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.

"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"
Cybill Shepherd on her chemistry with Bruce Willis on Moonlighting
Cybill Shepherd on memorable episodes of Moonlighting: "The Dream Sequence Always Rings Twice" (the black and white episode, introduced by Orson Welles)
Cybill Shepherd on how her sitcom Cybill came about and being an executive producer on the show
Cybill Shepherd on Jane Lynch playing her love interest on The L Word
Cybill Shepherd on Orson Welles' advice to her on how to learn more about acting
Full Interview

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

Cybill

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Cybill Shepherd on doing comedy on Moonlighting and later on Cybill with Christine Baranski
Cybill Shepherd on how her sitcom Cybill came about and being an executive producer on the show
Cybill Shepherd on production on her sitcom Cybill
Cybill Shepherd on problems with CBS Standards & Practices on Cybill
Cybill Shepherd on her character on Cybill and singing live on the show
Cybill Shepherd on memorable episodes of Cybill
Cybill Shepherd on Cybill coming to an end and the legacy of the show

Emmy Awards, The (Primetime and Daytime)

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

I Love Lucy

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Cybill Shepherd on watching I Love Lucy when she was younger

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
Cybill Shepherd on enjoying her time as "Phyllis Kroll" on The L Word

Late Night with David Letterman

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

Memphis

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Cybill Shepherd on executive producing the TV movie Memphis

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

Moonlighting

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Cybill Shepherd on meeting with Glenn Gordon Caron to discuss Moonlighting and on her inspiration for "Maddie Hayes"
Cybill Shepherd on production on Moonlighting, her chemistry with Bruce Willis, and on Bruce Willis getting cast as "David Addison"
Cybill Shepherd on the pilot of Moonlighting and on a memorable pie fight scene
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"
Cybill Shepherd on her process for learning the dialogue on Moonlighting
Cybill Shepherd on her Moonlighting character, "Maddie Hayes", and "Maddie's" relationship with "David Addison"
Cybill Shepherd on the camera work on Moonlighting during the eventual love scene between "Maddie" and "David"
Cybill Shepherd on "Maddie" and "David" finally getting together on Moonlighting and on her real-life pregnancy being written into the show
Cybill Shepherd on a typical production week on Moonlighting
Cybill Shepherd on doing comedy on Moonlighting and later on Cybill with Christine Baranski
Cybill Shepherd on similarities between her Moonlighting character, "Maddie Hayes," and herself
Cybill Shepherd on memorable episodes of Moonlighting: "The Dream Sequence Always Rings Twice" (the black and white episode, introduced by Orson Welles)
Cybill Shepherd on memorable episodes of Moonlighting: "Big Man on Mulberry Street"
Cybill Shepherd on memorable episodes of Moonlighting: "Atomic Shakespeare"
Cybill Shepherd on breaking the fourth wall on Moonlighting
Cybill Shepherd on the "Atomic Shakespeare" episode of Moonlighting being in iambic pentameter
Cybill Shepherd on Moonlighting being the perfect show at the perfect time for her
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
Cybill Shepherd on rumored tensions on the set of Moonlighting and fighting with Bruce Willis before fight scenes
Cybill Shepherd on Glenn Gordon Caron leaving Moonlighting before the show ended and Jay Daniel becoming showrunner
Cybill Shepherd on how she learned Moonlighting would be ending and on the series finale
Cybill Shepherd on how she felt about Moonlighting ending
Cybill Shepherd on the legacy of Moonlighting
Cybill Shepherd on the supporting cast of Moonlighting
Cybill Shepherd on problems with ABC Standards & Practices on Moonlighting
Cybill Shepherd on singing in the Moonlighting episode, "The Dream Sequence Always Rings Twice"

Moonlighting: "Atomic Shakespeare"

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

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)
Cybill Shepherd on singing in the Moonlighting episode, "The Dream Sequence Always Rings Twice"

Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, The

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

Yellow Rose, The

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Cybill Shepherd on the first TV show she acted in, The Yellow Rose
Cybill Shepherd on enjoying her work on her first television show, The Yellow Rose
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
Cybill Shepherd on television commercials she appeared in

Advice

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Cybill Shepherd on Orson Welles' advice to her on how to learn more about acting
Cybill Shepherd on advice to an aspiring actor

