"So many times I think there were great friendships made between a publicist and a star. ... There was a family feeling. ... I think that it was the philosophy that all the studio publicity departments had at that time, which was, you paid attention to your own and you saw that they got the best."
About This Interview
In her two-hour Archive interview, Esme Chandlee (1918-2012) discusses her first job at MGM working in the fan mail department and how this lead to her role as the head of the script department on the lot. She then discusses her move to the studio's publicity department and details what lead to her becoming a junior publicist, followed by her swift rise to senior publicist at MGM. She further delves into the inner workings of the publicity department and shares her recollections of memorable moments at the studio. Chandlee also discusses her time working at Cleary, Strauss & Irvin and eventually opening her own PR office. She also speaks candidly on the effects that Blacklisting had upon her clients and others in the industry and shares her reflections on the entertainment industry and her long and successful career. Reba Merrill conducted the interview on February 21, 2001 in Los Angeles, CA.