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Andropov's Pen Pal Samantha Gets Role in Television Pilot

February 25, 1985|Associated Press

MANCHESTER, Me. — Samantha Smith, the schoolgirl whose letter to former Soviet leader Yuri V. Andropov won her VIP treatment from Moscow and worldwide fame, has been cast in a television series.

Samantha, 12, who is in the seventh grade, is scheduled to begin filming a pilot show next month with actor Robert Wagner for a weekly adventure series, her father said. The Columbia Pictures show is slated for ABC-TV next fall, he said.

The girl toured the Soviet Union in 1983 as a guest of the Soviet government after writing a letter to Andropov about her fears of nuclear war.

She has since appeared on talk shows, traveled to Japan to address a children's symposium and written a book about her trip.

Her father, Arthur Smith, who teaches English at the University of Maine at Augusta, said Samantha will play Wagner's daughter on the show. Wagner will play a wealthy insurance investigator living on a Virginia thoroughbred horse farm.

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