December 2022/January 2023 Feature – FROM PANTHER TO PARAMOUNT


Florida teen’s star rising with “Yellowstone” debut

Written by: B I L L  L A P LA N T E 

Orli Gottesman graciously accepts flowers after earning
a standing ovation from a sold-out crowd at the Panther
Theatre Company in Fort Myers, Florida. It’s the week
before Thanksgiving and the teen performer has just
wowed them as the concentration camp traumatized
Raja Englanderova in her gripping rendition of holocaust
survival in “I Never Saw Another Butterfly.”

By Christmas Orli Gottesman will have gone
from high school theater to a worldwide
Paramount Network audience with two-time
Academy Award-winner Kevin Costner in the hit
“Yellowstone.” The neo-Western series is clearly a favorite
with Americans, certainly Florida Country Magazine readers.
High praise, indeed.
It’s almost three thousand miles from the Black Box Theatre
at Cypress Lake Center for the Arts in Florida to the big-time
television set for Season 5 of the modern Western hit with primary
shooting at the Chief Joseph Ranch in Darby, Montana.
This is all happened in a short month for Orli and her
family—sister, Arielle—actress/student now studying
entrepreneurship at Florida Gulf Coast University in
Estero, Florida, and in a leadership role at the Chi Omega
sorority—mother Lisa, outstanding California and
southwest Florida realtor—and dad Oren, an airline worker
commuting to Israel.
Talk about globe-girdling high achievers!
Oren Gottesman remembers living near Los Angeles so that
his two daughters could improve their on-camera and stage
skills. The two took acting classes for years including voice
workshops, cold reading, scene study, improv, as well as
trampoline, yoga, singing, tennis, krav maga (Israeli defense
training) and even Disney improv, whatever that is.
Mom fondly recalls time in SoCal when the talented sisters
dressed up as mermaids playing in the backyard pool—it’s
somewhere in the photo history of the Gottesman family.
Lisa and Oren shot these previously unseen family archived
images … now an exclusive to FCM readers!
So, the family is living near LA, helping their daughters
pursue acting careers and getting them to casting calls—
open, invite and general for all manners of on-camera work
including commercials, TV pilots and, hopefully, a series.
One can easily imagine the pace is not much fun, especially fighting
the daily (often hours long) freeway tie-ups. Florida traffic,
though we do complain about it, is slowly paced in comparison.
Seems things are less than perfect in LA for this striving
family, constant stress, audition logistics and the daily crush
of big city living.

How will this coming-of-age relationship develop? Do Halie and Carter
become “an item,” do they ride and rope with the magnificent Montana
peaks serving as background for their potentially romantic evolution?

“I’m living my dream,
the one I’ve had
since I was six!”

—Orli Gottesman

It’s almost three thousand miles from the Black Box Theatre in Fort Myers
to the production set at the Chief Joseph Ranch in Darby, Montana.

So, the family’s talent manager (who lives in Las Vegas) calls,
saying: “Hey, I know you folks enjoyed your time living in
South Florida a few years ago. Post-Covid we can pursue
from further east acting careers for the girls, if you’d prefer
to spend some time there again.”
The Florida family maintains a strong California presence
with the girls’ entertainment pursuits and Lisa’s real estate
brokerage continuing for the California properties she
represents. Lisa went to college in the Golden State, still
having many friends and professional associates there, as do
her daughters and husband.
This family is truly bicoastal!
Orli Gottesman is back at Cypress Lake High School in
Fort Myers reading for parts in the community theater and
Arielle is off to Florida Gulf Coast University studying
to become the next great business builder in the manner
of Bezos and Musk etc. Lisa gets her bicoastal real estate
practice up and running near RSW/Southwest Florida
International Airport and Oren has a United Airlines route
from Chicago to Tel Aviv.
These people do need to be near the airport, you can see.
Things seem to be going well, so the family decided to take
time off for a short stay in Mexico. Yes, they worked for it
and deserve some rest.
Until the phone rang from Vegas.
You guessed it, the manager! She’s calling with good news …
Paramount Network wants Orli in Montana in the next week
for a role in its hit show about the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch
dynasty, powerfully led by Kevin Costner’s John Dutton.
Three thousand miles later and with dad in tow—due to
age considerations one parent must be on set while Orli
works—it’s off to the Darby ranch for a week of multicamera
shooting. “It was my first shoot from several angles,
four cameras running at once,” says Orli.
Her feet firmly planted on the ground, Orli Gottesman
has learned to groom, saddle and ride horses. This comes in

handy in her work on the legendary Dutton family ranch,
fictionalized as the “largest one-piece ranch spread” in America,
according to the scriptwriters at Paramount Network.
Orli’s character has yet to meet leading man Costner/
patriarch John Dutton, who in the new season has been
elected governor of Montana. She admits to trying to “not go
all fangirl” when she does have the inevitable introduction
and chat with the guy who breathed life into characters such
as “Crash” Davis in the baseball classic “Bull Durham” and Lt.
John Dunbar, the sadly heroic cavalry officer in “Dances with
Wolves,” among many other roles in film.
Orli plays Halie, gal pal of teenager Carter (Finn Little).
He’s being raised by Beth (Kelly Reilly), John Dutton’s
somewhat rough-and-tumble daughter, with her newest
hubby Rip (Cole Hauser).
How will this coming-of-age relationship develop? Do Halie
and Carter become “an item,” do they ride and rope with
the magnificent Montana peaks serving as background for
their potentially romantic evolution?
It’s all in the story arc the writers dream up and Florida’s Orli
Gottesman helps bring to television screens Sunday nights.
Hopefully, she gets as big on “Yellowstone” as she did with the
appreciative crowd at Florida’s Panther Theatre weeks earlier.
Wait! Ratings for the 2022 premiere (first show of Season
5) are in. “Yellowstone” set a record for scripted serials with
12.1 million viewers/15 million internationally.
Having already walked the red carpet at New York’s Lincoln
Center opening, Orli reports enthusiastically that, “I’m
living my dream, the one I’ve had since I was six!”
We can only imagine what success comes to this seriously
supportive family for whom dedication to each other and
hard work are lifelong traditions. FCM