Creative Influences and Inspiration


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

Tabs

About

Interviewees discuss their creative influences and inspirations.

Highlights
John Wells on his mentors
Henry Winkler on his mentors and advice to actors entering the business
Jane Curtin on her mentors
Danette Herman on working with Marty Pasetta on various variety and awards shows
G.E. Smith on his earliest musical influences
Patricia Field on how being in New York City her whole life has affected her style and taste
Who talked about this topic

Andy Ackerman

View Interview
Andy Ackerman on being a stage manager/assistant director for a high school production and learning a lot from his teacher

Alan Alda

View Interview
Alan Alda on his adoration for the early radio comedians and talk show hosts such as Arthur Godfrey and Steve Allen
Alan Alda on how the burlesque comics and vaudeville influenced him at an early age
Alan Alda on his father, Robert Alda's, early TV parts
Alan Alda on working with and being influenced by actor Burgess Meredith with Naked City
Alan Alda on writing the M*A*S*H episode "Dear Sigmund"
Alan Alda on the craft of writing

Kay Alden

View Interview
Kay Alden on working with William Bell on The Young and the Restless

Steve Allen

View Interview
Steve Allen on role model Orson Welles

John Aniston

View Interview
John Aniston on Macdonald Carey being a mentor in his career

Army Archerd

View Interview
Army Archerd on his mentor, Harrison Carroll

John Astin

View Interview
John Astin on his influences as a director and actor

Hank Azaria

View Interview
Hank Azaria on his mentors

Reza Badiyi

View Interview
Reza Badiyi on how much he learned from Professor John Humphrey of Syracuse University's program in Tehran

Rick Baker

View Interview
Rick Baker on working on Michael Jackson's Thriller video

Paris Barclay

View Interview
Paris Barclay on advice from mentor Stephen Sondheim
Paris Barclay on advice from mentor Stephen Sondheim

Rona Barrett

View Interview
Rona Barrett on her influences and people who helped her in her career

Bonnie Bartlett

View Interview
Bonnie Bartlett on mentors in her career

Joe Behar

View Interview
Joe Behar on his directing style and his hero, John Frankenheimer

Rick Berman

View Interview
Rick Berman on the death of Gene Roddenberry
Rick Berman on how he'd like to be remembered

Bruce Bilson

View Interview
Bruce Bilson on important skills you need as a director and his mentor Bob Sweeney

William Blinn

View Interview
William Blinn on the first time he saw television and the impact it made on him

Sam Bobrick

View Interview
Sam Bobrick on his mentors

Steven Bochco

View Interview
Steven Bochco on the creation of Hill Street Blues and his fight for creative control

Vin Di Bona

View Interview
Vin Di Bona on mentors Nick Vanoff, Gary Smith, and Dwight Hemion

Ed Bradley

View Interview
Ed Bradley on discovering his calling after meeting a Philadelphia disc jockey when Bradley was enrolled at a teacher training college
Ed Bradley on 60 Minutes executive producer Don Hewitt's beneficial influence on Bradley's work, and on his influence on television news programs in general
Ed Bradley on his mentor Del Shields, from WDAS radio in Philadelphia

Eric Braeden

View Interview
Eric Braeden on his interest in theater and classical texts, and actors who made an impression on him

Kevin Bright

View Interview
Kevin Bright on how his father, a former Vaudeville comedian, brought comedy into their home when Bright was a child
Kevin Bright on his love of television as a child, and how that sowed the seeds for his career
Kevin Bright on attending Emerson College

Janie Bryant

View Interview
Janie Bryant on the inspiration for the costumes on Deadwood

Mark Burnett

View Interview
Mark Burnett on his creative influences and inspiration from his mother

Allan Burns

View Interview
Allan Burns on how living in Hawaii developed his creativity

Ken Burns

View Interview
Documentarian Ken Burns on developing his approach to using photographs in documentaries during the development of Brooklyn Bridge

Robert Butler

View Interview
Robert Butler on his mentors and people he's mentored

Sid Caesar

View Interview
Sid Caesar on his influences and the importance of being "prepared" for when your break comes along

Vince Calandra

View Interview
Vince Calandra on his mentors and his longevity

Steve Carlin

View Interview
Steve Carlin on his early mentors
Steve Carlin on his early mentors

