Cybill Shepherd

Actor


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In her two-hour interview, Cybill Shepherd describes her childhood growing up in Memphis, Tennessee and discusses her early modeling career. She talks about her first film role in The Last Picture Show and working with director Peter Bogdanovich, and touches on other film roles (in The Heartbreak Kid and Taxi Driver) as well as her work in theater. She then discusses her first television show, The Yellow Rose, and details her role as "Maddie Hayes" on the ABC drama Moonlighting. Shepherd recalls how she got the role, talks of working with co-star Bruce Willis, tells of shooting memorable episodes of Moonlighting (including "Atomic Shakespeare" and the black and white episode, "The Dream Sequence Always Rings Twice"), and comments on the legacy of the show. She explains how her CBS sitcom, Cybill, came about, talks about working with creator Chuck Lorre and co-star Christine Baranski, and describes her role as an executive producer on the show. She then talks about co-hosting (with Jason Alexander) the 47th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards and hosting the syndicated talk show Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, and speaks about her work on The L Word and The Client List. She recalls executive producing the TV movie Memphis and playing Martha Stewart in two TV movies, Martha, Inc: The Story of Martha Stewart and Martha Behind Bars, and concludes with remarks about working with directors and advice to aspiring actors. Adrienne Faillace conducted the interview on October 21, 2019 in North Hollywood, CA.

All views expressed by interviewees are theirs alone and not necessarily those of the Television Academy.

"The main thing was that Maddie [Hayes] was very smart. The whole idea [was] that you can have that physical beauty and be very smart and funny."

People Talking About ...
Highlights
Cybill Shepherd on her Moonlighting character, "Maddie Hayes", and "Maddie's" relationship with "David Addison"
00:39
Cybill Shepherd on her chemistry with Bruce Willis on Moonlighting
00:17
Cybill Shepherd on memorable episodes of Moonlighting: "The Dream Sequence Always Rings Twice" (the black and white episode, introduced by Orson Welles)
01:28
Cybill Shepherd on how her sitcom Cybill came about and being an executive producer on the show
03:08
Cybill Shepherd on Jane Lynch playing her love interest on The L Word
00:16
Cybill Shepherd on Orson Welles' advice to her on how to learn more about acting
01:14
Full Interview

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Chapter 1

On her childhood and early influences; on how she got the name "Cybill"; on growing up in Memphis, Tennessee; on her interests when she was younger; on her modeling career; on studying opera; on Orson Welles' advice to her on how to learn more about acting; on television commercials she appeared in and transitioning from print modeling to television
On her first film, The Last Picture Show, directed by Peter Bogdanovich; on her film and theater work; on screening great films with Peter Bogdanovich and learning about filmmaking
On the first TV show she acted in, The Yellow Rose; on meeting with Glenn Gordon Caron to discuss Moonlighting and on her inspiration for "Maddie Hayes"; on Bruce Willis getting cast as "David Addison"; on production and memorable episodes of Moonlighting
On what she enjoys about acting; on how her sitcom Cybill came about, memorable episodes, and the legacy of the show

Chapter 2

On co-hosting (with Jason Alexander) the 47th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards; on hosting the syndicated talk show Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus; on doing publicity for television shows she was in; on her stance on doing nude scenes; on singing in the Moonlighting episode, "The Dream Sequence Always Rings Twice"
On playing "Phyllis Kroll" on The L Word; on her work in the original TV movie and subsequent series The Client List; on executive producing the TV movie Memphis
On playing Martha Stewart in two TV movies, Martha, Inc: The Story of Martha Stewart and Martha Behind Bars; on working with directors Mimi Leder, Peter Bogdanovich, and Martin Scorsese; on how opportunities for women have changed since she started in the industry; on fame and celebrity throughout her career and trying to use her celebrity for good
On how she deals with reviews and criticism; on mentors throughout her career; on advice to an aspiring actor; on the value of oral histories; on how she'd like to be remembered
Shows

