Brooke Bundy - General Hospital Q&A From The TV MegaSite

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The General Hospital Q & A Pages

General Hospital Interviews!

A Look Back with Brooke
Broadway, the movies, and our beloved Diana Taylor
By Gary Bennett

Brooke Bundy

"I would walk into Ralph's - people thought I was Diana!"

It's a week before Thanksgiving and I'm seated outside of Susina's, a West L.A. bakery and cafe. It's an unusually beautiful day - warm, slightly breezy, cloudless. I glance upward to take in the pristine, blue sky when I hear "Gary?" My glance falls onto the familiar, still lovely, still blonde Brooke Bundy. I rise to greet her and she offers a smile and a friendly handshake. Her eyes meet mine. Talk about blue! I follow her inside and we debate where to sit - inside or outside. I mention the pleasant weather. "But there's the traffic", she offers. "I picked two o'clock to avoid the lunch rush," she continues. Still, there's an array of patrons inside. I spy a free table. We order two large iced teas and take our seats.

I first discovered Brooke Bundy back in January of 1979. I was 16, home sick with a miserable flu and channel surfing. This was in the days before cable and VCRs, so there wasn't much to surf. I wound up on GH and happened upon Brooke's alter ego, Diana Taylor. She was quite upset. You see, she was in the middle of receiving a vicious phone call from a threatening man. And I'll never forget the look of horror in Diana's eyes. Sick as I was, I stayed on her terrified face, partly to see who was on the other end. Who was this guy? They cut instead to a tape recorder, its speaker blaring into a pay phone. As the camera pulled back, it revealed the face of another attractive blonde, her face framed in bangs and a page boy; her icy stare coupled with a nasty smirk. I learned later that this was Heather (the wonderful Mary O'Brien) and she was out to drive "friend" Diana insane so she could reclaim custody of her son, whom Diana had adopted. I was hooked from then on.

In the following years, I began to spot Bundy in movies ("Firecreek") and primetime shows. Some were new, some reruns. I noted how skilled and thoughtful an actress she was. Never a false note or a cheap gesture. It wasn't so much what she was doing, but rather what she was choosing not to do. Namely, reaching for outside theatrics to call attention to herself at the expense of the character. Many young actors could learn from her wise choices. As it turns out, many have, for Ms. Bundy is also a noted talent scout and agent. Reviewing her impressive list of credits and accomplishments with clients, I decided an interview was long overdue.

GB: We've met before. Around 1991, I was doing some banking near CBS studios. As I waited in the long line, I heard a woman chastise a guy for cutting in line. I turned around and it was YOU.

BB: (covering her face) Oh, no...was I rude? How embarrassing.

GB: No, no, you were just - miffed.

BB: (laughing) Oh, okay. Well, look, there's a rule of courtesy in banks - don't cut in front of people. Brooke Bundy at 15

GB: So where were you raised?

BB: In New York. Manhattan. And I spent a year in Stamford, Connecticut.

GB: When did you first realize you wanted to act?

Brooke Bundy on the cover of "American Girl" August 1959BB: I didn't. I started out modeling when I was still a teenager.

GB: Really.

BB: Yeah, and through my friend Christopher Walken, I got into the Broadway play J.B. Chris was already in the play and told me a cast member was leaving the show. So I auditioned for Elia Kazan, not knowing at all who he was, and I got the part! We both looked like we were from the same family - blonde, blue-eyed. And the lead actors, Nan Martin and Christopher Plummer, were so incredible. Chris Walken and I would just sit there every night and watch them. They were amazing. And so was Elia Kazan. We used to call him "Gadge!" Everyone did.

GB: Any particular actors whom you admired?

BB: (thinking about it) Well, British actors mainly. My favorite is Maggie Smith.

GB: By the way, how do you stand on the whole "actor/actress" labeling? Are you okay with the word "actress," or do you prefer "actor" for a woman?

BB: Either is okay with me.

GB: You started very young. Were your parents supportive?

BB: Well, by that point my father had passed away, and I don't remember it ever being an issue with my mother.

GB: So you went from modeling into acting. Where did you study?

BB: I didn't. I never did.

GB: You're kidding! You were so good early on. You looked like someone who would've studied.

BB: No, it was all natural. I didn't study until after the soaps. And I remember being told to do things differently. And I thought, do what differently? I can cry on cue, bring up all the emotion... But I realized there's a different method to acting on soaps. I'm not knocking the genre, but you get accustomed to a certain way of acting, such as holding your expression for the fade to a commercial. But it was strange hearing that at that point in my career, and I said, "Look, I've made my living doing this - and a very good living."