George Carlin

View Interview
George Carlin on the genesis of much of his material
George Carlin on his creative process
George Carlin on preparing for his then-upcoming HBO special It's Bad for Ya

Les Charles

View Interview
Les Charles on being influenced by Charles Dickens; on his literary influences
Glen and Les Charles on their mentors

Glen Charles

View Interview
Glen Charles on being inspired by the book and movie version of "From Here to Eternity"; on his literary influences
Glen and Les Charles on their mentors

David Chase

View Interview
David Chase on how both his parents and The Rockford Files influenced the character development of "Tony Soprano"; on the character's strengths and weaknesses
David Chase on some of "Livia Soprano's" memorable lines, which he quoted from his own mother, like "Poor you" 

Michael Chiklis

View Interview
Michael Chiklis on meeting his mentor while doing Summer Stock as a teenager

Ron Clark

View Interview
Ron Clark on mentors in his career

Robert Clary

View Interview
Robert Clary on his mentor, Eddie Cantor

Bob Claver

View Interview
Bob Claver on his mentors Hy Averback and Jackie Cooper

Nick Clooney

View Interview
Nick Clooney on his early mentors

Charles Grodin with Emerson College

View Interview
Charles Grodin on being influenced by the movie "A Place in the Sun," and on getting into acting

Paul Rodriguez with Emerson College

View Interview
Paul Rodriguez on working with and being mentored by Richard Pryor

Tony Roberts with Emerson College

View Interview
Tony Roberts on the comedic actor Hiram Sherman, and on what he learned from him as well as Laurel and Hardy, Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd, and others
Tony Roberts on learning comedic technique from Milton Berle, and on farce

Richard Coogan

View Interview
Richard Coogan on his mentor

Joan Ganz Cooney

View Interview
Joan Ganz Cooney on her high school teachers that influenced her

Anderson Cooper

View Interview
Anderson Cooper on the kinds of stories he covered early on as a correspondent for ABC News  and his admiration for reporter Bob Simon
Anderson Cooper on his mentors and people who have impacted his career

Barbara Corday

View Interview
Barbara Corday on pitching a series with Barbara Avedon
Barbara Corday on her mentors Barbara Avedon, Herman Rush, and Frank Biondi

Judith Crist

View Interview
Judith Crist on Roger Ebert telling her she was his inspiration

Hume Cronyn

View Interview
Hume Cronyn on memorable teachers at The American Academy of Dramatic Art

Judy Crown

View Interview
Judy Crown on her mentors

Jane Curtin

View Interview
Jane Curtin on her mentors

Bill Daily

View Interview
Bill Daily on his comedic idols

Bill Dana

View Interview
Bill Dana on being influenced by Danny Kaye and music in general

William Daniels

View Interview
William Daniels on what he likes about acting, and on his mentor Howard Lindsay

Elias Davis

View Interview
Elias Davis and David Pollock on their mentors
Elias Davis and David Pollock on the legacy of M*A*S*H  and its creator Larry Gelbart
Elias Davis and David Pollock on the legacy of M*A*S*H  and its creator Larry Gelbart
Elias Davis and David Pollock on their mentors

Joe DeTullio

View Interview
Joe DeTullio on the production design team at Saturday Night Live

John Debney

View Interview
John Debney on going to work at Disney as a gofer, and on his mentor, Buddy Baker

Sam Denoff

View Interview
Sam Denoff on how television changed the world; how early TV influenced him

Hugh Downs

View Interview
Hugh Downs on his Emmy wins

Dick Van Dyke

View Interview
Dick Van Dyke on being influenced by the physical comedy of Laurel & Hardy, and Buster Keaton

Peter Ellenshaw

View Interview
Peter Ellenshaw on his early interest in film and his mentor 
Harrison Ellenshaw on following in his father's footsteps as a matte artist
Harrison Ellenshaw on following in his father's footsteps and becoming a matte artist 
Harrison Ellenshaw on comparing his and his father's work and his father's legacy

Ed Begley, Jr. with Emerson College

View Interview
Ed Begley, Jr. on his comedic influences, and on his philosophy of comedy

