The event will fund a study of the ailment that claimed the life of actor James Naughton’s late wife.
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.