GB: Do you recall your first professional job? Was it "Ozzie and Harriet"?

BB: No, that came later...(thinking about it). I'm trying to remember... I think it was "The Donna Reed Show." I played Paul Peterson's girlfriend.

GB: Clearly, you were a strong, solid actress from the beginning. Did you know you were good?

BB: I think so, sure. I mean, I worked a lot and I was treated as a professional from the beginning. But in those days, there were maybe five us going around to these different jobs. And you could do the same show multiple times. Today, you guest on a show once and that's it. And there were no faxes. I'm not even sure if there were breakdowns (script excerpts). Your agent would simply tell you they were casting a role and to go down and read for it. And we'd all see each other - the same girls reading for the same part. And we were friendly. Brooke Bundy and David Cassidy

GB: Despite all the dramas, you did your share of situation comedy - "The Brady Bunch," "The Partridge Family." And, of course, many fans remember you as "Inga" on "Gidget." Would you have liked to have done more comedy?

BB: (smiling) Ah, yes, "In-ga." Yes, I love comedy. And it's much harder to do than drama, absolutely.

GB: Elizabeth Montgomery said comedy was harder because if an audience sees a puppy hit by a car, it's guaranteed they'll be upset. But if you tell a joke, there's no guarantee even one person will laugh.

BB: Wow. That's a great comment. And, yes, it's true.

GB: A lot of actors get their roles because of EITHER their looks OR their talent. You were obviously someone blessed with both. Do you recall times when you got roles because of one of those reasons instead of both?

BB: That's a great question. (smiling) I remember - oh, what was that show..."20,000 Leagues Under the" -

GB: "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea."

BB: "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea," yes. The show was produced by Irwin Allen, a very nice man. I was reading for a character named "Gundi." and I remember he was just sitting there across from me at the reading. And he looked at me and said, "Gundi", huh? I could almost see him looking at my forehead thinking, "Gundi", Bundy. And I got the role. You have to see this, it's hysterical. I'm not statuesque - I'm 5'3 - and I had to wear these big heels and falsies and push Victor Buono around in a wheelchair!

GB: How much time did you have to prepare for roles when doing dramatic guest appearances?

BB: Just a week. You'd read for a role on a Monday, maybe get a callback for Wednesday, and if you got the part you'd get the script by Friday to begin the following Monday.

Brooke Bundy in "Firecreek"GB: In 1967 you were featured in the movie "Firecreek" with two legends - Henry Fonda and James Stewart. Was this your first feature film?

BB: Yes, it was.

GB: Very auspicious company. What was James Stewart like?

BB: He was wonderful. Such a gentleman. I remember I was going through some personal issues at the time. And he said to me, "How're things going?" And I said they were okay. And he said, "That's not what I hear. What're you doing here? Shouldn't you be home taking care of some things?" And I said, "Well, yes, but I have to shoot today." And he said, "No, you don't. You get outta here."

GB: In other words, he had the clout...

BB: Exactly. So I didn't have to work that day.

GB: Fonda had a reputation for being somewhat cold. What was he like?

BB: No, I don't think he was cold. I think, if anything, he was just sustaining a character. He was also a gentleman. Very polite.

GB: This was a great cast all the way around. Besides Fonda and Stewart, there was Ed Begley Jr., Jack Elam -

BB: Oh, Jack Elam was great! He had that eye - always betting. Betting on who would enter the room, what the food was, everything. He loved to play cards.

GB: And Gary Lockwood?

BB: He was wonderful also. The whole company was. I think when they cast it, they wanted also to make sure everyone would get along. Make sure there were no divas.

GB: There was also the gifted Inger Stevens, easily one of Hollywood's greatest tragedies, not unlike Monroe or Jean Seberg. Did she seem troubled?

BB: (thinking about it) No...I really didn't have any scenes with her. I just remember how beautiful she was.

GB: Your character Leah was essentially an abused child, subjected to regular beatings. It was natural for her to gravitate towards Lockwood's character, as she was so starved for affection. You were obviously more sophisticated than Leah. As an actress, where did you go internally to relate to her?

BB: (laughing) We all want the bad boys!

GB: Your accent was flawless. Did you have a dialect coach?

