"You have to give an awful lot to be actor. You have to be awfully strong physically, really, it's a tough grind. Because these hours are terribly long. And also the disappointments are so huge. You might be on the top of the heap and then all of the sudden, boom, you don't get another job. It's very hard to take, truly it is."
About This Interview
In her two hour Archive interview, Jane Wyatt (1910-2006) describes her lengthy career in film, stage, and television. She talks about her feature film debut in 1934 in James Whale's One More River and her subsequent film roles in such classics as Frank Capra's Lost Horizon and Elia Kazan's Gentleman's Agreement. She discusses the McCarthy era, in which she found herself on an industry blacklist, unable to work in film. She recalls her television debut on Robert Montgomery Presents in the title role of "Kitty Foyle" (1950) and talks of working in "live" television. Wyatt then details her most memorable and enduring work for television -- on Father Knows Best (1954-63), in which she played the role of wife and mother "Margaret Anderson," a part that won her three consecutive Emmy Awards. She talks of her later television work on Bell Telephone Hour and Hollywood Television Theatre, and recounts her appearance as Mr. Spock's human mother on the series Star Trek (a role she repeated in the feature film Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home). Wyatt also describes her memorable recurring role as "Katherine Auschlander" on the medical drama St. Elsewhere. Gary Rutkowski conducted the interview on November 16, 1999 in Los Angeles, CA.