Intimate Portrait

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Episode Guide

    • Estelle Getty
      Estelle Getty
      Season 7 - Episode 26
      1/15/01
      10
      Estelle Getty: Mother to Many Actress Estelle Getty gained fame by playing Sophia Petrillo on "The Golden Girls." The feisty daughter of Jewish immigrants and a theater lover from birth, she has played mom to many Hollywood actors — and to two real-life sons. Getty was bit by the show-business bug at a tender young age. The daughter of Jewish immigrants who settled in Manhattan, Getty saw her first vaudeville act at the age of four and was hooked. As a teenager, she auditioned for every play that came along. When she started working as a secretary, she would only take jobs with employers who would let her leave early so she could moonlight at theaters. After tying the knot with Arthur Gettleman (a man not intimidated by her quick wit), Getty settled down in Queens. She quickly became part of a tight-knit group of left-leaning activists, many of whom were blacklisted during the McCarthy era. Getty's two sons, Carl and Barry, later followed their mother's activist lead by protesting the war in Vietnam. In the early 1970s, after attending a play written by Harvey Fierstein, Getty approached the playwright and asked him to write a part for her. He came up with "Torch Song Trilogy," which became a smash Broadway hit and made Getty (who played the mother of an aging drag queen) the toast of the town. The actress joined the national tour of the play and was spotted by the producers of a new NBC show about three retired women living together, aka "The Golden Girls." They were so impressed with Getty that they invited her to audition. In 1985, Getty, then 61, nabbed the role of a lifetime: Sophia Petrillo, Dorothy's crochety mother. A guest appearance quickly turned into a regular gig, and for the next seven years, Getty gained fame and fortune along with the smash hit sitcom. After the show was canceled, Getty reprised her role on "Golden Palace" and "Empty Nest"; all in all, she embodied the role of Sophia for 10 years. In the spring of 2000, Getty announced publicly that she has Parkinson's disease, a reality that has forced this true "Golden Girl" to retire from the vocation she has loved since childhood.moreless
    • Barbara Eden
      Barbara Eden
      Season 8 - Episode 19
      1/7/02
      10
      Barbara Eden: TV's Genie She was talented and lucky enough to land the lead role on the hit TV show "I Dream of Jeannie," but in her personal life, Barbara Eden's wishes did not always come true. As a child, Eden was painfully shy, due in part to a vision problem that forced her to wear an eye patch. Luckily, the girl's adoring mother drew her out of her shell by encouraging her to sing while they washed dishes together. After graduating from high school in 1949, Eden began to study music at a San Francisco college, but when she discovered the joy of acting classes, she found her true calling. In the early '50s, Eden relocated to Los Angeles to try her luck as an actress. After some lean days, Eden landed a recurring part on "The Johnny Carson Show" and then the classic comedy "I Love Lucy." Lucille Ball encouraged her to develop her natural comedic talents. In the mid-1950s, Twentieth Century Fox signed Eden to a studio contract, and she appeared in a string of movies opposite such heartthrobs as Elvis Presley and Paul Newman. In 1957, Eden was cast in the TV adaptation of "How to Marry a Millionaire"; she played the part Marilyn Monroe had in the movie version. The actress' biggest break came in 1964, when her agent sent her the script for "I Dream of Jeannie" and she was offered the lead role of the wacky, wonderful genie. That same year, she and her then-husband, actor Michael Ansara, were expecting a child, and in August 1965, Matthew was born. In 1970, " I Love Jeannie" was cancelled, and Eden endured yet another disappointment when she learned that her second baby had died in her womb at seven-and-a-half months. Eden's marriage dissolved under the strain of that trauma. Soon afterward she married her second husband, a newspaper executive from Chicago, but they eventually divorced. Things began looking up for Eden again in the '80s, when she worked steadily on a variety of television projects and met her current husband, real estate developer Jon Eicholtz. Eden's relentless work ethic is what has sustained her during her rough times, including the roughest of them all: the death of her son in 2001 from a heroin overdose. With the love and support of her family and friends, she continues to do what gives her — and her audience — pleasure: act.moreless
