Darlene Lieblich Tipton is just your typical senior citizen: she knits, bakes, is an active member of the Red Hat Society, flies ultralight aircraft, owns a pet waste removal company in St. Louis, Missouri, is a five-time Jeopardy Champion, a breast cancer victor, an author, a member of Mensa, five-time Co-Chairman of the Daytime Emmys, is an award-winning movie producer, sang on British radio for five years, and turned down a $15 million dollar offer to sell AmazingKarma.com. (Why?) ...OK, maybe she’s not so typical.
Darlene was born in San Andreas, CA and grew up at a state juvenile facility on a remote mountain top where her father was a supervisor. Her lonely and isolated existence at the camp was compounded by mental and physical abuse by both of her parents.
At the age of five, her parents committed her to a live-in psychiatric hospital because they believed she was severely retarded. A routine eye test proved that her inability to react to her surroundings and reluctance to form relationships was simply because she was legally blind without glasses.
What should have stunted her intellectual and emotional development was beaten back by the single place Darlene could find refuge, safety, and escape from her dismal life. That was the camp library.
Through books she was transported far away from her everyday living hell. With each book she read, she experienced the emotions and adventures of thousands of characters which allowed her to expand her intellectual horizons, introduced her to the wonders of art and culture, developed a positive personal morality and integrity, and molded her into the nurturing and loving person she is today.
When her father was transferred to England to study how the British handled their youthful offenders, his boss’s wife heard Darlene sing at a family function and took her to BBC radio, where her pre-pubescent but adult-sounding voice kept her working for nearly five years, doing commercials, variety shows, soap operas and various voice-overs. Two of the radio commercials she did for Yardley’s Eau de London cologne and Coty’s Imprevu cologne were played in the US in the 1960's.
Shortly after returning from a truly wonderful life in London to the isolation of the California mountain top, she spent a year in a wheelchair after her father shattered her kneecaps. In the 1960’s, nobody talked about child abuse. No teacher asked why a girl who loved school routinely missed so much of it.
The local doctor who repaired Darlene’s broken bones with metal pins, installed a metal plate into her skull, who treated the cigarette burns, and saw the damage to a child’s body, said nothing. He again said nothing when her baby brother died. The death certificate read "natural causes", though Darlene watched as her tiny brother was beaten to death for crying too much. The doctor eventually committed suicide.
Throughout high school she continued to perform, acting with a high school theater troupe and singing in choirs and groups. She also excelled at academics, earning a place in “Who’s Who of American High School Students”, and was offered scholarships to many colleges and universities, including Radcliffe, Smith, Vassar, Mount Holyoke and Stanford University. She ultimately had to make a choice between going to UCLA, or taking a role in the touring company of Up With People. She chose UCLA and never looked back.
During her four years at UCLA studying motion pictures and television, she also improved her knowledge of French and German, learned computer programming, joined the university fencing team and met her first husband, whom she married between her junior and senior years.
Following college, Darlene went to work for CBS Television, first as a typist on the night shift in the script department, then moving up to the Program Practices department and learning the ropes of television “censorship”. When no promotional opportunities presented themselves, she moved to the network’s videotape library as its first female employee, and within the year was the department supervisor. During her tenure she oversaw the construction of new facilities, upgraded the salary structure of the entire staff, and proposed a bar-code system for tracking videotapes – which CBS implemented a mere eleven years later…
When an executive job fell open back in the Program Practices department, she returned to her former colleagues, but with some reservations: the job was in the Daytime Programming area. “Game shows and soap operas – they rot your mind. I expected I’d be there six months. It was a perfect fit and I was there for twelve years. I still don’t watch daytime shows, but they’re a helluva lot of fun to work on!” Over these years Darlene worked on The Price Is Right, Match Game, The Young and The Restless, The Bold and The Beautiful, Wheel of Fortune, and literally dozens of other programs. She also taught herself computer programming in order to create a tracking system for the prizes used on game shows.
