Sheila Kuehl

Actress / Politician


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In her two-hour-forty-five minute Archive interview, Sheila Kuehl talks about her introduction to performing on live radio as a child. She tells how that led to her role as "Jackie Erwin", the youngest daughter on The Stu Erwin Show aka Trouble With Father. She recalls working on the program with a then-unknown actor named James Dean, as well as guest-starring on My Little Margie and several dramatic programs. Kuehl recounts her four years as "Zelda Gilroy" on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, discusses her fondness for co-stars Dwayne Hickman and Bob Denver and details the production of the show. She recalls filming a pilot for a spin-off called Zelda Gilroy, which was eventually rejected by the network president for her being "too butch." She discusses leaving acting to pursue a career in law and attending Harvard Law School. She outlines her political career from being the first lesbian to serve in the California State Assembly, to her service in the California State Senate, where she worked with California governors Pete Wilson, Gray Davis and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Adrienne Faillace conducted the interview on June 27, 2013 in North Hollywood, California.

"No gay or lesbian person had ever won even a primary for California for the State Legislature. The thing that actually made it easy was 'Zelda Gilroy.' Everybody already liked 'Zelda.' They liked her a lot. And once you realize your third grade teacher, the nurse that saved your life in the hospital, or your aunt are gay, you change your mind about stuff. 'Zelda' helped people feel they were electing a gay person who they already knew and liked."  

People Talking About ...
Highlights
Sheila Kuehl on being cast as "Zelda Gilroy" on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis
Sheila Kuehl on the planned Zelda Gilroy  spin-off of The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis
Sheila Kuehl on being the first lesbian elected to the California State Assembly
Sheila Kuehl on her decision to study law and attend Harvard Law School
Sheila Kuehl on advice to aspiring actors and politicians
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On her early life and influences; on her introduction to performing; on playing "Jackie Erwin" on The Stu Erwin Show aka Trouble With Father
On her favorite Stu Erwin Show moments; on her education as a child actor; on acting in 1950's television dramas
On appearing in the feature film "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers"; on James Dean appearing on The Stu Erwin Show
On being cast as "Zelda Gilroy" on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis; on her character "Zelda Gilroy" on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis; on working with Dwayne Hickman as "Dobie Gillis" on the show

Chapter 2

On Bob Denver as "Maynard G. Krebs" on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis; on doing publicity for and interacting with fans of The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis; on Tuesday Weld as "Thalia Menninger" on the show
On attending UCLA; on Warren Beatty as "Milton Armitage" on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis; on the planned Zelda Gilroy spin-off of The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis and the end of the show
On various guest-starring roles; on appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show as one of "The Ladybugs"
On attending Harvard Law School; on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis reunion movies

Chapter 3

On her law career; on coming out on Good Morning America and The  Geraldo Rivera Show; on being elected to the California State Assembly and speaking at the Democratic National Convention
On her West Hollywood Cable TV show Get Used To It; on serving in the California State Senate
On her most important contributions in government; on how television has changed; on career highlights and regrets and her advice to aspiring actors and politicians
Shows

Adventures Of Ozzie and Harriet, The

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Sheila Kuehl on guest-starring on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet

Beverly Hillbillies, The

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Sheila Kuehl on guest-starring on The Beverly Hillbillies and Petticoat Junction  and appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show

Donna Reed Show, The

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Sheila Kuehl on guest-starring on The Donna Reed Show

Geraldo

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Sheila Kuehl on coming out as a lesbian on Geraldo and Good Morning America

Good Morning America

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Sheila Kuehl on coming out as a lesbian on The  Geraldo Rivera Show  and Good Morning America

Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, The

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Sheila Kuehl on being cast as "Zelda Gilroy" on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis
Sheila Kuehl on her Many Loves of Dobie Gillis character "Zelda Gilroy"
Sheila Kuehl on working with The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis creator Max Shulman
Sheila Kuehl on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis director Rod Amateau
Sheila Kuehl on the production of The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis
Sheila Kuehl on working with Dwayne Hickman as "Dobie Gillis" on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis
Sheila Kuehl on Bob Denver as "Maynard G. Krebs" on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis
Sheila Kuehl on doing publicity for The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis
Sheila Kuehl on her interaction with fans of The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis and how they reacted to her character "Zelda Gilroy"
Sheila Kuehl on Tuesday Weld as "Thalia Menninger" on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis
Sheila Kuehl on attending UCLA while on The Many Loves of Dobie Gills
Sheila Kuehl on Warren Beatty as "Milton Armitage" on The Many Loves of Dobie Gills
Sheila Kuehl on her friendship with Dwayne Hickman on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis
Sheila Kuehl on moments of The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis that stood out for her
Sheila Kuehl on the planned Zelda Gilroy spin-off of The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis
Sheila Kuehl on the end of The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis
Sheila Kuehl on appearing in the reunion movies Whatever Happened to Dobie Gillis? and Bring Me the Head of Dobie Gillis