BB: No. They just told me what they wanted and I did it. I mean, they had people there that would've told me if I didn't have it right. It was more a Western accent than Southern.

GB: "Firecreek" was such a desolate town. Did they use a backlot?

BB: Well, we shot on location in Sedona, Arizona. The town itself was shot at the Warner Brother's North Ranch. And we were on location in December - that creek I was in was freezing!

GB: This is a really good film. Everyone is just terrific in it.

BB: It is, isn't it? I just saw it the other night. And it wasn't a big box office hit. I think the studio was really pushing Camelot, which came out the same year.

GB: You also did a film called "The Young Runaways" with Patty McCormick. This film is so of its era in that it really captures the angst young people felt in the late '60s. 1968 - the year we lost both Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. - was so tempestuous.

BB: Yes, it was. I mean, John F. Kennedy came into office in November of 1960, and we just came out of a decade in which our president was a four-star general! And two terms!

GB: Okay, so during "Runaways" did you relate to the younger people or, because you had been working for so long, identify more with the establishment?

BB: Well, I was dating a doctor at the time. And we had completely opposite political philosophies. I was very against the war. I was out there marching. I guess I was working during the day and sort of a hippie at night! The '60s were a very tough time if you think about it, it really didn't end until 1975.

GB: When Vietnam ended.

BB: Yes.

GB: It seemed you worked constantly. Let's talk about some of your primetime TV work. You were featured in the pilot for "The Mod Squad."

BB: I did the show several times.

GB: Right. In the pilot, you were "Tina," the LSD-imbibing daughter of a politician. Did you have any idea while shooting it that the show would become a ground-breaking classic?

BB: Oh, no. Well...(thinking about it) It had that great cast.

GB: Yeah, three cops - which included a woman and a black guy.

BB: And they were all so young. They looked like teens. And Aaron (Spelling) was very kind. He used me a lot.

GB: You gave a terrific performance in an episode of "Dragnet" called "The Little Victim." This was a complex part, as you were playing a young woman whose husband was literally beating up their infant son.

BB: My character kills him.

GB: No, it's your husband. It was, I would think, a tough role, as your character came from an orphanage, and we're supposed to sympathize with her low self-esteem, even though she keeps protecting her husband.

BB: I remember reading the script and there was the scene where they put the yellow blanket over his body. Hard to remember. That was a long time ago.

GB: What was Jack Webb like?

BB: Oh, he was great - a real cool, laid-back guy. Someone you'd hang out with. Then he'd get so serious once the scene started.

GB: You appeared, too, in one of my favorite series of the '70s called "Ghost Story," also known as "Circle of Fear." In the episode, six young artists rent out an empty art store and soon become possessed by their paintings, sculptures, and so on. Harlan Ellison conceived the story.

BB: Wow. I don't remember it at all.

GB: It was a short-lived series and now has a big cult following. Tyne Daly was in the cast. It's really spooky. I'll send you the DVD.

BB: Yeah, I'd like to see it.

GB: You also did "Travis Logan, D.A." with Hal Holbrook and Brenda Vaccarro.

BB: Yes.

GB: Chris Robinson, whom you'd later work with on GH, played a cop who has to pretend he's a crazed inmate in order to extract a confession from Holbrook. He was really wild. I was surprised, as I never thought of Robinson as that kind of actor. Do you think actors in general are better than they're given credit for?

BB: Yes, I do. Because there's a tendency to place them into a certain category based upon the roles they get cast in.

GB: You did two episodes of "Emergency!" where you played troubled mothers. In one, you portray the mother of a little girl hit by a drunken driver. Your character has already lost one child previously, and now you have to decide whether to go ahead and let her risk surgery. You yourself were then the mother of a little girl. As an actress, did you employ this?

BB: Well, I was never a Method actress but, yes, certain situations do help you relate to the character. I think the little girl had swelling on the brain or something.

GB: You also did the show "Chips."

BB: Yes! (laughing) Eric Estrada is the nicest guy. I remember one day I came on the set and he said, "You're a very good actress." And I said, "Well, thank you, I feel the same about you." But then he said, "But you sure do dress funny." And I looked down, and I was wearing two different shoes!

Brooke Bundy on "Short Walk to Daylight"GB: In 1972 you co-starred in the TV movie "Short Walk to Daylight" with James Brolin. It was about a group of people trapped underground in a subway after an earthquake.

BB: Yes. We shot in New York in a real underground tunnel.

