Jeffrey Hayden

Director


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his two-and-a-half-hour Archive interview, Jeffrey Hayden (1926-2016) talks about his career as an associate director in the first years of the ABC-TV network (1948-50) and as a prolific director of comedy and drama series from the 1950s to the 1980s, including: The Donna Reed Show, The Andy Griffith Show, 77 Sunset Strip, Peyton Place, Quincy M.E., Palmerstown U.S.A. and Knight Rider. Hayden outlines how he came to produce one of the earliest sitcoms The Billy Bean Show (with Arnold Stang), before he began his work as a director gaining experience on such programs as the variety series The Bert Parks Show and quiz/variety show, The Big Payoff

He talks about his acceptance into the Actors Studio and its influence on his work, and notes throughout the interview the importance of rehearsal and improvisation to his directing style. Among dramatic series, he comments on the Philco-Goodyear Playhouse (and a memorable production he did with a difficult James Dean), 77 Sunset Strip (and the rewrites he'd do with the cast during lunch hour, despite network warnings to stick to the script) and The Lloyd Bridges Show, (which he describes as one of the most arduous directing jobs of his career).

He speaks fondly of his years on The Donna Reed Show, working with writer-producer Paul West who incorporated some of Hayden's own family life into scripts and The Andy Griffith Show, a reunion with Griffith whom Hayden knew from his college days. Regarding Peyton Place, Hayden notes his working relationship with breakout stars Ryan O'Neal and Mia Farrow (and the dramatic real-life moment when Farrow decided to cut her hair short mid-season). Among the other personalities he discusses are: E. G. Marshall (The Bold Ones), Peter Deuel (Alias Smith and Jones), Raymond Burr (Ironside), and Jack Klugman (Quincy, M.E.). Additionally, for Quincy, Hayden discusses memorable episodes: "Seldom Silent, Never Heard," that influenced the passing of the Orphan Drug Act (ODA) and "Nowhere to Run," whose incest storyline hampered actor Charles Aidman's career. 

He recounts the challenges he faced working on the series The Incredible Hulk, Knight Rider, and Palmerstown U.S.A. (this series led to a DGA rule about providing drivers to locations). Lastly, he acknowledges his satisfying work on daytime soaps Capitol and Santa Barbara (a return to the kind of work he did in his "live" TV days) and on two documentaries he made in the 1990s.

Stephen Bowie conducted the interview in Los Angeles, CA on April 29, 2010.

"On '77 Sunset Strip' it would say on the front page of the scripts, 'You may not change one word,' you know, under the penalty of death… it was written that clearly. We would shoot all morning based on the script. Then we would go to lunch in the commissary; the essential cast. We'd sit at a big round table reserved for us. We'd bring the scripts, bring our pencils— rewriting the rest of the day's work and not say anything to anybody. The producers would see the dailies and say 'terrific day's work.' Never catching on that we had changed a little here, changed a little there."

Interviewee(s)
Highlights
Jeffrey Hayden on getting hired for The Andy Griffith Show (and having known Griffith from their college days together)
Jeffrey Hayden on memorable Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse shows "Thunder of Silence" and "Run Like A Thief" (and his difficulties with James Dean on the latter)
Jeffrey Hayden on working with Donna Reed on The Donna Reed Show
Jeffrey Hayden on how Mia Farrow came to impulsively cut her hair short following an altercation that happened on Peyton Place
Jeffrey Hayden on the impact of his 1996 documentary Children in America's Schools with Bill Moyers
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his background; on his theater studies at UNC; on starting at NBC in the radio division
On producing the 1949 sitcom The Billy Bean Show, starring Arnold Stang; on converting former riding stables to editing suites for ABC; on his duties as an associate producer of remotes, such as Roller Derby
On serving as an associate producer on Don Ameche musical-variety series Holiday Hotel; on directing interview series The Gloria Swanson Hour; on directing for Stop the Music, that led to his helming of variety series The Bert Parks Show; on the Actors Studio and what he took away from studying there under Lee Strasberg; on meeting his wife Eva Marie Saint; learning TV technique from Alex Segal; on the regulars and the schedule of The Bert Parks Show
On his role as writer-director of The Big Payoff; on how the placement of The Big Payoff as Milton Berle's summer replacement was propitious; on directing two Max Liebman "spectaculars" in the mid-50s— "Lady in the Dark" and "The Chocolate Soldier"
On getting hired for The Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse's 1954-55 season; on working primarily with producer Gordon Duff since regular Philco producer Fred Coe was off with other projects; on two memorable productions of Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse he directed: "Thunder of Silence" and "Run Like A Thief"; on his difficulties with James Dean during rehearsals of "Run Like A Thief"; on directing for "live" TV as similar to directing theater (versus the rushed schedule of filmed TV)
On his stint at MGM in feature films, where he directed "The Vintage" (1957); on the Hollywood Blacklist; on directing for Lassie and The Loretta Young Show (for which he received the Robert E. Sherwood Award)
On working with Donna Reed on The Donna Reed Show; on writer-producer Paul West; on his chats with Paul West about his personal life which ended up in scripts; on a couple examples of Hayden's personal life that West built Donna Reed Show scripts around