    • Rue McClanahan
      Rue McClanahan
      Season 6 - Episode 7
      1/1/00
      10
      Rue McClanahan: A Truly Golden Career To the world, Rue McClanahan will forever be Southern sex kitten Blanche. But more than that, McClanahan is a wife, an activist and a survivor. It was dance, not acting, that first lured Rue McClanahan into the spotlight. Born into a Midwestern blue-collar family (her father was a construction contractor and her mother, a homemaker), her parents wanted their children to experience the arts, so the young McClanahan got plenty of private dance lessons. Eventually, she taught ballet herself. But as a freshman at the University of Tulsa, the 18-year-old found a new love: acting. She immersed herself in all things theatrical during college, but was torn when a full scholarship to a prestigious dance company in Colorado came her way. Eventually, she turned it down, and graduated with highest honors and a double major in theatre arts and German. But Tulsa couldn't hold her. Her sights were set on New York. Initially, McClanahan kept busy acting in not-quite-Broadway shows, falling in love with fellow actor Tom Lloyd along the way. After a brief courtship, the couple married and had a son, Mark. Unfortunately, their marriage fizzled, and so did another (to Norman Hartweg) before McClanahan got her big break on the Broadway stage. In 1969, McClanahan was cast as one of the leads in Broadway's "Jimmy Shine," starring Dustin Hoffman. During this time, McClanahan met and married husband number three: fellow actor Peter DeMayo. But while her relationships were bumpy (this union ended in divorce as well), her career was hitting its stride. After "Jimmy Shine," she was cast as the lead in back-to-back hits: "Who's Happy Now," which garnered her an Obie award for Best Actress, and "Tonight in Living Color." Rue McClanahan: A Truly Golden Career No wonder McClanahan didn't have much time to wallow in her personal woes. Her day job on the soap opera "Another World" was followed by nightly performances on stage. By 1972, McClanahan was exhausted by the pace — just in time for famed TV producer Norman Lear to come calling. The producer remembered McClanahan from "Tonight in Living Color," and asked her if she'd appear as a guest on his new sitcom, "All in the Family." The next year, Lear called again about a bit part in a few episodes of his new show, "Maude," as the lead's eccentric next-door neighbor, Vivian. McClanahan was a huge hit and she signed on to the show as a regular. McClanahan relocated to Los Angeles, bought a home and put her son in private school. At the same time, friends introduced the newly transplanted McClanahan to Gus Fisher, a former actor who worked in the real estate business. After a few months of dating, McClanahan and Fisher tied the knot. Soon to follow: divorce number four. By 1983, five years after "Maude" was taken off the air, McClanahan returned to prime-time television in "Mama's Family." But her two years as Mama's sister were beset by health problems, including a severely infected gall bladder and respiratory problems, that landed her in the hospital. By the time she was healthy again, "Mama's Family" had been canceled and the actress was left with permanent damage to her vocal cords. Her personal life was equally iffy: McClanahan had reunited with her high school sweetheart, Tom Keel; the two married, but then divorced. In 1985, McClanahan was offered another TV role in "The Golden Girls." It was an instant hit with fans and critics, earning her an Emmy award in 1987 and three more Emmy nominations. In 1990, after seven years on the air, Bea Arthur left the show and "The Golden Girls" came to an end. Although McClanahan, Betty White and Estelle Getty were cast in their own spin-off, "Golden Palace," the audience had moved on and the show was canceled within a year. McClanahan moved back to New York City and launched back into her old love: live theater. While rehearsing for a new show, she also met a new love, Morrow Wilson. He stayed by her side though a diagnosis of breast cancer in the late '90s. Today, she is in complete remission, actively working and still happily married. Lately Rue has just finished filming Miracle Dogs, which will air as a mini-series in 2003, and The Fighting Temptations which will be released in movie theaters in August 2003.moreless