Darlene was working on the game show Press Your Luck on the historic day when contestant Michael Larsen, who had recorded and stop-framed dozens of episodes, figured out how to beat the game, winning over $110,000. Darlene was featured in the documentary about this remarkable incident -- Big Bucks: The Press Your Luck Scandal.
While pregnant and working full-time, she earned an MBA at Pepperdine University.
In 1990 Darlene moved over to the fledgling Fox Broadcasting Company as manager of their Standards and Practices department. Her first major assignment was the original 90210, which she covered for every episode of the show’s ten year run. She also worked on shows as diverse as Malcolm In The Middle, Melrose Place, The X-Files, The Simpsons, handled children’s programming, edited theatrical films to broadcast criteria, and developed standards for the newly-emerging reality show genre, traveling around the world to supervise hundreds of reality productions. She also created the standards regarding responsibilities in commercial advertising and wrote a computer tracking system to manage the thousands of advertisements which hit her desk every year.
During these years Darlene was also an active member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, was elected by her peers to two terms on the Board of Governors, co-founded TV Cares, the Academy’s AIDS service committee, and served for five years as co-chair (with Bob Boden) of the Daytime Emmy Awards, including several stints hosting the Daytime Technical Awards presentations.
Darlene’s life has had its share of tragedy. When her closeted bi-sexual husband tested HIV-positive, Darlene cared for him for the last eleven years of his life until he died of AIDS at the age of 47, leaving her a single mother.
Darlene and Ken Tipton met in 2001 when Darlene produced a movie based on Ken's family's true story. HEART of the BEHOLDER won 5 Best Feature Film awards and is available on NetFlix and Amazon. HOTB was also the movie debut of Chloe Grace Moretz.
Darlene and Ken were married in 2005 and have 6 children and 3 grand-children between them. In 2008 they opened Doody Calls, the #1 pet waste removal service in Ken’s home town of St. Louis, Missouri, which Ken manages remotely from their home in California.
After over 40 years working in network television, the last 25 years at Fox, Darlene has retired to a new vocation as the brand ambassador and Karma Expert for Amazing Karma and to accomplish as much good for people and the planet as possible.
POINT of FULL DISCLOSURE:
It is true that I retired as a Vice-President for Broadcast Standards and Practices at Fox Cable Networks just short of working there for 25 years.
However, the fact is that I was fired for sending a personal email floating the idea of using a crowd-funding portal to aid the long-time girlfriend of one of the American passengers on the missing Malaysia Flight 370. I asked if she will be compensated due to her status of "girlfriend" and not as his "wife". If she would not receive Airline or insurance compensation, would she consider having a crowd-funding campaign setup for her. Almost everyone at Fox sends out personal emails and my firing should not have been anything more then a written reprimand.
I sued Fox Cable Networks for wrongful termination and Fox settled out of court. I can't go into much detail due to a Non-Disclosure Agreement. I can say that my firing had nothing to do with sending a personal email. What was discovered in emails and depositions exposed what was really going on behind-the-scenes. This was a personal vendetta by one woman and Fox Corporate had nothing to do with it.
A movie is in development about how large corporations use clandestine programs to get rid of employees before they turn 55. The behind-the-doors code name for this corporate ageism program is "Survive 55".
I truly believe in Karma as defined as the non-religious concept of "what goes around, comes around". I loved working at Fox which made it so hurtful to be escorted off of the Fox lot by security, then escorted home so Fox Security could seize my personal home computer. In a monumental Karmic turn of events, my firing allowed me to follow my pure passion as the Ambassador of Karma at www.AmazingKarma.com.
My firing from Fox cut my retirement waiting time by almost four years and the settlement funds have been used to develop and operate this website. Good Karma comes from simply doing the right thing. Own your actions, make amends, then move ahead. Please join me and order your Karma Cards TODAY!
Click to Watch a Video about my firing from Fox Cable Networks.