Suzanne Pleshette

Actress


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

Tab

About
About this interview

In her two-hour-plus Archive interview, Suzanne Pleshette (1937-2008) talks about her early years as an actress in films ("The Geisha Boy"), television (Playhouse 90, One Step Beyond), and Broadway ("The Miracle Worker"). She discusses her friendship with Alfred Hitchcock that began on the feature film "The Birds," and details her television work on The Bob Newhart Show, on which she played Newhart's wife "Emily Hartley." For this series she describes her character, talks about working with the other series regulars, and recounts her surprise reappearance on the series finale of Newhart. She speaks of several other appearances on television, including roles on Columbo, Leona Helmsley: The Queen of Mean (in which she played the title role), and 8 Simple Rules. Stephen J. Abramson conducted the interview on February 9, 2006 in Beverly Hills, CA.

"We're losing manners. We're losing style. We're losing kindness. A lot of it is happening as a result of the television we're doing and the characters we're willing to play that reflect a piece of human nature. But it's done over and over because it gets laughs or because it's dramatically interesting. What's the actor's obligation to make the world a better place?" 

Interviewee(s)
Highlights
Suzanne Pleshette on appearing in "The Miracle Worker" on Broadway
Suzanne Pleshette on acting in Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds"
Suzanne Pleshette on playing "Emily Hartley" on The Bob Newhart Show
Suzanne Pleshette on reprising her role of "Emily Hartley" on the final episode of Newhart
Suzanne Pleshette on advice to aspiring actors 
Suzanne Pleshette on problems while guest-starring on Columbo
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On her early life and influences; on her early memories of television; on her first professional role
On being signed to a contract at Warner Bros.; on working with Jerry Lewis; on working in live television; on meeting future husband Tom Poston

Chapter 2

On working with George Burns; on learning from other actors and acting in sitcoms
On performing in the play "The Miracle Worker" with Patty Duke; on performing on Alfred Hitchcock Presents and Route 66; on her relationship with The Fugitive's David Janssen

Chapter 3

On appearing on The Fugitive; on playing various roles on television and in features; on acting in Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds"
On appearing on Columbo; on why she enjoys made-for-television movies; on how she came to be cast on The Bob Newhart Show

Chapter 4

On her character, "Emily Hartley," on The Bob Newhart Show; on acting on The Single Guy; on the cast of The Bob Newhart Show
On memories of filming The Bob Newhart Show; on her cameo in the series finale of Newhart

Chapter 5

On playing Leona Hemsley in The Queen of Mean
On her career highlights; on advice to aspiring actors; on how she'd like to be remembered
Shows

8 Simple Rules ... for Dating My Teenage Daughter

View Show Page
Suzanne Pleshette on appearing on 8 Simple Rules

Bob Newhart Show, The (1972-78)

View Show Page
Suzanne Pleshette on being cast on The Bob Newhart Show
Suzanne Pleshette on playing "Emily Hartley" on The Bob Newhart Show
Suzanne Pleshette on the cast of The Bob Newhart Show
Suzanne Pleshette on reprising her role of "Emily Hartley" on the final episode of Newhart
Suzanne Pleshette on "breaking up" while filming The Bob Newhart Show
Suzanne Pleshette on ending The Bob Newhart Show

Columbo

View Show Page
Suzanne Pleshette on guest-starring on a problematic episode of Columbo

Dr. Kildare

View Show Page
Suzanne Pleshette on guest-starring on an episode of Dr. Kildare

FBI, The

View Show Page
Suzanne Pleshette on guest-starring on The F.B.I.

Fugitive, The

View Show Page
Suzanne Pleshette on The Fugitive's David Janssen
Suzanne Pleshette on working with David Janssen on The Fugitive and The Invaders

General Electric Theater, The

View Show Page
Suzanne Pleshette on acting on General Electric Theater

Newhart

View Show Page
Suzanne Pleshette on reprising her role of "Emily Hartley" on the final episode of Newhart

Newhart: "The Last Newhart"

View Show Page
Suzanne Pleshette on reprising her role of "Emily Hartley" on the final episode of Newhart

One Step Beyond

View Show Page
Suzanne Pleshette on "doubling her double" while working on the Alcoa Presents (aka One Step Beyond) episode "Delusion" (airdate: 9/15/59)

Route 66

View Show Page
Suzanne Pleshette on working on location for Route 66

Single Guy, The

View Show Page
Suzanne Pleshette on her role on The Single Guy

Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, The

View Show Page
Suzanne Pleshette on guest-hosting The Tonight Show

Will & Grace

View Show Page
Suzanne Pleshette on guest-starring on Will & Grace
Topics

Classic TV series episodes

View Topic
Suzanne Pleshette on her cameo on the series finale of Newhart

Comedy

View Topic
Suzanne Pleshette on her cameo on the series finale of Newhart

Fame and Celebrity

View Topic
Suzanne Pleshette on being a "movie star" who appeared on television

Memorable Moments on Television

View Topic
Suzanne Pleshette on her cameo on the series finale of Newhart

Pop Culture

View Topic
Suzanne Pleshette on being a "movie star" who appeared on television
Suzanne Pleshette on her cameo on the series finale of Newhart
Suzanne Pleshette on her cameo on the series finale of Newhart

Television Industry

View Topic
Suzanne Pleshette on being a "movie star" who appeared on television

We Laughed

View Topic
Suzanne Pleshette on her cameo on the series finale of Newhart
Professions

Actor

View Profession
Suzanne Pleshette on acting on stage versus acting on television
Suzanne Pleshette on acting in sitcoms
Suzanne Pleshette on advice to aspiring actors

Performers

View Profession
Suzanne Pleshette on acting on stage versus acting on television
Suzanne Pleshette on acting in sitcoms
Suzanne Pleshette on advice to aspiring actors
Genres

Comedy Series

View Genre
Suzanne Pleshette on acting in sitcoms
Suzanne Pleshette on acting on The Bob Newhart Show
People

Peter Bonerz

View Interview Page
Suzanne Pleshette on Peter Bonerz as "Jerry" on The Bob Newhart Show

George Burns

View Person Page
Suzanne Pleshette on how she came to meet George Burns

Johnny Carson

View Person Page
Suzanne Pleshette on guest-hosting The Tonight Show

Bill Daily

View Interview Page
Suzanne Pleshette on Bill Daily as "Howard" on The Bob Newhart Show

Patty Duke

View Interview Page
Suzanne Pleshette on working with Patty Duke in "The Miracle Worker" on Broadway

Peter Falk

View Person Page
Suzanne Pleshette on Peter Falk not showing up for Columbo due to a contract dispute

Alfred Hitchcock

View Person Page
Suzanne Pleshette on acting in Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds"

David Janssen

View Person Page
Suzanne Pleshette on working with David Janssen in The Fugitive
Suzanne Pleshette on working with David Janssen on The Fugitive and The Invaders

Jerry Lewis

View Interview Page
Suzanne Pleshette on working with Jerry Lewis on the film "Geisha Boy"

Bob Newhart

View Interview Page
Suzanne Pleshette on Bob Newhart as "Bob" on The Bob Newhart Show

Tom Poston

View Interview Page
Suzanne Pleshette on meeting future husband Tom Poston

John Ritter

View Person Page
Suzanne Pleshette on a lesson she taught John Ritter and Henry Winkler

Marcia Wallace

View Person Page
Suzanne Pleshette on Marcia Wallace as "Carol" on The Bob Newhart Show

Henry Winkler

View Interview Page
Suzanne Pleshette on a lesson she taught John Ritter and Henry Winkler

All Interviews

Q
S