By ALAN SMASON, Exclusive to the CCJN
Before she became a Hollywood celebrity and cable TV star, Rhonda Shear was a young Jewish lady working towards a degree in Mass Communication at Loyola University. Now a lingerie manufacturer with a company with an estimated $100 million annual in sales, Shear claims that the degree she earned four decades ago was the foundation she needed to achieve success in all of her undertakings.
In recognition of her success as an entrepreneur and her earlier success in media, the Loyola University Department of Mass Communications chose to honor Shear this year with elevation into the “Den of Distinction,” a hall of fame for successful Loyola University graduates like her that has been in existence for the past decade.
At a reception held this Friday afternoon, Shear was honored by members of the department and other university officials including her former mentor and university president, Father James Carter.
“Considering what I’ve done in my career,” the shapely blonde told the CCJN in a phone interview, “I’ve gone from politics in New Orleans to commercials to show business to comedy and having my own show to completely reinventing myself starting up an apparel business and being on the air with it, representing it myself, I have to say that a communications degree was a good background.”
Shear had expected to become a broadcaster like her idol, Channel 4’s Angela Hill. But that was not to be. Despite her lack of broadcasting assignments, Shear proceeded to use her degree to advance her other careers, using her on-camera experience and writing skills to make her into a better performer. “I learned not to have in speaking out and learning how to sell myself, I guess,” she added.
She noted that a fashion career was not even an option at the point she graduated in 1977. “I wouldn’t have even thought about fashion,” she admitted.
Shear was notified of the honor being afforded her a few months ago. She recently published an autobiography with advice on becoming successful in October. It is titled “Up All Night: From Hollywood Bombshell to Lingerie Mogul.”