Mary Lynn Gottfried

Production/Talent Coordinator


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, Talent Executive Mary Lynn Gottfried describes how she got her start in the entertainment industry as a receptionist and production secretary on The Ed Sullivan Show. She speaks about the program in great detail and reminisces about many of the personalities who appeared on the show, including Petula Clark, Bing Crosby, and Peggy Lee. Gottfried also discusses her later work, as a talent coordinator/ executive on The Kraft Music Hall and on Hollywood Squares. B-roll consists of photos from her days on The Ed Sullivan Show, a photo of the plaque commemorating the naming of "The Ed Sullivan Theater," and a page of Ed Sullivan's introductory lines to the 1968 season premiere of the program, in his own handwriting. Karen Herman conducted the interview on November 15, 2003 in Beverly Hills, CA.

People Talking About ...
Highlights
On the legacy of The Ed Sullivan Show
On advice for an aspiring talent executive 
On her greatest achievement 
On writing questions for game shows, including Card Sharks
Mary Lynn Gottfried on booking talent for Hollywood Squares
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On photos and mementos from The Ed Sullivan Show
On her childhood and early influences
On getting her start in the entertainment industry - first as a receptionist in an agent's office, then in the CBS local broadcast center, WCBS, in New York
On working as a receptionist for The Ed Sullivan Show; on answering fan mail and "The Girls"
On Ed Sullivan; on creating scripts for The Ed Sullivan Show over the weekend; on rehearsals
On the excitement of the live broadcasts and last minute changes to the scripts

Chapter 2

On the control room of The Ed Sullivan Show and the excitement of live television; on booking talent
On the after-taping, staff ritual every Sunday night; on the comraderie of the staff
On set design, costumes and hair and makeup
On being a "color girl" on the program; on the stage for The Ed Sullivan Show
On a typical Ed Sullivan Show with comedians, singers and bands, and animal acts
On guests of The Ed Sullivan Show
On the legacy of The Ed Sullivan Show and what she learned on the show

Chapter 3

On leaving The Ed Sullivan Show for talent booking on Kraft Music Hall
On working on specials for Alan King; on writing questions for game shows
On managing daytime programs at CBS; on working for Lifetime and becoming a talent executive; on being Director of Current Programming for NBC and moving over to CBS
On booking talent for Hollywood Squares
On Barbie's 40th birthday; on CBS pilots she developed; on current projects
On advice for an aspiring talent executive; on agism in the industry
On her greatest achievement 
Shows

Card Sharks

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Mary Lynn Gottfried on writing questions for game shows, including Card Sharks

Ed Sullivan Show, The aka Toast of the Town

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Mary Lynn Gottfried on watching early episodes of The Ed Sullivan Show
Mary Lynn Gottfried on working as a receptionist for The Ed Sullivan Show
Mary Lynn Gottfried on The Ed Sullivan Show

Hollywood Squares, The

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Mary Lynn Gottfried on booking talent for Hollywood Squares

Kraft Music Hall, The

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Mary Lynn Gottfried on leaving The Ed Sullivan Show for Kraft Music Hall
Topics

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

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Mary Lynn Gottfried on working as a receptionist for The Ed Sullivan Show
Mary Lynn Gottfried on The Ed Sullivan Show
Genres

Game Shows

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Mary Lynn Gottfried on writing questions for game shows, including Card Sharks
Mary Lynn Gottfried on booking talent for Hollywood Squares

Music Shows & Variety Shows/Specials

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Mary Lynn Gottfried on working as a receptionist for The Ed Sullivan Show
Mary Lynn Gottfried on The Ed Sullivan Show
People

Bill Bohnert

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Mary Lynn Gottfried on set designer Bill Bohnert and how he worked with the costume designer

Bob Fosse

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Mary Lynn Gottfried on Bob Fosse

Whoopi Goldberg

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Mary Lynn Gottfried on booking talent for Hollywood Squares with Whoopi Goldberg at Center Square

Dwight Hemion

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Mary Lynn Gottfried on working with director Dwight Hemion at Kraft Music Hall

Tim Kiley

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Mary Lynn Gottfried on the directors of The Ed Sullivan Show

Alan King

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Mary Lynn Gottfried on working for Alan King

Johnny Mathis

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Mary Lynn Gottfried on her favorite guest, Johnny Mathis

John Moffitt

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Mary Lynn Gottfried on the directors of The Ed Sullivan Show

Ralph Paul

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Mary Lynn Gottfried on annoucer Ralph Paul

Robert Precht

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Mary Lynn Gottfried on The Ed Sullivan Show producer, and Ed Sullivan's son-in-law Robert Precht

Bill Royce

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Mary Lynn Gottfried on forming a freelance company booking talent with Bill Royce 

Gary Smith

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Mary Lynn Gottfried on working with director/producer at Kraft Music Hall

Ed Sullivan

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Mary Lynn Gottfried on Ed Sullivan
Mary Lynn Gottfried on how director Tim Kiley worked with Ed Sullivan 
Mary Lynn Gottfried on Ed Sullivan interacting with guests
Mary Lynn Gottfried on Ed Sullivan interacting with guests

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