Chapter 2

On the ensemble of The Donna Reed Show and how star Reed interacted with them; on the shooting schedule of The Donna Reed Show; on getting hired for The Andy Griffith Show; on having known Andy Griffith from college; on the ensemble of The Andy Griffith Show
On working on Leave It to Beaver (which was not as satisfying as his other sitcom work); on what made The Andy Griffith Show special
On getting hired on 77 Sunset Strip; on how he and the cast would work on new ideas for their current scripts at lunch; on working with producer Joel Rogosin; on how Lloyd Bridges required long hours on The Lloyd Bridges Show (and how Hayden quit smoking at this point in his life); on producer Aaron Spelling and the celebrity line-up on Burke's Law; on casting in local community theaters while directing on-location series Route 66
On his year as one of the rotating directors on Peyton Place; on the good-natured relationship he had with star Ryan O'Neal; on how Mia Farrow came to impulsively cut her hair short following an altercation that happened on Peyton Place; on the ease of shooting Peyton Place for him due to the closeness of the studio and its vast resources
On the rotating format of The Bold Ones; on the real-life contemporary medical issues addressed on The Bold Ones segment The New Doctors; on The New Doctors lead E. G. Marshall's talent; on writer-producer Roy Huggins' technique and talent for writing scripts; on the premise of Alias Smith and Jones; on his penchant for directing westerns; on the difficulty in location shooting on Alias Smith and Jones; on his reputation as a director who delivered on time; on Alias Smith and Jones lead Pete Deuel's personality and intellect and his suicide during the show's second season
On the quality work that was done on Mannix; on Raymond Burr's great story sense on Ironside, but the difficulties in accommodating his contractual agreement that he would not do location work and would require TelePrompters for his scenes; on Quincy's plots, including the episode "Seldom Silent, Never Heard," that influenced the passing of the Orphan Drug Act (ODA)

Chapter 3

On Quincy episode "Nowhere to Run" and how its incest storyline affected guest star Charles Aidman; on his work on The Incredible Hulk and his feelings about working with cinematographer John McPherson and star Bill Bixby; on the time challenge presented by the use of contact lens for Bill Bixby's transition from Dr. David Banner to the Hulk; on producer Kenneth Johnson
On how each subsequent season of Knight Rider required more stunts; on star David Hasselhoff; on being excited for a Malibu script that ended up being done in the studio when he worked at Warner Bros.; on how the Knight Rider scripts were written piecemeal by different writers; on the premise of Palmerstown, U.S.A.; on how filming Palmerstown, U.S.A. at the Disney ranch led to a DGA rule about providing drivers to locations; on the talented cast, including Michael J. Fox; on directing for Magnum P.I. and Cagney & Lacey
On how he came to direct the daytime serial Capitol and executive-produce Santa Barbara; on directing In the Heat of the Night; on the impact of his 1996 documentary Children in America's Schools with Bill Moyers; on a transition he noticed in TV from the theater-trained directors of his generation to more technically-oriented directors of today; on his career highlights; on working with Walt Disney (on the segment The Further Adventures of Gallegher for Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color) and his regret at not working on other projects with him
Shows

77 Sunset Strip

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Jeffrey Hayden on getting hired for 77 Sunset Strip, a switch after some time doing sitcoms
Jeffrey Hayden on how he and the cast would work on new ideas for their current scripts at lunch on 77 Sunset Strip
Jeffrey Hayden on working with 77 Sunset Strip producer Joel Rogosin

