Piper Laurie

Actress


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In her two-hour-and-fifteen-minute Archive Interview, Piper Laurie recounts her childhood and early interest in the stage, sparked by a three-year stint as her sister's companion in a sanitarium. She recalls her days as a contract player in the 1950s at Universal, with such co-stars as Rock Hudson and Ronald Reagan and her frustration at being given "silly and insubstantial" roles. She talks about breaking free of her Universal contract (unheard of at the time) and getting into live television with an Emmy-nominated, acclaimed role in Playhouse 90's production of "The Days of Wine and Roses" opposite Cliff Robertson and directed by John Frankenheimer. She speaks of her Oscar-nominated performance opposite Paul Newman in "The Hustler" and her fifteen-year absence from the screen thereafter. Laurie discusses her return to acting with her Oscar-nominated role in Brian De Palma's feature film "Carrie" and her subsequent return to television with the made-for-television movies In the Matter of Karen Ann Quinlan, The Bunker and The Promise. She recounts her role as "Catherine Martell" on Twin Peaks and speaks of her guest spots on Frasier, ER and Will & Grace. She concludes by discussing her all time favorite role and offering advice for aspiring actors. Jim McKairnes conducted the interview on December 16, 2011 in North Hollywood, California.

"It used to happen when you did live television - people the next day would come up to you, and the whole country had seen you the night before. It's hard for people to imagine how really focused people were on those live shows. That doesn't happen anymore."

Interviewee(s)
Highlights
Piper Laurie on working with Ronald Reagan
Piper Laurie on performing in the feature film "Carrie" with Sissy Spacek
Piper Laurie on her experiences with the Hollywood Blacklist
Piper Laurie on performing in the mini-series The Thorn Birds
Piper Laurie on portraying the character "Catherine Martell" on Twin Peaks
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On her early life and influences; on screen tests for Warner Brothers and Universal
On her days under contract at Universal Studios; on various co-stars including Ronald Reagan and Rock Hudson; on her frustration with the studio
On her involvement in the Hollywood Blacklist; on being cast on General Electric Theater and her subsequent Emmy nomination
On her first time on live television on Robert Montgomery Presents; on doing live television in the 1950s; on performing on Playhouse 90 in the episode "Days of Wine and Roses"

Chapter 2

On performing in Playhouse 90's production of "The Days of Wine and Roses"; on appearing in the feature film "The Hustler"; on her hiatus from show business; on performing in the feature film "Carrie"
On performing in the made-for-television movies In the Matter of Karen Ann Quinlan, The Bunker, and The Promise; on appearing in the mini-series The Thorn Birds
On playing "Catherine Martell" on Twin Peaks; on performing in the short-lived series Scag
On guest spots on Murder, She Wrote, Matlock, Will & Grace, Frasier and ER; on the craft of acting for television

Chapter 3

On the craft of acting; on her autobiography; on then-current projects; on her favorite role in Playhouse 90's production of "The Ninth Day"
Shows

ER

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Piper Laurie on guest-starring on ER

Frasier

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Piper Laurie on guest-starring on Frasier

General Electric Theater, The

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Piper Laurie on being cast in the General Electric Theater episode "The Road that Led Afar"

Matlock

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Piper Laurie on guest-starring on Murder, She Wrote  and Matlock

Murder, She Wrote

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Piper Laurie on guest-starring on Murder, She Wrote and Matlock

Playhouse 90

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Piper Laurie on Playhouse 90's production of "The Ninth Day", her all time favorite role

Playhouse 90: "Days of Wine and Roses"

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Piper Laurie on performing in the Playhouse 90 production "The Days of Wine and Roses"
Piper Laurie on performing in Playhouse 90's production of "The Days of Wine and Roses"

Robert Montgomery Presents

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Piper Laurie on performing on live television for the first time on Robert Montgomery Presents

St. Elsewhere

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Piper Laurie on guest-starring on St. Elsewhere

Thorn Birds, The

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Piper Laurie on performing in the mini-series The Thorn Birds

Twin Peaks

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Piper Laurie on portraying "Catherine Martell" on Twin Peaks

Will & Grace

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Piper Laurie on guest-starring on Will & Grace
Topics

Anthology Drama

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Piper Laurie on performing in the Playhouse 90 production "The Days of Wine and Roses"

Characters & Catchphrases

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Piper Laurie on portraying "Catherine Martell" on Twin Peaks

Hollywood Blacklist

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Piper Laurie on her experiences with the Hollywood Blacklist

Industry Crossroads

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Piper Laurie on her experiences with the Hollywood Blacklist

Pop Culture

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Piper Laurie on portraying "Catherine Martell" on Twin Peaks

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

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Piper Laurie on performing in the Playhouse 90 production "The Days of Wine and Roses"

Television Industry

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Piper Laurie on her experiences with the Hollywood Blacklist
Professions

Actor

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Piper Laurie on advice about the craft of acting

Actress

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Piper Laurie on the craft of acting for television

Performers

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Piper Laurie on the craft of acting for television
Piper Laurie on advice about the craft of acting
Genres

Classic Anthology Series

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Piper Laurie on performing in the Playhouse 90  production "The Days of Wine and Roses"
Piper Laurie on performing in Playhouse 90's production of "Days of Wine and Roses"

Drama Series

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Piper Laurie on portraying "Catherine Martell" on Twin Peaks
People

John Frankenheimer

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Piper Laurie on being directed by John Frankenheimer in Playhouse 90's production of "The Days of Wine and Roses"

Andy Griffith

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Piper Laurie on guest-starring on Murder, She Wrote  and Matlock

Rock Hudson

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Piper Laurie on her friendship with Rock Hudson

Angela Lansbury

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Piper Laurie on guest-starring on Murder, She Wrote  and Matlock

Paul Newman

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Piper Laurie on appearing in the feature film "The Hustler" with Paul Newman

Ronald Reagan

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Piper Laurie on working with Ronald Reagan

Cliff Robertson

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Piper Laurie on performing with Cliff Robertson in Playhouse 90's production of "The Days of Wine and Roses"

Sissy Spacek

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Piper Laurie on appearing in the feature film "Carrie" with Sissy Spacek

James Woods

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Piper Laurie on appearing in a play with James Woods prior to the made-for-television movie The Promise

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