Pivotal Career Moments


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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Interviewees discuss moments that changed their careers and their lives.

Highlights
Keenen Ivory Wayans on auditioning for The Improv in New York and how the experience changed his life and his comedy
03:09
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
04:40
John Singleton on attending USC Film School: "It was a revelation for me"
02:34
Rona Barrett on breaking into television
08:59
Robert MacNeil on how he came to work for NBC
03:13
Millie Moore on her first big break - working on the travelogue documentaries of Jack Douglas
01:15
Who talked about this topic

Dr. John Leverence

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Dr. John Leverence on his first job, as a ticket-taker at the Roxy Theater in Kansas City, Missouri, which enabled him to sneak a peek at films being shown, and on his early memories of television and the shows he enjoyed
04:23

Andy Ackerman

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Andy Ackerman on being a stage manager/assistant director for a high school production and learning a lot from his teacher
01:50

Ray Aghayan

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Ray Aghayan on costume design for The Judy Garland Show
01:08
Ray Aghayan on costume design for The Judy Garland Show and Bob Mackie becoming his assistant
18:57

Chris Albrecht

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Chris Albrecht on becoming President of Original Programming at HBO
04:44

Alan Alda

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Alan Alda on his father, Robert Alda's, early TV parts
01:43
Alan Alda on his adoration for the early radio comedians and talk show hosts such as Arthur Godfrey and Steve Allen
04:21
Alan Alda on how the burlesque comics and vaudeville influenced him at an early age
02:47
Alan Alda on working with and being influenced by actor Burgess Meredith with Naked City
03:32
Alan Alda on writing the M*A*S*H episode "Dear Sigmund"
01:35
Alan Alda on the craft of writing
00:42

Jason Alexander

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Jason Alexander on performing in "Jerome Robbins Broadway"
10:07
Jason Alexander on being cast in The Seinfeld Chronicles, the pilot to Seinfeld
04:56

Steve Allen

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Steve Allen on role model Orson Welles
00:36

John Amos

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John Amos on getting the role of "Kunta Kinte" on Roots
05:55

Robert G. Anderson

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Robert G. Anderson on reporting on a Japan Air plane crash
01:55

John Aniston

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John Aniston on Macdonald Carey being a mentor in his career
00:32

Army Archerd

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Army Archerd on his mentor, Harrison Carroll
01:38

James Arness

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James Arness on having a mentor and being a mentor
01:04

Beatrice Arthur

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Beatrice Arthur on the performers who inspired her
00:31

Dick Askin

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Dick Askin on his first job in television
07:34

John Astin

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John Astin on his influences as a director and actor
08:05

Hank Azaria

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Hank Azaria on his mentors
01:48

Rick Baker

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Rick Baker on meeting makeup artist Dick Smith
04:08

George Balzer

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George Balzer on his first meeting with Jack Benny
04:26

Paris Barclay

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Paris Barclay on advice from mentor Stephen Sondheim
01:14

Rona Barrett

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Rona Barrett on breaking into television
08:59

Bonnie Bartlett

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Bonnie Bartlett on mentors in her career
00:39

Samantha Bee

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Samantha Bee on taking a theater class in college, and how that led to her interest in performing
01:40
Samantha Bee on how she got into sketch comedy
05:06
Samantha Bee on auditioning for and being hired as a correspondent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
10:37

Earl Bellamy

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Earl Bellamy on what he learned from his mentor, George Cukor
04:30

Rick Berman

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Rick Berman on his early days in Los Angeles going to work at Warner Bros. and Paramount
08:49

Frank Biondo

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Frank Biondo on going to school for TV production
05:45

Allan Blye

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Allan Blye on how a call from Tom Smothers led to him moving to the United States from Canada
03:07
Allan Blye on mentors he had in his career
00:41

Sam Bobrick

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Sam Bobrick on his mentors
00:50

Vin Di Bona

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Vin Di Bona on his first television job at WBZ in Boston and becoming a director
07:40

Tom Bosley

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Tom Bosley on working with director George Abbott
01:43

Ed Bradley

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Ed Bradley on covering a Martin Luther King, Jr. speech during his first field reporting experience for a Philadelphia radio station
02:15
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
02:29
Ed Bradley on his mentor Del Shields, from WDAS radio in Philadelphia
01:33

Kevin Bright

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Kevin Bright on how his father, a former Vaudeville comedian, brought comedy into their home when Bright was a child
01:41
Kevin Bright on his love of television as a child, and how that sowed the seeds for his career
02:15
Kevin Bright on attending Emerson College
03:00
Kevin Bright on Bright/Kauffman/Crane developing shows for Warner Bros., and the challenge of networks wanting Dream On for network (which was impossible)
01:31
Kevin Bright on his first job after graduating from Emerson College
01:40

David Brinkley

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David Brinkley on being hired by NBC Radio
03:26

Connie Britton

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Connie Britton on being cast as "Heather" on Ellen
01:14

Tom Broecker

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Tom Broecker on the various elements that go into costume design, and how studying dance in his youth made him realize he'd prefer to be behind-the-scenes than in front of an audience
02:09
Tom Broecker on how he came to work at Saturday Night Live full time after graduating from the Yale School of Drama
02:40

Tom Brokaw

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Tom Brokaw on the ways in which David Brinkley was a mentor to him
04:23

Kirk Browning

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Kirk Browning on his first job at NBC, and on NBC executive Warren Wade
02:31
Kirk Browning on the person who taught him the ropes of stage managing, and on working on NBC Opera Theatre
08:48

Harvey Bullock

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Harvey Bullock on coming to write for The Andy Griffith Show
01:09

Mark Burnett

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Mark Burnett on his creative influences and inspiration from his mother
08:59

Vince Calandra

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Vince Calandra on his big break into entertainment - getting a job in the CBS mailroom without having an Ivy League degree
02:22
Vince Calandra on his mentors and his longevity
04:44

David Canary

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David Canary on his first big TV role on Peyton Place, playing Mia Farrow's doctor
04:49