Alias Smith and Jones

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Jeffrey Hayden on writer-producer Roy Huggins' technique and talent for writing scripts
Jeffrey Hayden on the premise of Alias Smith and Jones and his penchant for directing westerns
Jeffrey Hayden on the difficulty in location shooting on Alias Smith and Jones
Jeffrey Hayden on Alias Smith and Jones lead Pete Deuel's personality and intellect and his suicide during the show's second season

Andy Griffith Show, The

View Show Page
Jeffrey Hayden on the schedule of The Donna Reed Show
Jeffrey Hayden on getting hired for The Andy Griffith Show (and having known Griffith from their college days together)
Jeffrey Hayden on the ensemble of The Andy Griffith Show 
Jeffrey Hayden on what made The Andy Griffith Show special

Bert Parks Show, The

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Jeffrey Hayden on the regulars and the schedule of The Bert Parks Show

Big Payoff, The

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Jeffrey Hayden on serving as writer-director for The Big Payoff
Jeffrey Hayden on how the placement of The Big Payoff as Milton Berle's summer replacement helped his career

Billy Bean Show, The

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Jeffrey Hayden on producing the early ABC sitcom The Billy Bean Show, starring Arnold Stang
Jeffrey Hayden on using radio's "The Aldrich Family" as a sitcom template when creating episodes of The Billy Bean Show

Bold Ones, The

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Jeffrey Hayden on the rotating format of The Bold Ones (and the real-life contemporary medical issues addressed on The New Doctors segment)
Jeffrey Hayden on E. G. Marshall's talent on The Bold Ones
Jeffrey Hayden on writer-producer Roy Huggins' technique and talent for writing scripts

Burke's Law

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Jeffrey Hayden on producer Aaron Spelling and the celebrity line-up on Burke's Law

Capitol

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Jeffrey Hayden on how he came to direct the daytime serial Capitol and executive-produce Santa Barbara

Children in America's Schools with Bill Moyers

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Jeffrey Hayden on the impact of his 1996 documentary Children in America's Schools with Bill Moyers

Donna Reed Show, The

View Show Page
Jeffrey Hayden on working with Donna Reed on The Donna Reed Show
Jeffrey Hayden on The Donna Reed Show producer Paul West
Jeffrey Hayden on stories from his personal life that writer-producer Paul West used on The Donna Reed Show
Jeffrey Hayden on The Donna Reed Show's ensemble and how Reed interacted with them
Jeffrey Hayden on the schedule of The Donna Reed Show

Gloria Swanson Hour, The

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Jeffrey Hayden briefly on directing interview show The Gloria Swanson Hour

In the Heat of the Night

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Jeffrey Hayden briefly on directing In the Heat of the Night

Incredible Hulk, The

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Jeffrey Hayden on his work on The Incredible Hulk and his feelings about working with cinematographer John McPherson and star Bill Bixby
Jeffrey Hayden on the time challenge presented by the use of contact lens for Bill Bixby's transition from Dr. David Banner to the Hulk
Jeffrey Hayden on producer Kenneth Johnson

Ironside

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Jeffrey Hayden on Raymond Burr's great story sense on Ironside, but the difficulties in accommodating his contractual agreement that he would not do location work and would require TelePrompters for his scenes

Knight Rider

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Jeffrey Hayden on how each subsequent season of Knight Rider required more stunts
Jeffrey Hayden on Knight Rider star David Hasselhoff
Jeffrey Hayden on how the Knight Rider scripts were written piecemeal by different writers

Lassie

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Jeffrey Hayden on working with several trained geese on Lassie (and also how well-trained the dogs were on the show)

Leave it to Beaver

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Jeffrey Hayden on Leave it to Beaver as not as satisfying as his other sitcom work

Lloyd Bridges Show, The

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Jeffrey Hayden on how Lloyd Bridges required long hours on The Lloyd Bridges Show (and how Hayden quit smoking at this point in his life)

Loretta Young Show, The

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Jeffrey Hayden briefly on working on The Loretta Young Show and winning an award

Mannix

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Jeffrey Hayden on the quality work that was done on Mannix

Max Liebman Presents

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Jeffrey Hayden on directing Max Liebman spectaculars "Lady in the Dark" and "The Chocolate Soldier"

Palmerstown U.S.A.