    • Shirley Jones
      Shirley Jones
      Season 7 - Episode 25
      1/1/01
      10
    • Raquel Welch
      Raquel Welch
      Season 7 - Episode 22
      1/1/01
      10
    • Betty White
      Betty White
      Season 6 - Episode 6
      1/1/00
      10
      Betty White: The Queen of Television From "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" to "Golden Girls," Betty White is a staple of American comedy. She's charmed television, film and radio audiences for nearly five decades.Here's a close-up look at a comedic talent. Although Betty White has often been dubbed "Queen of Television," this American icon was first radio royalty. Starting at just 16, White attended acting school (she skipped college to pursue her showbiz dream) and appeared on high-profile radio shows such as "Blondie," "The Great Gildersleeve" and "This Is Your FBI." Eventually, she landed her own radio show, aptly titled "The Betty White Show." But it wasn't until 1953, at the age of 29, that White made the leap to the medium for which we know her best: television. She starred in and produced the hit show "Life With Elizabeth," a sitcom that earned her the first of six Emmy Awards. That success led White to make her first of numerous game show appearances as the fill-in host for the iconic "What's My Line?" Soon she settled into a career of appearances on other game shows (including "Match Game") and Jack Paar's "The Tonight Show." But it was her frequent appearances on "Password" that changed her life. She caught the eye (and heart) of host Allen Ludden, and the two married. (Ludden passed away in 1981.) With game shows pretty much behind her, White appeared as a guest on the wildly popular "The Mary Tyler Moore Show." That guest role lead to the permanent spot of Sue Ann Nivens, the flirtatious "Happy Homemaker," earning her two more Emmy nods and a whole lot of fame. On a roll, she then appeared in episodes of "The Merv Griffin Show," "The Love Boat" and "Mama's Family." Then, in 1985, White earned her biggest kudos to date: a starring role in the long-running hit series, "The Golden Girls." For seven years, she played the scatterbrained Rose Nylund, a role that earned her an Emmy nomination every year the show was on the air until 1992. (She won the prize for Best Actress in a Comedy Series in 1987.) A recipient of the 1990 American Comedy Lifetime Achievement Award, White shows no signs of losing her penchant for making others laugh. She recently appeared in the movies "Lake Placid" and "The Story of Us." In 1996, she received yet another Emmy for her supporting role on "The John Larroquette Show." But White has a serious side, too. She has been a long-standing activist for animals' health and well-being and served for three years as president of the Morris Animal Foundation, a national research organization that strives to improve the health of both wild and domesticated animals. (One of the group's accomplishments is finding a vaccine for feline leukemia.) She has also created a TV series about celebrities' pets called "The Pet Set" and, in a move that hearkens back to the beginning of her acting career, a radio program called "Betty White on Animals." Just recently Betty filmed her role in Steve Martin's feature film "Bringing Down The HouZe."moreless
    • Lela Rochon
      Lela Rochon
      Season 7 - Episode 15
      1/1/01
      10
    • Judith Light
      Judith Light
      Season 4 - Episode 8
      5/4/98
      10
    • Diane Lane
      Diane Lane
      Season 8 - Episode 28
      12/16/02
      10
      Diane Lane: A Star Is Reborn It was Diane Lane's destiny to crave the spotlight: Her mother was an aspiring nightclub performer, and her father was an acting coach. These starry-eyed parents had dreams of Hollywood fame for their little girl, and at the age of six she was cast in an off-off-Broadway play about ancient Greek mythology. From then on, Lane spent summers traveling without her parents to appear in regional theater productions. At one show, the prepubescent thespian dazzled a Hollywood director, who cast her in 1979's "A Little Romance," opposite the legendary Sir Laurence Olivier. At 14, she graced the cover of Time for a story on young breakout performers. Lane had a lot to live up to, and she certainly tried, working nonstop in movie after movie. Unfortunately, her films floundered at the box office — even the much-hyped "The Cotton Club" (1984) with heartthrob Richard Gere. After