Ruth Engelhardt

View Interview
Ruth Engelhardt on packaging I Married Joan, and on learning the business from Ann Rosenthal
Ruth Engelhardt on her mentors and on attending law school while at William Morris

Diane English

View Interview
Diane English on her childhood and early influences; on her talent for writing

Jeff Fager

View Interview
Jeff Fager on his father as his role model

Edie Falco

View Interview
Edie Falco on seeing her mother perform in amateur theater when she was a kid
Edie Falco on doing theater in high school and overcoming her shyness in order to audition
Edie Falco on a high school music teacher who inspired her artistically

Jerry Falwell

View Interview
Jerry Falwell on early religious broadcaster Charles E. Fuller, and on Falwell becoming a Christian 

Mike Fenton

View Interview
Mike Fenton on mentors in his career, and how he'd like to be remembered

Patricia Field

View Interview
Patricia Field on how being in New York City her whole life has affected her style and taste

Dorothy Fontana

View Interview
Dorothy Fontana on being mentored in television writing by Samuel Peeples
Dorothy Fontana on updating the 1960s Star Trek worldview when making Star Trek: The Next Generation

Horton Foote

View Interview
Horton Foote on his mentors

Michael J. Fox

View Interview
Michael J. Fox on his childhood influences
Michael J. Fox on how his brother was his inspiration for "Alex P. Keaton" on Family Ties

Fred Foy

View Interview
Fred Foy on the advent of radio in the early 20th century and the influences shows such as "The Shadow" had on him as a youth

John Frankenheimer

View Interview
John Frankenheimer on directing tips from mentor David O. Selznick
John Frankenheimer on the influence of movie directors on him

Murray Fromson

View Interview
Murray Fromson on getting his first byline in his junior high school newspaper
Murray Fromson on finding inspiration from Edward R. Murrow's broadcasts from London during World War II

Pamela Fryman

View Interview
Pamela Fryman on the enduring popularity of the sitcom, and on mentors in her career

Lowell Ganz

View Interview
Lowell Ganz on his early interest in television and the influence of The Dick Van Dyke Show

Greg Garrison

View Interview
Greg Garrison on his mentors, including Orson Welles
Greg Garrison on working in radio and meeting Mike Wallace

Larry Gelbart

View Interview
Larry Gelbart on working with Ed Garnder on Duffy's Tavern on the radio as a young writer; learning to have fun with language, the biggest lesson he took from Ed

Lesli Linka Glatter

View Interview
Lesli Linka Glatter on Steven Spielberg being her mentor on Amazing Stories, and on what she learned from him

Sharon Gless

View Interview
Sharon Gless on advice she cherishes from Cagney & Lacey co-star John Karlen, who played "Harvey Lacey"
Sharon Gless on using Judi Dench's autobiography to inspire her villainous guest starring role on Nip/Tuck

Leonard Goldberg

View Interview
Leonard Goldberg on his mentors and people he mentored
Leonard Goldberg on his mentors and people he mentored

Leonard H. Goldenson

View Interview
Leonard Goldenson on seeing television for the first time at the 1939 World's Fair

Julian Gomez

View Interview
Julian Gomez on his mentors in editing

Louis Gossett, Jr.

View Interview
Louis Gossett, Jr. on the many mentors in his life

Lee Grant

View Interview
Lee Grant on her mentors

Walter E. Grauman

View Interview
Director Walter Grauman on how Blake Edwards (ironically) advised him on not making artistic compromises on Peter Gunn

Walon Green

View Interview
Walon Green on the impact David L. Wolper and Jack Haley, Jr. made with documentary series such as The Race for Space
Walon Green on William Friedkin, Tony Richardson, and Stephen Frears being mentors to him

Donald Hall

View Interview
Donald Hall on mentorship and how he'd like to be remembered

Jon Hamm

View Interview
Jon Hamm on his acting mentors

Earl Hamner, Jr.

