Actress


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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Interviewees discuss the craft of acting and the role of an actress.

Highlights
Doris Roberts on advice to aspiring actors
Isabel Sanford on her process as an actress
Yeardley Smith on her stage fright and how she's overcome it by being "over prepared"
Sonia Manzano on the power of being onstage
Geri Jewell on advice for aspiring actors
Lee Grant on working with Sanford Meisner at the Neighborhood Playhouse
Who talked about this profession

Edie Adams

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Edie Adams on advice to aspiring performers

Lucie Arnaz

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Lucie Arnaz on the craft of acting in different media and advice to aspiring actors

Beatrice Arthur

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Beatrice Arthur on finding her comedic voice
Beatrice Arthur on acting in a sitcom (The Golden Girls )
Beatrice Arthur on her advice to aspiring actors

Bonnie Bartlett

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Bonnie Bartlett on what she likes about acting, and on doing comedy
Bonnie Bartlett on her process of acting once she gets a script, and on acting in different media

Lucille Bliss

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Lucille Bliss on wanting to be an actress when she was little
Lucille Bliss on discovering she had a talent for doing voices when she acted in radio serials

Connie Britton

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Connie Britton on studying acting with Sanford Meisner 
Connie Britton on learning television comedy for Spin City
Connie Britton on the process of shooting and acting on Friday Night Lights

Carol Burnett

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Carol Burnett on the first scene she ever performed and how she caught the acting bug

Betty White with Emerson College

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Betty White on her "bag of tricks" as an actress 
Betty White on dealing with agents and managers
Betty White on her career longevity 
Betty White on words of wisdom for aspiring television performers

Janis Paige with Emerson College

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Janis Paige on navigating her acting career through the years

Jeanne Cooper

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Jeanne Cooper on type casting
Jeanne Cooper on managing a busy work schedule
Jeanne Cooper on the development and evolution of her character "Katherine Chancellor" on The Young and the Restless

Jane Curtin

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Jane Curtin on advice to aspiring actors
Jane Curtin on what she enjoys about acting 

Ann B. Davis

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Ann B. Davis on her sense of gratitude toward writers

Ruby Dee

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Ruby Dee on one of her first film roles - an Army movie to combat venereal disease

Elinor Donahue

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Elinor Donahue on her very early start in show business

Patty Duke

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Patty Duke on how her acting process has evolved over the years
Patty Duke on advice to an aspiring actor

Barbara Eden

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Barbara Eden on one of her first TV jobs on Gunsmoke
Barbara Eden on the craft of acting

Stephanie Edwards

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Stephanie Edwards on wanting to be an actress, but having trouble with competition

Nanette Fabray

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Nanette Fabray on her acting style
Nanette Fabray on good advice she's gotten regarding her acting in her career
Nanette Fabray on working with a difficult director
Nanette Fabray on advice to aspiring actors

Edie Falco

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Edie Falco on not consciously doing research for roles
Edie Falco on what she likes in a director, as an actor
Edie Falco on what she likes in a director, as an actor
Edie Falco on why she prefers shooting single-camera television shows without an audience
Edie Falco on what she likes about acting
Edie Falco on advice to aspiring actors

Barbara Feldon

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Barbara Feldon on her early interest in acting

Genie Francis

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Genie Francis on being an adolescent TV performer

Eileen Fulton

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Eileen Fulton on her acting style, and on advice to aspiring actors

Betty Garrett

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Betty Garrett on advice to aspiring performers

Mitzi Gaynor

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Mitzi Gaynor on joining the Los Angeles Civic Light Opera Company and her first show

Marla Gibbs

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Marla Gibbs on taking acting classes when she first got to Los Angeles
Marla Gibbs on advice to an aspiring actor

Melissa Gilbert

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Melissa Gilbert on how she got involved in acting

Sharon Gless

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Sharon Gless on what caused her to lose her fear of pursuing acting
Sharon Gless on why being on a hit TV show is her favorite acting experience

Lee Grant

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Lee Grant on working with Sanford Meisner at the Neighborhood Playhouse
Lee Grant on advice to aspiring actors

Valerie Harper

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Valerie Harper on joining Second City and her acting philosophy
Valerie Harper on her acting style

Patricia Heaton

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Patricia Heaton on wanting to be a performer
Patricia Heaton on acting tips from William Esper
Patricia Heaton on what made her character on Everybody Loves Raymond a comedic force; the power of silence
Patricia Heaton on the benefits of performing in front of a live audience
Patricia Heaton on her advice to aspiring actresses

Katherine Helmond

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Katherine Helmond on what Soap did for her career as an actor
Katherine Helmond on advice to aspiring actors: "take every job" that comes along

Florence Henderson

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Florence Henderson on deciding to become an actress
Florence Henderson on advice to young actors
Florence Henderson on making scenes believable

Marilu Henner

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Marilu Henner on advice to an aspiring actor

