Suzanne Pleshette

Actress


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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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?" 

Highlights
Suzanne Pleshette on appearing in "The Miracle Worker" on Broadway
08:14
Suzanne Pleshette on acting in Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds"
07:39
Suzanne Pleshette on playing "Emily Hartley" on The Bob Newhart Show
05:19
Suzanne Pleshette on reprising her role of "Emily Hartley" on the final episode of Newhart
03:42
Suzanne Pleshette on advice to aspiring actors 
02:23
Suzanne Pleshette on problems while guest-starring on Columbo
03:02
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

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Suzanne Pleshette on appearing on 8 Simple Rules
02:04

Bob Newhart Show, The (1972-78)

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Suzanne Pleshette on being cast on The Bob Newhart Show
08:18
Suzanne Pleshette on playing "Emily Hartley" on The Bob Newhart Show
05:19
Suzanne Pleshette on the cast of The Bob Newhart Show
04:37
Suzanne Pleshette on reprising her role of "Emily Hartley" on the final episode of Newhart
03:42
Suzanne Pleshette on "breaking up" while filming The Bob Newhart Show
02:09
Suzanne Pleshette on ending The Bob Newhart Show
05:56

Columbo

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Suzanne Pleshette on guest-starring on a problematic episode of Columbo
03:02

Dr. Kildare

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Suzanne Pleshette on guest-starring on an episode of Dr. Kildare
01:05

FBI, The

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Suzanne Pleshette on guest-starring on The F.B.I.
01:02

Fugitive, The

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Suzanne Pleshette on The Fugitive's David Janssen
02:10
Suzanne Pleshette on working with David Janssen on The Fugitive and The Invaders
03:41

General Electric Theater, The

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Suzanne Pleshette on acting on General Electric Theater
02:17

Newhart

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Suzanne Pleshette on reprising her role of "Emily Hartley" on the final episode of Newhart
03:42

Newhart: "The Last Newhart"

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Suzanne Pleshette on reprising her role of "Emily Hartley" on the final episode of Newhart
03:42

One Step Beyond

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Suzanne Pleshette on "doubling her double" while working on the Alcoa Presents (aka One Step Beyond) episode "Delusion" (airdate: 9/15/59)
00:52

Route 66

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Suzanne Pleshette on working on location for Route 66
01:43

Single Guy, The

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Suzanne Pleshette on her role on The Single Guy
03:38

Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, The

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Suzanne Pleshette on guest-hosting The Tonight Show
01:46

Will & Grace

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Suzanne Pleshette on guest-starring on Will & Grace
00:39
Topics

Classic TV series episodes

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Suzanne Pleshette on her cameo on the series finale of Newhart
03:41

Comedy

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Suzanne Pleshette on her cameo on the series finale of Newhart
03:41

Fame and Celebrity

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Suzanne Pleshette on being a "movie star" who appeared on television
01:10

Memorable Moments on Television

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Suzanne Pleshette on her cameo on the series finale of Newhart
03:41

Pop Culture

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Suzanne Pleshette on being a "movie star" who appeared on television
01:10
Suzanne Pleshette on her cameo on the series finale of Newhart
03:41
Suzanne Pleshette on her cameo on the series finale of Newhart
03:41

Television Industry

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Suzanne Pleshette on being a "movie star" who appeared on television
01:10

We Laughed

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Suzanne Pleshette on her cameo on the series finale of Newhart
03:41
Professions

Actor

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Suzanne Pleshette on acting on stage versus acting on television
02:54
Suzanne Pleshette on acting in sitcoms
05:08
Suzanne Pleshette on advice to aspiring actors
02:23

Performers

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Suzanne Pleshette on acting on stage versus acting on television
02:54
Suzanne Pleshette on acting in sitcoms
05:08
Suzanne Pleshette on advice to aspiring actors
02:23
Genres

Comedy Series

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Suzanne Pleshette on acting in sitcoms
05:08
Suzanne Pleshette on acting on The Bob Newhart Show
05:18
People

Peter Bonerz

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Suzanne Pleshette on Peter Bonerz as "Jerry" on The Bob Newhart Show
01:30

George Burns

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Suzanne Pleshette on how she came to meet George Burns
02:17

Johnny Carson

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Suzanne Pleshette on guest-hosting The Tonight Show
01:46

Bill Daily

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Suzanne Pleshette on Bill Daily as "Howard" on The Bob Newhart Show
00:42

Patty Duke

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Suzanne Pleshette on working with Patty Duke in "The Miracle Worker" on Broadway
08:14

Peter Falk

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Suzanne Pleshette on Peter Falk not showing up for Columbo due to a contract dispute
03:02

Alfred Hitchcock

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Suzanne Pleshette on acting in Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds"
07:39

David Janssen

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Suzanne Pleshette on working with David Janssen in The Fugitive
02:04
Suzanne Pleshette on working with David Janssen on The Fugitive and The Invaders
03:42

Jerry Lewis

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Suzanne Pleshette on working with Jerry Lewis on the film "Geisha Boy"
04:28

Bob Newhart

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Suzanne Pleshette on Bob Newhart as "Bob" on The Bob Newhart Show
01:10

Tom Poston

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Suzanne Pleshette on meeting future husband Tom Poston
01:44

John Ritter

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Suzanne Pleshette on a lesson she taught John Ritter and Henry Winkler
01:22

Marcia Wallace

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Suzanne Pleshette on Marcia Wallace as "Carol" on The Bob Newhart Show
01:15

Henry Winkler

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Suzanne Pleshette on a lesson she taught John Ritter and Henry Winkler
01:22

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