Actor is honored with star on her 'home base'

Fort Payne Main Street Executive Director Connie Fuller reveals a star on the sidwalk in front of the DeKalb Theatre, honoring noted actor Sandra Ellis Lafferty, from Fort Payne. Lafferty recalled going to movies on Saturday at the theatre, saying the star brought her "full circle."

Sandra Ellis Lafferty said Friday’s ceremony to reveal a “star” in her honor in front of the DeKalb Theatre brought her full circle.

 “It means a lifetime fulfillment,” Lafferty said. “It’s like coming full circle, having come here as a child and making it all the way back to having a star on the sidewalk. This was my home base, on Saturdays anyway.”

The Fort Payne native got her start on the stage, but for the last three decades has acted in a variety of television and film roles, including “A Walk in the Woods,” with Robert Redford, “Prisoners,” with Hugh Jackman, “Walk the Line,” and “The Hunger Games.”

She offered some casting news Friday afternoon – that she’d just received a role in “The Rivals of Amziah King,” a movie described as a crime thriller starring Matthew McConaughey, slated to shoot this summer in the Birmingham area.

Fort Payne Main Streets Executive Director Connie Fuller welcomed people to the star reveal for “our very own talented and gracious celebrity, Sandra Ellis Lafferty.”

“We had the star dedication a year ago,” Fuller explained; Friday’s event was to actually reveal the star in the sidewalk. Lafferty’s star is located in front of the DeKalb Theatre, along with the one for the group Alabama. Along with the “Pete the Cat” star at Pete’s Alley, it is the third placed in downtown Fort Payne.

Fort Payne Mayor Brian Baine told those gathered about Lafferty. “If you’ve never been around Sandra, you’re missing a treat. She is a delight to be around,” he said.

Lafferty proved to be just that. She was gifted with a bouquet of flowers upon arrival, then spent time posing for pictures with fans, and warmly greeting people who braved Antique Alley yard sale traffic to be at the theatre Friday afternoon.

Lafferty recalled Saturdays in downtown Fort Payne as a child. She said her family had a grocery store downtown, and she was allowed to go the short distance to the DeKalb Theatre to see a movie on Saturdays. Then, she said, she would get a cheese sandwich at the drug store that used to be located next to the theater.

After that, she said, she would catch a show at The Strand.

After meeting with people outside, Lafferty joined Kevin Wayne and radio personality Dollar Bill to record an episode of their “Savage Talks” podcast, available on Spotify.

Baine said a few years ago the City and Main Streets decided to place stars on the downtown sidewalk. Naturally, the first recognized Alabama, and the second Pete the Cat, the children’s book character created by author/illustrator James Dean, who is from Fort Payne.

Lafferty, with some 70 film and TV credits, was a natural choice for the third star.

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