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A Charlotte connection to “Mad Men”

Rainey Qualley, who grew up in Asheville and studied dance at Charlotte Ballet, made quite an impression in her cameo scene in the season premiere of “Mad Men.” She’s the daughter of actress Andie MacDowell.
Rainey Qualley, who grew up in Asheville and studied dance at Charlotte Ballet, made quite an impression in her cameo scene in the season premiere of “Mad Men.” She’s the daughter of actress Andie MacDowell. AMC

I was one of the fans of the hit AMC TV show “Mad Men” watching the season premiere Sunday night. In the scene where Don Draper is giving directions to a young woman in a chinchilla fur coat, I noticed what an exceptionally beautiful girl the acress was - uniquely lovely and fresh-faced.

Then it hit me: It’s Andie MacDowell’s daughter, Rainey Qualley! I was so proud of her and so happy because she did an amazing job in that titillating scene with an innocent twist. And when she showed off her legs, as the scene required, her gorgeous gams were a testament to all her hard work as a former Charlotte Ballet student (she grew up in Asheville and traveled to Charlotte for classes).

I interviewed Rainey last year when she was part of an ad campaign for Tylenol with her mother, whom I’ve had the pleasure to meet at different charity events in Charlotte over the years. I’m from Spartanburg, S.C., and Andie (real name Rose) is from nearby Gaffney, so I’ve always followed her career with interest. And Rainey’s aunt, whom she visits as often as possible, lives outside Charlotte and is a beauty, too, just like her sister and niece.

I thought Rainey did an amazing job on the show. And I hope this opens more doors for her because I was so impressed with her as a person and she’s also a talented singer as well as being an actress. And she can dance. A true triple threat. She has a video for her song “Turn Me On Like The Radio” that I just know had to influence the “Mad Men” writers. I wonder if they came up with Rainey’s scene in “Mad Men” based on her sexy but sweet video where she flirts with herself in a mirror.

Here’s the video:

Here’s a link to my original blog about Rainey:

http://cltoliviafortson.blogspot.com/2014/08/turn-on-radio-for-rainey-qualley.html

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