Stephen J. Cannell

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Stephen J. Cannell on producer Jo Swerling Jr.
02:58
Stephen J. Cannell on producer Jo Swerling Jr.
03:36
Stephen J. Cannell on what he learned from Roy Huggins
04:26
Stephen J. Cannell on leaving Universal Television to start his own production company
03:49
Steven J. Cannell on being a mentor to young television writers
04:05

Jim Cantore

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Jim Cantore on being hired by The Weather Channel
02:37

Charles Cappleman

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Charles Cappleman on becoming a stage manager at CBS
01:44
Charles Cappleman on his mentors
00:45

Josie Carey

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Josie Carey on being hired by WQED before the station went on the air
03:22
Josie Carey on the hosts of Ask the Girls, including her mentor Florence Sando
03:08

Steve Carlin

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Steve Carlin on his early mentors
01:57

George Carlin

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George Carlin on the genesis of much of his material
01:40
George Carlin on preparing for his then-upcoming HBO special It's Bad for Ya
00:14
George Carlin on his creative process
03:22

Glenn Gordon Caron

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Glenn Gordon Caron on getting his big break at NBC - the unaired pilot The God Squad
06:14

Chris Carter

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Chris Carter on The Outer Limits' influence on The X-Files
00:39

RuPaul Charles

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RuPaul Charles on his breakthrough hit song "Supermodel"
02:46

Glen Charles

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Glen Charles on being inspired by the book and movie version of From Here to Eternity; on his literary influences
01:46
Glen and Les Charles on their mentors
00:54

Les Charles

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Les Charles on being influenced by Charles Dickens; on his literary influences
01:36
Glen and Les Charles on their mentors
00:54

David Chase

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David Chase on some of "Livia Soprano's" memorable lines, which he quoted from his own mother, like "Poor you"

Michael Chiklis

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Michael Chiklis on playing John Belushi in the film "Wired" and getting blackballed
04:30

Margaret Cho

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Margaret Cho on her comedic influences
02:02
Margaret Cho on getting to work with her mentors
01:01

Ed Christie

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Ed Christie on serving as Muppet wrangler for a trip to Los Angeles for the Academy Awards
03:37

Roy Clark

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Roy Clark on his first television appearance, on the local series The Hayloft Conservatory of Musical Interpretation
04:04
Roy Clark on being a guest on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson while Jimmy Dean was guest-hosting
03:29

Robert Clary

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Robert Clary on his mentor, Eddie Cantor
00:33

Kevin Clash

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Kevin Clash on meeting Kermit Love, and on appearing on Captain Kangaroo
06:03
Kevin Clash on going to work on Sesame Street full time
04:14

Alf Clausen

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Alf Clausen on being a copyist for The Carol Burnett Show  and various feature films
04:55

Andy Cohen

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Andy Cohen on what he learned from not getting a job at the cable channel Logo
01:08

Barbara Feldon with Emerson College

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Barbara Feldon on mentors throughout her life
00:21

Tony Roberts with Emerson College

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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
04:27
Tony Roberts on learning comedic technique from Milton Berle, and on farce
07:44

Paul Rodriguez with Emerson College

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Paul Rodriguez on working with and being mentored by Richard Pryor
10:14

Dick Cavett with Emerson College

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Dick Cavett on his creative influences
02:46

Norman Lear with Emerson College

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Norman Lear on he and Ed Simmons beginning their career writing for Ford Star Revue
00:56

Rose Marie with Emerson College

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Rose Marie on being convinced to stay on The Dick Van Dyke Show after the death of her husband
02:54
Rose Marie on her weekly NBC radio show as baby Rose Marie, and on touring RKO Theaters skirting child labor laws
05:42
Rose Marie on what she learned from the great performers, including Milton Berle and Phil Silvers
03:55

Charles Grodin with Emerson College

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Charles Grodin on being influenced by the movie "A Place in the Sun," and on getting into acting
04:44
Charles Grodin on deciding to get into show business, and on studying acting with Uta Hagen
06:55

Barbara Corday

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Barbara Corday on pitching a series with Barbara Avedon
05:41
Barbara Corday on her mentors Barbara Avedon, Herman Rush, and Frank Biondi
01:47

Pierre Cossette

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Pierre Cossette on the first music shows he produced
05:16

Ron Cowen

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Ron Cowen on the creative influence his mother, a former costume designer for Twentieth Century Fox, had on his life
02:26
Ron Cowen on the first play he wrote, "Summertree", which was championed by his college professor Jerome Lawrence, developed at the Eugene O'Neill National Playwrights Conference, and optioned by Lincoln Center before being made into a movie
08:20
Ron Cowen on mentors he's had in his career: Jerome Lawrence, Lloyd Richards, and Angela Lansbury
01:50

Douglas S. Cramer

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Douglas S. Cramer on working at Procter & Gamble
06:06

David Crane

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David Crane and Marta Kauffman on mentors in their careers
01:42
David Crane and Marta Kauffman on mentors in their careers
01:42

Judith Crist

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Judith Crist on Roger Ebert telling her she was his inspiration
01:02

Judy Crown

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Judy Crown on her mentors
02:49

Billy Crystal

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Billy Crystal on his early stand-up act, and on Jack Rollins' criticism of his act
06:59
Billy Crystal on his first appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson
08:43
Billy Crystal on being the "class comedian" in his high school, and on being influenced by comedians like Johnathan Winters
05:24
Billy Crystal on mentors in his career, including Larry Gelbart, Carl Reiner, and Jack Rollins
05:23

Robert Culp

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Robert Culp on he and Bill Cosby acting as mentors for each other on I Spy
03:22

Ann Curry

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Ann Curry on the advice her father gave her growing up about choosing a profession that was of service to others, and how this led her to journalism
00:43
Ann Curry on how television, and in particular television journalism, impacted her growing up, and how that led to her career choices
02:55
Ann Curry on studying journalism at the University of Oregon, and on her shift from newspaper reporting to broadcast journalism with an internship at KTVL in Medford, Oregon
03:48
Ann Curry on being hired as a reporter at KTVL in Medford, Oregon, a station that had never before had a female reporter, and on the sexism she faced on the job
04:27
Ann Curry on her feelings on the responsibility of journalists, and on how this influences her reporting and other choices, including tweeting about the need for Doctors Without Borders to be allowed into Haiti after the 2010 earthquake
03:10
Ann Curry on being hired by NBC News, and on moving from reporting to anchoring
04:57
Ann Curry on interviewing Maya Angelou
03:41
Ann Curry on various accolades she has received over the course of her career, and what they have meant to her
02:15

