Posts Tagged ‘“M*A*S*H”’

Veterans Day: Honoring Those Who Served

Sunday, November 11th, 2012

“Television brought the war home in a way that had never been done before. I can remember the Korean War as a kid, and I didn’t see this [Vietnam War] on television that way. I mean there it was, every night in your living room. You are forced to confront the reality of what is going on there. When you would see Cronkite on Friday give the death toll for that week … I think it certainly raised questions because it provided information in a way that had never been done before.  And I think that an informed public shapes opinion.  I think television helped to shape that opinion by shining the light on what was going on there.” – Journalist Ed Bradley

Archive Interviewee Ed Bradley spoke eloquently on how television helped inform public opinion about the Vietnam War. He was not alone in discussing the impact of wars and television war coverage on his life and on the lives of others. Many of the Archive’s interviewees served in the United States Armed Forces, were journalists reporting alongside the troops, or were actors portraying servicemen and women on television. As we honor our veterans this November 11th, here are some selections from interviewees reflecting on times of service in the Armed Forces :

Writer/Performer Sid Caesar on organizing dances to boost troop morale during World War II:

Writer/Producer/Director Larry Gelbart on research for M*A*S*H and learning from those who served in the Korean War:

Actress Barbara Eden on Bob Hope’s unwavering energy during USO Tours:

Journalist Dan Rather on how meeting the Servicemen and Women in Vietnam shaped his news reporting:

Host Pat Sajak on serving as a DJ in the Armed Forces Radio Station in Vietnam:

Producer David Wolper on the importance of the GI Bill:

Thank you to all of the Veterans of the United States Armed Forces for all that you do.

For more reflections on times of service, click here

- by Adrienne Faillace

Actor Harry Morgan Dies at 96

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

Veteran character actor Harry Morgan passed away at his Los Angeles home this morning at the age of 96. Morgan began his career on the stage, appearing in Broadway’s “Golden Boy” in 1937, and signed a contract with 20th Century Fox shortly after his move to California in 1942. He appeared in over 100 movies, including Frankie and Johnny with Elvis Presley, and was one of television’s most prolific actors. Memorable TV roles include that of Officer Bill Gannon, opposite Jack Webb’s Sgt. Friday on the 1967-70 version of Dragnet, and of Colonel Sherman Potter on M*A*S*H. In 1980 he won an Emmy for Best Supporting Actor for the latter. Morgan also appeared in December Bride, Pete and Gladys, and guest starred on numerous shows, including Murder, She Wrote and 3rd Rock From the Sun.

Below are some excerpts from Morgan’s 2004 interview:

On working with Elvis Presley:

On his role on Dragnet:

On M*A*S*H’s Colonel Potter:

On the finale of M*A*S*H:

On winning an Emmy:

On how he’d like to be remembered:

“I’d like to be remembered for being a fairly pleasant person and for having gotten along for the most part with a lot of the people I’ve worked with. And for having a wonderful life and for having enjoyed practically every minute of it. Especially in the picture business and on the stage and I think I’m one of the luckiest people in the world.”

See Harry Morgan’s full Archive of American Television interview here

Read his New York Times obituary here

M*A*S*H’s “The Interview” Aired 35 Years Ago Today

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

On February 24, 1976, one of M*A*S*H’s most well known episodes aired, “The Interview.” In “The Interview,” TV journalist Clete Roberts guest-starred as a newsman who visits the 4077 M*A*S*H unit where he conducts interviews with the “cast” about their wartime experiences.  This episode was presented in black-and-white to emphasize its documentary style; the use of black-and-white turned out to be apropos when it became an instant classic.  The inspiration for the show came from legendary broadcast journalist Edward R. Murrow’s famed visit to the real Korean front for the ’50s documentary series See It Now. “The Interview” was series creator Larry Gelbart’s last M*A*S*H episode.

TV Guide’s Book of Lists ranked this episode as one of the 100 Greatest Episodes of All Time (at #80), one of just two M*A*S*H episodes listed (the other was “Abyssinia Henry” at #20).  Vince Waldron’s Classic Sitcoms: A Celebration of the Best in Prime-Time Comedy called “The Interview,” one of “the [series]’s most effective stylistic departures.  A passionate and often chilling look at war through the eyes of reasonable men and women who find themselves stuck in a most unreasonable situation.”

Click here for a newly curated collection of Archive interviewees talking about the making of this classic episode.

TV Executive & Producer William Self Has Died

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

William Self served as an executive at 20th Century Fox where he oversaw such now-classic TV series as Batman, Julia, and M*A*S*H and was an Emmy-nominated producer of the 1991 Hallmark Hall of Fame production Sarah, Plain and Tall.  Self died on November 15 at the age of 89.

William Self’s Archive interview was conducted on March 27, 2001.

Interview description:

William “Bill” Self was interviewed for three hours in Los Angeles, CA.  Mr. Self started off discussing his early acting career in movies that led to his extensive television producing career.  He talked about producing the series: Schlitz Playhouse of Stars, The Frank Sinatra Show and the pilot of The Twilight Zone.  He then discussed his brief executive position at CBS and his executive producer position at 20th Century Fox Television.  Self talked about his promotions at Fox to the eventual positions of President of 20th Century Fox Television and Vice President of 20th Century Fox Film Corporation, where he oversaw such shows as The Adventures of Dobie Gillis, Batman, Daniel Boone, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Peyton Place, Lost in Space, M*A*S*H, Julia and Room 222, among others.  He ended the interview discussing his relationships with various producers and directors and his partnership with actress Glenn Close on the Sarah Plain and Tall movies.  The interview was conducted by Jeff Abraham.