View Interview
Earl Hamner on inspiration for episodes he wrote of The Twilight Zone
Earl Hamner on the inspiration for The Waltons

Don Hastings

View Interview
Don Hastings on his mentors

Jeffrey Hayden

View Interview
Jeffrey Hayden on how he and the cast would work on new ideas for their current scripts at lunch on 77 Sunset Strip

Florence Henderson

View Interview
Florence Henderson on her mentors

Marilu Henner

View Interview
Marilu Henner on James L. Brooks and other mentors

Danette Herman

View Interview
Danette Herman on working with Marty Pasetta on various variety and awards shows
Danette Herman on working with Gilbert Cates

Arthur Hiller

View Interview
Arthur Hiller on how his parents and a high school drama teacher inspired his love of theater
Arthur Hiller on his creative influences
Arthur Hiller on people he has mentored

Hal Holbrook

View Interview
Hal Holbrook on attending Denison University, where he really became an actor and met his mentor

Ellen Holly

View Interview
Ellen Holly on mentors Michael Kahn and Joseph Papp (Ed. note: Ms. Holly would like to note that Charlotte Perry was also an important mentor, in addition to Michael Kahn and Joseph Papp)

Monica Horan

View Interview
Monica Horan on her response to seeing aspects of her own life that have been written into episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond

Ron Howard

View Interview
Ron Howard on the first acting lesson his father taught him
Ron Howard on the inspiration for his trademark laugh from Happy Days
Ron Howard on his struggle to gain the acceptance of Bette Davis, while directing her in the TV movie Skyward
Ron Howard on how actors should always consider television as a source of good roles

Stanley Hubbard

View Interview
Stanley Hubbard on his mentor, David Sarnoff

Felicity Huffman

View Interview
Felicity Huffman on her early interest in acting and theater
Felicity Huffman on studying with David Mamet and William H. Macy at the Practical Esthetics Workshop (now the Atlantic Acting School) and co-founding the Atlantic Theater Company
Felicity Huffman on mentors she's had throughout her life

Frank Inn

View Interview
Frank Inn on meeting celebrity animal trainer Henry East
Frank Inn on his animal training mentor Henry East
Frank Inn on his duties working for Hollywood animal trainer Henry East

Seaman Jacobs

View Interview
Seaman Jacobs on mentors in his career

Lucy Jarvis

View Interview
Lucy Jarvis on her mentors

Joseph Jennings

View Interview
Joseph Jennings on his mentor and how he'd like to be remembered 

George Clayton Johnson

View Interview
George Clayton Johnson on his mentors
George Clayton Johnson on his mentors

Russell Johnson

View Interview
Russell Johnson on his mentor, Paul Hendry
Russell Johnson on his mentor, Paul Hendry

Elodie Keene

View Interview
Elodie Keene on what makes Ryan Murphy's work so groundbreaking, and on what it was like to work with him

David E. Kelley

View Interview
David E. Kelley on mentor Steven Bochco and what he learned from Bochco

Barry Kemp

View Interview
Barry Kemp on being inspired by Dick Van Dyke's character on The Dick Van Dyke Show

Larry King

View Interview
Larry King on his advice to anyone who wants to become an interviewer "you never learn a thing when you're talking"; on being interviewed

Eartha Kitt

View Interview
Eartha Kitt on her lack of mentors

Arnie Kogen

View Interview
Arnie Kogen on his mentors, and on his son, Jay Kogen

Bernie Kopell

View Interview
Bernie Kopell on mentors in his career

Mario Kreutzberger

View Interview
Mario Kreutzberger on being influenced by early television hosts Jack Paar, Steve Allen, Johnny Carson, and Art Linkletter and how they influenced his Spanish-language show Sabado Gigante

Sid Krofft

View Interview
Sid and Marty Krofft on Michael Eisner being a mentor and offering them opportunities

Marty Krofft

View Interview
Sid and Marty Krofft on Michael Eisner being a mentor and offering them opportunities

Susan Lacy

View Interview
Susan Lacy on passion and committment (with American Masters) and why it's so essential for artists to have both 

Perry Lafferty

View Interview
Perry Lafferty on CBS programmer Michael Dann being his mentor

Rita Lakin

View Interview
Rita Lakin on mentors in her career

Norman Lear

View Interview
Norman Lear on his parents being similar to "Archie" and "Edith" on All in the Family

David Lee

View Interview
David Lee on his role as Supervising Producer on Cheers and his relationship with the creative staff of Cheers

Stan Lee

View Interview
Stan Lee on comic strips he read as a child
Stan Lee on wanting to be an actor when he was young

