"I got into television because I knew it was a new age and that it was the medium where people were going to go for their information. The entertainment industry was such an important industry, and it deserved a different kind of attention."
About This Interview
In her three-hour Archive interview, Rona Barrett talks about her drive to enter the entertainment industry. She recalls moving to Hollywood and attempting to make a name for herself, and recounts her big break when Leonard Goldenson, head of ABC, allowed her to be part of the nightly KABC newscast as the gossip reporter and eventually syndicated her segments around the country. She discusses getting her stories and her sources, and getting stories passed though the legal department. She speaks of her look and her personal style, as well as her own celebrity and what it was like to be as well known as some some of those she reported on. Barrett talks of being part of, along with David Hartman and Nancy Dussault, the original Good Morning America team and the impact that had on her career. She outlines her tumultuous time at NBC, including a stint on Today and co-hosting Tomorrow with Tom Snyder. She details her evening network interview specials and speaking to such stars as Cher (in her bed), Tom Cruise, Richard Pryor, and Bette Davis. She ends by giving advice to aspiring gossip reporters and discussing her current work providing housing and comfort to the elderly. Karen Herman conducted the interview on August 6, 2013 in North Hollywood, CA.