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Clarkson worries about mom in New Orleans

Actress says mother — a city councilwoman — is safe
/ Source: The Associated Press

Actress Patricia Clarkson appeared before the media to promote her new film, but her mind was on her mother Jackie — a New Orleans councilwoman who stayed at the side of Mayor Ray Nagin while Hurricane Katrina ravaged the city.

"She's all right, otherwise I wouldn't be here," said Clarkson, one of the stars of "Good Night, and Good Luck," made by her friend George Clooney. She described herself as a New Orleans native.

Clarkson's mom "was on the 12th floor of the Hyatt," Clooney said approvingly.

The actress plays the role of Shirley Wershba, who was part of broadcast pioneer Edward R. Murrow's CBS team during the Sen. Joseph McCarthy hearings of the 1950s to root out communists in the United States.

Clarkson said she drew on the personality of her mother in trying to get into the psyche of Wershba, who comes across as assertive in the film, despite the backseat role most women played in broadcast journalism a half-century ago.

The actress described her mom as a strong woman.