Jane Curtin

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Jane Curtin on being cast on Saturday Night Live
02:18

Bill Dana

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

Greg Daniels

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Greg Daniels on television he watched while he was growing up and his early comedic influences
03:12
Greg Daniels on writing for Not Necessarily the News  with Conan O'Brien
07:26

William Daniels

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William Daniels on what he likes about acting, and on his mentor Howard Lindsay
03:24

Tony Danza

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Tony Danza on getting his first acting job on Fast Lane Blues
04:24

Elias Davis

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Elias Davis and David Pollock on the legacy of M*A*S*H  and its creator Larry Gelbart
06:26
Elias Davis and David Pollock on their first big break as writers for Pat Buttram on the radio
03:12
Elias Davis and David Pollock on their mentors
02:03

Bill Davis

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Bill Davis on his first job at the Canadian Broadcasting Company
09:32

Joe DeTullio

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Joe DeTullio on being offered an acting role right after he started at Saturday Night Live
07:27
Joe DeTullio on the production design team at Saturday Night Live
01:20

John Debney

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John Debney on going to work at Disney as a gofer, and on his mentor, Buddy Baker
06:33

Milton Delugg

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Milton Delugg on his musical influences
00:50
Milton Delugg on mentors in his career including Frank Loesser
01:07

Louis Dorfsman

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Louis Dorfsman on meeting CBS President Frank Stanton and being hired at CBS
03:06

Betty Cole Dukert

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Betty Cole Dukert on how she came to join Meet the Press  as a producer
09:10

Dick Van Dyke

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Dick Van Dyke on being influenced by the physical comedy of Laurel & Hardy, and Buster Keaton
01:12

Rebecca Eaton

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Rebecca Eaton on her mother, who was an actress, taking her to the theater when she was a child
02:47
Rebecca Eaton on working at the BBC in London after graduating from Vassar College, and her love of British culture
02:36
Rebecca Eaton on her first producing job, on an arts magazine show on WGBH radio in Boston
02:58
Rebecca Eaton on her mentor, Henry Becton, former President of WGBH in Boston
01:29

Garvin Eddy

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Garvin Eddy on what he learned from his mentor Edward Stephenson
03:21

Barbara Eden

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Barbara Eden on her mentor
01:18

Linda Ellerbee

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Linda Ellerbee on gaining the courage to try to be a writer from her teacher Mabel Scott
04:52

Ed Begley, Jr. with Emerson College

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Ed Begley, Jr. on his comedic influences, and on his philosophy of comedy
06:34

Ruth Engelhardt

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Ruth Engelhardt on packaging I Married Joan, and on learning the business from Ann Rosenthal
02:23
Ruth Engelhardt on her mentors and on attending law school while at William Morris
07:11

George Faber

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George Faber on mentors in his career
00:43

Nanette Fabray

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Nanette Fabray on her difficulty with her hearing, and on her participation in issues involving the deaf community
06:26

Jeff Fager

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Jeff Fager on his first job out of college, at the NBC affiliate WBZ in Boston
01:17
Jeff Fager on what he learned from his first job at CBS News, on the overnight news show, Nightwatch
01:16
Jeff Fager on his father as his role model
01:37

Edie Falco

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Edie Falco on seeing her mother perform in amateur theater when she was a kid
00:49
Edie Falco on doing theater in high school and overcoming her shyness in order to audition
01:20
Edie Falco on how she got her first agent
00:48
Edie Falco on being diagnosed with breast cancer during the run of The Sopranos
03:31
Edie Falco on a high school music teacher who inspired her artistically
01:35

Jerry Falwell

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Jerry Falwell on early religious broadcaster Charles E. Fuller, and on Falwell becoming a Christian 
03:37

Elma Farnsworth

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Elma Farnsworth on her husband Philo reading Invention magazine as a child and first learning about mechanical television
07:31
Elma Farnsworth on her husband Philo patenting television in 1927
05:35
Elma Farnsworth on the reaction of her and her husband, inventor Philo T. Farnsworth (and colleagues Cliff Gardner and Carl Christensen), on September 7, 1927 when he produced the first all-electronic TV picture (a simple straight line) with his Image Dissector tube
04:54
Elma Farnsworth on Vladimir Zworykin at RCA copying Philo T. Farnsworth's image dissector for RCA's electronic television system
00:52
Elma Farnsworth on Philo T. Farnsworth demonstrating television at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia - the first public demonstration of television in 1934
07:30
Elma Farnsworth on Philo T. Farnsworth's dollar sign demonstration of television for his financial backers
01:05
Elma Farnsworth on RCA licensing Philo T. Farnsworth's patents in 1939 - the first time RCA ever licensed a patent 
08:35
Elma Farnsworth on the expiration of Philo T. Farnsworth's original television patents and the beginning of manufacturing television sets
09:49

Julian Fellowes

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Julian Fellowes on writing the feature film "Gosford Park" for director Robert Altman
07:52

Tom Fontana

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Tom Fontana on how he came to write for St. Elsewhere  after being discovered by Bruce Paltrow and Blythe Danner
06:53

Horton Foote

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Horton Foote on his mentors
01:50

Ray Forrest

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Ray Forrest on his first job as a junior radio announcer and why he finally joined AFRA (the precursor to AFTRA)
02:09

Fred Foy

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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
01:20

Albert Freedman

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Albert Freedman on his big break - writing for Groucho Marx on You Bet Your Life
02:58

Harry Friedman

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Harry Friedman on moving to Los Angeles and being hired to write for Hollywood Squares
03:52

Chuck Fries

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Chuck Fries on going to work for Ziv Productions and moving to California
07:36

Murray Fromson

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Murray Fromson on getting his first byline in his junior high school newspaper
01:12
Murray Fromson on finding inspiration from Edward R. Murrow's broadcasts from London during World War II
01:11

Pamela Fryman

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Pamela Fryman on the enduring popularity of the sitcom, and on mentors in her career
01:15