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Jeffrey Hayden on the premise of Palmerstown, U.S.A.
Jeffrey Hayden on how filming Palmerstown, U.S.A. at the Disney ranch led to a Directors Guild rule about providing drivers to locations
Jeffrey Hayden on the talented cast of Palmerstown, U.S.A., including Michael J. Fox

Peyton Place

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Jeffrey Hayden on his year as one of the rotating directors on Peyton Place
Jeffrey Hayden on the good-natured relationship he had with star Ryan O'Neal
Jeffrey Hayden on how Mia Farrow came to impulsively cut her hair short following an altercation that happened on Peyton Place
Jeffrey Hayden on the ease of shooting Peyton Place for Hayden due to the closeness of the studio and its vast resources
Jeffrey Hayden on the ease of shooting Peyton Place for him due to the closeness of the studio and its vast resources

Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse

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Jeffrey Hayden on being hired for The Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse's 1954-55 season
Jeffrey Hayden on the writers who worked on The Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse
Jeffrey Hayden on working with producer Gordon Duff on The Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse
Jeffrey Hayden on memorable Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse shows "Thunder of Silence" and "Run Like A Thief" (and his difficulties with James Dean on the latter)

Quincy, M.E.

View Show Page
Jeffrey Hayden on Quincy's plots, including the episode "Seldom Silent, Never Heard," that influenced the passing of the Orphan Drug Act (ODA)
Jeffrey Hayden on Quincy episode "Nowhere to Run" and how its incest storyline affected guest star Charles Aidman

Route 66

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Jeffrey Hayden on casting in local community theaters while directing on-location series Route 66

Santa Barbara

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Jeffrey Hayden on how he came to direct the daytime serial Capitol and executive-produce Santa Barbara

Stop the Music

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Jeffrey Hayden on his work on Stop the Music and how it led to The Bert Parks Show
Jeffrey Hayden on his work on Stop the Music and how it led to The Bert Parks Show

Wonderful World of Disney, The aka Magical World of Disney, The

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Jeffrey Hayden on working with Walt Disney (on the segment The Further Adventures of Gallegher for Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color) and his regret at not working on other projects with him
Topics

Classic TV series episodes

View Topic
Jeffrey Hayden on Quincy's plots, including the episode "Seldom Silent, Never Heard," that influenced the passing of the Orphan Drug Act (ODA)

Creative Influences and Inspiration

View Topic
Jeffrey Hayden on how he and the cast would work on new ideas for their current scripts at lunch on 77 Sunset Strip

Drama

View Topic
Jeffrey Hayden on Quincy's plots, including the episode "Seldom Silent, Never Heard," that influenced the passing of the Orphan Drug Act (ODA)

Health and Medicine

View Topic
Jeffrey Hayden on Quincy's plots, including the episode "Seldom Silent, Never Heard," that influenced the passing of the Orphan Drug Act (ODA)

Historic Events and Social Change

View Topic
Jeffrey Hayden on Quincy's plots, including the episode "Seldom Silent, Never Heard," that influenced the passing of the Orphan Drug Act (ODA)

Hollywood Blacklist

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Jeffrey Hayden on the Hollywood Blacklist and how he helped actor Will Geer

Industry Crossroads

View Topic
Jeffrey Hayden on the Hollywood Blacklist and how he helped actor Will Geer
Jeffrey Hayden on how filming Palmerstown, U.S.A. at the Disney ranch led to a Directors Guild rule about providing drivers to locations

Pivotal Career Moments

View Topic
Jeffrey Hayden on how he and the cast would work on new ideas for their current scripts at lunch on 77 Sunset Strip

Pop Culture

View Topic
Jeffrey Hayden on Quincy's plots, including the episode "Seldom Silent, Never Heard," that influenced the passing of the Orphan Drug Act (ODA)

TV's Golden Age (1940s & '50s)

View Topic
Jeffrey Hayden on directing for "live" TV as similar to directing theater (versus the rushed schedule of filmed TV)

Television Industry

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Jeffrey Hayden on the Hollywood Blacklist and how he helped actor Will Geer
Genres