six years in show business and 13 films under her belt, the 18-year-old Lane decided to quit the biz. Once her professional life was on hiatus, Lane's personal life kicked into full gear. At 19, she fell for a charming actor named Christopher Lambert, and four years later, on March 27, 1988, the couple tied the knot. Around the same time, Lane decided to give Hollywood a second chance. She appeared in the critically acclaimed 1989 TV series "Lonesome Dove," for which she earned her first Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries. In September 1993, Lane gave birth to daughter Eleanor Jasmine. Unfortunately, her marriage fizzled a year later, and the single mom threw herself into motherhood and her work. But it would take another six years before her comeback was complete. In 1999, she played against type as an adulterous 1960s Jewish housewife in "Walk on the Moon" and won accolades from the critics. After a string of good movies, including "The Perfect Storm" and "My Dog Skip," Lane was tapped to portray another cheating spouse in the 2002 movie "Unfaithful." She plays the wife of Richard Gere's character who falls in lust with a young Frenchman. Her powerful performance stunned audiences, and now Lane's reputation as a formidable talent is stronger than ever before.moreless
    • Constance Marie
      Constance Marie
      Season 11 - Episode 3
      9/29/03
      10
      Constance Marie: Barrier Breaker
    • Bette Davis
      Bette Davis
      Season 5 - Episode 21
      4/5/99
      10
    • Finola Hughes
      Finola Hughes
      Season 8 - Episode 5
      6/17/02
      10
    • Jackie Onassis
      Jackie Onassis
      Season 1 - Episode 1
      11/14/93
      10
    • Joanna Kerns
      Joanna Kerns
      Season 6 - Episode 21
      1/1/00
      10
    • Reba McEntire
      Reba McEntire
      Season 2 - Episode 8
      11/10/96
      10
    • Alyssa Milano
      Alyssa Milano
      Season 10 - Episode 8
      8/11/03
      9.8
      Alyssa Milano: Child-Star Survivor Alyssa Milano was born on December 19, 1972, in Brooklyn. She was bitten by the acting bug at the early age of seven, after seeing a Broadway production of "Annie." When she accompanied a family friend to an audition for the touring company of "Annie" shortly thereafter, she landed the role instead of her friend. Other plays soon followed, as did her first film role in the 1984 movie "Old Enough." That same year, 12-year-old Milano auditioned to play actor Tony Danza's daughter, tomboy Samantha "Sam" Micelli, on a new sitcom called "Who's the Boss?" Audiences immediately took to the show and to Milano; before long, her work on TV and in film became popular overseas. She tried her hand at music, landing a five-album deal in Japan, where her 1989 debut record reached platinum. In 1992, "Who's the Boss?" went off the air, and Milano faced the daunting task of transitioning from child star to adult actress. At first she found it difficult to get good roles, but her career got a boost in 1997, when Aaron Spelling cast her as a troublemaking vixen on his nighttime soap "Melrose Place." Becoming a sex symbol came with an unexpected price: Illegal and often doctored nude photos of the actress began popping up all over the Internet. In a 1998 lawsuit, Milano and her mother won a quarter of a million dollars from a number of porn sites. The pair used the money to set up a Web site, called Safe Searching, to help protect celebrities' images online. Meanwhile, Milano was cast in another Aaron Spelling endeavor: "Charmed," a show about three witch siblings. This move officially put the actress back on top.But in her personal life, all was not charmed. Her 1999 marriage to Cinjun Tate, the singer of the band Remy Zero, was short-lived. But some soul-searching after the breakup helped Milano discover another passion — photography. While she was shooting a movie in South Africa, she began volunteering at local hospitals on her days off, which inspired her to chronicle the experience in a series of photographs. Soon after, her pictures were exhibited by the United Nations, which also honored the actress for her humanitarian efforts. Milano continues to use photography to express herself and share the world with others. In 2003, she brought her camera on a visit to Baghdad, where she and other entertainers performed to boost the morale of U.S. troops. The actress, whose talent and persistence have kept her in the acting industry for nearly her entire life, says that she hopes to continue inspiring others across the globe.moreless