Ken Levine

View Interview
Ken Levine on his early interest in cartooning, baseball, and radio and Vin Scully being an inspiration 

Barry Levinson

View Interview
Barry Levinson on radio and television classes he took in college, and a training program in television he took part in
Barry Levinson on his professor at American University who opened his eyes to opportunities in the entertainment industry

Jerry Lewis

View Interview
Jerry Lewis on his father's influence on his career
Jerry Lewis on his father and grandmother

Susan Lucci

View Interview
Susan Lucci on good advice she's received as an actor

Stewart MacGregory

View Interview
Stewart MacGregory on his mentors

Robert MacNeil

View Interview
Robert MacNeil on his mentors

Will Mackenzie

View Interview
Will Mackenzie on his friend and creative collaborator Barnard Hughes
Will Mackenzie on his mentors in the television industry

Bob Mackie

View Interview
Bob Mackie on finding inspiration for costume designing on television
Bob Mackie on the famous curtain-rod dress he made for Carol Burnett "Went With the Wind," a spoof of "Gone With the Wind" on The Carol Burnett Show

William H. Macy

View Interview
William H. Macy on his first taste of show business: performing in his seventh grade talent contest after his brother taught him to play guitar
William H. Macy on studying acting with David Mamet at Goddard College

Ann Marcus

View Interview
Ann Marcus on her mentors

Wink Martindale

View Interview
Wink Martindale on mentors in his career

Richard Matheson

View Interview
Richard Matheson on the movies influencing and inspiring his writing, and the letter he wrote to producer Val Lewton praising his work
Richard Matheson on the Twilight Zone episode "Little Girl Lost" and how real life inspired the story
Richard Matheson on the seed idea for Duel
Richard Matheson on coming up with the idea for the story of Dying Room Only

Kent McCray

View Interview
Kent McCray on his early experience in the theater, and on his mentor, Dr. Nagy
Kent McCray on his mentors, and people he learned from while working at NBC in Los Angeles
Kent McCray on mentors in his career

Ed McMahon

View Interview
Ed McMahon on early radio announcers he admired, and why he wanted to be an announcer

Mitch Miller

View Interview
Mitch Miller on how he first came to play music - through his father and through the public schools in Rochester, NY

John Moffitt

View Interview
John Moffitt on admiring Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin 

Millie Moore

View Interview
Millie Moore on serving as Assistant Editor to Sid Levin

Tad Mosel

View Interview
Tad Mosel on finding his writing style and on his influences 
Tad Mosel on his mentor, Kurt Canfield

Tony Mottola

View Interview
Tony Mottola on his musical influences

Michael Moye

View Interview
Michael Moye on Laurel and Hardy being his favorite comedians as a youngster

Hal Needham

View Interview
Hal Needham on his mentor Chuck Roberson

Anne Nelson

View Interview
Anne Nelson on her mentor, Ernie Martin, and on working for CBS Radio

Horace Newcomb

View Interview
Horace Newcomb on his distaste for mentors

Leonard Nimoy

View Interview
Leonard Nimoy on Star Trek producer Gene Roddenberry's description of "Spock" and Nimoy's admiration for Lon Chaney in immersing himself into characters

Agnes Nixon

View Interview
Agnes Nixon on her literary influences

Carroll O'Connor

View Interview
Carroll O'Connor on learning how to play comedy from Micheál MacLiammóir, at the Gate Theatre, which he later used in his characterization of Archie Bunker in All in the Family

Fess Parker

View Interview
Fess Parker on mentors in his career

Estelle Parsons

View Interview
Estelle Parsons on her mentors in the theater, including Lee Strasberg

Pam Polifroni

View Interview
Pam Polifroni on mentors in her career

David Pollock

View Interview
Elias Davis and David Pollock on their mentors
Elias Davis and David Pollock on the legacy of M*A*S*H and its creator Larry Gelbart
Elias Davis and David Pollock on the legacy of M*A*S*H and its creator Larry Gelbart
Elias Davis and David Pollock on their mentors

Jacques Pépin

View Interview
Jacques Pépin on mentors in his career

Charlotte Rae

View Interview
Charlotte Rae on mentors in her career

Marian Rees

View Interview
Marian Rees on her mentor Fay Kanin and her advice to create her own company
Marian Rees on her mentor Fay Kanin and her advice to create her own company

