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REMARKABLE PEOPLE

The SEATTLE CHANNEL presents new as well as classic episodes of Remarkable People, a series originally created by Emmy-winning Seattle filmmaker Jean Walkinshaw in the 1990s. Through these engaging, candid and insightful half-hour video portraits, viewers meet colorful, gifted people who add to the vitality of the Northwest. The subject matter of the programs ranges from Seattle-based crab fishing in the Bering Sea to revelations of what it's like to be a Northwest icon and nearly bankrupt. In these life stories of nine very different, dynamic individuals, viewers will see the common theme of what it means to be a Northwesterner.

Remarkable People is made possible with major support from The Lucky Seven Foundation, and additional support from KCTS, SCCtv, The Floyd and Delores Jones Foundation, Protocol Foundation, Humanities Washington, Charles Simonyi Fund for Arts and Sciences, and the Agora Foundation.

Producers: Jean Walkinshaw and Jeff Gentes

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Remarkable People: Dr. Merrill Spencer
In this half-hour documentary airing as part of the Remarkable People series profiling extraordinary Northwesterners, award-winning Seattle producer Jeff Gentes presents a portrait of Merrill Spencer, M.D., a pioneer and world leader in the development of cardiovascular instrumentation and clinical techniques at Seattle's Virginia Mason and Swedish hospitals. Part inventor, part medical doctor, Merrill combined both talents to provide the best care possible for his patients. Working up to his last few days at age 84, he is credited with four U.S. patents and more than 300 authored articles in scientific publications.


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Remarkable People: Emmett Watson
In this half-hour documentary, award-winning filmmaker Jean Walkinshaw presents a portrait of beloved Seattle humorist and newspaper columnist Emmett Watson, who passed away in May 2001. The documentary was shot over a period of six months beginning in September 2000. The program features Emmett's own reflections, comments from friends, civic leaders and fellow journalists, and excerpts from Emmett's writings, along with archival stills and film footage.


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Remarkable People: George Tsutakawa
In this half-hour documentary airing as part of the Remarkable People series profiling extraordinary Northwesterners, award-winning Seattle filmmaker Jean Walkinshaw presents a portrait of renowned Pacific Northwest artist George Tsutakawa. From age 7 to 17, Tsutakawa lived in Japan with his grandmother, who taught him the artistic and cultural traditions of that country. He returned to Seattle, his birthplace, after his father disinherited him for pursuing art instead of business. Perhaps best known for the numerous fountains he designed and installed in both the Pacific Northwest and Japan, Tsutakawa also was a talented painter and sculptor, as well as a professor at the University of Washington's School of Art.


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Remarkable People: Jean Walkinshaw
For over 40 years across the airwaves of KING, KCTS, PBS and elsewhere, Jean Walkinshaw has been telling human stories, mostly rooted right here in the Northwest. Her subjects reflect the landscapes that inspire them to write, paint, live and work passionately ranging from mountain climber Jim Wickwire to author Ivan Doig, painter/sculptor George Tsutakawa to activist Floyd Schmoe. Now it's Walkinshaw's turn in front of the camera, as this remarkable woman becomes the subject of a fascinating documentary.


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Remarkable People: Jim Whittaker and Dianne Roberts
Mountain climber Jim Whittaker has led a life of extreme ups and downs. In 1963, he was literally on top of the world, having braved 50-mile-an-hour winds and frigid temperatures to become the first American to conquer Mount Everest. Just a few years later, he found himself dealing with a tragic personal loss. In this half-hour documentary by award-winning filmmaker Jean Walkinshaw, viewers meet not only Jim Whittaker but his vivacious wife, photographer Dianne Roberts. In this visually rich program, the two candidly share their joys and disappointments, and reflect on major events and personal moments in their lives.


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Remarkable People: Pat Wright
In this half-hour documentary airing as part of the Remarkable People series profiling extraordinary Northwesterners, award-winning filmmaker Jean Walkinshaw presents a portrait of Pat Wright, singer and founder of Seattle's Total Experience Gospel Choir. Pat has captivated Pacific NW audiences with her powerful and beautiful singing for decades. When she first moved to Seattle in 1964, Pat worked at a bank and was quickly moved from the basement to the first floor. A few years later, she was hired by the Seattle school district to teach gospel music with the hopes of engaging African-American students. When gospel music was removed from the schools, she founded the Total Experience Gospel Choir.


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Remarkable People: Scott Oki
In this half-hour documentary airing as part of the Remarkable People series profiling extraordinary Northwesterners, award-winning local producer Jeff Gentes presents a portrait of Scott Oki, a wealthy, retired Microsoft executive who for years has been a generous philanthropist in the Seattle area. Scott's life story is told in his own words as he shares memories of his childhood in a modest central-Seattle neighborhood, his experience at the U.S. Air Force Academy and his introduction to the computer field. Scott also reflects on his career at Microsoft, his departure from the company as a young millionaire retiree, and his philanthropic and community work.


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Remarkable People: Stefani Smith
In this half-hour documentary, award-winning filmmaker Jean Walkinshaw presents a portrait of Stefani Smith, who has been fishing for crab and other seafood in the Bering Sea for 20 years. Working out of Fishermen's Terminal in Seattle, the pretty, petite woman has captained her own boat in Alaska's Norton Sound and, over the course of several years, spent months at a time living with an all-male crew on a crab-fishing boat. An expert photographer, Stefani provided footage for the documentary that captures the brutal conditions faced by those who make their living in the Bering Sea. Hers is an intensely personal story, told against a backdrop of stunning images of the sea and life aboard a fishing boat.


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Remarkable People: Theodore Roethke
In this half-hour documentary airing as part of the Remarkable People series profiling extraordinary Northwesterners, award-winning Seattle filmmaker Jean Walkinshaw presents a portrait of one of the Pacific Northwest's greatest writers, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Theodore Roethke (1908-1963). In addition to creating remarkable poetry, as an English professor at the University of Washington, Roethke inspired many students to become successful writers themselves. While Roethke is renowned for his genius as a writer and his popularity as a teacher, he also struggled with bipolar disorder, which affected his personal relationships, professional life and writing.



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