News from the Archive

Learn the Facts of Geri Jewell’s Life in her Archive interview!

September 13th, 2016
Geri Jewell

As Cousin Geri on The Facts of Life, Geri Jewell broke ground on American television: she became the first person with a visible disability to have a recurring role on an American primetime TV series. The character was tailored to Geri, a real-life stand-up comic, and at times incorporated jokes from her own comedy routines. Geri Jewell as Cousin Geri literally changed the face of television in 1980.

Geri had another long-standing role in 2004, when David Milch created a role specifically for her on his new HBO series, Deadwood. She not only played Jewel, Al Swearengen’s cleaning lady/cook at the Gem Saloon; Geri also helped create the backstory for her character. 

In her Archive interview Geri also talks about appearing on 21 Jump Street, The Young and the Restless, and Glee, and offers advice for people with disabilities who want to go into entertainment.

Today Geri Jewell turns 60 - celebrate her birthday by watching her full Archive interview!

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Celebrate "That Girl’s" 50th Anniversary with New Interviews from Producers Saul Turteltaub and Bernie Orenstein!

September 8th, 2016
Saul Turteltaub and Bernie Orenstein

That Girl came into our lives on September 8, 1966 when actress Ann Marie met magazine writer Donald Hollinger. But That Girl wasn’t your typical “girl meets boy; girl marries boy” show. This was a show in which the main character, a woman, did not (spolier alert) tie the knot at the end of the series, and that seemingly simple change to the script made a big impact in 1971.

Marlo Thomas (who was both star and Executive producer of the show) was instrumental in deciding Ann’s fate in that final episode, as were creators Bill Persky and Sam Denoff. (See our article from That Girl’s 45th anniversary for a detailed history of the show’s progression.) So, too, were showrunners Bernie Orenstein and Saul Turteltaub, seasoned writers from their combined experiences on The Hollywood Palace, The Monkees, The Shari Lewis Show, and The Carol Burnett Show. The pair wrote several freelance scripts for That Girl from 1967 on and became producers in Season 4. Here’s a taste of their time on the show.

Bernie Orenstein on hiring the writers for That Girl:

Saul Turteltaub on working with Marlo Thomas on That Girl and directing several episodes:

Saul and Bernie took the show through to its then-unconventional ending, then wrote for and/or executive produced The New Dick Van Dyke Show, Sanford and Son, What’s Happening!!, E/R, Kate & Allie, and quite a few other programs. Their interviews are packed full of stories on casting, writing, re-locating, producing, and creating shows. 

So strike a freeze frame in honor of That Girl today and celebrate by watching Bernie Orenstein and Saul Turteltaub’s full interviews!

- by Adrienne Faillace

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Remembering Leslie H. Martinson

September 6th, 2016
Leslie H. Martinson

We’re sad to learn that director Leslie H. Martinson has passed away at the age of 101. He began his career in Hollywood as a script supervisor at MGM Studios following his service in World War II. He started directing television while under contract at Warner Bros. and continued as a freelance director, working on many classic series of the 1950s and 1960s, including The Roy Rogers Show, Maverick, Tales of Wells Fargo, 77 Sunset Strip, and more. He directed both episodes of the Batman television series and the feature film “Batman: The Movie.” Martinson continued directing television into the 1980s, helming dozens of series over the course of his career, from The Brady Bunch and Fantasy Island to Mission: Impossible and Mannix.  

Below are some selections from his 2003 interview:

On collaborating on set:

On advice to aspiring directors:

On how he would like to be remembered:

Watch his full Archive interview and read his obituary in The Hollywood Reporter.

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Hollywood and the Unions

September 6th, 2016

In honor of Labor Day, the Archive has once again partnered with the Google Cultural Institute to create a brand new exhibit: Hollywood and the Unions. Check it out below!

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Remembering Hugh O'Brian

September 6th, 2016
Hugh O'Brian

We’re sad to learn that actor Hugh O’Brian has passed away at the age of 91. Following his service in the Marine Corps during World War II, he began his acting career, appearing in films starring Hollywood legends like Gene Autry and Rock Hudson. O’Brian appeared on various early television shows including Fireside Theatre and The Loretta Young Show, before moving on to his most well-known part: Wyatt Earp in The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp. When that show ended in 1961, he continued to act on television, stage, and screen. In 1958 he established HOBY, the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership organization, which endures to this day.

Below are some selections from his 2005 interview:

On serving in the Marine Corps during World War II:

On being cast on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp:

Watch Hugh O’Brian’s full Archive interview and read his obituary in The New York Times.

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