Client List, The

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Cybill Shepherd on her work in the original TV movie and subsequent series The Client List and on having a good rapport with the director of photography
02:19

Cybill

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Cybill Shepherd on doing comedy on Moonlighting and later on Cybill with Christine Baranski
01:03
Cybill Shepherd on how her sitcom Cybill came about and being an executive producer on the show
03:08
Cybill Shepherd on production on her sitcom Cybill
01:07
Cybill Shepherd on problems with CBS Standards & Practices on Cybill
01:19
Cybill Shepherd on her character on Cybill and singing live on the show
01:54
Cybill Shepherd on memorable episodes of Cybill
01:12
Cybill Shepherd on Cybill coming to an end and the legacy of the show
02:32

Emmy Awards, The (Primetime and Daytime)

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Cybill Shepherd on co-hosting (with Jason Alexander) the 47th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards
01:18

I Love Lucy

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Cybill Shepherd on watching I Love Lucy when she was younger
00:26

L Word, The

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Cybill Shepherd on playing "Phyllis Kroll" on The L Word and on her daughter, Clementine, being on the show
01:47
Cybill Shepherd on enjoying her time as "Phyllis Kroll" on The L Word
00:55

Late Night with David Letterman

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Cybill Shepherd on talk show appearances: with David Letterman as host
01:13

Memphis

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Cybill Shepherd on executive producing the TV movie Memphis
01:57

Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus

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Cybill Shepherd on hosting the syndicated talk show, Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus
02:15

Moonlighting

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Cybill Shepherd on meeting with Glenn Gordon Caron to discuss Moonlighting and on her inspiration for "Maddie Hayes"
00:54
Cybill Shepherd on production on Moonlighting, her chemistry with Bruce Willis, and on Bruce Willis getting cast as "David Addison"
02:25
Cybill Shepherd on the pilot of Moonlighting and on a memorable pie fight scene
00:45
Cybill Shepherd on the success of Moonlighting and on the films that served as her inspiration for the show and her speed-talking as "Maddie Hayes"
01:00
Cybill Shepherd on her process for learning the dialogue on Moonlighting
00:35
Cybill Shepherd on her Moonlighting character, "Maddie Hayes", and "Maddie's" relationship with "David Addison"
00:39
Cybill Shepherd on the camera work on Moonlighting during the eventual love scene between "Maddie" and "David"
00:36
Cybill Shepherd on "Maddie" and "David" finally getting together on Moonlighting and on her real-life pregnancy being written into the show
01:47
Cybill Shepherd on a typical production week on Moonlighting
00:57
Cybill Shepherd on doing comedy on Moonlighting and later on Cybill with Christine Baranski
01:03
Cybill Shepherd on similarities between her Moonlighting character, "Maddie Hayes," and herself
00:35
Cybill Shepherd on memorable episodes of Moonlighting: "The Dream Sequence Always Rings Twice" (the black and white episode, introduced by Orson Welles)
01:28
Cybill Shepherd on memorable episodes of Moonlighting: "Big Man on Mulberry Street"
00:52
Cybill Shepherd on memorable episodes of Moonlighting: "Atomic Shakespeare"
00:41
Cybill Shepherd on breaking the fourth wall on Moonlighting
00:36
Cybill Shepherd on the "Atomic Shakespeare" episode of Moonlighting being in iambic pentameter
00:27
Cybill Shepherd on Moonlighting being the perfect show at the perfect time for her
00:17
Cybill Shepherd on memorable episodes of Moonlighting: "The Straight Poop" with guest star Rona Barrett and a cameo by Peter Bogdanovich; on how women were lit on the show and the expectations of how "Maddie" would look
02:41
Cybill Shepherd on rumored tensions on the set of Moonlighting and fighting with Bruce Willis before fight scenes
01:15
Cybill Shepherd on Glenn Gordon Caron leaving Moonlighting before the show ended and Jay Daniel becoming showrunner
00:32
Cybill Shepherd on how she learned Moonlighting would be ending and on the series finale
01:27
Cybill Shepherd on how she felt about Moonlighting ending
00:20
Cybill Shepherd on the legacy of Moonlighting
01:16
Cybill Shepherd on the supporting cast of Moonlighting
00:28
Cybill Shepherd on problems with ABC Standards & Practices on Moonlighting
00:38
Cybill Shepherd on singing in the Moonlighting episode, "The Dream Sequence Always Rings Twice"
02:16

