James Naughton, Kelli O’Hara, and others in the accomplished theatrical family of the late Pamela Naughton raised $1.2 million in her name at a May 7 concert at the Westport Country Playhouse in Westport, Connecticut.
The money will be used to fund a study of pancreatic cancer, the ailment that claimed Pamela’s life. The team at Western Connecticut Health Network’s three hospitals—Norwalk Hospital, Danbury Hospital, and New Milford Hospital—is researching a link between diabetes and pancreatic cancer.
Kelli Naughton told Playbill, “Both my mother-in-law and maternal grandfather lost their battles with pancreatic cancer. Now my family and I are raising funds to help make an early detection test a reality so others will have a fighting chance.”
More than 400 attendees at the benefit heard solos, duets, and group performances by James Naughton, two-time winner of the Tony Award, for his performances in City of Angels and the current revival of Chicago; and his family, including daughter Keira, a Broadway and television performer; son Greg, a producer, actor, singer and songwriter; and daughter-in-law O’Hara, who won the 2015 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her role as Anna in The King and I.
The WCHN study is being led by Richard C. Frank, MD, a hematologist/oncologist at Norwalk Hospital’s C. Anthony and Jean Whittingham Cancer Center and Director of Clinical Cancer Research at WCHN.