My Little Margie

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Sheila Kuehl on appearing on My Little Margie

Petticoat Junction

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Sheila Kuehl on guest-starring on The Beverly Hillbillies and Petticoat Junction and appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show
Topics

Advice

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Sheila Kuehl on advice to aspiring actors and politicians

Anthology Drama

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Sheila Kuehl on acting in live and filmed television dramas in the 1950s

Characters & Catchphrases

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Sheila Kuehl on her Many Loves of Dobie Gillis character "Zelda Gilroy"

Civil Rights Movement

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Sheila Kuehl on Bob Denver as "Maynard G. Krebs" on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis

Comedy-Variety

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Sheila Kuehl on playing "Jackie Erwin" on The Stu Erwin Show aka Trouble With Father

Diversity in Television

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Sheila Kuehl on the planned Zelda Gilroy  spin-off of The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis
Sheila Kuehl on coming out as a lesbian on The Geraldo Rivera Show and Good Morning America
Sheila Kuehl on the Supreme Court's 2013 ruling regarding gay marriage
Sheila Kuehl on being the first lesbian elected to the California State Assembly

Fame & Celebrity

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Sheila Kuehl on her interaction with fans of The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis and how they reacted to her character "Zelda Gilroy"

Historic Events and Social Change

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Sheila Kuehl on Bob Denver as "Maynard G. Krebs" on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis
Sheila Kuehl on the planned Zelda Gilroy  spin-off of The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis
Sheila Kuehl on coming out as a lesbian on The  Geraldo Rivera Show  and Good Morning America
Sheila Kuehl on the Supreme Court's 2013 ruling regarding gay marriage
Sheila Kuehl on being the first lesbian elected to the California State Assembly

LGBTQ

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Sheila Kuehl on the planned Zelda Gilroy  spin-off of The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis
Sheila Kuehl on coming out as a lesbian on The  Geraldo Rivera Show  and Good Morning America
Sheila Kuehl on the Supreme Court's 2013 ruling regarding gay marriage
Sheila Kuehl on being the first lesbian elected to the California State Assembly

Pop Culture

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Sheila Kuehl on her Many Loves of Dobie Gillis character "Zelda Gilroy"

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

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Sheila Kuehl on playing "Jackie Erwin" on The Stu Erwin Show aka Trouble With Father
Sheila Kuehl on acting in live and filmed television dramas in the 1950s

Television Industry

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Sheila Kuehl on her interaction with fans of The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis and how they reacted to her character "Zelda Gilroy"
Sheila Kuehl on advice to aspiring actors and politicians
Professions

Actress

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Sheila Kuehl on advice to aspiring actors and politicians

Performers

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Sheila Kuehl on advice to aspiring actors and politicians
Genres

Comedy Series

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Sheila Kuehl on playing "Jackie Erwin" on The Stu Erwin Show aka Trouble With Father
Sheila Kuehl on playing "Zelda Gilroy" on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis
Sheila Kuehl on playing "Zelda Gilroy" on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis  (Part 2) 
People

Rod Amateau

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Sheila Kuehl on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis director Rod Amateau

Warren Beatty

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Sheila Kuehl on Warren Beatty as "Milton Armitage" on The Many Loves of Dobie Gills

James Dean

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Sheila Kuehl on James Dean appearing on The Stu Erwin Show

Bob Denver

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Sheila Kuehl on Bob Denver as "Maynard G. Krebs" on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis

Dwayne Hickman

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Sheila Kuehl on working with Dwayne Hickman as "Dobie Gillis" on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis

Arnold Schwarzenegger

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Sheila Kuehl on serving in the California State Senate under Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger

Dick York

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Sheila Kuehl on coming out as a lesbian on The  Geraldo Rivera Show  and Good Morning America

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