AUSTIN (KXAN) — Ann Richards, only the second female governor in Texas history, was bold and brassy. Bigger than life.
Could a movie capture that? HBO thinks they’ve done it with their new documentary “All About Ann,” which made it’s premiere Wednesday in Austin.
Richards was considered a champion of the poor, women and education. HBO film producer Curry Glassell says she just had to make this movie.
“Because she was a progressive Texan, and a woman who valued people, and cared about people,” Glassell said. “That touched my heart and this movie just had to be made.”
Richards was an only child raised in rural Texas. She was educated at Baylor. She loved teachin’ and politickin’.
Her longtime husband and childhood sweetheart, David, encouraged her to run for political office. She warned it would be the end of them. She won statewide office and the couple eventually divorced after 31 years.
Known for her silver hair and silver tongue, Richards could deliver a wicked barb, memorably saying of George Bush the Elder at the 1988 Democratic Convention, “Poor George, he can’t help it. He was born with a silver foot in his mouth.”
The Bushes got their revenge when George W. Bush defeated Richards’ reelection bid in 1995, before later moving on to the White House.
HBO filmmaker Phillip Schlopper laments that a generation of Texans has grown up not knowing much about Richards.
“I was keen to see a new generation learn of her because there hasn’t been anything yet out there about Ann Richards.”
At the film premiere, the Richards family seem pleased.
“I really felt they captured my mom and what she was trying to do, which was really unique,” said Ann’s daughter, Ellen.
When she announced her late stage cancer eight years ago, Ann, with a constant smile, only wanted to talk about the school she was creating. The Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders, a place where ladies could learn to stretch their wings and be all that they could be.
Ann Richards died of cancer in 2006, surrounded by family.
Her academy graduated it’s first senior class in 2013.