Katherine Helmond

Actress


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In her over two-hour Archive interview, Katherine Helmond speaks about being a shy child and how she blossomed when she became an actress, feeling most "at home" on stage. She talks about her stage background in New York, appearing in such plays as Ruth Gordon's autobiographical "Years Ago." She discusses her move to Los Angeles, in her mid-30s, and the guest appearances she made in television. She describes in great detail, one of her most well-known roles, "Jessica Tate" on Soap. For Soap, she recalls her reading for Susan Harris (who rather than laughing, sat seriously throughout the audition), describes her character (a "childlike" woman who floated through life), outlines a typical work-week, and gives her impressions of the other members of the ensemble (including Robert Guillaume and Cathryn Damon). Helmond then talks about her long run as "Mona Robinson" on the sitcom Who's the Boss? She discusses working with co-stars Judith Light and Tony Danza, describes her character, and notes her favorite episode (in which Mona goes to a graduation dance with a college-aged boy). She then describes her series roles on the popular sitcoms Coach and Everybody Loves Raymond. Lastly, she recalls her work on several notable feature films, including The Hospital, Alfred Hitchcock's Family Plot, and Terry Gilliam's Brazil. Karen Herman conducted the interview in Los Angeles, CA on March 6, 2008.

"Laughter is such a marvelous thing really, it's such a healing thing, that's one of the reasons I've always enjoyed doing comedy... it was great fun for me because I knew that my character was good, I knew the show was good, and it was giving to pleasure to a lot of people."

Highlights
Kathering Helmond on being cast on Soap; her first comedic role
Katherine Helmond on appearing on Gunsmoke, her first acting role
Katherine Helmond on Soap and its cast and characters
57:18
Katherine Helmond on the cult-classic Brazil and director Terry Gilliam; getting blisters on her face from the glue they used
03:49
Katherine Helmond on teaching a life lesson through laughter; and what her character "Mona" represented to women who had lost a husband, and could still find a new way of living
03:38
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On her childhood, early influences, and the desire to become an actor, on being cast on Gunsmoke; Soap and her first comedic role
On her love of acting and early dramatic television roles 

Chapter 2

On the production schedule on Soap; on the cast and her character "Jessica Tate"; on the end of the series
On Who's the Boss and Tony Danza; on Coach; Everybody Loves Raymond; working with Robert Culp

Chapter 3

On Everybody Loves Raymond; on castmates Patricia Heaton and Ray Romano
On working with Alfred Hitchcock
On her film work; Brazil; working with Terry Gilliam
On advice to aspiring actors
Shows

Coach

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Katherine Helmond on Coach which she appeared on for the final three years
02:34

Everybody Loves Raymond

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Katherine Helmond on Everybody Loves Raymond and developing her character
11:51

Gunsmoke

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Katherine Helmond on appearing on Gunsmoke, her first acting role

Soap

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Kathering Helmond on being cast on Soap; her first comedic role
Katherine Helmond on Soap and its cast and characters
57:18
Katherine Helmond on Billy Crystal's role on Soap; he was only known for standup comedy before that role, in which he played a homosexual
02:13
Katherine Helmond on the fate of "Jessica Tate"; her character on Soap at the series' end
00:48
Katherine Helmond on what Soap did for her career as an actor

Who's the Boss?

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Katherine Helmond on her role on Who's the Boss and the function her character Mona played on that show
35:11
Katherine Helmond on her favorite Who's the Boss? episode when she goes to a college dance
06:11
Katherine Helmond on the message of Who's the Boss and why it appealed to the public
02:19
Topics

Characters & Catchphrases

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Kathering Helmond on her character "Mona" on Who's the Boss? and the way she played that risque role; and what the role taught about widowers having a full life
05:56

LGBTQ

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Katherine Helmond on Billy Crystal's role on Soap; he was only known for standup comedy before that role, in which he played a homosexual
02:13
Professions

Actress

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Katherine Helmond on what Soap did for her career as an actor
Katherine Helmond on advice to aspiring actors: "take every job" that comes along
Genres

Daytime/Primetime Serials

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Katherine Helmond on the difficulty of writing a long-term series, such as Soap, written by Susan Harris
01:13
People

Billy Crystal

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Katherine Helmond on Billy Crystal's role on Soap; he was only known for standup comedy before that role, in which he played a homosexual
02:13

Robert Culp

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Katherine Helmond on her Everybody Loves Raymond co-star Robert Culp, who played her husband
03:01

Tony Danza

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Katherine Helmond on her Who's the Boss? co-star Tony Danza
01:30

Terry Gilliam

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Katherine Helmond on the cult-classic Brazil and director Terry Gilliam; getting blisters on her face from the glue they used
03:49

Robert Guillaume

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Katherine Helmond on working on Soap with Robert Guillaume
01:25

Susan Harris

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Katherine Helmond on the difficulty of writing a long-term series, such as Soap, written by Susan Harris
01:13

Patricia Heaton

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Katherine Helmond on Patricia Heaton, her Everybody Loves Raymond co-star

Alfred Hitchcock

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Katherine Helmond on working with Alfred Hitchcock
04:41

Judith Light

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Katherine Helmond on her Who's the Boss? co-star Judith Light who played her daughter
01:55

Craig T. Nelson

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Katherine Helmond on her Coach co-star Craig T. Nelson
00:55

Ray Romano

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Katherine Helmond on Ray Romano, her Everybody Loves Raymond co-star

Phil Rosenthal

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Katherine Helmond on Phil Rosenthal, and his involvement with Everybody Loves Raymond, on which Helmond played "Deborah"'s mother
02:12

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