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A true New York City native, Eleanor (Bolta) Taffner, she spent time working in the advertising industry where she met her husband (Donald L. Taffner, Sr.)before she helped him launch D.L. Taffner Ltd., their own business. The company started out as a worldwide distributor of TV programs and later, as DLT Entertainment Ltd., expanded to TV and stage production.
Specializing in taking UK formats and transferring them into hits for the US, their company was responsible for bringing such shows as “Three’s Company" (the US version of "Man About The House"), “Too Close for Comfort” (the US version of "Keep It In The Family") and “The Benny Hill Show” to the American public. Their London-based entities, DLT Entertainment UK Ltd. and The Theatre of Comedy jointly produced the highly successful "As Time Goes By" starring Dame Judi Dench and Geoffrey Palmer. The company’s most recent success is "My Family" starring Robert Lindsey and Zoe Wanamaker.
A chance encounter in the 1980s, with a dinner companion, resulted in an enthusiastic passion for the works of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, the Glasgow Style and The Glasgow School of Art. In 1986 Don and Eleanor Taffner created the post of Taffner Mackintosh Curator for the school, a position which ensured the upkeep of one of the architect's most distinguished masterpieces and art schools. Eleanor served as a member of the Glasgow School of Art Board of Govenors from 1991-2003 and in 2003 she was named Honorary Vice President of the Glasgow School of Art in recognition of her continued support to the school.
Honored by the City of Glasgow in 1996, Eleanor was awarded the prestigious Lord Provost's medal for her contribution to the arts. Eleanor and Don Sr. were presented with a Wallace award at the 'Icons of Scotland Dinner' hosted by Scotland Magazine in 2005, and are the first individuals with no hereditary connection to Scotland to ever receive the award. As a result of her good work promoting the arts in Scotland, she received an MBE in 2005.
A champion of St. John’s University in New York, Eleanor received an honorary degree from institution in 1994, and was a member of the University Board of Trustees. In 2007, Donald and Eleanor were presented with the Spirit of Service Award for their continuing contribution to the school. Also in New York, she served on the Board of the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation as well as the Board of Lenox Hill Hospital.
Eleanor and Don Sr. were also given Johnny’s Angel Awards by St John’s Bread and Life in 2005, an organization that is devoted to getting food to those who need it in Brooklyn and Queens.
Eleanor passed away Septmber 15, 2010.
Learn about Donald and Eleanor Taffner's joint impact on the industry here (requires PDF reader).