Moonlighting: "Atomic Shakespeare"

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Cybill Shepherd on memorable episodes of Moonlighting: "Atomic Shakespeare"
00:41
Cybill Shepherd on the "Atomic Shakespeare" episode of Moonlighting being in iambic pentameter
00:27

Moonlighting: "The Dream Sequence Always Rings Twice"

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Cybill Shepherd on memorable episodes of Moonlighting: "The Dream Sequence Always Rings Twice" (the black and white episode, introduced by Orson Welles)
01:28
Cybill Shepherd on singing in the Moonlighting episode, "The Dream Sequence Always Rings Twice"
02:16

Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, The

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Cybill Shepherd on talk show appearances: with Johnny Carson as host
00:35

Yellow Rose, The

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Cybill Shepherd on the first TV show she acted in, The Yellow Rose
00:14
Cybill Shepherd on enjoying her work on her first television show, The Yellow Rose
00:32
Topics

Advertising and Sponsorship

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Cybill Shepherd on television commercials she appeared in and how she made the adjustment from print work to television acting
01:17
Cybill Shepherd on television commercials she appeared in
01:17

Advice

View Topic
Cybill Shepherd on Orson Welles' advice to her on how to learn more about acting
01:14
Cybill Shepherd on advice to an aspiring actor
02:44

Censorship / Standards & Practices

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Cybill Shepherd on problems with ABC Standards & Practices on Moonlighting
00:38

Characters & Catchphrases

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Cybill Shepherd on her Moonlighting character, "Maddie Hayes", and "Maddie's" relationship with "David Addison"
00:39

Creative Influences and Inspiration

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Cybill Shepherd on mentors throughout her career
01:31

Criticism of TV

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Cybill Shepherd on how she deals with reviews and criticism
01:35

Historic Events and Social Change

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Cybill Shepherd on how opportunities for women have changed since she started in the industry
01:15

Memorable Moments on Television

View Topic
Cybill Shepherd on memorable episodes of Moonlighting: "The Dream Sequence Always Rings Twice" (the black and white episode, introduced by Orson Welles)
01:28

Pivotal Career Moments

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Cybill Shepherd on mentors throughout her career
01:31

Pop Culture

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Cybill Shepherd on her Moonlighting character, "Maddie Hayes", and "Maddie's" relationship with "David Addison"
00:39

Representation on Television

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Cybill Shepherd on how opportunities for women have changed since she started in the industry
01:15

Television Industry

View Topic
Cybill Shepherd on Orson Welles' advice to her on how to learn more about acting
01:14
Cybill Shepherd on problems with ABC Standards & Practices on Moonlighting
00:38
Cybill Shepherd on problems with CBS Standards & Practices on Cybill - not being able to say "menstruation" and "menopause"
01:19
Cybill Shepherd on problems with CBS Standards & Practices on Cybill - not being able to say "menstruation" and "menopause"
01:19
Cybill Shepherd on fame and celebrity throughout her career and trying to use her celebrity for good
02:44
Cybill Shepherd on how she deals with reviews and criticism
01:35
Cybill Shepherd on advice to an aspiring actor
02:44

Women

View Topic
Cybill Shepherd on how opportunities for women have changed since she started in the industry
01:15
Professions

