Loretta Long

Performer


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In her one-and-a-half-hour Archive interview, Loretta Long talks about her role as "Susan" on the classic children's series Sesame Street, which she had played continuously for the entire 35-year run of the show up to the time of the interview. She describes her early years growing up on a farm and having aspirations for a life in show business. She talks about entering the work force as a substitute teacher while she auditioned for acting parts in New York City. She briefly describes her early work in local television, including Soul!, an African-American variety series she co-hosted, which indirectly led her to Sesame Street. Regarding Sesame Street, Long vividly describes her audition (during which she sang "I'm a Little Teapot") and talks about the earliest years of the series. She describes the ethnic diversity of Sesame Street and the role of the National Organization for Women (NOW) in getting more attention placed on her character. Finally, Long speaks about pursuing her PhD in Education, while still appearing on the show. Karen Herman conducted the interview on July 21, 2004 at the Sesame Workshop in New York, NY.

"'Sesame Street' wasn't Dick and Jane's old neighborhood with the picket fence. That intrigued me."

Highlights
Loretta Long on how she came to be cast as "Susan" on Sesame Street
03:55
Loretta Long on her Sesame Street audition, and on learning she got the part
03:13
Loretta Long on the Sesame Street episode "Farewell, Mr. Hooper"
01:21
Loretta Long on working with Jim Henson as "Kermit," and on working with various other of the Muppets
02:22
Loretta Long on the power of television, and on the impact that her character of "Susan" on Sesame Street has had on black television characters
01:31
Loretta Long on working with The Muppets on Sesame Street, and on working with "Big Bird" specifically
03:25
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On her early life and influences; on the first time she saw television, and early shows she watched; on her experience as a grade school teacher
On auditioning for Bob Fosse to be in "Sweet Charity"; on appearing in some commercials and on her debut in the variety series Soul!
On how she came to be cast as "Susan" on Sesame Street; on her parents' reaction to her taking a job on Sesame Street

Chapter 2

On PBS' coverage around the country at the time Sesame Street started, and on spreading the word about the show; on the first few days of filming Sesame Street, and on cast members Will Lee as "Mr. Hooper," Bob McGrath as "Bob," and Matt Robinson as "Gordon"; on her character, "Susan," on Sesame Street
On Roscoe Orman taking over the character of "Gordon," and on the adoption storyline on Sesame Street; on the Sesame Street episode "Farewell, Mr. Hooper"; on working with The Muppets on Sesame Street, and on working with "Big Bird" specifically
On working with Jim Henson as "Kermit", and on working with various other of the Muppets; on pursuing her doctorate while still appearing on Sesame Street

Chapter 3

On the curriculum goals of Sesame Street, on the diversity of the cast, and on how the show impacts viewers; on the various issues that Sesame Street has taken on over the years, and on the cultural impact of the show; on the directors of Sesame Street, and on the special guest stars
On guest-starring on shows other than Sesame Street, and appearing on talk shows like The Dick Cavett Show; on how Sesame Street has changed since it began
On the importance of continuing to work on Sesame Street, and her then-current outside projects; on the power of television, and on the impact that her character of "Susan" on Sesame Street has had on black television characters; on advice to aspiring actors, and how she'd like to be remembered
Shows

Dick Cavett Show, The

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Loretta Long on guest-starring on shows other than Sesame Street, and appearing on talk shows like The Dick Cavett Show
03:08

