TV's Golden Age (1940s & '50s)


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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Interviewees discuss the "Golden Age" of television.

Highlights
Tad Mosel on what the Golden Age of Television means to him 
04:13
Angela Lansbury on the experience of doing "live TV" during the "Golden Age of Television," after having been a theater performer.
03:35
Ethel Winant on the Golden Age of Television and what represents the best of television
05:40
David Pressman on early television's relationship to theater
04:23
Sidney Lumet on the end of TV's Golden Age
03:53
Eartha Kitt on being an African-American performer on television in the 1950s
07:30
Who talked about this topic

Edward Asner

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Ed Asner on acting in the Studio One episode "The Night America Trembled"
02:03

Dick Berg

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Dick Berg on writing for Kraft Television Theater  and Studio One
04:58
Dick Berg on writing "Hollywood Award Winner" for Kaiser Aluminum Hour  and "The Clay Pigeon" for Robert Montgomery Presents
03:42
Dick Berg on writing "The Right Hand Man" for Playhouse 90
03:51
Dick Berg on writing "Man Under Glass" for Studio One 
01:27

Paul Bogart

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Paul Bogart briefly on being a stage manager on Your Show of Shows
01:12

William Clotworthy

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William Clotworthy on working on Robert Montgomery Presents
02:17
William Clotworthy on the format of General Electric Theater, produced by William Frye
07:31

Betty White with Emerson College

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Betty White on being a pioneer on television and appearing on early live local television in Los Angeles
03:25

Robert Conrad

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Robert Conrad on the first time he saw television
00:37

John Conte

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John Conte on appearing as an actor on live television in the 1950s
02:49
John Conte on appearing in various live television productions
00:42
John Conte on hosting Matinee Theater
20:58

Hal Cooper

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Hal Cooper on his first television jobs creating and directing Your School Reporter, TV Babysitter, and The Magic Cottage for DuMont
12:06

Fred De Cordova

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Fred de Cordova on the '50s Golden Age of Television 
05:40

Walter Cronkite

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Walter Cronkite on how the news went live in 1950 with no script
04:05
Walter Cronkite on replacing Douglas Edwards on the CBS Evening News, at that time the news broadcast was only 15 minutes long
03:56
Walter Cronkite on some of the bloopers that happened when filming live television for the program You Are There involving a historical re-creation of the Hindenburg disaster
06:15

Hume Cronyn

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Hume Cronyn on directing live television in the '50s
08:02
Hume Cronyn on directing Jessica Tandy in "Portrait of a Madonna" for Actors Studio
03:12
Hume Cronyn on appearing as John Quincy Adams on Ominbus
02:19
Hume Cronyn on appearing in the series The Marriage  with wife Jessica Tandy
08:53
Hume Cronyn on appearing in Studio One's  presentation of "A Member of the Family"
02:40

Bill Dana

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Bill Dana on breaking in new material on live television
01:08

Sam Denoff

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Sam Denoff on observing the early days of live television while working as a page at NBC's Studio 8H where Kraft Television Theater, Robert Montgomery Presents, and other live anthology series were filmed
02:57

Richard Donner

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Richard Donner on his experience in live television
01:53

David Dortort

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David Dortort on writing for Suspense
05:22
David Dortort on adapting William Faulkner's "An Error in Chemistry" for Climax!, produced by Martin Manulis
07:45

Charles Dubin

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Charles S. Dubin on directing live television in the 1950s
01:55

Dick Van Dyke

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Dick Van Dyke on the early days of television 
07:12
Dick Van Dyke recalls the first time he appeared on television

Jamie Farr

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Jamie Farr on Sherwood Schwartz writing for The Red Skelton Show
01:19

Norman Felton

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Director Norman Felton on the "Chicago School" of Broadcasting, which included shows Garroway-at-Large and Studs' Place, crediting the philosophy to writers Charlie Andrews and Paul Rhymer
02:34
Director Norman Felton on his long association with Robert Montgomery Presents (Part 1)
26:52

Imero Fiorentino

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Imero Fiorentino on lighting The U.S. Steel Hour at ABC
02:24
Imero Fiorentino on a shadow thrown on the actors from a microphone on live TV, during the first U.S. Steel Hour production "P.O.W." with Richard Kiley
03:05
Imero Fiorentino on Paul Whiteman's Goodyear Revue, with Glenn Osser (conducting) and Paul Whiteman and a story about an opera singer who refused to sing the show's finale
04:26