GB: It wasn't a set?

BB: No, it was all shot on location. I think we did a few pick-up shots and close-ups at Universal.

GB: The effects are really impressive for television.

BB: Yes, and we did our own stunts. They were going to use stunt people at first, but then we ended up doing our own. I remember wardrobe first put me in a mini skirt, but I fought to wear the long dress as I thought it would be effective to have it tear later on.

GB: In 1975 you made the transition to daytime when you debuted on "Days of Our Lives," portraying Rebecca North, a nanny. Was this taped in L.A.?

BB: Yes. NBC.

GB: Was this your first soap?

BB: Yes, it was.

GB: How did you feel about the transition to daytime and the quicker pacing?

BB: It was very, very scary. And I'm glad Days came before GH, as it made the jump to that show easier.

GB: In what way?

BB: Well, it was much more mellow.  And there was the wonderful French actor Robert Clary, who played my character's husband.  He would always have his lines down.  Sometimes I would still be on book when I would arrive and he took note of this.  One day we were  having lunch and he was advising me - in a nice way -  about the show.  I remember - and I get very emotional  when I think of this - he reached out his hand and I saw these numbers on his arm.

GB: You mean...

BB:  Yeah, he was a prisoner in the second world war.  He would later give lectures about his experiences  in the war.  He was such a beautiful human being.

GB: In 1977 you left DOOL and joined GH, replacing  Valerie Starrett as Diana Maynard Taylor.  Do you  know why Starrett left?

BB: You know, I don't.  I think she went into teaching. 

GB: Tom Donovan was producing GH at the time and there were big changes in casting.  Genie Francis  and Kin Shriner came on board, and Chris  Robinson, Leslie Charleson, and Mary O'Brien  replaced Michael Gregory, Patsy Rahn, and   Georganne LaPiere respectively. 

BB: That's right.

GB: Gloria Monty came on board in early 1978,  redesigning sets, hiring new writers.  Several  cast members and crew had a hard time with   Monty's taskmaster ways.  I even went to college with one of the extras who told me about the fear  people had when they'd hear Monty stepping down  those steel stairs from the control booth - click, click,  click...

BB: (laughing)  Click, click...yes.  Well, I know she was  on some people's cases, but my relationship was   somewhat different with Gloria.  She was fair with me and she was a great visionary. 

GB: No disputing she was a great producer.

BB: Oh, absolutely.  I mean, she would take the plots of these old movies and incorporate them into storylines.  Movies like "It Happened One Night."  And "All About Eve."  I think some of the theme of that was used with Mary and me in the storyline about the baby. 

GB:  You and Mary, of course, looked nothing like your  predecessors Starrett and LaPiere.  Why do you  think ABC went for such different types?

BB: (thinking about it)  I think that using people who looked  physically different somehow allowed the new actor  to claim the role as their own.  In other words, the  pressure was gone to take on the mannerisms of  the previous actor. 

GB: Craig Huebing, of course, played your husband, Dr.  Peter Taylor.  He had been with the show for eight  years when you joined the cast.  Was he welcoming  towards you?

BB: I think so, sure.  And Craig was so funny!  He was real avant-garde.  And he would memorize the scripts days in advance.  He really knew how to compartmentalize.

GB: As I wrote you in an email, you made Diana so  three-dimensional.  Because she was so sweet and had lost two children, the character could've  been sappy.  You didn't allow this.  What was  your approach?

BB: Well, I played against playing it soapy.  I kept things  low-key.  If you're sitting there crying all over the  place and feeling sorry for the character, the   audience won't feel sorry for her.  The very first  show I did, Diana was burying one of her children -  or was it her mother?  Anyway, it was at a gravesite, and I thought Diana should be wearing dark glasses. But they said, "No, you're the new Diana - people need to see your face."  Many soap actors are trying hard to bring a reality to it all.  And the days are long.  There's a certain staidness that sets in.

GB: In my view, as well as many fans' views, 1978-79 was the pinnacle of GH.  Great writing by Douglas Marland and the characters were so fleshed out and - dare I say it - mature.  Other than Genie Francis, who was exceptional, the show wasn't dominated by teenagers.  The cast was great - David Lewis, Anna Lee, Jane Elliot, Emily McLaughlin, Leslie Charleson, Rachel Ames, Stuart Damon, many seasoned pros.