Sesame Street

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Loretta Long on how she came to be cast as "Susan" on Sesame Street
03:55
Loretta Long on her audition to play "Susan" on Sesame Street
03:12
Loretta Long on her parents' reaction to her taking a job on Sesame Street
02:23
Loretta Long on PBS' coverage around the country at the time Sesame Street started, and on spreading the word about the show
01:44
Loretta Long on the first few days of filming Sesame Street, and on cast members Will Lee as "Mr. Hooper," Bob McGrath as "Bob," and Matt Robinson as "Gordon"
04:24
Loretta Long on her character, "Susan," on Sesame Street
05:16
Loretta Long on Roscoe Orman taking over the character of "Gordon," and on the adoption storyline on Sesame Street
04:05
Loretta Long on the Sesame Street episode "Farewell, Mr. Hooper"
01:21
Loretta Long on working with The Muppets on Sesame Street, and on working with "Big Bird" and "Elmo" specifically
03:25
Loretta Long on working with Jim Henson as "Kermit," and on working with various other of the Muppets
02:22
Loretta Long on pursuing her doctorate while still appearing on Sesame Street, and on her dissertation, "Sesame Street: A Space Age Approach to Education for Space Age Kids"
06:40
Loretta Long on the curriculum goals of Sesame Street, on the diversity of the cast, and on how the show impacts viewers
04:31
Loretta Long on the various issues that Sesame Street has taken on over the years, and on the cultural impact of the show
04:34
Loretta Long on the directors of Sesame Street, and on the special guest stars
01:14
Loretta Long on how Sesame Street has changed since it began
02:02
Loretta Long on the importance that she keep working on Sesame Street, and her then-current outside projects
02:27
Loretta Long on the power of television, and on the impact that her character of "Susan" on Sesame Street has had on black television characters
01:31

Sesame Street: "Farewell, Mr. Hooper"

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Loretta Long on the Sesame Street episode "Farewell, Mr. Hooper"
01:21

Soul!

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Loretta Long on appearing in some commercials and on her debut in the variety series Soul!
02:24
Topics

Advice

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Loretta Long on advice to aspiring actors, and how she'd like to be remembered
01:42

Civil Rights Movement

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Loretta Long on the power of television, and on the impact that her character of "Susan" on Sesame Street has had on black television characters
01:31

Diversity in Television

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Loretta Long on the power of television, and on the impact that her character of "Susan" on Sesame Street has had on black television characters
01:31

Historic Events and Social Change

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Loretta Long on the power of television, and on the impact that her character of "Susan" on Sesame Street has had on black television characters
01:31

Minorities

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Loretta Long on the power of television, and on the impact that her character of "Susan" on Sesame Street has had on black television characters
01:31

Television Industry

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Loretta Long on advice to aspiring actors, and how she'd like to be remembered
01:42
Professions

Actress

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Loretta Long on advice to aspiring actors, and how she'd like to be remembered
01:42

Performers

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Loretta Long on advice to aspiring actors, and how she'd like to be remembered
01:42
Genres

Children's Programming

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Loretta Long on playing "Susan" on Sesame Street
09:34
Loretta Long on playing "Susan" on Sesame Street
30:20
Loretta Long on playing "Susan" on Sesame Street
19:27

Music Shows & Variety Shows/Specials

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Loretta Long on appearing in some commercials and on her debut in the variety series Soul!
02:24
People

Bob Fosse

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Loretta Long on auditioning for Bob Fosse to be in "Sweet Charity"
01:22

Jim Henson

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Loretta Long on working with Jim Henson as "Kermit," and on working with various other of the Muppets
02:22

Will Lee

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Loretta Long on the first few days of filming Sesame Street, and on cast members Will Lee as "Mr. Hooper," Bob McGrath as "Bob," and Matt Robinson as "Gordon"
04:24

Bob McGrath

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Loretta Long on the first few days of filming Sesame Street, and on cast members Will Lee as "Mr. Hooper," Bob McGrath as "Bob," and Matt Robinson as "Gordon"
04:24

Roscoe Orman

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Loretta Long on Roscoe Orman taking over the character of "Gordon," and on the adoption storyline on Sesame Street
04:05

Matt Robinson

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Loretta Long on the first few days of filming Sesame Street, and on cast members Will Lee as "Mr. Hooper," Bob McGrath as "Bob," and Matt Robinson as "Gordon"
04:24

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