Greg Garrison

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Greg Garrison on working in radio and meeting Mike Wallace
02:06
Greg Garrison on his mentors, including Orson Welles
02:39

Larry Gelbart

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Larry Gelbart on working with Ed Gardner on Duffy's Tavern on the radio as a young writer; on learning to have fun with language, the biggest lesson he took from Ed
03:32

David Gerber

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David Gerber on getting into producing
05:35

Sandra Gimpel

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Sandra Gimpel on her first big job: as a dancer in the Fred Astaire movie "The Pleasure of His Company"
03:15
Sandra Gimpel on how she came to be cast as Bill Mumy's stunt double on Lost in Space, changing her career trajectory from dance to stunts
05:01
Sandra Gimpel on how she learned the technical side of directing, starting on the set of Lost in Space
01:28
Sandra Gimpel on her mentors in the stunt profession
02:13

Paul Michael Glaser

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Paul Michael Glaser on getting cast in Love of Life,  appearing in the feature film "Fiddler on the Roof" and being put off by acting in film
03:29

Lesli Linka Glatter

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Lesli Linka Glatter on being tapped by Steven Spielberg to direct Amazing Stories, and on shadowing many directors on that show
02:12
Lesli Linka Glatter on Steven Spielberg being her mentor on Amazing Stories, and on what she learned from him
02:03

Leonard Goldberg

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Leonard Goldberg on his mentors and people he mentored
02:07

Gary David Goldberg

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Gary David Goldberg on his mentor, Nate Monaster
00:34

Leonard H. Goldenson

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Leonard H. Goldenson on seeing television for the first time at the 1939 World's Fair
00:34

Julian Gomez

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Julian Gomez on his mentors in editing
04:14

Louis Gossett, Jr.

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Louis Gossett, Jr. on the many mentors in his life
04:52

Carl Gottlieb

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Carl Gottlieb on being hired to write for The Summer Brothers Smothers Show
04:00
Carl Gottlieb on mentorship
04:44

Lee Grant

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Lee Grant on her mentors
00:48

Walon Green

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Walon Green on the impact David L. Wolper and Jack Haley, Jr. made with documentary series such as The Race for Space
02:10
Walon Green on meeting David Milch and going to write for Hill Street Blues
01:43
Walon Green on William Friedkin, Tony Richardson, and Stephen Frears being mentors to him
03:47
Walon Green on directing the documentary "The Hellstrom Chronicle," produced by David L. Wolper, for which Green won an Oscar
06:55

Marge Greene

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Marge Greene on getting hired to write for Kovacs on the Corner
04:30
Marge Greene on replacing Dorothy Collins on Candid Camera and meeting Allen Funt
02:13

Hal Gurnee

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Hal Gurnee on his first television job, at the DuMont Television Network as a page
02:35
Hal Gurnee on becoming the director Tonight Starring Jack Paar
06:33
Hal Gurnee on his mentors, including Jack Paar and Garry Moore
00:41

Donald Hall

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Donald Hall on mentorship and how he'd like to be remembered
01:34

Jon Hamm

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Jon Hamm on his acting mentors 
01:14

Dean Hargrove

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Dean Hargrove on mentors in his career
00:36

Don Hastings

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Don Hastings on his mentors
01:14

Jeffrey Hayden

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Jeffrey Hayden on how he and the cast would work on new ideas for their current scripts at lunch on 77 Sunset Strip
01:49

Florence Henderson

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Florence Henderson on her mentors
00:54

Danette Herman

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Danette Herman on her first television job on the Dick Clark series Where the Action Is
08:43
Danette Herman on working with Gilbert Cates
12:09

Albert Heschong

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Albert Heschong on his mentor
01:14

Arthur Hiller

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Arthur Hiller on how his parents and a high school drama teacher inspired his love of theater
01:15
Arthur Hiller on his creative influences
00:44
Arthur Hiller on people he has mentored
01:29

Hal Holbrook

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Hal Holbrook on attending Denison University, where he really became an actor and met his mentor
03:32
Hal Holbrook on the creation of his one-man show "Mark Twain Tonight!"
17:33

Lee Holdridge

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Lee Holdridge on studying music in Boston and how it changed his life
01:08
Lee Holdridge on what he learned from his time at Universal
01:27
Lee Holdridge on a seminal career moment: his involvement in scoring the film Jonathan Livingston Seagull
01:33

Ellen Holly

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Ellen Holly on being discovered as an actress by Charlotte Perry
01:37
Ellen Holly on appearing as "Stephanie" in the Broadway production of "Too Late the Phalarope"
19:58
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)
03:30

Ron Howard

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Ron Howard on the first acting lesson his father taught him
00:41
Ron Howard on his struggle to gain the acceptance of Bette Davis, while directing her in the TV movie Skyward
03:58
Ron Howard on how actors should always consider television as a source of good roles
00:52

Felicity Huffman

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Felicity Huffman on her early interest in acting and theater
00:57
Felicity Huffman on appearing on an ABC Afterschool Special called "Home Run for Love" when she was fifteen
02:06
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
04:40
Felicity Huffman on appearing on the Stephen King miniseries Golden Years, which she considers her first big break
01:49
Felicity Huffman on two stories of being fired: one, in a Neil Simon play (by Simon himself) and again on a TV show which was recast after they had shot the pilot
06:02
Felicity Huffman on her work in the film "Transamerica"
05:06
Felicity Huffman on winning a Golden Globe and being nominated for an Academy Award for her work on "Transamerica"
01:13
Felicity Huffman on her proudest career achievement
01:38
Felicity Huffman on mentors she's had throughout her life
01:18
Felicity Huffman and William H. Macy on the first production in which they performed together: David Mamet's play "Bobby Gould in Hell" at Lincoln Center
02:42
Felicity Huffman and William H. Macy on the film "Rudderless," directed by Macy and starring Huffman, and Macy's directing style
04:00
Felicity Huffman and William H. Macy on the first production in which they performed together: David Mamet's play "Bobby Gould in Hell" at Lincoln Center
02:42
Felicity Huffman and William H. Macy on the film "Rudderless," directed by Macy and starring Huffman, and Macy's directing style
04:00

