Chandra Wilson Makes the Most of Time Off

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During her unexpected wintertime hiatus, the award-winning Chandra Wilson wrapped up her tax returns, cleaned house, attended parent-teacher conferences, picked up an award and even visited her old high school.

Wilson, understandably, would have preferred to be at work, wrapping up Season Four as Dr. Miranda Bailey in the ABC drama Grey's Anatomy.

But the chance for the actress to return to her alma mater, Houston's High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, was one of the brighter spots of her forced time off during the Writers Guild of America strike.

According to her hometown Houston Chronicle, Wilson returned to the school bearing gifts â€" the promise to fund a pair of $2,000 annual college scholarships for HSPVA's theater graduates â€" and in just minutes, produced more genuine, heartfelt laughter than the stern, no-nonsense Miranda Bailey has provided viewers in four years of serious, on-screen hospital corridor stare-downs.

A Chandra Wilson Photo

"There's a whole lot of my mom, a whole lot of Wilma (referring to her mother, Wilma Allen) in Dr. Bailey," Chandra Wilson said, laughing.

"You know mothers. Everything is justified from their point of view. I may see it differently, but she's completely justified with every reaction and suggestion."

Listening to her mom has served Wilson well thus far. Chandra Wilson had acted since age five in Theatre Under The Stars productions, but only applied for the performing arts high school in 1983 at her mother's suggestion - her urging.

"Within two weeks, I knew that was the best decision my mother ever made," she said. "I didn't have professional aspirations. My mom didn't want me to be idle."

Follow this link to continue reading this great account of the amazing Chandra Wilson's time off this winter in the Houston Chronicle ...

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.

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Grey's Anatomy Quotes

[narrating] "At the end of the day, when it comes down to it, all we really want is to be close to somebody. So this thing where we all keep our distance and pretend not to care about each other, it's usually a load of bull. So we pick and choose who we want to remain close to, and once we've chosen those people, we tend to stick close by. No matter how much we hurt them. The people that are still with you at the end of the day, those are the ones worth keeping. And sure, sometimes close can be too close. But sometimes, that invasion of personal space, it can be exactly what you need."

MEREDITH

Did you say it? 'I love you. I don't ever want to live without you. You changed my life.' Did you say it? Make a plan. Set a goal. Work toward it, but every now and then, look around; Drink it in 'cause this is it. It might all be gone tomorrow."

Meredith (closing voiceover)