Kyra Sedgwick, Kevin Bacon, 20 Years of Wedded Bliss Through Their Dogs


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Krya Sedgwick, Kevin Bacon

 

For Kyra Sedgwick and Kevin Bacon, their idea of a vacation is to take their two children to New Orleans to volunteer to participate in public service. “One of things we did was a day of work for a New Orleans animal shelter that was a sort of make shift shelter after Katrina,” says Sedgwick. “It’s one of these places that didn’t even exist before (Hurricane Katrina) – and it was heartbreaking, there was so much trauma. Many (of the animals) were being adopted all the time, but it was still hard to see the ones that were left behind.”

Sedgwick is now promoting animal shelter adoptions with support from Hill’s Science Diet. “There are so many pets who need a home out there,” she says.

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Sedgwick, who had already garnered a Golden Globe (in 2006) as LAPD Deputy Police Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson in “The Closer” on TNT, recently added a People’s Choice Award. Prior to “The Closer,” Sedgwick has appeared in big screen and TV movies, including “Phenomenon,” “Born on the Fourth of July” and “The Woodsman.”

On the “The Closer,” she’s a brilliant interrogator, and ultimately traps suspects into a confession. That sort of brilliant interrogating isn’t necessary with her own pets. “Laura and Paulie are adopted; Laura is the cat and Paulie is out Labrador deceiver,” she says. “When we see the paper torn up when we return home, there’s not much of confession necessary,” she laughs. “That’s about all he (Paulie) does; he’s 11. Besides, you can’t really scold a pet after something is done. You have to be there that moment, and then you can discipline.”

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Sedgwick explainss she grew up with pets. “I had a Golden Retriever when I was a kid. We had a Great Dane, and that was around the time when they began the pooper scooper laws in New York; that was fun. But there was a lot to pick up. She was a great dog. People walk their dogs so much in New York City, they may be city dogs living in apartments but they sometimes get more exercise than country dogs. Pets break down walls, not that you need pets to meet characters in New York.”

Sedgwick, who is a New Yorker, born and bred, moved to Los Angeles when she was 18. “The first thing I did was to get myself a Golden Retriever from a shelter,” she says. “I had some behavioral issues with him, but I got help. He was such a great dog, and he lived to a very, very old age. He taught me about commitment and showing up for someone even if you’re not feeling in the mood to. I think that having a pet can really do that for you and can really teach you about being in a relationship and giving and receiving love.”

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That same dog even taught her about another kind of long-term commitment, her 20-year marriage to actor Kevin Bacon.  Often in interviews, when asked for the secret to her marriage’s success, her answer is, “My secret is that I’m not naïve enough to think there is a secret.” In this interview she echoes the same refrain, but then continues, “I’m going to circle back to dogs. Really, dogs teach a lot, they teach you about responsibility. And just to learn to share your space. Also, pets teach about giving back. You give them love and they’ll give love back to you. It’s always true with pets, while it may not always true for human beings.”

Sedgwick and Bacon very much want to teach their children, ages 16 and 19, about giving back. “I want them to be happy, of course, and to do something worthwhile, which can be done whether you’re an actor or working in a bookstore,” she says. “But what’s important is to be aware of the world around them, to have a sense of what it’s like to not have as much, and to walk in the other guys moccasins. A huge part of being a good person is to be a compassionate person, whether it’s being compassionate to other people or being compassionate to animals.”

©Steve Dale, Tribune Media Services