Kim Hunter

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Kim Hunter on playing "Stella Kowalski" in "A Streetcar Named Desire" on Broadway in on film
05:51

Frank Inn

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Frank Inn on meeting Hollywood animal trainer Henry East
06:25
Frank Inn on meeting celebrity animal trainer Henry East
03:30
Frank Inn on his animal training mentor Henry East
01:57
Frank Inn on his duties working for Hollywood animal trainer Henry East
01:50

David Isaacs

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Ken Levine and David Isaacs on selling their first script, a spec for The Jeffersons
02:42

Seaman Jacobs

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Seaman Jacobs on mentors in his career
02:45

Al Jean

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Al Jean on getting his first job in television
02:42
Al Jean on becoming involved with writing The Simpsons
01:56

Geri Jewell

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Geri Jewell on how a college friend inspired her to try stand-up comedy at the Comedy Store, which led to her breaking into television
05:15
Geri Jewell on the first time she did stand-up comedy, and how she talked about cerebral palsy in her routine
05:57
Geri Jewell on how she does not see herself as being "courageous" for doing stand-up comedy, but instead attributes it to "the theory of the bumblebee"
01:49
Geri Jewell on having to perform a dance number on the first The Facts of Life episode on which she appeared ("Cousin Geri")
03:26
Geri Jewell on being made a recurring character on The Facts of Life, then her role being downsized, and her challenges navigating the entertainment industry and her own sexuality and identity
10:40
Geri Jewell on the difficulty she faced while filming a scene with Peter DeLuise on 21 Jump Street
02:33
Geri Jewell on filming a particularly challenging scene on Deadwood where she had to dance
03:40

George Clayton Johnson

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George Clayton Johnson on his mentors
02:07

Russell Johnson

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Russell Johnson on his mentor, Paul Henreid
01:48

Julie Ann Johnson

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Julie Ann Johnson on mentors in her career
01:36

Charles Floyd Johnson

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Charles Floyd Johnson on role models in his career and what he's learned from them
02:13

Hal Kanter

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Hal Kanter on his first big break writing for Eddie Cantor and other comedians on radio
12:11

Elodie Keene

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Elodie Keene on editing Tales of the Unexpected for Norman Lloyd
09:54
Elodie Keene on what makes Ryan Murphy's work so groundbreaking, and on what it was like to work with him
03:52

David E. Kelley

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David E. Kelley on mentor Steven Bochco and what he learned from Bochco
06:17
David E. Kelley on meeting Steven Bochco and interviewing to work on L.A. Law
01:09

Walter Koenig

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Walter Koenig on being cast as "Pavel Chekov" on Star Trek and making the character Russian
07:24
Walter Koenig on his advice to a young actor
04:31

Arnie Kogen

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Arnie Kogen on his mentors, and on his son, Jay Kogen
03:07

Buz Kohan

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Buz Kohan on his first job in television - in the U.S. Army
07:05

Bernie Kopell

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Bernie Kopell on mentors in his career
03:45

Sid Krofft

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Sid and Marty Krofft on Michael Eisner being a mentor and offering them opportunities
00:31

Marty Krofft

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Sid and Marty Krofft on Michael Eisner being a mentor and offering them opportunities
00:31

Perry Lafferty

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Perry Lafferty on CBS programmer Michael Dann being his mentor
04:52

Rita Lakin

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Rita Lakin on mentors in her career
02:14

Lucy Lawless

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Lucy Lawless on playing "Xena" on Hercules: The Legendary Journeys 
05:49

Norman Lear

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Norman Lear on his parents being similar to "Archie" and "Edith" on All in the Family
00:50
Norman Lear on how he schemed to reach out to Danny Thomas and write a bit for him that turned out to be his big break
05:29

Jack Lemmon

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Jack Lemmon on his first big break on the radio
04:00

Ken Levine

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Ken Levine and David Isaacs on selling their first script, a spec for The Jeffersons 
02:42

Barry Levinson

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Barry Levinson on radio and television classes he took in college, and a training program in television he took part in
01:53
Barry Levinson on signing up for an acting class when he first moved to Los Angeles
05:23
Barry Levinson on writing and performing with Craig T. Nelson on Lohman and Barkley
04:03
Barry Levinson on directing "Rain Man" and winning an Academy Award for it
10:42
Barry Levinson on his professor at American University who opened his eyes to opportunities in the entertainment industry
02:04

Jerry Lewis

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Jerry Lewis on his father's influence on his career
01:35
Jerry Lewis on his father and grandmother
02:29

Hal Linden

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Hal Linden on making his Broadway debut in "Bells Are Ringing" with Judy Holliday
05:24

Daniel Lipman

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Daniel Lipman on writing a play during college, and sharing it with his professor, theater critic Elliot Norton, which led to him being represented by agent Audrey Wood
02:17
Daniel Lipman on mentors he's had in his career, mostly importantly writing partner Ron Cowen
00:45

James Lipton

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James Lipton on appearing on "The Lone Ranger" radio show at age 12
03:31
James Lipton on moving to New York City, and studying acting with Stella Adler at The Actors Studio
04:03

Julia Louis-Dreyfus

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Julia Louis-Dreyfus on Gary David Goldberg helping her with a contract dispute with Warner Bros. and the valuable lesson she learned from him
02:09

Susan Lucci

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Susan Lucci on auditioning for the character of "Erica Kane" on All My Children and finding out she got the part
01:55

Stewart MacGregory

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Stewart MacGregory on going to work for NBC television 
01:38
Stewart MacGregory on his mentors
03:38

Gavin MacLeod

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Gavin McLeod on the first Broadway play he appeared in "A Hat Full of Rain"
06:15

Robert MacNeil

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Robert MacNeil on how he came to work for NBC
03:13
Robert MacNeil on his mentors
01:03

Will Mackenzie

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Will Mackenzie on his friend and creative collaborator Barnard Hughes
02:18
Will Mackenzie on his mentors in the television industry
00:59

Bob Mackie

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Bob Mackie on the famous curtain-rod dress he made for Carol Burnett in "Went With the Wind," a spoof of Gone With the Wind on The Carol Burnett Show
02:17
Bob Mackie on finding inspiration for costume designing on television
00:39