BB: Oh, yes, Rachel Ames was wonderful and, of course, Anna Lee.  Stuart Damon was a real gentleman.  Genie was great.  And Leslie had a heart of gold.

GB: What makes soaps such a unique art form is that,  unlike movies or primetime, viewers focus on the  characters more than the actors themselves.  These  characters are in living rooms five days a week.  On  weekends, fans would wonder how Diana was doing, rather than which party Brooke Bundy was attending.

BB: (smiling)  That's funny, I never looked at it that way. And don't forget, too, that one day could be spread out to two weeks of shows on a soap.

GB: You and Mary O'Brien had such chemistry.  There  were layers there.  Diana wasn't stupid, she was  just...

BB: She was very trusting.

GB: That's right.  And I think Diana knew, deep down, that Heather was way too attached to P.J., but she felt sorry for Heather, who was childless.  Heather took advantage of Diana's kindness and, as I said to Mary, I think it was more than Heather plotting to get her son, Steven Lars (P.J.) back...I think Heather was jealous of Diana because she was a professional and clearly a better person.  Both you and Mary were exceptional at bringing out these facets.

BB:  Well, because we were on day after day, we had the time to develop those layers.  Each episode would take the storyline up to a certain point. 

GB: Mary told me she had a hard time doing all those  terrible things  to your character, as you were so  supportive of her on the set.

BB:  Mary was amazing.  She would come in every day and be off book.  She would have her lines highlighted, and she would have it down cold. 

GB:  Mary, of course, left the show in July of '79 with the classic LSD show.  Robin Mattson took over the role of Heather a year later.  When you started, you were part of the "new cast."  Now you had to  play opposite a different actress.  Was it strange  playing opposite Mattson's Heather?

BB: In a way, sure.  She and Mary were so different.  Robin was much more angry in the role.  And it  must've been tough for her as well, being the new  kid on the block.

GB: Craig Huebing left the show late in '79?  Was it tough to see him go?

BB:  Oh, of course, but he was great about it.  He was so macho!  His attitude was, "Hey, don't worry about it, let's not talk about the elephant in the room." He retired and moved to Oregon.  He was a real fisherman.  He loved to fish. 

GB:  As the '80s moved in, the show took a tremendous change in course with all the Luke and Laura stuff.  Many fans, not to mention certain cast members -   John Beradino among them - resented their virtual  takeover of the show.  Did you feel pushed aside?

BB: Not really.  I think the main objection a lot of us had was that their whole relationship was conceived from a rape.  I mean, that was just sending the wrong message all the way around.  I told Gloria this, and she just said something like "Well, that's the way it is, Dear."

GB: You told me Gloria warned you in late 1980 that Diana would be killed off the following March. You mentioned that Gloria acknowledged how you like to shop big at Christmas, and you thought she was looking out for you financially. Brooke Bundy with Richard Dean Anderson

BB:  Yes.  What happened was that Gloria kept leaving me notes,  telling me "we have to talk."  This happened repeatedly.    Finally, we sat down, and she told me what they were  planning.  It made sense.  Ricky Dean (Anderson) wasn't  going to resign at this point, and Heather was involved  in another storyline, so there was nothing for my character  to do.  But, yes, I do think she was trying to protect me by telling me early.  I don't think Gloria was as heartless as  people have made her out to be.  I remember, too, that my  last scene was supposed to be Diana lying in a pool of  blood, while little P.J. walks through it!  I told Gloria I  couldn't do it.  I had developed a relationship with that  little boy who played my son, and I felt it would be very  traumatizing for him to know it was me lying there.  I  told Gloria she had to get a double, because I just couldn't  do it.

GB: Was it tough saying goodbye to the show?

BB:  Sure.  I mean, you get used to a certain way of living.  But they were just great.  They threw me a party and the crew gave me this beautiful necklace.  What was strange, though, was that after seven years of soaps, I began to audition again for primetime work.  I would go to Universal, for example -

GB: You did a lot of work there.

BB: Oh, yeah.  And the guard would remember me and say how great it was to see me again, and so on.  Then I'd meet with the new casting directors and they'd say, "And you are?..."  Everything had changed so much.

Brooke Bundy on "Star Trek: TNG"GB: You appeared in a number of shows after GH, though - "Moonlighting," "Star Trek: The Next Generation."  And you were effective in an episode of "Trapper John, M.D." where you played a counselor at a group home for the developmentally disabled.  You have this brief, but strong scene where you try to describe what it's like for these people to live day to day.  You never played her before those two minutes, nor did you ever play her again, but you convinced me you did this kind of work, for years, despite minimal dialogue.  It was in your phrasing of it.

