Punta Gorda woman celebrates 100th birthday after life in movies, TV

Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:

Punta Gorda resident Adeline Leonard Seakwood celebrates her 100th birthday on Jan. 27. after a long life spent onscreen and behind the scenes of movies and television.

Seakwood was born in Brooklyn, NY. At 15, she became a model and also auditioned and was cast in a few commercials. Later on, she was often cast as an extra in movies.

When Alfred Hitchcock was directing “North by Northwest,” he placed Seakwood in the elevator scene next to Hollywood heartthrob Cary Grant. On the first take, Grant was standing directly in front of her. During a pause in shooting, Seakwood whispered in his ear, “My mother will never forgive you.” Grant moved to his left so she could be seen on camera when they started shooting the scene again.

Moving forward, the rest of her career was spent behind the camera in production. She co-founded her union local 161, Production Secretaries and Script Supervisors, and was heavily involved in negotiations to change the name to Production Office Coordinators, ultimately Production Coordinators & Script Supervisors.

Seakwood worked on TV shows in the ’60s, including “Naked City,” “The Patty Duke Show” and “The Defenders,” among others. She later worked as the production coordinator on movies with iconic actors including Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Christopher Reeves, Peter Falk, Michael J Fox, Farrah Fawcett, Burt Reynolds and more.

In 1980, she married Maj. Herbert J. Seakwood. They were married for 36 years until he passed in 2016. They moved to Punta Gorda in 1992. Adeline was asked by the Punta Gorda Civic Association to serve as their Sunshine Lady, a position she holds to this day. You can usually find her at Harpoon Harrys when the BoogieMen are playing.

Seakwood’s daughter Nanette Leonard hosted a 100th birthday bash on Jan. 13 with over 90 of her mom’s closest friends in attendance.

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