William H. Macy

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William H. Macy on studying acting with David Mamet at Goddard College
05:45
William H. Macy on being cast in the film "Fargo"
03:14
William H. Macy on the effects of being nominated for an Academy Award for "Fargo"
01:08
William H. Macy on being cast in the film "Boogie Nights"
02:12
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
01:20
William H. Macy on his proudest career achievements and being "visited by the muse" on stage
03:12

Jodi Mancuso

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Jodi Mancuso on how she started working as a hair stylist on Saturday Night Live
03:29

Barry Manilow

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Barry Manilow on becoming the musical director for the local WCBS series Call Back
02:51
Barry Manilow on playing the Bijou Theater in Philadelphia with Andy Kaufman as his opening act
01:59
Barry Manilow on his mentor Clive Davis
00:31

Martin Manulis

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Martin Manulis on being hired by CBS
08:45

Wink Martindale

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Wink Martindale on mentors in his career
01:40

John A. Martinelli

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John Martinelli on assistant editing The Lawrence Welk Show
01:36

David McCallum

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David McCallum on mentors
00:44

Rue McClanahan

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Rue McClanahan on being cast by Norman Lear as "Vivian Harmon" on Maude
04:52

Kent McCray

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Kent McCray on his early experience in the theater, and on his mentor, Dr. Nagy
10:17
Kent McCray on his mentors, and people he learned from while working at NBC in Los Angeles
02:10
Kent McCray on mentors in his career
05:58

Ed McMahon

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Ed McMahon on early radio announcers he admired, and why he wanted to be an announcer
03:39

Barney McNulty

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Barney McNulty on how he became involved with The Ed Wynn Show, where he first became involved in writing out cue cards
06:54

David Milch

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David Milch on "leading a double life" while writing for Hill Street Blues  and his duties as Story Editor
02:39

Nolan Miller

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Nolan Miller on his high school art teacher who recognized his creativity
03:13
Nolan Miller how Dynasty impacted his life and career
01:22

Mitch Miller

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Mitch Miller on how he first came to play music - through his father and through the public schools in Rochester, NY
02:52

John Moffitt

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John Moffitt on admiring Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin 
00:26

Millie Moore

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Millie Moore on her first big break - working on the travelogue documentaries of Jack Douglas
01:15
Millie Moore on serving as Assistant Editor to Sid Levin
00:47

Pat Morita

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Pat Morita on his family being placed in an internment camp during World War II
04:46
Pat Morita on what he learned from his friend Redd Foxx during his time on Sanford and Son
05:43
Pat Morita on doing voice over for the feature "Mulan," and on being inspired by Mel Blanc
03:31

Anne Nelson

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Anne Nelson on her mentor, Ernie Martin, and on working for CBS Radio
02:23

Horace Newcomb

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Horace Newcomb on his distaste for mentors
01:42

Bob Newhart

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Bob Newhart on his big break at the local Chicago Emmy Awards and recording his first comedy album
06:07
Bob Newhart on his national big break at the 1960 Emmy Awards
03:11

Laraine Newman

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Laraine Newman on performing on The Lily Tomlin Special 
03:04

Carroll O'Connor

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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
02:29

Edward James Olmos

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Edward James Olmos on being cast as "Martin Castillo" on Miami Vice
11:39

Lori Openden

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Lori Openden on getting hired as a secretary on Barnery Miller and getting interested in casting
03:01

Bernie Orenstein

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Bernie Orenstein on how he got his start in show business: he dropped out of college after appearing in a University of Toronto show called "The All Varsity Revue"
01:06
Bernie Orenstein on how his first writing job on a Canadian variety show produced by Norman Jewison led to his moving to New York City and writing for Candid Camera
02:31

Fess Parker

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Fess Parker on mentors in his career
02:53

Estelle Parsons

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Estelle Parsons on her mentors in the theater, including Lee Strasberg
03:16

Alan Perris

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Alan Perris on his first television job at PBS station WVIZ in Cleveland 
02:25

Daniel Petrie, Sr.

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Daniel Petrie, Sr. on filmmakers who inspired him
02:21

Pam Polifroni

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Pam Polifroni on mentors in her career
01:14

David Pollock

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David Pollock on meeting writing partner Elias Davis
03:47
Elias Davis and David Pollock on their first big break as writers for Pat Buttram on the radio
03:12
Elias Davis and David Pollock on their mentors
02:03
Elias Davis and David Pollock on the legacy of M*A*S*H and its creator Larry Gelbart
06:26

Jacques Pépin

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Jacques Pépin on mentors in his career
01:04

Sterling Quinlan

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Sterling "Red" Quinlan on his mentors
01:14

Charlotte Rae

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Charlotte Rae on mentors in her career
02:25

Sumner Redstone

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Sumner Redstone on mentors and teachers in his career
01:42

Marian Rees

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Marian Rees on getting into television as a secretary at NBC in Hollywood
08:12
Marian Rees on joining Tandem Productions with Bud Yorkin and Norman Lear 
03:14
Marian Rees on her mentor Fay Kanin and her advice to create her own company
04:04
Marian Rees on starting her own production company
05:36

Della Reese

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Della Reese on her mentors, and how she'd like to be remembered
00:59

Tim Reid

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Tim Reid on the impact that comedian Richard Pryor had on him
00:16
Tim Reid on launching LGCYTV.com, a streaming service designed by and for the African diaspora, during the COVID-19 pandemic and on fostering young talent
07:32

Hank Rieger

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Hank Rieger on how his uncle's job as a journalist inspired him
02:27

Pat Robertson

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Pat Robertson on mentor Harald Bredesen
02:17

Cliff Robertson

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Cliff Robertson on receiving encouragement from Bosley Crowther
02:55
Cliff Robertson on receiving encouragement from Bosley Crowther
02:55

Fred Rogers

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Fred Rogers on the origin of his trademark sweaters and his love of music
04:20
Fred Rogers on being hired at WQED to work in educational television
04:31

Phil Roman

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Phil Roman on his mentors
01:05