Western Series

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Jeffrey Hayden on his affinity for the western genre, having directed for such series as The Men from Shiloh and Alias Smith and Jones
Jeffrey Hayden on the difficulty in location shooting on Alias Smith and Jones
People

Charles Aidman

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Jeffrey Hayden on Quincy episode "Nowhere to Run" and how its incest storyline affected guest star Charles Aidman

Gert Andersen

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Jeffrey Hayden on the quality work that was done on Mannix (and reuniting with Donna Reed Show cinematographer Gert Andersen)

Carl Betz

View Person Page
Jeffrey Hayden on The Donna Reed Show's ensemble and how Reed interacted with them

Bill Bixby

View Person Page
Jeffrey Hayden on his work on The Incredible Hulk and his feelings about working with cinematographer John McPherson and star Bill Bixby

Lloyd Bridges

View Person Page
Jeffrey Hayden on how Lloyd Bridges required long hours on The Lloyd Bridges Show (and how Hayden quit smoking at this point in his life)

Raymond Burr

View Person Page
Jeffrey Hayden on Raymond Burr's great story sense on Ironside, but the difficulties in accommodating his contractual agreement that he would not do location work and would require TelePrompters for his scenes

James Dean

View Person Page
Jeffrey Hayden on memorable Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse shows "Thunder of Silence" and "Run Like A Thief" (and his difficulties with James Dean on the latter)

Pete Deuel

View Person Page
Jeffrey Hayden on Alias Smith and Jones lead Pete Deuel's personality and intellect and his suicide during the show's second season

Walt Disney

View Person Page
Jeffrey Hayden on working with Walt Disney (on the segment The Further Adventures of Gallegher for Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color) and his regret at not working on other projects with him

Gordon Duff

View Person Page
Jeffrey Hayden on working with producer Gordon Duff on The Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse

Shelley Fabares

View Person Page
Jeffrey Hayden on The Donna Reed Show's ensemble and how Reed interacted with them

Mia Farrow

View Person Page
Jeffrey Hayden on how Mia Farrow came to impulsively cut her hair short following an altercation that happened on Peyton Place

Michael J. Fox

View Interview Page
Jeffrey Hayden on the talented cast of Palmerstown, U.S.A., including Michael J. Fox

Will Geer

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Jeffrey Hayden on the Hollywood Blacklist and how he helped actor Will Geer

Andy Griffith

View Interview Page
Jeffrey Hayden on getting hired for The Andy Griffith Show (and having known Griffith from their college days together)

Roy Huggins

View Interview Page
Jeffrey Hayden on writer-producer Roy Huggins' technique and talent for writing scripts

Kenneth Johnson

View Person Page
Jeffrey Hayden on producer Kenneth Johnson

Jack Klugman

View Interview Page
Jeffrey Hayden on Quincy's plots, including the episode "Seldom Silent, Never Heard," that influenced the passing of the Orphan Drug Act (ODA)
Jeffrey Hayden on Jack Klugman's insistence at making the Quincy episode "Nowhere to Run" and how its incest storyline affected guest star Charles Aidman

E. G. Marshall

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Jeffrey Hayden on E. G. Marshall's talent on The Bold Ones

John McPherson

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Jeffrey Hayden on his work on The Incredible Hulk and his feelings about working with cinematographer John McPherson and star Bill Bixby

Paul Monash

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Jeffrey Hayden on how Mia Farrow came to impulsively cut her hair short and Paul Monash's solution to the problem on the set of Peyton Place

Ryan O'Neal

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Jeffrey Hayden on the good-natured relationship he had with star Ryan O'Neal

Donna Reed

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Jeffrey Hayden on working with Donna Reed on The Donna Reed Show

Joel Rogosin

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Jeffrey Hayden on working with 77 Sunset Strip producer Joel Rogosin

Eva Marie Saint

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Jeffrey Hayden on meeting his wife of many years, actress Eva Marie Saint, and her entrance into the Actors Studio

Aaron Spelling

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Jeffrey Hayden on producer Aaron Spelling and the celebrity line-up on Burke's Law

Lee Strasberg

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Jeffrey Hayden on Lee Strasberg, personally and professionally

Gloria Swanson

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Jeffrey Hayden briefly on directing interview show The Gloria Swanson Hour

Paul West

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Jeffrey Hayden on The Donna Reed Show producer Paul West

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