Horton Foote

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Horton Foote on his thoughts on the Golden Age of Television
04:18

John Forsythe

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John Forsythe on his early experiences on live television including Studio OneSuspense, and The  U.S. Steel Hour
03:37

Sonny Fox

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Sonny Fox on producing The Golden Age of Television
07:08

John Frankenheimer

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John Frankenheimer on the end of the Golden Age of Television
01:24

Larry Gelbart

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Larry Gelbart on the changes in the profession since TV's "Golden Age"
01:19
Larry Gelbart on the rigorous work ethic and camraderie of the writers of Caesar's Hour
02:04

Jerry Goldsmith

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Jerry Goldsmith on the craft of composing music for live television broadcasts and on the process of composing for television
04:29
Jerry Goldsmith on the pressure of composing for live television in the '50s and what he learned in that time
01:39

Mary Lynn Gottfried

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Mary Lynn Gottfried on working as a receptionist for The Ed Sullivan Show
17:32
Mary Lynn Gottfried on The Ed Sullivan Show
26:30

Jeffrey Hayden

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Jeffrey Hayden on directing for "live" TV as similar to directing theater (versus the rushed schedule of filmed TV)
01:32

Arthur Hiller

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Arthur Hiller on the schedule for producing NBC Matinee Theater and the excitement of directing for live television
02:17
Arthur Hiller on dealing with an athlete who couldn't act appearing on NBC Matinee Theater, and his love of doing "live" television
02:32
Arthur Hiller on camera tricks and fast changes he had to make while directing Playhouse 90
02:29
Arthur Hiller on the excitement of "live" television
01:04

Ron Howard

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Ron Howard on the migration of TV production from New York to Los Angeles in the 1950s, and his father, Rance Howard's, natural gravitation to western roles
00:59
Ron Howard on a mistake he made on "live" TV as a child actor on Playhouse 90
01:32

Kim Hunter

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Kim Hunter on appearing on various live television broadcasts in the 1950s
01:22
Kim Hunter on acting on live television in the 1950s
05:22
Kim Hunter on appearing on various Playhouse 90  productions
02:58

Lamont Johnson

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Lamont Johnson on directing NBC Matinee Theater
22:46

Russell Johnson

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Russell Johnson on enjoying working in live television
01:52

Lucille Kallen

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Lucille Kallen on television's Golden Age
01:23

Ernest Kinoy

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Ernest Kinoy on the Golden Age of Television 
06:33

Eartha Kitt

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Eartha Kitt on being an African-American performer on television in the 1950s
07:30
Eartha Kitt on acting on the anthology series Omnibus
02:47

Jack Klugman

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Jack Klugman on co-starring in the Producers' Showcase production of "The Petrified Forest" with Humphrey Bogart (airdate: May 30, 1955)
06:36
Jack Klugman on the Golden Age of Television
01:48

Don Knotts

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Don Knotts on a moment in "live" TV in the 1950s when fellow actor Les Damon went up on his lines on soap opera Search for Tomorrow
00:57
Don Knotts on the challenges of performing on "live TV" in the 1950s
01:01
Don Knotts on TV actors not needing agents during the early days of TV in New York City
00:50

Sheila Kuehl

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Sheila Kuehl on playing "Jackie Erwin" on The Stu Erwin Show aka Trouble With Father
11:14
Sheila Kuehl on acting in live and filmed television dramas in the 1950s
03:40

Perry Lafferty

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Perry Lafferty on the "Golden Age of Television"
02:29

Angela Lansbury

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Angela Lansbury on the experience of doing "live TV" during the "Golden Age of Television," after having been a theater performer.
03:35

Jack Larson

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Jack Larson on working on a live drama, where line cuts were made hours before airtime
03:19

Piper Laurie

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Piper Laurie on performing in the Playhouse 90 production "The Days of Wine and Roses"
04:18

Norman Lear

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Norman Lear on the challenges of working all day and night in the days of live television
04:50
Norman Lear on what he sees as the best of television, from the days of Edward R. Murrow and the "golden age" of television
01:47