    • Isabel Sanford
      Isabel Sanford
      Season 9 - Episode 6
      2/3/03
      9.5
      Isabel Sanford: Movin' On Up Born in 1917 in Harlem, New York, Isabel (born Eloise Gwendolyn) Sanford was the youngest of seven children and the only one to live past infancy. As a child, Sanford found respite from her poverty-stricken life by making people laugh. As a teen, she won rave reviews at an amateur night at the Apollo, but her performing dreams were put on hold when her mother fell ill. Although Sanford wanted to be an actress, she was forced to take over her mom's job as a cleaning lady. Sanford married housepainter William "Sonny" Richmond during this tough time, and shortly after tying the knot, they brought daughter Pamela into the world. Between the births of her next two children, Sanford finally made her stage debut, in the 1946 production of "On Striver's Row" at the renown American Negro Theater. In 1960, Sanford decided to leave her unhappy marriage and take her three children to Los Angeles. The single mother was barely off the bus before legendary actress Tallulauh Bankhead asked her to join the national production of "Here Today." Sanford appreciated the break, although she encountered discrimination during the tour. The actress's next stint was in the all-African-American production of James Baldwin's "Amen Corner." The hit show moved to Broadway, where Sanford captured the attention of film director Stanley Kramer, who immediately cast her in the 1967 classic "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner." Her performance in the movie dazzled critics and showbiz insiders. In 1971, TV producer Norman Lear hired Sanford to play neighbor to the Bunkers on the sitcom "All in the Family." Four years later, the spin-off series "The Jeffersons" debuted, and America's first black sitcom family was born, with Sanford as matriarch Louise ("Weezy"). In 1981, Sanford became the first African-American to win an Emmy Award for Best Actress in a Comedy Series. The show's 10-year run ended abruptly when the network cancelled it in 1985. Since then, Sanford and co-star Sherman Hemsley have teamed up for numerous guest-star appearances on other sitcoms, including "The Parkers" and "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," giving them the opportunity to work with fellow African-American actors who consider the two veteran performers as role models.moreless
    • Robin Givens
      Robin Givens
      Season 6 - Episode 16
      1/1/00
      9.5
    • Sally Field
      Sally Field
      Season 2 - Episode 2
      3/24/96
      9.0
    • Destiny's Child
      Destiny's Child
      Season 7 - Episode 7
      1/1/01
      9.0
    • Jasmine Guy
      Jasmine Guy
      Season 7 - Episode 12
      1/1/01
      8.6
    • Marlo Thomas
      Marlo Thomas
      Season 6 - Episode 17
      1/1/00
      0.0
    • Lauralee Bell
      Lauralee Bell
      Season 8 - Episode 10
      1/1/02
      0.0
    • Kristi Yamaguchi
      Kristi Yamaguchi
      Season 8 - Episode 9
      1/1/02
      0.0
    • Kellie Martin
      Kellie Martin
      Season 8 - Episode 8
      1/1/02
      0.0
    • Marion Ross
      Marion Ross
      Season 8 - Episode 7
      1/1/02
      0.0
    • Cynthia Nixon
      Cynthia Nixon
      Season 8 - Episode 2
      1/1/02
      0.0
    • Emma Samms
      Emma Samms
      Season 8 - Episode 6
      1/1/02
      0.0
    • Doris Roberts
      Doris Roberts
      Season 8 - Episode 3
      1/1/02
      0.0
    • Geraldine Ferraro
      Geraldine Ferraro
      Season 8 - Episode 4
      1/1/02
      0.0
    • Melissa Joan Hart
      Melissa Joan Hart
      Season 8 - Episode 11
      1/1/02
      0.0
    • Melody Thomas Scott
      Melody Thomas Scott
      Season 8 - Episode 12
      1/1/02
      0.0
    • Pam Dawber
      Pam Dawber
      Season 8 - Episode 13
      1/1/02
      0.0
    • Dixie Chicks
      Dixie Chicks
      Season 8 - Episode 22
      9/30/02
      0.0
    • Toni Braxton
      Toni Braxton
      Season 8 - Episode 24
      11/18/02
      0.0
    • Sharon Osbourne
      Sharon Osbourne
      Season 8 - Episode 25
      11/25/02
      0.0
