Palm Springs Speaks Speaker Series Announces Full Speaker Schedule for Season Five, Which Includes Fran Drescher

PALM SPRINGS —The remaining speakers for Season Five Palm Springs Speaks have been selected and the full line-up includes appearances by Fran Drescher on Thursday, Jan. 25 at 7:30p.m. at the Richards Center for the Arts at the Palm Springs High School,

Terry McMillan will speak on Tuesday, Feb. 27 and Billy Dee Williams on Thursday March 7, both at the Palm Springs Cultural Center (Historic Camelot Theatre) located at 2300 East Baristo Road.

“We are so excited about our Season Five line-up,” Jeannie Kays, Director of Library Services, said in a prepared statement. “This caliber of speakers demonstrates our commitment to bring a diverse offering of thought-provoking and timely speakers to the Coachella Valley. We appreciate the on-going support of our sponsors, including The City of Palm Springs, LULU American Bistro, Kimpton Rowan Palm Springs, PSUSD Foundation, The Palm Springs Cultural Center, The Development Department, Alfred A Knopf Publishing, and Follet Books, who, without their help we could not present such a robust speaker’s series.”

A VIP catered reception will begin at 6 p.m. for a limited number of attendees to have an exclusive photo opportunity with our speakers on the stage and, when available, receive a copy of their book.

Tickets for each event start at $35 so there is a ticket price for every budget. ADA spaces are available. To purchase tickets or for more information about the speaker series, visit


About Fran Drescher

Fran Drescher has received two Emmy and two Golden Globe nominations for her portrayal as the lovable “Miss Fine” on CBS’s hit series, The Nanny, which she both created and executive produced. She also created, executive produced and starred in the groundbreaking TV Land sitcom, Happily Divorced, which was inspired by her real-life relationship with her gay ex-husband, Peter Marc Jacobson.

An accomplished author, Fran received the prestigious NCCS writer’s award for Cancer Schmancer, which, along with Enter Whining, were New York Times Best Sellers. She also penned the celebrated children’s book, Being Wendy.

A 20-year uterine cancer survivor, Fran turns lemons into lemonade and pain into purpose through her leadership as a cancer advocate. She is the Founder, President, and Visionary of the non-profit, Cancer Schmancer Movement. Fran has won countless awards for her leadership, including the John Wayne Institute Woman of Achievement Award, the Gilda Award, City of Hope Woman of the Year Award, The Albert Einstein Medical School Lifetime Achievement Award, Queens College Lifetime Achievement Award, the Citizen Artist Award, the Human Rights Campaign’s Ally for Equality Award, and the Stonewall and Liberty Bell Awards for her advocacy of Gay Civil Liberties.  She is also the current President of SAG-AFTRA which recently negotiated a landmark contract with the studios for their members.


About Terry McMillan

One of America’s most beloved and critically acclaimed authors, Terry McMillan became the empowering voice of a generation of women with her New York Times #1 bestsellers Waiting to Exhale and How Stella Got Her Groove Back. Known for “irreverent, pitch perfect tales of women’s lives.” McMillan’s seven bestsellers are rich in fearless wisdom, heart-touching characters and unforgettable stories of friendships, healing, intergenerational bonds, and women saving their own lives. A passionate champion of growing older by looking joyously forward, McMillan boldly rejects the concept of “mid-life crisis.” Instead, she evangelizes that anyone, at any age, can “change lanes” to reinvent themselves, overcome obstacles, get out of ruts, and pursue postponed dreams.

McMillan’s latest novel, It’s Not All Downhill from Here, was published in March of 2020 and will be given to VIP attendees.

About Billy Dee Williams

Heralded actor and legendary entertainer Billy Dee Williams was born and raised in New York City. He has starred in more than forty television shows and movies combined and seven Broadway plays. He became a true pop culture icon, playing Lando Calrissian in George Lucas’s The Empire Strikes Back, which was the first Black character in the Star Wars universe. It was a role he reprised in the final film of the original trilogy, The Return of the Jedi, and in the recent sequel The Rise of Skywalker. He lives in Los Angeles.

Williams’ memoir, What Have We Here? is being published in February 2024 and will be given to VIP attendees and available for sale at the event.

About The Friends of the Palm Springs Library

The mission of The Friends of the Palm Springs Library is to support the Library in providing world-class service to the community and by advocating for funding, gifts, and memorials. The Friends of the Palm Springs Library, Inc., acts as the link between the Library, the community, and its elected officials. It supports programs that encourage reading, culture, and the arts as well as volunteer-based activities to support the greater community. The Friends present the Palm Springs Speaks speaker series as a fundraising vehicle benefiting the Palm Springs Public Library.

About Palm Springs Speaks

Palm Springs Speaks is an annual speaker series presenting distinguished speakers from the worlds of art and culture, politics, wellness, and entertainment to the Coachella Valley.  The series was first organized in 2017 by the Palm Springs Cultural Center and the Friends of the Palm Springs Public Library but has evolved with the Friends of the Palm Springs Library as sole presenting sponsor.

Image Sources

  • 2023-Palm-Springs-Speaks-800×568 (1): Palm Springs Library