Jack Lemmon

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Jack Lemmon on acting on Kraft Television Theatre  and appearing on live television
04:06
Jack Lemmon on working on Studio One 
03:27
Jack Lemmon on appearing on Ford Television Theatre's "The Day Lincoln Was Shot"
01:42
Jack Lemmon on appearing on the Playhouse 90 production of "Face of a Hero"
04:07

Sidney Lumet

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Sidney Lumet on the end of TV's Golden Age
03:53

Stewart MacGregory

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Stewart MacGregory on being stage coordinator for NBC Television starting in 1948
05:16
Stewart MacGregory on the atmosphere and logistics of a live television broadcast
02:55
Stewart MacGregory on the cameras and other equipment used in the Golden Age of Television 
05:20

Nancy Malone

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Nancy Malone on the pressures of working in early, live television
04:47

Delbert Mann

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Delbert Mann on directing Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse
28:41

Bob Markell

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Bob Markell on what represents the Golden Age of Television
01:21

E. G. Marshall

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E.G. Marshall on the the classic anthology series of the '50s, and the producers of those shows
03:01
E.G. Marshall on acting on live television in the '50s
02:55

Jayne Meadows

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Jayne Meadows on the challenges of working in live television
05:00
Jayne Meadows on getting a job as a panelist on I've Got a Secret  and meeting Steve Allen
06:36
Jayne Meadows on being a panelist on I've Got a Secret
17:23
Jayne Meadows on her sister Audrey Meadows as "Alice Kramden" on The Honeymooners
05:39
Jayne Meadows on how television has changed since the '50s
02:06

Priscilla Morgan

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Priscilla Morgan on the Golden Age of Television
05:27

Howard Morris

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Howard Morris on co-starring on The Admiral Broadway Revue, Your Show of Shows, and Caesar's Hour along with Sid Caesar, Imogene Coca, and Carl Reiner
16:48

Tad Mosel

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Tad Mosel on writing for Ominbus
06:48
Tad Mosel on writing for Medallion Theater
06:48
Tad Mosel on writing "The Haven" for Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse  produced by Fred Coe and on Coe's contribution to television 
05:24
Tad Mosel on writing for Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse
10:47
Tad Mosel on writing for Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse
21:16
Tad Mosel on writing for Studio One
04:09
Tad Mosel on writing "The Waiting Place" for Playwrights '56
03:35
Tad Mosel on writing for Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse
10:31
Tad Mosel on working with Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, and Henry Fonda on Producers' Showcase: "The Petrified Forest"
13:05
Tad Mosel on working with Martin Manulis on Playhouse 90
01:50
Tad Mosel on writing "The Five Dollar Bill" for Studio One
07:16
Tad Mosel on writing for Playhouse 90
21:51
Tad Mosel on watching Playhouse 90 and other live dramas of his be performed
10:14
Tad Mosel on what the Golden Age of Television means to him 
04:13
Tad Mosel on the camaraderie among writers during the Golden Age of Television
03:23

Bill Mumy

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Bill Mumy on acting on The Twilight Zone
22:13

Nichelle Nichols

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Nichelle Nichols on watching the test pattern on early television

Agnes Nixon

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Agnes Nixon on writing for the Golden Age anthology dramas
00:44

Hugh O'Brian

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Hugh O'Brian on the challenges and advantages of working in live television
02:21

Carroll O'Connor

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Carroll O'Connor on the role dramatic anthologies played for New York actors during the 1950s-60s
01:07

Don Pike

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Don Pike on acting as technical director for Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse
25:11
Don Pike on being technical director for Lights Out  and Your Hit Parade 
04:31
Don Pike on being technical director for Chevrolet on Broadway
02:16

David Pressman

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David Pressman on early television's relationship to theater
04:23

Carl Reiner

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Carl Reiner on Your Show of Shows and Caesar's Hour
16:37

Del Reisman

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Del Reisman on how censorship of Rod Serling's social stories on Playhouse 90 led to his creation of The Twilight Zone, where his social commentary could be masked by graying time and place
01:44

Gene Reynolds

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Gene Reynolds on working in live television in the '50s
02:56