Actor

View Profession
Cybill Shepherd on acting advice she received from a fellow actor (Jason Robards)
00:33
Cybill Shepherd on what she likes in a director and getting to know John Ford and how he directed
00:55
Cybill Shepherd on her process for learning the dialogue on Moonlighting
00:35
Cybill Shepherd on what she enjoys about acting
01:00
Cybill Shepherd on what being in front of a live audience adds to a performance
00:25
Cybill Shepherd on acting in different media and what she learned about film by screening movies with Peter Bogdanovich
00:53
Cybill Shepherd on mentors throughout her career: Stella Adler and what she learned from her; on what she learned from performers and directors she worked with
02:45

Performers

View Profession
Cybill Shepherd on acting advice she received from a fellow actor (Jason Robards)
00:33
Cybill Shepherd on what she likes in a director and getting to know John Ford and how he directed
00:55
Cybill Shepherd on her process for learning the dialogue on Moonlighting
00:35
Cybill Shepherd on what she enjoys about acting
01:00
Cybill Shepherd on what being in front of a live audience adds to a performance
00:25
Cybill Shepherd on acting in different media and what she learned about film by screening movies with Peter Bogdanovich
00:53
Cybill Shepherd on mentors throughout her career: Stella Adler and what she learned from her; on what she learned from performers and directors she worked with
02:45
Genres

Awards Shows

View Genre
Cybill Shepherd on co-hosting (with Jason Alexander) the 47th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards
01:18

Comedy Series

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Cybill Shepherd on how her sitcom Cybill came about, memorable episodes, and the legacy of the show
12:07

Drama Series

View Genre
Cybill Shepherd on production on Moonlighting, her chemistry with Bruce Willis, and memorable episodes
24:02
Cybill Shepherd on singing in the Moonlighting episode, "The Dream Sequence Always Rings Twice"
02:16
Cybill Shepherd on playing "Phyllis Kroll" on The L Word and on her daughter, Clementine, being on the show
01:47
Cybill Shepherd on enjoying her time as "Phyllis Kroll" on The L Word
00:53
Cybill Shepherd on her work in the original TV movie and subsequent series The Client List and on having a good rapport with the director of photography
02:19

TV Movies/Miniseries/Dramatic Specials

View Genre
Cybill Shepherd on executive producing the TV movie Memphis
01:57
Cybill Shepherd on playing Martha Stewart in two TV movies, Martha, Inc: The Story of Martha Stewart and Martha Behind Bars
02:22

Talk Shows

View Genre
Cybill Shepherd on hosting the syndicated talk show, Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus
02:15
People

Stella Adler

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Cybill Shepherd on mentors throughout her career: Stella Adler and what she learned from her
00:58

Jason Alexander

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Cybill Shepherd on co-hosting (with Jason Alexander) the 47th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards
00:16

Christine Baranski

View Person Page
Cybill Shepherd on doing comedy on Cybill with Christine Baranski
00:33
Cybill Shepherd on how her sitcom Cybill came about and the relationship between "Cybill" and "Maryann" on the show
00:48

Rona Barrett

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Cybill Shepherd on memorable episodes of Moonlighting: "The Straight Poop" with guest star Rona Barrett and a cameo by Peter Bogdanovich
01:05

Peter Bogdanovich

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Cybill Shepherd on her first film, The Last Picture Show, directed by Peter Bogdanovich
00:53
Cybill Shepherd on screening great films with Peter Bogdanovich and learning about filmmaking; on Peter Bogdanovich as a director
01:15
Cybill Shepherd on Peter Bogdanovich telling her she should start lying about her age when she acted in The Last Picture Show
00:13
Cybill Shepherd on memorable episodes of Moonlighting: "The Straight Poop" with guest star Rona Barrett and a cameo by Peter Bogdanovich
02:01
Cybill Shepherd on acting in different media and what she learned about film by screening movies with Peter Bogdanovich
00:52
Cybill Shepherd on a note from director Peter Bogdanovich for a scene in The Last Picture Show
00:42