BB: (smiling)  That's nice to hear.

GB: You also became part of cult movie history when you appeared in two of the "Nightmare on Elm Street" films. Brooke Bundy on "Nightmare on Elm Street"

BB:  (laughing)  Yes.  And it's funny because I vowed I would never do anything like that.  I wanted to keep my ideology, so to speak.  I never paid attention to Freddie Krueger or those kinds of characters.  But I needed to work.  And Robert Englund is a very intelligent man - articulate, reads four or five newspapers a day.  And I don't mean the Enquirer. 

GB: You were beheaded!

BB: (laughing) Yes!  And we did that in one take - with REAL razors!

GB: You're kidding!

BB: Freddie had to reach me from behind and run his fingers across my neck.

GB: Wasn't that a little dangerous??  I'm surprised the unions would allow that.

BB: Well, we really choreographed it.  We rehearsed it and rehearsed it.  I had to keep my feet firmly in place.  And I'm the biggest klutz - I'm always tripping!  They ended up putting tape on the soles of my shoes to keep me in place so his razors wouldn't touch me.

GB: Is it strange being part of such a well-known film series?

BB:  Well, it's interesting.  Patricia Arquette played my daughter. And I just filmed some commentary for the new DVD.

GB: For a time, your daughter, Tiffany Helm, was an actress.  How did you, as a mom, feel about her career choice?

BB: Well, first of all, my daughter is very beautiful.  And a much better actress than I am.  But I was always strict.  I gave her an allowance, but at age 16 I told her she needed to get a part-time job.  Well, she got a job bagging groceries at Gelson's.  And I remember asking her one day how the job was going.  And she pulled out a pile of business cards from scouts - CAA, MCA.  And she said they wouldn't stop giving her these cards!  They wanted her for commercials, television and so on.  And she started booking right away.

GB: She later became a photographer.

BB: Yes, she enjoyed the "acting" part of the business, but didn't like the process of auditioning for parts.  The business side of it.

GB: In the '90s, you became a scout and agent yourself.

BB: Yes, it was very rewarding.

GB: You've witnessed a lot of changes in the industry over the years.  Gone are the ubiquitous dramatic shows like "Mannix" and "Mission: Impossible."  It's all reality shows.  Not exactly an actor's paradise.  How do you feel about the changes?

BB: Well, I think it's very sad.  There's less work, the unions are trashed.  There's a lot of great stuff on cable.  Today, I admire actors like Cate Blanchett.  And Anna Paquin is just wonderful.

GB: So much of your work is turning up on cable, DVD, and YouTube. If something like "The Big Valley" comes on, and you're in those pigtails and with the horses -

BB:  And wrestling with Lee Majors!

GB: Right.  If you come across something like this flipping channels, are you able to watch it?

BB: Sometimes.  It depends on what it is.

GB: Is it because you feel you're watching a different person, or because you're uncomfortable watching yourself from so  long ago?

BB:  Well, it's both.  I remember not being happy with a "Mannix"  I did.  I just cringe when I think about it.

GB: Did you watch yourself on GH?

BB: No, not at all. I had no interest.  I mean, it was done, it aired,  and that was it.  If there was something I didn't like, it was  too late to change anything in it.

GB: In July, I sent you the LSD show with you, Mary and Craig  Huebing.  I also sent it to a number of fans.  I found it weird  that each of us - actors and audience - were watching this   30 years, to the month, after it aired.  Again, your work was  so thoughtful.  The scene where Peter tells you Heather had  been gaslighting you all along was so well-acted.

BB:  Well, you find ways to relate.  I mean, we've all been betrayed.  You just use it.  (laughing)  But my hair!  I kept running a towel through it, saying how wet it was when it was obviously set and dry!

GB: According to, your first credit was in 1959.  This means you marked your 50th year in the industry.

BB:  Gosh, that's so hard to believe...

GB: Will you ever act again?

BB: (grinning) No way, Jose.  I've been there, done that.  I'm much happier managing and guiding new talent.

GB: So that's your life today.

BB:  Yeah.  I'm busy, busy, busy.

GB: You're gonna make a lot of fans happy. Thanks for  a great interview.

BB: And thank you.

Gary Bennett is a freelance writer and an independent filmmaker. He can be contacted at:

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