,” she said. “When I won Miss Connecticut when I was 26, I came back to Manross library to do a program as a fairytale princess. I wore my crown and gown and sprinkled the kids with pixie dust.”
Vanderoef started her performing career with the USO Shows, where she would sing and dance as part of a variety act to entertain soldiers. She considers this her “most important work to date.”
“I went three times to Bosnia during the Balkan War,” she said. “Every show would start with the National Anthem and end with God Bless America. It was a very patriotic show – nothing will top that.”
Vanderoef said that one of her coolest voiceover jobs was for the Aeon Flux video game, where she recorded lines for her character fighting Charlize Theron’s character.
Vanderoef said that, at one time, she considered doing children’s programming as her career path.
After playing the role of the teacher Ms. Frizzle for the Magic School Bus stage show, where she encouraged kids to “take chances, make mistakes and get messy,” she looked into a part for Sesame Street.
However, her Vanderoef’s career ended up taking a different path when she moved to Dallas, Texas, with an ex-husband in 2004. There, she became the host of Good Morning Texas for more than a decade.
She has since left the news business, but she is still very involved in the Dallas community.
She said that she is on the board for two children’s charities.
“Dallas was very welcoming of me, even though I was a northerner,” she said. “It’s a very diverse, multi-cultural city with a great arts and culinary culture. I found so much success in Dallas and travel was very easy for me since I’m at the center of the country.”
Today, Vanderoef says that she does everything for her son, Wyatt, who is 9 years old and travels with her on the road.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or email@example.com.