Jill Townsend-Sorel

Jill Townsend-Sorel

Jill and Sorel

Jill Townsend-Sorel and her granddaughter, Sorel

I was born in Santa Monica, California, on January 25, 1945.  I grew up In Locust Valley, Long Island. I graduated from The Mater’s School, Dobbs Ferry, New York in 1963. From there, I attended The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, England.

My first theatrical role was on Broadway (Belasco Theatre, then Shubert Theatre) in the British play Inadmissible Evidence by John Osborn.  From there to Hollywood, and back to England in numerous leading roles on film, stage and TV, winning a British Academy Award in the late 70’s.

Retiring from the theatrical world in 1979, I began studying at The London School of Journalism until I got my own page in the financial section of The Daily Mail.

Between 1979 and 1981, I researched and worked on existing and proposed environmental legislation attempting to find ways to stop the prolific dumping of toxic and nuclear waste in Britain. I stood for political office as an Independent to bring attention to the total lack of environmental protection for the British people.  Being an American, my standing for office was totally illegal. I had been in the country for so many years that no one knew I was American… no one questioned my running for a political seat. Thankfully, I lost by 80 votes!

Soon after, I became the Assistant to the Chairman of Windsor Cable Television, helping to develop the first U.K. franchise; marketing, public relations and program development.

Between 1981 and 1989, I studied briefly at The University of Surrey Behavioral Aspects in International Relations until I went to Cambridge, Mass. To Harvard Law School as a Teaching Assistant for 3rd year law students on The Program on Negotiation. This led to becoming a Teaching Assistant on the Law School’s Program of Instruction for Lawyers.

During this time, I became the Deputy Director of The Foundation for International Conciliation based in Geneva, Switzerland. Our purpose:  upon request, bringing together all constituents to a conflict and developing formats for discussions and negotiations.  My field work was in the Middle East, South East Asia. Southern Africa and the South Atlantic.

On my birthday in 1989, I moved back to the States, ending up in California. Form then until 1995, I became a Council Trainer and Facilitator at Crossroads School, Santa Monica, The Ojai Foundation, Highland Hall School,  Pasadena Waldorf School, Meadow Oaks School, New Roads School, Seven Arrows Elementary School, The California Youth Detention Facilities, The White Buffalo Calf Woman Shelter for Abused Women and Children (South Dakota), Zen Center, LA, Mountain Zen Center, Santa Monica Zen Center, Hazy Moon Zen Center and UCLA Extension.

From 1993 to the present:

Director of Leadership Directories, Inc.

I have a son, Luke, who spends his time working Farmer’s Markets for Scarborough Farms in southern California, and visiting and helping his father who lives in England and in Greece.

My husband, Bob, and I live in the Los Padres National Forest outside Ojai.  Together we lead Rites of Passage programs and Vision Fasts. We are Pipe Carriers. Years ago, we were adopted by the Lakota in a Hunkapi Ceremony and given our Lakota names. Our brothers came to our land and built an Inipi – a sweat lodge – where I pour water for the people.

I am a Spiritual Counselor, a Minister and a Ceremonialist.  I listen. I give readings. I am an intuitive. I offer energy healings.

I traveled 1800 miles across the Sarah Desert with the Tuareg Nomads and founded a little school there in a place called Imalole.

I founded The Council of Grandmothers with the greatest help from Ann Stein and Marilyn Salas. At this time, we put out a call for the WisdomKeepers – women over the age of 52 – This is the time when we find our “gifts”, our “medicine” which comes from years of experience and knowledge. We can now transmute that into wisdom.  We all have great gifts .. so we ask ourselves ‘How can we use this wisdom, these gifts, to make the world a better place’?  The call is still out there……

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Paul Blankenship April 21, 2017 at 3:02 am

Ms. Townsend-Sorel, I would like to ask if there is anywhere that fans can obtain an autographed picture. I would be happy to purchase one, if they are available. Although your life has led you to many more important things, please remember that you still have fans out here who have enjoyed your days in acting. Thank you and have a blessed day.

Terry Craigmyle Tetreault June 24, 2017 at 12:57 pm

Hi Toni – Cool website! Saw an old “Columbo” on TV recently – starring Nicol, so naturally I thought of you. I think the last time I saw you was at the Creek. You had just come back from England with a British accent. The last time I heard from Joey was just before she was taking off for Tibet – and asked me if it would be okay for her to pray for me. Of course it was fine with me – I had just been diagnosed with breast cancer for the first time. It was the same year that dear Claire passed. I too am a grandmother now – to 8 year old Luc. Love of my life. Please say “Hi” to Joey and Bobby for me.
Love, Terry

Michael Townsend December 30, 2017 at 5:00 pm

Dear Ms Townsend-Sorel, Just found out about the website, very interesting. I too am from California, Los Gatos, to be exact, but now live in Wichita, KS. Most of my 21 brothers and sisters and my Mother live in California, my dad Danny passed 25 years ago. My grandmother, Beatrice Townsend-Aikman will be 105 years old January 11.
I am writing because I like your statement about grandmother’s, in particular that they have much too offer. My mom lives in Sanora and has been taking care of abandoned infants and toddlers for decades. At 75 she still is helping kids, many of whom have no grandmother but my mom Vicky. Also my wife is a grandmother to three boys and a girl (Kiai died of SIDS at 2.5 months in Germany 10yrs ago). My wife, Lisa, graduated University with a BS in Buiseness Analytics and Marketing and has her own buisness. She did this at age 58 and while raising two of our grandsons at our house for 4yrs, and one is Autistic.
So when you talk about how grandmother’s have a lot of wisdom and knowledge and experience, I completely understand and support you in this endeavor.
Thanks to you and all in your organization.
Michael R Townsend
Wichita KS

Jack Jones January 3, 2018 at 9:24 am

Hi, Jill! I’ve been a fan of yours since your TWWW episode, ” The Night of the Sabatini Death.” I was young, and I believed you really were blind… until I saw you on “Cimarron Strip!” Oh, well! Nice to see you! Sincerely Yours, Jack

Kimberly Cooper April 4, 2018 at 10:08 pm

Hi Jill!

My name is Kimberly Cooper and I’m class of ’92 at Crossroads. I’d love to get in touch with you. We met during my senior year trip to Ojai (Vision Quest)…My path has me returning back to you over a name you gave me at the age of 17 which is exciting. (My daughter turns 17 on May 1st.) I’d love to share more. I live in Palos Verdes now, but get to Ojai at least a couple times a year.

I hope to hear from you.

Tim Rucker August 1, 2018 at 11:30 am

Just a quick hello, I was looking at some old photos from Ojai and the reservation in South Dakota…… long time ago! Thank you both for the fantastic memories! Hope this message finds you both in good health.

Ann Harris Astore October 25, 2018 at 8:46 pm

Dearest Jill, I met your Mom, and Aunts Susan, Phoebe and Uncle Sonny many years ago through Aunt Josephine Sullivan;I believe your great grandmother. My dad Tom Harris was Aunt Josie’s nephew. I remember your grandparents on your mom’s side of the family very well. In fact I visited your home in Locust Valley when I was a young girl. Please give my best to your mom; I grew up in Ossining NY..my maiden name was Ann Harris. I now reside in Levittown,N.Y./my married name is Ann Astore. Hope this note reaches you.

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