Censorship / Standards & Practices

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Cybill Shepherd on problems with ABC Standards & Practices on Moonlighting

Characters & Catchphrases

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

Creative Influences and Inspiration

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Cybill Shepherd on mentors throughout her career

Criticism of TV

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Cybill Shepherd on how she deals with reviews and criticism

Diversity in Television

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

Historic Events and Social Change

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

Memorable Moments on Television

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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)

Pivotal Career Moments

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Cybill Shepherd on mentors throughout her career

Pop Culture

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

Television Industry

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

Women

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Cybill Shepherd on how opportunities for women have changed since she started in the industry
Professions

Actor

View Profession
Cybill Shepherd on acting advice she received from a fellow actor (Jason Robards)
Cybill Shepherd on what she likes in a director and getting to know John Ford and how he directed
Cybill Shepherd on her process for learning the dialogue on Moonlighting
Cybill Shepherd on what she enjoys about acting
Cybill Shepherd on what being in front of a live audience adds to a performance
Cybill Shepherd on acting in different media and what she learned about film by screening movies with Peter Bogdanovich
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

Performers

View Profession
Cybill Shepherd on acting advice she received from a fellow actor (Jason Robards)
Cybill Shepherd on what she likes in a director and getting to know John Ford and how he directed
Cybill Shepherd on her process for learning the dialogue on Moonlighting
Cybill Shepherd on what she enjoys about acting
Cybill Shepherd on what being in front of a live audience adds to a performance
Cybill Shepherd on acting in different media and what she learned about film by screening movies with Peter Bogdanovich
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
Genres

Awards Shows

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

Comedy Series

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

Drama Series

View Genre
Cybill Shepherd on production on Moonlighting, her chemistry with Bruce Willis, and memorable episodes
Cybill Shepherd on singing in the Moonlighting episode, "The Dream Sequence Always Rings Twice"
Cybill Shepherd on playing "Phyllis Kroll" on The L Word and on her daughter, Clementine, being on the show
Cybill Shepherd on enjoying her time as "Phyllis Kroll" on The L Word
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

TV Movies/Miniseries/Dramatic Specials

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

Talk Shows

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

Stella Adler

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

Jason Alexander

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

Christine Baranski

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Cybill Shepherd on doing comedy on Cybill with Christine Baranski
Cybill Shepherd on how her sitcom Cybill came about and the relationship between "Cybill" and "Maryann" on the show

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

Peter Bogdanovich

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

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"
Cybill Shepherd on meeting and working with Moonlighting creator Glenn Gordon Caron
Cybill Shepherd on Glenn Gordon Caron leaving Moonlighting before the show ended and Jay Daniel becoming showrunner

Johnny Carson

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

George Cukor

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

Jay Daniel

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Cybill Shepherd on Glenn Gordon Caron leaving Moonlighting before the show ended and Jay Daniel becoming showrunner
Cybill Shepherd on how her sitcom Cybill came about

Stanley Donen

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Cybill Shepherd on memorable episodes of Moonlighting: "Big Man on Mulberry Street"

Peter Falk

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Cybill Shepherd on Peter Falk being wonderful in Columbo

Gerald Perry Finnerman

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

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

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)
Cybill Shepherd on working with Merv Griffin

Martin Luther King, Jr.

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

Mimi Leder

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Cybill Shepherd on working with director Mimi Leder

David Letterman

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

Chuck Lorre

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Cybill Shepherd on how her sitcom Cybill came about

Jane Lynch

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Cybill Shepherd on Jane Lynch playing her love interest on The L Word

Elaine May

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Cybill Shepherd on working with director Elaine May in The Heartbreak Kid
Cybill Shepherd on Elaine May casting her in The Heartbreak Kid at the last minute

Robert De Niro

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

Jason Robards, Jr.

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

Martin Scorsese

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

Neil Simon

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Cybill Shepherd on Neil Simon, writer of The Heartbreak Kid

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

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
Cybill Shepherd on performing in the Gore Vidal play "The Best Man" and her friendship with Gore Vidal

Orson Welles

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

Bruce Willis

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Cybill Shepherd on her chemistry with Bruce Willis on Moonlighting
Cybill Shepherd on Bruce Willis getting cast as "David Addison" on Moonlighting
Cybill Shepherd on rumored tensions on the set of Moonlighting and fighting with Bruce Willis before fight scenes

All Interviews

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