      Sharon Osbourne: Heavy-Metal Matriarch London-born Sharon Osbourne (née Arden) was the apple of her father's eye. Dad was a music manager who worked with rock icons such as Little Richard and Chuck Berry. At age 15, Osbourne quit school to work full-time for her father as a receptionist. At 23, the ambitious young woman packed her bags for Los Angeles to open another branch of dad's business. One of her first tasks was to collect money from recently fired metal sensation Ozzy Osbourne. When Osbourne found the rock star, he was strung out on alcohol and drugs and knocking on death's door. Sympathetic to his suffering because of her own struggles with alcohol, Osbourne decided to help Ozzy get back on his feet by managing his career. In 1980, Ozzy released his first solo album, which went platinum. Despite being married, the newly crowned "Prince of Darkness" fell in love with his manager, who had turned his flailing career right side up. In 1981, Ozzy divorced his wife; the following year he exchanged vows with Osbourne in a July 4 ceremony on a beach in Maui. But as one bond formed, another fizzled, as Osbourne and her dad went to war over Ozzy's career. Cut off from her parents, Osbourne decided to create a family of her own. In September 1982, the couple had their first child, daughter Aimee, followed by daughter Kelly in 1984 and son Jack in 1985. Osbourne thrived as a mother, but her life wasn't all peaches and cream. Ozzy was once again hitting rock bottom with his substance abuse. One night in 1989, Osbourne was attacked by her strung-out husband. She pressed attempted-murder charges against him but later dropped them on the condition that Ozzy enter rehab. Afterward, the couple slowly rebuilt their marriage. In 1995, Osbourne reached new heights of professional success when she launched Ozzfest, a heavy-metal tour headlined by her husband. But on a more personal level, Osbourne was struggling with overeating — the 5'2" businesswoman had ballooned to 224 pounds. Fed up with herself, Osbourne opted for stomach surgery on the eve of her 47th birthday. As a result, she shed 100 pounds. In early 2002, Osbourne, feeling good about herself inside and out, approached MTV with the idea of a reality-TV show based on her family's everyday antics. "The Osbournes" premiered in the spring of 2002, and the edgy series became an instant hit. The second season of the show garnered the kooky family $58 million. Even sweeter for Osbourne was her reconciliation with her father. However, Osbourne's perfect life came crashing down when she was diagnosed with colon cancer. The doting mother and wife underwent three months of chemotherapy, but she still found it in her heart to take in the teenage son of a friend who had recently died of the same disease. Surrounded by her loving extended family, Osbourne is recouping nicely; she is doing so well that she will begin hosting her own TV talk show in the fall of 2003.moreless
    • Elizabeth Taylor
      Elizabeth Taylor
      Season 8 - Episode 26
      12/2/02
      0.0
      Elizabeth Taylor: Grand Dame of Hollywood Elizabeth Taylor was born in London, but her family relocated to Los Angeles when she was young. Taylor's mother, a sometime stage actress, realized that her daughter's luminous face and smoldering violet eyes were just right for Hollywood and began taking the girl to auditions. At the age of nine, Taylor was cast in the film "There's One Born Every Minute." Three years later, she appeared in the 1944 movie "National Velvet" and became an international star overnight. Barely an adolescent and already a screen icon, the radiant Taylor had the world's most eligible bachelors at her feet. She married her first husband, hotel heir Nicky Hilton, in 1950, but within a year his violent drinking put an end to the marriage. In 1951, Taylor married actor Michael Wilding, with whom she had two sons. Five years later, she divorced Wilding and married producer Mike Todd, a man twice her age. The couple welcomed the birth of daughter Liza, but their happiness would be short-lived; a year later, Todd was killed in a plane crash. Taylor lost herself in her work, turning in an Oscar-winning performance in "Butterfield 8." Now widowed with three children, Taylor found comfort with crooner Eddie Fisher, whom she married in 1959. Her career weathered the scandal of breaking up the marriage between Fisher and starlet Debbie Reynolds — the parts still poured in. The biggest coup was nabbing the title role in "Cleopatra," opposite Richard Burton. The co-stars experienced instant chemistry, despite the leading man's reputation for being a womanizer and a boozer. Taylor divorced Fisher in 1964 and tied the knot with Burton that same year. The tempestuous couple tied the knot and spent most of the '60s working and traveling, with the