The Muscular Dystrophy Association announced today that Jerry Lewis, who presided over 900 hours of MDA live telethons, is retiring as host of the annual event.
“As a labor of love, I’ve hosted the annual Telethon since 1966, and I’ll be making my final appearance on the show this year by performing my signature song, ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’,” Lewis stated in a press announcement. “I’ll continue to serve MDA as its National Chairman – as I’ve done since the early 1950’s. I’ll never desert MDA and my kids.”
Betty White and the entire cast of TV Land’s “Hot in Cleveland” will appear on a panel Wednesday, March 30 at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in North Hollywood, Ca. The event will be moderated by Larry King and special guests include Carl Reiner and Jon Lovitz.
James Wall served as a stage manager for CBS for nearly 50 years and appeared on camera as teacher “Mr. Baxter” on Captain Kangaroo. It was Wall’s idea that Captain Kangaroo should feature an African-American regular, and after serving as the show’s stage manager for six years, he was given the on-screen role starting in 1968. Wall was semi-retired for the last two decades, but frequently came back to CBS as a fill-in stage manager— a job he continued to do until 2009.
James Wall was interviewed for four-and-a-half hours in New York, NY. Wall candidly discussed his experiences as an African-American actor and stage manager in early television. He worked on entertainment programs, sports and news programs including The CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite. Mr. Wall also spoke of his work on Captain Kangaroo, first as stage manager, and later as “Mr. Baxter,” a teacher on the program. The interview was conducted by Michael Rosen.
Wall was given a tribute on the CBS Evening News, link.
With the 62nd Primetime Emmy Nominations, the Archive of American Television congratulates all of the nominees, including our interviewees: Paris Barclay (comedy series direction, Glee) Ken Burns (producer nonfiction series, National Parks: America’s Best Idea) Kevin Clash (producer children’s nonfiction program, When Families Grieve)
Robert A. Dickinson (lighting direction, 82nd Annual Academy Awards)
Dick Ebersol (exec producer special class programs, Vancouver Olympics Opening Ceremony) Sharon Gless (supporting actress drama series, Burn Notice)
Louis J. Horvitz (variety special direction, The Kennedy Center Honors) Shirley Jones (guest actress drama series, The Cleaner)
Susan Lacy (exec producer nonfiction series, American Masters)
Christopher Lloyd (producer/writer comedy series, Modern Family) Sheila Nevins (producer nonfiction special, Teddy: In His Own Words & exceptional merit filmmaking Sergio) Tim Van Patten (miniseries direction, The Pacific) Betty White (guest actress comedy series, Saturday Night Live) Dick Wolf (producer nonfiction series, American Masters)
Special note: With 126 total series nominations, Saturday Night Live has now become the most-nominated series of all-time.
Bea Arthur, the Emmy-winning star of Maude and The Golden Girls, who also garnered a Tony Award for the musical Mame, died Saturday at 86.In January, one of her last public appearances, she was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame. She was interviewed by the Archive in 2001. Click here for her New York Times obituary (with a reference to our interview). The entire 2-1/2 hour interview can be viewed here.
When asked in her interview how she’d like to be remembered, she responded: “As an artist. An important artist.”
Here’s a selection of clips from the Archive’s interview:
Interview Description: Beatrice Arthur was interviewed for two hours plus in Brentwood, CA. In the interview, Arthur talked about the origins of her stage name and how she started out in plays, off and on Broadway. She then talked about her first movie roles and her appearances on The George Gobel Show and Caesar’s Hour. She described her other early appearances on television in The Seven Lively Arts, Omnibus, Perry Como’s Kraft Music Hall and her role in the play and feature film Mame (with Angela Lansbury and Lucille Ball, respectively). She talked about her appearances on All in the Family as the liberal cousin Maude. She then discussed the controversial issues and topics that the series Maude tackled, (such as alcoholism, abortion, death, infidelity and feminism). Arthur also talked extensively about working with Norman Lear on All in the Family and Maude, watching the show 20 years after it first aired and why she eventually left the show. She then briefly talked about her series Amanda’s and then talked affectionately about The Golden Girls. The interview was conducted on March 15, 2001.
Full Interview Description: Robert Culp was interviewed for three hours in Los Angeles, CA. Culp talks about his childhood interests and how he aspired to be an animator for Disney when he grew up. He talks about his acting training and his move to New York City. He explains how he was able to get work in television as an indirect result of the Hollywood Blacklist: since he was a newcomer. He discusseshis early experiences in Los Angeles as a struggling actor and describes his first role as a series regular on the series Trackdown, which he calls a “western Dragnet.” He describes some of the roles he had in a variety of the popular TV genres of the day— western, detective, medical, sci-fi— including his memorable parts on the classic sci-fi anthology The Outer Limits. He then speaks in great detail about the role and the series for which he is most closely associated: “Kelly Robinson” on I, Spy. For this series he talks about the on-location shooting, working with co-star Bill Cosby (and the controversial casting of an African-American lead), and talks about some of the series’ episodes that he wrote as well as acted in. He then discusses two other series for which he memorably appeared: The Greatest American Hero and Everybody Loves Raymond. The interview was conducted by Stephen J. Abramson on November 6, 2007.
By now you’ve probably heard that the great performer and legendary songstress (and one of Batman’s three “Catwoman”), Eartha Kitt died on Christmas Day, 2008 at the age of 81. The Archive of American Television was privileged to interview Ms. Kitt about her television work in 2002. In memoriam, here are some excerpts from the interview:
Eartha Kitt (1927-2008) was interviewed for nearly an hour-and-a-half in New York, NY. Kitt briefly talked about her early stage work in New York and abroad, and her opinions regarding a performer’s relationship with the audience. She described appearing on “live” television in New York in the 1950s, on such series asOmnibus and The Ed Sullivan Show. She discussed the difficulties faced by African-Americans regarding their appearances on television. She discussed her work in filmed television, including guest shots on such series as Mission: Impossible, I Spy, and Batman (as one of the more memorable actresses who played “Catwoman”). The interview was conducted by Michael Rosen on October 15, 2002.
MSN and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences are presenting classic clips from 60 years of the Primetime Emmy Awards. Additionally, Emmy winners who have been interviewed by the Archive of American Television share their stories about their Emmy-winning work and their experiences on Emmy night.
Below are three of the video pieces: Doris Roberts discusses her work on Everybody Loves Raymond and her Emmy acceptance speeches, Joseph Barbera talks about pitching Huckleberry Hound and what winning the Emmy meant to him, and Tim Conway & Harvey Korman talk about their work together and comedic Emmy appearances.