Della Reese

View Interview
Della Reese on her mentors, and how she'd like to be remembered

Carl Reiner

View Interview
Carl Reiner on his love of radio and film comedies

Gene Reynolds

View Interview
Gene Reynolds on his mentors in television

Hank Rieger

View Interview
Hank Rieger on how his uncle's job as a journalist inspired him

Geraldo Rivera

View Interview
Geraldo Rivera on mentor Fred Friendly, the "architect" of his career

Cliff Robertson

View Interview
Cliff Robertson on receiving encouragement from Bosley Crowther

Fred Rogers

View Interview
Fred Rogers on the origin of his trademark sweaters and his love of music

Andy Rooney

View Interview
Andy Rooney on being in on the ground-floor of television and the wonders of the modern pace of innovation

Howard Rosenberg

View Interview
Howard Rosenberg on television critics who influenced him and his preparation to go into the field
Howard Rosenberg on television critics who influenced him and his preparation to go into the field

Barney Rosenzweig

View Interview
Barney Rosenzweig on being influenced by the themes of "Easy Rider"

Thomas Del Ruth

View Interview
Thomas Del Ruth on becoming involved with Conrad Hall and working his way up to be a camera operator 

Maria Elena Salinas

View Interview
Maria Elena Salinas on working with news director Pete Moraga who was a mentor
Maria Elena Salinas on advice given to her by mentors

Jay Sandrich

View Interview
Jay Sandrich on learning a valuable lesson about directing from actor Richard Benjamin

Robert Schuller

View Interview
Robert Schuller on Billy Graham's influence on him to get into television
Robert Schuller on Billy Graham's influence on him to get into television

Richard Shapiro

View Interview
Richard Shapiro on his mentor Shimon Wincelberg

Judith Sheindlin

View Interview
Judith Sheindlin on learning comedic timing from her father and from a family friend

John Silva

View Interview
John Silva on first learning about television and knowing he wanted to work in it

John Singleton

View Interview
John Singleton on how seeing "Star Wars" when he was nine made him understand what a director does
John Singleton on the importance of movies to him when he was growing up
John Singleton on changing junior high schools of his own volition (without moving or permission), and how this led him to meeting children of people in the film business who also aspired to be filmmakers
John Singleton on attending USC Film School: "It was a revelation for me"
John Singleton on seeing the film "She's Gotta Have It," meeting Spike Lee and telling him, "I'm going to USC Film School in two weeks. Watch out for me. I'm coming"
John Singleton on seeing a screening of Spike Lee's "Do the Right Thing" and how it made him determined to find his own voice and tell his own stories
John Singleton on how he uses music and sound in his work, and how this was influenced by classes he took at USC
John Singleton on the opening sequence of his film "Baby Boy" and using the theories of psychiatrist Frances Cress Welsing

Dick Smith

View Interview
Dick Smith on getting makeup inspiration from 1939's The Hunchback of Notre Dame with Charles Laughton and putting his knowledge to use scaring dormmates

Sid Smith

View Interview
Sid Smith on his mentor, Clark Jones, on Eddie Condon's Floor Show

Gary Smith

View Interview
Gary Smith on his mentors and people who he has mentored

G.E. Smith

View Interview
G.E. Smith on his earliest musical influences
G.E. Smith on music he listened to on the radio as a child and his first exposure to rock and roll
G.E. Smith on attending a broadcast of Hootenanny and learning to play from watching other musicians
G.E. Smith on playing guitar for Hall & Oates and appearing with them on Saturday Night Live

Dick Smothers

View Interview
Tom and Dick Smothers on the variety show genre and  working with CBS executives on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour

Tom Smothers

View Interview
Tom and Dick Smothers on the variety show genre and  working with CBS executives on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour

Mark Snow

View Interview
Mark Snow on studying with composer Earle Hagen and the fact that The X-Files  theme song was an homage to him
Mark Snow on his mentors and composers that inspired him

Darren Star

View Interview
Darren Star on words of encouragement he received from his college writing professor, Brian Moore

Jeremy Stevens

View Interview
Jeremy Stevens on early television 

Jerry Stiller

View Interview
Jerry Stiller on being influenced by Eddie Cantor, Jack Benny, George Burns