Andy Rooney

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Andy Rooney on being in on the ground-floor of television and the wonders of the modern pace of innovation
03:37

Howard Rosenberg

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Howard Rosenberg on television critics who influenced him and his preparation to go into the field
01:51
Howard Rosenberg on television critics who influenced him and his preparation to go into the field
01:51

Barney Rosenzweig

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Barney Rosenzweig on being influenced by the themes of "Easy Rider"
02:44

Marion Ross

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Actress Marion Ross on her first television role, on Life with Father starring Leon Ames
03:37

Stanley Ralph Ross

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Stanley Ralph Ross on becoming in-demand as a writer after being hired to write for Batman
03:19

Mark Rothman

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Mark Rothman on his first professional writing job on The Mike Douglas Show
05:01

Thomas Del Ruth

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Thomas Del Ruth on his working as an assistant cameraman at 20th Century Fox and learning his way around a camera
02:18

Jay Sandrich

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Jay Sandrich on learning a valuable lesson about directing from actor Richard Benjamin
01:13

Ted Sarandos

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Ted Sarandos on writing for the local newspaper when he was in high school and getting the opportunity to do an interview with Ed Asner
03:22
Ted Sarandos on his role at Netflix when he was hired as Chief Content Officer in 2000, and on his acquisition strategy at the time
03:42

Joseph Sargent

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Joseph Sargent on his first directing job on the series Lassie
08:56

Edgar J. Scherick

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Edgar Scherick on mentors throughout his career
00:45
Edgar Scherick on being a mentor to others (Roone Arledge, Brian Grazier, Scott Rudin, Barry Gordon, Michael Barnathan)
00:38

Bob Schieffer

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Bob Schieffer on moving to Washington, D.C. and on going to work for CBS News
03:27

Robert Schuller

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Robert Schuller on hearing "his calling" to the ministry 
02:45
Robert Schuller on Billy Graham's influence on him to get into television
00:57

John Shaffner

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John Shaffner on starting out in television
11:54
John Shaffner on his big break in television in first-run syndication
03:15

Nina Shaw

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NIna Shaw on her involvement in The Hollywood Reporter Women In Entertainment Mentorship Program and the importance of mentorship
06:57

Judith Sheindlin

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Judith Sheindlin on learning comedic timing from her father and from a family friend
02:27

James Sheldon

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James Sheldon on moving to California instead of staying in New York and directing the musical "West Side Story"
02:12

Cybill Shepherd

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Cybill Shepherd on mentors throughout her career
01:31

Treva Silverman

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Treva Silverman on writing for the variety series The Entertainers, starring Carol Burnett
10:48

Sam Simon

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Sam Simon on how he came to write for Taxi
03:02

Bob Simon

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Bob Simon on how his Bronx accent almost prevented him from being a reporter on-air
01:46

John Singleton

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John Singleton on how seeing "Star Wars" when he was nine made him understand what a director does
00:39
John Singleton on the importance of movies to him when he was growing up
02:36
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
06:56
John Singleton on attending USC Film School: "It was a revelation for me"
02:34
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"
02:39
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
01:59
John Singleton on getting his first agent based on the strength of the screenplay to "Boyz N the Hood"
02:01
John Singleton on how he uses music and sound in his work, and how this was influenced by classes he took at USC
04:44
John Singleton on the opening sequence of his film "Baby Boy" and using the theories of psychiatrist Frances Cress Welsing
03:16

Howard Smit

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Howard Smit on doing makeup for the feature film "The Wizard of Oz"
02:17

Gary Smith

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Gary Smith on his mentors and people who he has mentored
02:18

G.E. Smith

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G.E. Smith on playing guitar for David Bowie and appearing on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson
02:32
G.E. Smith on becoming music director for Saturday Night Live
02:49
G.E. Smith on his earliest musical influences
01:48
G.E. Smith on music he listened to on the radio as a child and his first exposure to rock and roll
04:39
G.E. Smith on playing guitar for Hall & Oates and appearing with them on Saturday Night Live
03:47
G.E. Smith on attending a broadcast of Hootenanny and learning to play from watching other musicians
03:55

Yeardley Smith

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Yeardley Smith on how she got her first New York agent
01:54
Yeardley Smith on her Broadway debut in Tom Stoppard's "The Real Thing" directed by Mike Nichols
06:09
Yeardley Smith on the challenges of show business: "It made me care about things that don't matter"
02:26
Yeardley Smith on creating balance in her life, starting her shoe line, and creating her development company
02:56

Jaclyn Smith

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Jaclyn Smith on being a "Breck Girl" and appearing on McCloud
02:24

Mark Snow

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Mark Snow on The Rookies  being the first show he worked on and getting the job through his then-brother-in-law, Georg Stanford Brown
01:12
Mark Snow on his mentors and composers that inspired him
04:57

Suzanne Somers

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Suzanne Somers on learning comedy from John Ritter on the set of Three's Company and being mentored by producer Mickey Ross
02:26
Suzanne Somers on her audition with George Lucas for the movie "American Graffiti"
02:35

Caroll Spinney

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Carroll Spinney on Jim Henson scouting for someone to play "Big Bird" and "Oscar the Grouch" in 1969, and Spinney's one lesson on operating Muppets
01:55

Darren Star

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Darren Star on how his first industry job, as an assistant at the public relations firm Guttman & Pam, led to his first break: selling a film script to Warner Bros.
04:18
Darren Star on the serendipitous events early on his career that led to his first big break, including working at Showtime for Peter Chernin, who later became the decision maker on Beverly Hills, 90210 at Fox
03:09

Fred Steiner

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Fred Steiner on composition teacher Norman Lockwood, who was a mentor to him
03:21
Fred Steiner on his early jobs in radio working for Van Cleave, who became a mentor
04:31

Jeremy Stevens

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Jeremy Stevens on early television 
04:08
Jeremy Stevens on his first writing job for television on The Skitch Henderson Show
12:02

Norman Stiles

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Norman Stiles on going to write for Sesame Street
03:21

J. Michael Straczynski

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J. Michael Straczynski on being a teaching assistant to Norman Corwin
05:00
J. Michael Straczynski on being a big believer in failure
03:43
J. Michael Straczynski on the differences between the original Twilight Zone  and the revival, and meeting Rod Serling
03:47
J. Michael Straczynski on Harlan Ellison
02:50