Glenn Gordon Caron

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Cybill Shepherd on meeting with Glenn Gordon Caron to discuss Moonlighting and on her inspiration for "Maddie Hayes"
00:54
Cybill Shepherd on meeting and working with Moonlighting creator Glenn Gordon Caron
00:24
Cybill Shepherd on Glenn Gordon Caron leaving Moonlighting before the show ended and Jay Daniel becoming showrunner
00:32

Johnny Carson

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Cybill Shepherd on talk show appearances: with Johnny Carson as host
00:35

George Cukor

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Cybill Shepherd on reading for George Cukor and the feedback he gave her
00:28

Jay Daniel

View Person Page
Cybill Shepherd on Glenn Gordon Caron leaving Moonlighting before the show ended and Jay Daniel becoming showrunner
00:32
Cybill Shepherd on how her sitcom Cybill came about
01:11

Stanley Donen

View Person Page
Cybill Shepherd on memorable episodes of Moonlighting: "Big Man on Mulberry Street"
00:52

Peter Falk

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Cybill Shepherd on Peter Falk being wonderful in Columbo
00:26

Gerald Perry Finnerman

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Cybill Shepherd on the camera work on Moonlighting during the eventual love scene between "Maddie" and "David"
00:36
Cybill Shepherd on memorable episodes of Moonlighting: "The Straight Poop" and a reference to how women were lit on the show
00:54

John Ford

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Cybill Shepherd on what she likes in a director and getting to know John Ford and how he directed
00:55

Merv Griffin

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Cybill Shepherd on hosting the syndicated talk show, Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus (executive produced by Merv Griffin)
00:15
Cybill Shepherd on working with Merv Griffin
00:30

Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Cybill Shepherd on her recollections of the day Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated
00:41

Mimi Leder

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Cybill Shepherd on working with director Mimi Leder
01:39

David Letterman

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Cybill Shepherd on talk show appearances: with David Letterman as host
01:13

Chuck Lorre

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Cybill Shepherd on how her sitcom Cybill came about
01:11

Jane Lynch

View Person Page
Cybill Shepherd on Jane Lynch playing her love interest on The L Word
00:16

Elaine May

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Cybill Shepherd on working with director Elaine May in The Heartbreak Kid
01:06
Cybill Shepherd on Elaine May casting her in The Heartbreak Kid at the last minute
00:30

Robert De Niro

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Cybill Shepherd on her role in Taxi Driver and working with Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese
00:52

Jason Robards, Jr.

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Cybill Shepherd on acting advice she received from a fellow actor (Jason Robards)
00:32

Martin Scorsese

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Cybill Shepherd on her role in Taxi Driver and working with Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese
00:52
Cybill Shepherd on working with director Martin Scorsese in Taxi Driver
01:03

Neil Simon

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Cybill Shepherd on Neil Simon, writer of The Heartbreak Kid
00:21

Martha Stewart

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Cybill Shepherd on playing Martha Stewart in two TV movies, Martha, Inc: The Story of Martha Stewart and Martha Behind Bars
02:22

Gore Vidal

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Cybill Shepherd on performing in the Gore Vidal play "The Best Man" - and how her opera training helped her to project
00:13
Cybill Shepherd on performing in the Gore Vidal play "The Best Man" and her friendship with Gore Vidal
00:43

Orson Welles

View Person Page
Cybill Shepherd on Orson Welles' advice to her on how to learn more about acting
01:14
Cybill Shepherd on memorable episodes of Moonlighting: "The Dream Sequence Always Rings Twice" (the black and white episode, introduced by Orson Welles)
01:28

Bruce Willis

View Person Page
Cybill Shepherd on her chemistry with Bruce Willis on Moonlighting
00:17
Cybill Shepherd on Bruce Willis getting cast as "David Addison" on Moonlighting
00:59
Cybill Shepherd on rumored tensions on the set of Moonlighting and fighting with Bruce Willis before fight scenes
01:44

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