Though NBC's Monday night movie (9-11 p.m.) is called "The Ann Jillian Story," the actress whose life it depicts says, "the subject matter is the star of the movie, not me."
The subject is Jillian's courtship and marriage to a Chicago vice cop and how her husband later helped her cope when she learned she must undergo a double mastectomy because of breast cancer. The movie also delivers a message about early cancer detection.
Though it was an emotional experience to re-create the cancer trauma, Jillian says she felt she had to play herself in the film. "I wouldn't want to put the problems of playing Ann Jillian on another actress' back. And after all, I am alive. I'm here."
Tony Lo Bianco co-stars as Jillian's husband and Viveca Lindfors plays her mother.