Candy Spelling is a Tony Award-winning Broadway producer, best-selling author, philanthropist, and television producer.
Candy will have twelve Broadway shows to her name when four productions open this spring and summer. They include “King Lear” starring Glenda Jackson, “Hillary and Clinton” starring Laurie Metcalf & John Lithgow, and “Tootsie” starring Santino Fontana, all opening in April 2019. The fourth production, “Moulin Rouge! The Musical” opens in July. The show is based on Baz Luhrmann’s beloved film and stars Aaron Tveit and Karen Olivo.
Candy began her involvement on Broadway in the spring of 2010, co-producing her first musical, “Promises, Promises,” starring Sean Hayes and Kristin Chenoweth. The show was nominated for four Tony Awards with Katie Finneran winning for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical. Candy went on to produce her second Broadway show, “How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.” The Frank Loesser classic starred Daniel Radcliffe in the lead role for almost a year and then continued its great success with Nick Jonas as lead actor.
In 2012, Candy produced her third Broadway show, the award-winning “Nice Work If You Can Get It,” a musical that starred Matthew Broderick and Kelli O’Hara. It was nominated for 10 Tony Awards and won for Featured Actor (Michael McGrath) and Featured Actress (Judy Kaye). In 2014, Candy produced “After Midnight,” celebrating Duke Ellington’s years at the Cotton Club using his original arrangements personally selected by the incomparable living jazz legend Wynton Marsalis and performed by 17 world-class musicians, giving life to Ellington’s big band jazz style. It was nominated for seven Tony Awards with Warren Carlyle winning for Outstanding Choreography.
She produced “The Color Purple,” the 2016 Tony Award winner for Best Revival of a Musical. The show was adapted from the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Alice Walker and opened to rave reviews in December 2015. Cynthia Erivo won the 2016 Tony Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical for her portrayal of Celie.
In 2018, Candy produced three highly successful and critically acclaimed shows. They included “The Iceman Cometh,” a revival of the Eugene O’Neill classic, starring Denzel Washington which received eight Tony Award nominations; the revival of the Rogers and Hammerstein musical, “Carousel,” which received Tony Awards for Best Featured Actress in a Musical (Lindsay Mendez) and Best Choreography (Justin Peck); and “Three Tall Women,” the Edward Albee classic which earned Tony Awards for Laurie Metcalf (Featured Actress) and Glenda Jackson (Lead Actress).
Candy is also a renowned author whose first book, the best-selling STORIES FROM CANDYLAND (hardcover published by St. Martin’s Press, April 2009; trade paperback in 2010), is filled with stories and adventures of her life. The book reflects on her experiences as the wife of Hollywood mogul Aaron Spelling, as a mother and as well as other fascinating times in Tinseltown.
The success of STORIES FROM CANDYLAND encouraged Candy to continue sharing her stories. In her second book, CANDY AT LAST (published by Turner Publishing Company, May 2014), Candy shares stories about her new life as a single woman trying her hand at producing and creating a successful new career as a Broadway producer. She also writes about her favorite role of all – as grandmother to seven wonderful grandchildren.
In 2012, Candy starred in and executive produced the two-part series “Selling Spelling Manor” for HGTV. The show reached the highest-ever fourth quarter day rating for the network with more than 4.2 million viewers tuning in to see Candy moving out of the legendary 56,000 square foot Hollywood mansion she built and shared with her husband and family for more than 20 years. With the success of that show, HGTV ordered a new 3-part series, “Beyond Spelling Manor,” which aired in 2013. The series documented the construction of Candy’s new home in Los Angeles and her search for an apartment in New York City.
Candy’s first experience in reality television was as a celebrity panelist for one season of the E! Series “Bank of Hollywood,” produced by Ryan Seacrest and hosted by Bryan Callen. Based on the UK series “Fortune: Million Pound Giveaway,” the show aired in 2009-2010 and featured celebrities being asked to donate their own money to everyday Americans who were asking for cash for a wide variety of needs. In addition to Candy, the panelists included poker player Vanessa Rousso, publishing executive Sean Patterson and Pussycat Dolls singer Melody Thornton.
Candy proudly continues to expand her public service work. She joined the Board of Directors of American Humane in 2012 and was named Vice Chair of the Board in 2015. American Humane sets the gold standard as the most visionary and effective animal welfare organization in the nation.
She currently serves as a member of the UCLA Health System Board and is a board member of the Los Angeles World Affairs Council. Among her many other contributions, Candy served for 10 years as a Board of Governors Member of LA’s Best, the after-school enrichment program that serves children in need through partnerships with the Los Angeles Unified School District, the City of Los Angeles and private sector.
Candy is a founding board member of the Los Angeles Parks Foundation and was instrumental in creating the first non-profit Parks Foundation in Los Angeles. She is Commissioner Emeritus for the Board of Recreation and Parks for the City of Los Angeles, a panel overseeing public parks and recreational areas.
Having sat on the Board of Directors for LA Inc., the Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau, she became “Ambassador for Tourism” for Los Angeles. Candy is also a craft ambassador of the Craft & Hobby Association.
Centro De Niños, a downtown Los Angeles daycare center for underprivileged families, holds a special place in Candy’s heart. Her participation enabled the center to expand their facility and offer additional programs and services, of which the federal government took notice.
Candy is recognized for her thousands of hours of public service work by the President’s Council of Service and Civic Participation – noting her dedication signifies her service to her community and country with distinction.