Howard Storm

View Interview
Howard Storm on the advice director Jay Sandrich gave him "wear comfortable shoes"; and take responsibility

J. Michael Straczynski

View Interview
J. Michael Straczynski on being a teaching assistant to Norman Corwin
J. Michael Straczynski on the differences between the original Twilight Zone  and the revival, and meeting Rod Serling
J. Michael Straczynski on Harlan Ellison

John Strauss

View Interview
John Strauss on his mentors

Charles Strouse

View Interview
Charles Strouse on influential teachers at music school

George Sunga

View Interview
George Sunga on mentoring 

William Tankersley

View Interview
William Tankersley on peers whom he respected

June Taylor

View Interview
June Taylor on her mentor and taking an overview of her career

Richard Thomas

View Interview
Richard Thomas on appearing on the Hallmark Hall of Fame production of "The Christmas Tree" at age 6, and on learning from Margaret Hamilton and Jessica Tandy on that show
Richard Thomas on mentors in his career including Will Geer, Geraldine Page, Michael Learned, and Ralph Waite

Saul Turteltaub

View Interview
Saul Turteltaub on Carl Reiner as his mentor

Bill Tush

View Interview
Bill Tush on his broadcast influences 

Leslie Uggams

View Interview
Leslie Uggams on the importance of music in her childhood

Ellen M. Violett

View Interview
Ellen M. Violett on writers who influenced her early in life

Jimmie Walker

View Interview
Jimmie Walker on discovering he wanted to be a stand-up comedian due partly to Dick Gregory
Jimmie Walker on doing stand-up in the African Room, and on learning from David Brenner

George Watters

View Interview
George Watters on his mentor, Roland Gross

Keenen Ivory Wayans

View Interview
Keenen Ivory Wayans on seeing Richard Pryor for the first time and deciding to become a comedian
Keenen Ivory Wayans on the biggest change in his career: deciding to make his own movie with writing partner Robert Townsend
Keenen Ivory Wayans on the highlight of his career: delivering a speech at a party for Richard Pryor and on why he wasn't ready to meet him earlier
Keenen Ivory Wayans on advice to actors

Matthew Weiner

View Interview
Matthew Weiner on being inspired by creators who continue to have success like David Chase, Larry Gelbart, Mike Nichols

Lou Weiss

View Interview
Lou Weiss on his first boss at The William Morris Agency, Abe Lastfogel

John Wells

View Interview
John Wells on his mentors

Tom Werner

View Interview
Tom Werner on lessons learned from Michael Eisner about development

Ellen Wheeler

View Interview
Ellen Wheeler on her mentor

Susan Whiting

View Interview
Susan Whiting on her mentors

Joseph M. Wilcots

View Interview
Joseph M. Wilcots on his mentors

Fred Willard

View Interview
Fred Willard on his comedic influences

Larry Wilmore

View Interview
Larry Wilmore on his comedic influences
Larry Wilmore on mentors or examples in his career

Hugh Wilson

View Interview
Hugh Wilson on career mentors Jay Tarses, Allan Burns, and James L. Brooks

Ethel Winant

View Interview
Ethel Winant on her mentors including Audrey Wood and Irene Selznick and how she felt about her career

Henry Winkler

View Interview
Henry Winkler on his mentors and advice to actors entering the business

Terence Winter

View Interview
Terence Winter on The Sopranos' David Chase as a mentor and writing comedy and drama into the scripts

Ben Wolf

View Interview
Ben Wolf on his mentors

David L. Wolper

View Interview
David Wolper on seeing television for the first time at the 1939 Worlds Fair

Bud Yorkin

View Interview
Bud Yorkin on Billy Wilder, who he considered a mentor

Leo Yoshimura

View Interview
Leo Yoshimura on his various mentors at the Yale School of Drama

Alan Zweibel

View Interview
Alan Zweibel on the influence of The Dick Van Dyke Show, and on his friendship with Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks
Alan Zweibel on learning to write jokes by watching shows like The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and The Dick Cavett Show
Alan Zweibel on Larry David's early stand-up act, and on his comedy mentors like Garry Shandling
Alan Zweibel on his mentors and on being a mentor

All Topics