Bob Mackie on Divas, Dresses, and More!

Bob Mackie’s name alone conjures up certain iconic celebrities: Cher, Carol Burnett, Barbie… In his Archive interview, Mackie talks about the many incredible stars for whom he’s designed, including Judy Garland, Liza Minnelli and Elton John, and discusses how he not only loves designing flashy pieces, but everyday-wear, too. In the clip below, Mackie discusses the single piece of clothing for which he’s most famous: the curtain rod dress he made for The Carol Burnett Show’s spoof of Gone With the Wind:

Watch Bob Mackie’s full interview here:

About this interview:

In his interview for the Archive of American Television, Bob Mackie recounts his earliest experiences in Hollywood working for respected designers Edith Head and Jean Louis. He discusses working with Ray Aghayan on The Judy Garland Show, and recalls the notable television specials with which he was involved, including Brigadoon, Alice Through the Looking Glass, Carousel and Kismet. Mackie details his eleven-year tenure on The Carol Burnett Show, and explains the weekly requirements for designing costumes for the complex, ensemble show. He speaks fondly of designing costumes for Burnett’s most memorable characters: southern belle Starlett O’Hara from “Went With the Wind,” dim-bulb secretary Mrs. Wiggins, shrill Eunice Harper Higgens, and fading legend Nora Desmond. Mackie describes his successful collaboration with Cher, beginning on The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour and continuing with Cher, The Sonny and Cher Show, and her various television, concert, and public appearances (including her well-known Academy Award outfits). He also comments on his designs for Donny and Marie, The Diahann Carroll Show, and such feature films as “Lady Sings the Blues” and “Funny Lady.” He speaks about his most recent work, including a line of collectible dolls for Mattel’s Barbie, more television collaborations with Carol Burnett, and television specials including Gypsy and Mrs. Santa Claus. Finally, he reminisces about designing for such performers as Bette Midler, Bernadette Peters, Carol Channing, Elton John, Dinah Shore, Ann-Margret, Mitzi Gaynor and Lucille Ball. Jennifer Howard conducted the three hour interview in North Hollywood, CA on June 29, 2000.

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