Maria Riva

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Actress Maria Riva on making costume changes in "live" TV in the 1950s
01:14
Maria Riva on how she became a contract player for CBS in the early 1950s, along with actress Mary Sinclair, John Newland, and (possibly) John Forsythe all of whom then worked on such CBS series of the day as Studio One and Danger
01:43
Maria Riva on establishing herself as a TV star in the 1950s, and how little TV demanded of acting "talent" in the early days of the medium
01:28
Maria Riva on a gaffe that happened on "live" TV in the 1950s when the prop gun that actor Rod Steiger was using didn't fire— prompting him to instead say "bang" (possibly on Lux Video Theater: "Cafe Ami" [their only confirmed co-starring TV show])
01:26
Maria Riva on the Golden Age of "live" TV in New York in the 1950s, exemplified by such classic anthology series as Studio One
01:04

Cliff Robertson

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Cliff Robertson on starring in the Playhouse 90 live production of "The Days of Wine and Roses"
13:16
Cliff Robertson on The U.S. Steel Hour's   "The Two Worlds of Charly Gordon" and the feature film "Charly"
06:07

Howard Rosenberg

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Howard Rosenberg on how television changed and evolved during the '70s and his thoughts on the Golden Age of Television
05:18

Jay Sandrich

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Jay Sandrich on the technical challenges of shooting for both coasts in the 1950s
01:47
Jay Sandrich on how the television comedies of the 1950s, such as The Danny Thomas Show (Make Room for Daddy), would have one, strong director
02:36

Joseph Sargent

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Joseph Sargent on acting on live television in the '50s
03:00

William Schallert

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William Schallert on working on Matinee Theater
04:30
William Schallert on working in live TV on Matinee Theater
02:13
William Schallert on appearing on The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show
03:02
William Schallert on appearing on The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show
03:02

Ralph Senensky

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Ralph Senensky on working on Playhouse 90
23:31

William Shatner

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William Shatner on the experience of doing live dramas in the '50s
04:00

David Shaw

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David Shaw on the Golden Age of Television>
01:00

Jack Shea

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Jack Shea on working on live anthology dramas like Philco Television Playhouse
01:03

James Sheldon

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James Sheldon on directing the radio show "We, The People," which was then simulcast on television and radio and became a regular television show
04:06
James Sheldon on changes in the television business in the 1950s that led to directors becoming freelancers rather than employees of advertising agencies or networks
01:02

Hazel Shermet

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Hazel Shermet on appearing on The Morey Amsterdam Show
10:05
Hazel Shermet on appearing on The Fred Allen Show
02:57
Hazel Shermet on doing Songs You've Never Heard for WOR
03:17

Garry Simpson

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Garry Simpson on broadcast standards for early television
00:48
Garry Simpson on directing Jimmy Durante, Ed Wynn, and Jackie Gleason on Four Star Revue
16:48

Dick Smith

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Dick Smith on NBC censorship when he had to make Laurence Olivier look like he had leprosy
01:34

Aaron Spelling

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Aaron Spelling on writing for and production of Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theater
08:56

Johnny Stearns

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Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on how Mary Kay and Johnny (one of TV's earliest sitcoms) came about
03:12
Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on the challenges of acting in live television; on sets and locations on Mary Kay and Johnny
04:12
Johnny Stearns of Mary Kay and Johnny on the Golden Age of Television
01:38

Mary Kay Stearns

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Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on how Mary Kay and Johnny (one of TV's earliest sitcoms) came about
03:12
Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on the challenges of acting in live television; on sets and locations on Mary Kay and Johnny
04:12

Howard Storm

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Howard Storm on the burlesque sketch "Joe the Bartender" he would do on early comedy-variety shows

Gale Storm

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Gale Storm on how My Little Margie impacted television
01:43

Robert Vaughn

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Robert Vaughn on "The Troublemakers" on Playhouse 90 with Ben Gazarra, directed by John Frankenheimer
02:53

Ellen M. Violett

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Ellen M. Violett on writing Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" for Cameo Theater
09:18
Ellen M. Violett on writing "Breakdown" for Suspense
03:21
Ellen M. Violett on writing for Omnibus
15:04
Ellen M. Violett on writing for Producer's Showcase
09:48

Clint Walker

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Clint Walker on the legacy of Cheyenne
02:24

Ruth Warrick

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Ruth Warrick on acting in live television
10:15

Ethel Winant

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Ethel Winant on the Golden Age of Television and what represents the best of television
05:40

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