In his Archive interview, Jeffrey Hayden talks about his career as an associate director in the first years of the ABC-TV network (1948-50) and as a prolific director of comedy and drama series from the 1950s to the 1980s, including: The Donna Reed Show; The Andy Griffith Show; 77 Sunset Strip; Peyton Place; Quincy M.E.; Palmerstown, U.S.A.; and Knight Rider. Hayden outlines how he came to produce one of the earliest sitcoms The Billy Bean Show (with Arnold Stang), before he began his work as a director gaining experience on such programs as the variety series The Bert Parks Show and quiz/variety show The Big Payoff. He talks about his acceptance into the Actors Studio and its influence on his work, and notes throughout the interview the importance of rehearsal and improvisation to his directing style. Among dramatic series, he comments on the Philco-Goodyear Playhouse (and a memorable production he did with a difficult James Dean), 77 Sunset Strip (and the rewrites he’d do with the cast during lunch hour, despite network warnings to stick to the script), and The Lloyd Bridges Show (which he describes as one of the most arduous directing jobs of his career). He speaks fondly of his years on The Donna Reed Show, working with writer-producer Paul West who incorporated some of Hayden’s own family life into scripts and The Andy Griffith Show, a reunion with Griffith whom Hayden knew from his college days. For Peyton Place, Hayden notes his working relationship with breakout stars Ryan O’Neal and Mia Farrow (and the dramatic real-life moment when Farrow decided to cut her hair short mid-season). Among the other personalities he discusses are: E. G. Marshall (The Bold Ones), Peter Deuel (Alias Smith and Jones), Raymond Burr (Ironside), and Jack Klugman (Quincy, M.E.). Additionally for Quincy, Hayden discusses memorable episodes: “Seldom Silent, Never Heard,” that influenced the passing of the Orphan Drug Act (ODA) and “Nowhere to Run,” whose incest storyline hampered actor Charles Aidman’s career. He recounts the challenges he faced working on the series The Incredible Hulk, Knight Rider, and Palmerstown U.S.A. (this series led to a DGA rule about providing drivers to locations). Lastly, he acknowledged his satisfying work on daytime soaps Capitol and Santa Barbara (a return to the kind of work he did in his “live” TV days) and on two documentaries he made in the 1990s. Jeffrey Hayden was interviewed in Los Angeles, CA on April 29, 2010; Stephen Bowie conducted the two-and-a-half-hour interview.
Archive for the ‘"Peyton Place"’ Category
Actress Ruby Dee won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role for American Gangster and has received her very first Oscar nomination for the role as well. Dee’s acting career spans over sixty years. The Archive interviewed both Dee and her late husband (and frequent) co-star Ossie Davis.
Ruby Dee talked about her start as an actress in feature films and on Broadway. She described the experience of being an African-American lead actress working in series television— a rare sight in the 1950s and 60s. She described her early work in television, such as her regular role in the 1955 soap opera This Is Nora Drake. She talked about her continued work in television in the 1960s on the anthology series Actor’s Choice, Camera Three, and Play of the Week, as well as the drama series The Nurses, East Side/West Side, and The Defenders. She talked about her regular roles on the series The Guiding Light (as “Martha Frazier”) and Peyton Place (as “Alma Miles”). She talked about her numerous roles in television movies and miniseries in the 1970s including I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and Roots: The Next Generations. She spoke of her collaborations with her husband of many years Ossie Davis, including their radio show With Ossie and Ruby (1981-82).
Click here to access all interview segments.
In her seven-part (each 30-minute segement is posted separately) oral history interview, actress/director Lee Grant discusses her long and distinguished career in stage, television, and film. She describes her breakthrough role in the stage and film versions of Detective Story. She talks about her early television work in the anthology series The Play’s The Thing and Danger. She discusses her role as a regular on the daytime serial Search For Tomorrow. Ms. Grant describes in detail the Hollywood blacklist period which affected her and her husband of the time Arnold Manoff. She talks about her Emmy-winning role on the prime time serial Peyton Place and her work on the sitcom Fay, which followed her Oscar® win for the film Shampoo. She discusses her television directorial debut, for the special The Shape of Things and her work in front of and behind the camera for television movies and documentaries in the 1980s and 1990s. The interview was conducted on May 10, 2000 by Henry Colman.