TV legend’s last dramatic role pays tribute to Zizi

Trend forecaster Gerald Celente, whose book, “What Zizi Gave Honeyboy,” was made into a film starring Doris Roberts in her last dramatic role, paid tribute to the Emmy Award-winning star on the news of her passing in April.

“How grateful I am to have met Doris and for her wonderful portrayal of my aunt Zizi,” said Celente. “She gave the role the heart, warmth and feisty wisdom it needed… and did so with an authenticity that instantly connected the audience to Zizi.”

Roberts, beloved for her role as Marie on the sitcom “Everybody Loves Raymond,” played Celente’s wise and loving Italian aunt in the film “Zizi and Honeyboy,” co-starring Andrew Koss as Celente.

“Of all my books and writings, nothing is more important to me than “What Zizi Gave Honeyboy,” said Celente. “It reminds me — it reminds us — of the role family love, morality and integrity once played in America, and why it matters so much to return to those values.”

The film tells the story of the affectionate Italian matriarch (Roberts), who embraces her nephew during a time when Celente’s career and family life were in turmoil. Lively, heartfelt dialogue accompany home-cooked meals and Scrabble games at Zizi’s house as the film recaptures the values of earlier generations.

“The world is waiting for Zizi and we need her now more than ever,” he said.

Roberts said this about the film as it was being made: “It helps you to learn to love, to give more of yourself… it takes so little to help someone… life can be so sweet.”   TJ

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