Actor/Writer Robert Culp on the creation of I Spy.
Archive for the ‘"I Spy"’ Category
Iconic actor Robert Culp’s Archive interview is now available online! For I,Spy fans, here’s a short segment from his interview:
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.
Ruth Engelhardt was interviewed for three-and-a-half hours in Los Angeles, CA. Engelhardt vividly described her over 55-year association with the William Morris Agency. She recalled how she worked her way up from being a secretary to an executive in Business Affairs by earning her law degree attending night school. She discussed the structure of the Agency, the key figures in its executive suites, and its important television accounts. She talked about the packaging of such television series as The Life of Riley, The Danny Thomas Show, and I Spy. She spoke in great detail about the creation of one of the biggest hits of the 1980s, The Cosby Show. Additionally, Engelhardt talked about such topics as contract negotiations, the era of the Hollywood Blacklist, and the 1975 formation of CAA by ex-WMA agents. The interview was conducted by Karen Herman on October 9, 2003.
Earle Hagen was interviewed by TV’s Biggest Hits author Jon Burlingame in 1997. His entire five hour interview can be viewed here.
Mr. Hagen described the pleasure of working with producers Sheldon Leonard and Danny Thomas, and creating the themes, as well as writing the music for: The Danny Thomas Show, The Andy Griffith Show, The Dick Van Dyke Show, I Spy, and Mod Squad, to name a few.
Television legend Sheldon Leonard (1907-97) was one of the first people interviewed when the Archive of American Television began its pilot project in 1996.
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Leonard was the executive producer of such classic television series as The Danny Thomas Show/Make Room for Daddy, The Andy Griffith Show, The Dick Van Dyke Show, and I Spy. He won two Emmy Awards— as director of Make Room for Daddy in 1961 and as producer of My World, and Welcome To It in 1970. In 1995 he was named an Honorary Life Member of the Directors Guild of America for his long-time services to the DGA as treasurer.
Producer/director/creator/writer Sheldon Leonard (1907-97) was interviewed for two-and-a-half hours in Beverly Hills, CA. Not only is Leonard’s interview significant to the Archive because of his death just six months after the interview, but because of the warmth, candor and vivid storytelling apparent throughout the interview. Leonard shared his fondest memories about the pioneering programs he produced such as The Danny Thomas Show, The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Andy Griffith Show, and I Spy. He also spoke highly of the talented group of people he worked with like Danny Thomas, Mary Tyler Moore, Bill Cosby, Dick Van Dyke, Carl Reiner and Andy Griffith. The interview was conducted by Sam Denoff on July 11, 1996.