John Strauss

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John Strauss on his mentors
02:33

Jeffrey Tambor

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Jeffrey Tambor on appearing on Kojak, his first television role
02:10

William Tankersley

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William Tankersley on peers whom he respected
02:55

Nina Tassler

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Nina Tassler on how agent David Windsor helped her to see her potential to become an agent
01:45
Nina Tassler on her proudest career achievement
02:29

Richard Thomas

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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
07:10
Richard Thomas on mentors in his career including Will Geer, Geraldine Page, Michael Learned, and Ralph Waite
02:35

Daniel J. Travanti

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Daniel J. Travanti on finding out he was cast on Hill Street Blues
02:37

Saul Turteltaub

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Saul Turteltaub on forming a comedy team with a college friend and getting hired to perform at Catskills resorts
02:24
Saul Turteltaub on dating Shari Lewis (then Phyllis Hurwitz) at summer camp as a kid and calling her up for a writing job when he saw her on television in 1957
02:31
Saul Turteltaub on Carl Reiner as his mentor
00:36

Bill Tush

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Bill Tush on his broadcast influences 
02:08

Leslie Uggams

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Leslie Uggams on the importance of music in her childhood
01:33
Leslie Uggams on how she began performing at the Apollo Theater when she was nine years-old
02:09
Leslie Uggams on getting her start in television as a child on The Milton Berle Show and other variety shows
01:19
Leslie Uggams on winning a Tony Award and performing at the Tonys
02:11

Tracey Ullman

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Tracey Ullman on how she started doing impersonations of people when she was a kid, both of people she knew and women on television
05:37
Tracey Ullman on attending a performing arts school starting at age 12
07:02
Tracey Ullman on she transitioned from dance into acting early in her career, and on being cast in the play "Four in a Million" by Les Blair, which was improvised and how that led to her being cast on a sketch show on the BBC
03:44
Tracey Ullman on meeting her husband, Allan McKeown, and on moving to the United States
05:36
Tracey Ullman on being introduced to James L. Brooks and on his idea for her to "do a Peter Sellers thing" on the then-new network Fox, and on the research she did into American comedy (and particularly female comedians) prior to starting the show
06:13
Tracey Ullman on how she maintains her confidence in her work, and on the champions she's had over the years
02:22
Tracey Ullman on the opportunities and advice mentors have given her throughout her career
02:18
Tracey Ullman on getting to meet and work with some of her comedic heroes over the years, including Carol Burnett, Gilda Radner, and Lily Tomlin
01:33

Bruce Vilanch

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Bruce Vilanch on his first job, writing for Bette Midler
08:22

Jimmie Walker

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Jimmie Walker on discovering he wanted to be a stand-up comedian due partly to Dick Gregory
02:41
Jimmie Walker on doing stand-up at the African Room, and on learning from comedian David Brenner
05:19

James Wall

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James Wall on various mentors in his career
00:54

Mike Wallace

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Mike Wallace on being hospitalized for exhaustion, and on dealing with depression
03:48

Malcolm-Jamal Warner

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Malcolm-Jamal Warner on being cast as "Theo Huxtable" on The Cosby Show
05:26

Keenen Ivory Wayans

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Keenen Ivory Wayans on auditioning for The Improv in New York and how the experience changed his life and his comedy
03:09
Keenen Ivory Wayans on his movie "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka" and how it changed his career
04:11
Keenen Ivory Wayans on his proudest achievement: "Scary Movie," which he made with his brothers, and his biggest regret
01:17

Matthew Weiner

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Matthew Weiner on being inspired by creators who continue to have success like David Chase, Larry Gelbart, Mike Nichols
06:51

Ellen Wheeler

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Ellen Wheeler on being cast as "Marley Love Hudson McKinnon" on Another World
00:49

Joseph M. Wilcots

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Joseph M. Wilcots on his mentors and mentoring others
00:55

Andy Williams

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Andy Williams on his mentor, Kay Thompson
01:25

Cindy Williams

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Cindy Williams on the effect the film "American Graffiti" had on her career and her fame
00:55

Larry Wilmore

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Larry Wilmore on his comedic influences
04:12
Larry Wilmore on mentors or examples in his career
00:41

Hugh Wilson

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Hugh Wilson on going to work for Armstrong and how he started in television at MTM Productions
09:31

Ethel Winant

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Ethel Winant on her mentors, including Audrey Wood and Irene Selznick, and how she felt about her career
06:59

Terence Winter

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Terence Winter on The Sopranos' David Chase as a mentor and writing comedy and drama into the scripts
02:26

Ben Wolf

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Ben Wolf on his first television job as a cameraman at KLAC
05:49

Dick Wolf

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Dick Wolf on his mentors in the industry
01:10

David L. Wolper

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David L. Wolper on critical reaction to The Race for Space and on the show being a turning point in his career
06:33

Bud Yorkin

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Bud Yorkin on his big break becoming director of The Colgate Comedy Hour at the behest of Pat Weaver
02:14
Bud Yorkin on Billy Wilder, whom he considered a mentor
01:59

Leo Yoshimura

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Leo Yoshimura on his various mentors at the Yale School of Drama
03:44

Lauren Zalaznick

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Lauren Zalaznick on working on her first feature film, "Compromising Positions"
08:49

Jeff Zucker

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Jeff Zucker on a pattern in his career of moving from sports coverage to wider news coverage
03:12
Jeff Zucker on getting his first job after college, as an Olympic Researcher for NBC
04:52
Jeff Zucker on being diagnosed with colon cancer
09:29

Alan Zweibel

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Alan Zweibel on the influence of The Dick Van Dyke Show, and on his friendship with Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks
03:05
Alan Zweibel on learning to write jokes by watching shows like The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and The Dick Cavett Show
03:52
Alan Zweibel on Larry David's early stand-up act, and on his comedy mentors like Garry Shandling
04:06
Alan Zweibel on meeting Lorne Michaels and being hired to write for Saturday Night Live
03:27
Alan Zweibel on his mentors and on being a mentor
03:24

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