Ellen Holly

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Ellen Holly on appearing as "Stephanie" in the Broadway production of "Too Late the Phalarope," and on how she played the role
Ellen Holly on being invited to join the Actors Studio by Lee Strasberg
Ellen Holly on what she learned at the Actors Studio, and why she didn't like Lee Strasberg as a teacher
Ellen Holly on what she learned from her time on One Life to Live, including advice she would give to young actors about the business-end of television

Monica Horan

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Monica Horan on how she always knew she wanted to be an actress
Monica Horan on memorable work experiences in television
Monica Horan on the impact and influence that working with different creative people has had upon her life and career
Monica Horan on advice she would give to someone starting out in acting

Felicity Huffman

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Felicity Huffman on what she likes about acting and the importance of storytelling
Felicity Huffman on advice for aspiring actors
Felicity Huffman and William H. Macy on Macy studying acting with David Mamet at Goddard College and how that led to Macy teaching acting in New York, where Huffman studied with him
Felicity Huffman and William H. Macy on how they help each other prepare for roles and the challenges of preparation as an actor
Felicity Huffman and William H. Macy on watching each other's work and their own, and how much they prepare for roles

Kim Hunter

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Kim Hunter on advice to aspiring actors

Allison Janney

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Allison Janney on becoming interested in acting and doing a play directed by Paul Newman
Allison Janney on memorization's place in acting
Allison Janney on worries about being typecast
Allison Janney on her acting style
Allison Janney on the most important advice she ever received about acting
Allison Janney on advice to aspiring actors

Geri Jewell

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Geri Jewell on filming the Deadwood episode "Jewel's Boot Is Made for Walking" and how show creator/director David Milch coaxed a reaction from her
Geri Jewell on what she loves about performing and her hopes for her career as she ages
Geri Jewell on advice for aspiring actors

Shirley Jones

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Shirley Jones on advice to an aspiring actress, and on how she'd like to be remembered

Kathryn Joosten

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Kathryn Joosten on her first paid job in television - on Family Matters
Kathryn Joosten on what she loves about acting, her approach to acting, and advice to aspiring actors

Eartha Kitt

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Eartha Kitt on performing on live television

Lisa Kudrow

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Lisa Kudrow on realizing there was no "mystical truth" to becoming a working actor after seeing her brother's friend, Jon Lovitz, land a gig on Saturday Night Live
Lisa Kudrow on what she learned about acting from her work at The Groundlings Improv group and how invaluable the character monologues were
Lisa Kudrow on her first-ever performance in front of an audience
Lisa Kudrow on some realities of working in television and the expectations and challenges of coming in as guest-star on a long-running sitcom
Lisa Kudrow on the challenges of performing the same character for so many years, as on Friends with "Phoebe"
Lisa Kudrow on advice to aspiring actors "as long as it's not porn, do it"

Sheila Kuehl

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Sheila Kuehl on advice to aspiring actors and politicians

Angela Lansbury

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Angela Lansbury on wanting to be an actress

Louise Lasser

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Louise Lasser on being typecast after Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, and on her relationship with the character
Louise Lasser on advice to an aspiring actor

Piper Laurie

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Piper Laurie on the craft of acting for television

Lucy Lawless

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Lucy Lawless on what she likes about acting and her approach to acting
Lucy Lawless on her advice to an aspiring actor

Vicki Lawrence

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Vicki Lawrence on advice to aspiring performers

Michael Learned

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Michael Learned on what she likes about acting
Michael Learned on advice to aspiring actors

Judith Light

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Judith Light on figuring out her acting career
Judith Light on advice to an aspiring actor
Judith Light on balancing her career as an actress and marriage 
Judith Light on what she loves about acting 

Loretta Long

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Loretta Long on advice to aspiring actors, and how she'd like to be remembered

Julia Louis-Dreyfus

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Julia Louis-Dreyfus on her early interest in acting
Julia Louis-Dreyfus on the challenge of portraying a version of herself on Curb Your Enthusiasm
Julia Louis-Dreyfus on developing her character "Selina Meyer" on Veep; on speaking with actual Vice-Presidents and the research that went into creating the character
Julia Louis-Dreyfus on developing her character "Selina Meyer" on Veep; on speaking with actual Vice-Presidents and the research that went into creating the character
Julia Louis-Dreyfus on one of her favorite improv moments on Veep
Julia Louis-Dreyfus on advice to aspiring actors

Susan Lucci

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Susan Lucci on receiving and learning her All My Children  scripts and the rehearsal process
Susan Lucci on good advice she's received as an actor
Susan Lucci on her advice to aspiring actors

Nancy Malone

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Nancy Malone on what she learned from studying acting with Stella Adler

Sonia Manzano

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Sonia Manzano on being cast on Sesame Street
Sonia Manzano on the power of being onstage

Penny Marshall

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Penny Marshall on her advice to aspiring actors and directors
Cindy Williams and Penny Marshall on performing the physical comedy of Laverne & Shirley

Rue McClanahan

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Rue McClanahan on acting in front of an audience, and on the best advice she ever got about acting

Jayne Meadows

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Jayne Meadows on her early stage experience and deciding to become an actress
Jayne Meadows on playing different historical characters on the series Meeting of Minds
Jayne Meadows on advice she'd give to aspiring actors

