Estelle Parsons

Actress


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In her nearly two-hour Archive interview, Estelle Parsons speaks about her pioneering efforts as the first woman political reporter on television for the Today show. She reminisces about Today's early years and working with the show's principals, including anchor Dave Garroway. She talks about her move from behind the camera to her appearances on features for Today, which included book reviews and interviews. Parsons talks about her recurring role as "Bev Harris," Roseanne's mother, on the hit ABC sitcom Roseanne. Finally, she comments on her work at the famed "Actors Studio." Karen Herman conducted the interview on July 26, 2002 in New York, NY.

"I just care that I be a good person and that I follow my impulses in my life."

Interviewee(s)
Highlights
Estelle Parsons on being hired as a commentator for Today
Estelle Parsons on Dave Garroway being hired for Today, and on the show going live
Estelle Parsons on how her Oscar-winning role in "Bonnie and Clyde" impacted her career
Estelle Parsons on her role as "Beverly Harris" on Roseanne, and on working with Roseanne
Estelle Parsons on joining The Actors Studio
Estelle Parsons on the addition of J. Fred Muggs to Today
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On her early years and influences; on her earliest memories of television; on being hired as a commentator for Today
On Dave Garroway being hired for Today, and on the show going live; on going in front of the camera on Today; on how she was treated as a woman on the Today set

Chapter 2

On working with Dave Garroway and Jim Flemming on Today; on the addition of J. Fred Muggs to Today; on her day-to-day activities on the show
On signing a loyalty oath during her time on Today and on auditioning for The Actors Studio; on appearing on The Home Show, and on various other jobs she did for NBC
On the challenges of appearing live on Today; on leaving Today, and on appearing on the stage; on joining The Actors Studio

Chapter 3

On her first acting roles on television and on appearing in commercials; on how her Oscar-winning role in "Bonnie and Clyde" impacted her career; on being a guest-star on several series
On appearing on All in the Family; on playing "Bess Truman" in Backstairs at the White House; on hosting the series Mothers By Daughters
On her role as "Beverly Harris" on Roseanne; on working with the cast of Roseanne, and on how the show will be remembered; on then-current projects

Chapter 4

On her advice to aspiring actors; on the characteristics of a good director; on Lee Strasberg and The Actors Studio; on how she would like to be remembered
Shows

All in the Family

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Estelle Parsons on appearing on All in the Family

Backstairs at the White House

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Estelle Parsons on playing "Bess Truman" in Backstairs at the White House

Home Show, The

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Estelle Parsons on appearing on The Home Show, and on working with Arlene Francis

Mothers By Daughters

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Estelle Parsons on hosting the series Mothers By Daughters

Roseanne

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Estelle Parsons on her role as "Beverly Harris" on Roseanne, and on working with Roseanne
Estelle Parsons on working with the cast of Roseanne, and on how the show will be remembered

Today

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Estelle Parsons on being hired as a producer and commentator for Today
Estelle Parsons on Dave Garroway being hired for Today, and on the show going live
Estelle Parsons on going in front of the camera on Today
Estelle Parsons on how she was treated as a woman on the Today set
Estelle Parsons on working with Dave Garroway and Jim Flemming on Today
Estelle Parsons on the addition of J. Fred Muggs to Today
Estelle Parsons on being a "Today Girl" on Today, and on her day-to-day activities on the show
Estelle Parsons on signing a loyalty oath during her time on Today and on auditioning for The Actors Studio
Estelle Parsons on returning to Today, and on various other jobs she did for NBC
Estelle Parsons on the challenges of appearing live on Today
Estelle Parsons on leaving Today, and on appearing on the stage
Topics

Advice

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Estelle Parsons on advice to an aspiring actor, and on what makes a good director

Creative Influences and Inspiration

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Estelle Parsons on her mentors in the theater, including Lee Strasberg

Diversity in Television

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Estelle Parsons on how she was treated as a woman on the Today set

Historic Events and Social Change

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Estelle Parsons on how she was treated as a woman on the Today set

Pivotal Career Moments

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Estelle Parsons on her mentors in the theater, including Lee Strasberg

Television Industry

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Estelle Parsons on advice to an aspiring actor, and on what makes a good director

Women

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Estelle Parsons on how she was treated as a woman on the Today set
Professions

Actress

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Estelle Parsons on advice to an aspiring actor

Performers

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Estelle Parsons on advice to an aspiring actor
Genres

Comedy Series

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Estelle Parsons on appearing on All in the Family
Estelle Parsons on her role as "Beverly Harris" on Roseanne

Commercials

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Estelle Parsons on her first acting roles on television and on appearing in commercials, and on Mort Werner

Drama Series

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Estelle Parsons on hosting the series Mothers By Daughters

News and Documentary

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Estelle Parsons on being a producer and commentator on Today
Estelle Parsons on being a "Today Girl" on Today

TV Movies/Miniseries/Dramatic Specials

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Estelle Parsons on playing "Bess Truman" in Backstairs at the White House
People

Dave Garroway

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Estelle Parsons on Dave Garroway being hired for Today, and on the show going live
Estelle Parsons on working with Dave Garroway and Jim Flemming on Today

Roseanne

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Estelle Parsons on her role as "Beverly Harris" on Roseanne, and on working with Roseanne

Lee Strasberg

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Estelle Parsons on her mentors in the theater, including Lee Strasberg

Mort Werner

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Estelle Parsons on her first acting roles on television and on appearing in commercials, and on Mort Werner

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