"I think my career achievement is carrying the torch for women in the business. I know I am respected a lot, and I think I helped pave the way for more women. I don't know, I don't think I have a greatest achievement. I think my greatest achievement is I did really good work."
About This Interview
In her three-and-a-half hour Archive interview, Ruth Engelhardt (1921-2008) vividly describes her over 55-year association with the William Morris Agency. She recalls how she worked her way up from being a secretary to an executive in Business Affairs by earning her law degree attending night school. She discusses the structure of the Agency, the key figures in its executive suites, and its important television accounts. She talks about the packaging of such television series as The Life of Riley, The Danny Thomas Show, and I Spy. She speaks in great detail about the creation of one of the biggest hits of the 1980s, The Cosby Show. Additionally, Engelhardt talks about such topics as contract negotiations, the era of the Hollywood Blacklist, and the 1975 formation of CAA by ex-WMA agents. B-roll consisted of a few photos of Engelhardt with William Morris colleagues. Karen Herman conducted the interview in Los Angeles, CA on October 9, 2003.