Anne Meara

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Anne Meara on her path to becoming an actress
Anne Meara on her acting style

S. Epatha Merkerson

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S. Epatha Merkerson on advice to an aspiring actor

Mary Tyler Moore

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Mary Tyler Moore on initially being a "dramatic" actress on a comedy on The Dick Van Dyke Show

Laraine Newman

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Laraine Newman on creating characters for Saturday Night Live
Laraine Newman on creating characters for animated shows
Laraine Newman on advice to aspiring actors

Estelle Parsons

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Estelle Parsons on advice to an aspiring actor

Charlotte Rae

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Charlotte Rae on what she likes about acting
Charlotte Rae on advice to aspiring actors, and how she'd like to be remembered

Joyce Randolph

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Joyce Randolph on joining the Catholic Theater Group tour and eventually getting to New York

Phylicia Rashad

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Phylicia Rashad on a reading she did at a local music festival that inspired her to become an actress
Phylicia Rashad on her approach to acting
Phylicia Rashad on the instruction Bill Cosby gave the cast at the beginning of The Cosby Show

Frances Reid

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Frances Reid on her acting style, and her career

Maria Riva

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Maria Riva on establishing herself as a TV star in the 1950s, and how little TV demanded of acting "talent" in the early days of the medium
Actress Maria Riva on the difference to the public between a movie star and a television actor as she noted when approached by a fan while accompanying her mother Marlene Dietrich in the 1950s

Doris Roberts

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Doris Roberts on the difference between acting on stage and acting on television

Marion Ross

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Marion Ross on her process for learning her lines
Marion Ross on acting in front of an audience
Marion Ross on how she creates her characters
Marion Ross on important advice she's received as an actress, and on the importance of having an agent
Marion Ross on advice to an aspiring actor

Isabel Sanford

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Isabel Sanford on her process as an actress

Hazel Shermet

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Hazel Shermet on the audition process for television commercials
Hazel Shermet on her experience acting in commercials

Doris Singleton

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Doris Singleton on acting for television, stage, radio

Erika Slezak

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Erika Slezak on wanting to become an actress and her father insisting that she be properly trained in acting
Erika Slezak on her advice to aspiring daytime drama actors

Yeardley Smith

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Yeardley Smith on her stage fright and how she's overcome it by being "over prepared"
Yeardley Smith on her early determination to find success as an actress, and feeling that she had a "gift"
Yeardley Smith on playing to your strengths as an actor and finding her way into a role
Yeardley Smith on the differences between television/film and theater, and appearing as a guest star on a TV show
Yeardley Smith on performing "Lisa Simpson"
Yeardley Smith on being on The Simpsons and wanting to get more on-camera roles

Jaclyn Smith

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Jaclyn Smith on her advice to an aspiring actor

Suzanne Somers

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Suzanne Somers on her inexperience at the start of Three's Company

Jean Stapleton

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Jean Stapleton on the professional reasons for not giving her age
Jean Stapleton on consciously trying to avoid being typecast by "Edith Bunker"

Mary Kay Stearns

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Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on the challenges of acting in live television
Mary Kay Stearns on how she conquers stage fright
Mary Kay Stearns on how she approaches a role

Johnny Stearns

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Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on the challenges of acting in live television

Gale Storm

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Gale Storm on her experiences working on the radio show, Gateway To Hollywood
Gale Storm on how Lindsey Parsons affected her career
Gale Storm on advice she received from Jackie Cooper about acting
Gale Storm on her My Little Margie character "Margie Albright"
Gale Storm on hosting the NBC Comedy Hour nine times

Maxine Stuart

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Maxine Stuart on performing under bandages, her face entirely obscured, for the classic Twilight Zone episode "Eye of the Beholder"

Loretta Swit

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Loretta Swit on preparing for her role on M.A.S.H as a nurse

Marlo Thomas

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Marlo Thomas on her advice to aspiring actors and producers

Leslie Uggams

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Leslie Uggams on studying acting as a child and later on with Stella Adler
Leslie Uggams on performing on stage versus performing on television
Leslie Uggams on advice to an aspiring actress

Helen Wagner

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Helen Wagner on her advice to aspiring actresses

Ruth Warrick

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Ruth Warrick on acting in live television
Ruth Warrick on developing her All My Children character "Phoebe Tyler," and learning that an audience can accept a villainous character that they "love to hate" 

Dawn Wells

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Dawn Wells on wanting to be an actress
Dawn Wells on teaching acting; on the Spud Fest Family Film Festival

Cindy Williams

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Cindy Williams on working with Penny Marhsall on the physical comedy of Laverne & Shirley
Cindy Williams on what she enjoys about acting
Cindy Williams on advice to aspiring actors
Cindy Williams and Penny Marshall on performing the physical comedy of Laverne & Shirley

Jane Wyatt

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Jane Wyatt on the differences between acting for film, television, and the stage
Jane Wyatt on her acting technique
Jane Wyatt on advice to aspiring actors