press hounding their every move. In 1966, Taylor and Burton teamed up again on-screen, in "Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf?" The script, about a disturbed couple and their addictions, mirrored the real-life duo's own travails, and Taylor won another Oscar® for her powerful performance. She and Burton divorced in 1974, but the couple remarried a short time later. However, their second stab at marriage lasted less than a year. By 1976, Taylor had fallen for rising Virginia politician John Warner, who would become her next husband. But in the lonely role of a senator's wife, Taylor turned to food and alcohol for consolation. In 1981, Taylor decided it was time for a change. The resilient star sobered up, lost weight and headed for Broadway. At 49, she made her stage debut, in "Little Foxes," to rave reviews. In 1982, Taylor left Warner behind, but not the campaigning life. After learning that her good friend Rock Hudson had AIDS, Taylor became a committed crusader against the deadly disease. While back in rehab in 1988, Taylor met her next husband, construction worker Larry Fortensky; they were wed in 1991 and stayed together for five years. Taylor was making headway as a successful perfume entrepreneur, but in 1997, she was diagnosed with a brain tumor and took time out to attend to her health. In 2000, the other famous Elizabeth, the queen of England, anointed Taylor as a Dame of the British Empire. Today, the feisty Dame Taylor continues her mission of AIDS advocacy.moreless
    • Melissa Sue Anderson
      Melissa Sue Anderson
      Season 8 - Episode 21
      9/26/02
      0.0
    • Joan Van Ark
      Joan Van Ark
      Season 8 - Episode 20
      7/15/02
      0.0
    • Kathy Ireland
      Kathy Ireland
      Season 8 - Episode 18
      1/1/02
      0.0
    • Sherry Lansing
      Sherry Lansing
      Season 8 - Episode 14
      1/1/02
      0.0
    • Kim Cattrall
      Kim Cattrall
      Season 6 - Episode 24
      1/1/00
      0.0
    • Sarah Ferguson
      Sarah Ferguson
      Season 8 - Episode 16
      1/1/02
      0.0
    • Martina McBride
      Martina McBride
      Season 8 - Episode 17
      1/1/02
      0.0
    • Jamie-Lynn Sigler
      Jamie-Lynn Sigler
      Season 8 - Episode 15
      1/1/02
      0.0
    • Brandy
      Brandy
      Season 8 - Episode 1
      1/1/02
      0.0
      Brandy: Fairy-tale Princess Brandy Norwood has become the belle of her own ball, gaining fame as a chart-topping singer and the star of the sitcom "Moesha," and finding her own Prince Charming. As a little girl growing up in Mississippi, Brandy dreamed of stardom. By the time she was four years old, she had begun singing in her father's church choir. Encouraged by Brandy's undeniable talents, her dad began schooling her in a variety of musical styles and taking her to see concerts. She particularly enjoyed seeing Whitney Houston, whom she admired as a role model. When Brandy's father got a job in California, he began taking her and her brother, Ray J., on auditions. Ray got some parts, but Brandy didn't. At age 13, Brandy enrolled in Hollywood High School's performing arts program. She finally got her big break in the fall of 1993 when Atlantic Records — where she had unsuccessfully auditioned to be part of a girl band — offered her a recording contract. Her first album, the self-titled "Brandy," debuted a year later and went platinum. She was only 15 years old. In 1996, Brandy landed a starring role on a new UPN sitcom called "Moesha." She was proud to be playing a disadvantaged African-American girl who was portrayed as an intelligent, responsible individual. "Moesha" became the highest-rated show on the network. In 1997, Brandy teamed up with Whitney Houston to film a remake of "Cinderella" for ABC; she made history as the first black actress to play the lead part in the fairy tale. In 1998, Brandy released her second album, which included the Grammy Award–winning single "The Boy Is Mine." Brandy struggled to feel good about herself and succumbed to the pressure to be thin; she was eating very little. In 1999, Brandy was rushed to the hospital, where doctors diagnosed the dehydrated star with exhaustion. "I lost Brandy," she reflects. "I abandoned her for my career." Since "Moesha" went off the air in 2001, Brandy has achieved her heart's desire both professionally and personally. The talented performer has found time to work on her third album, and she's tied the knot — with music producer Robert Smith in June 2001.moreless
    • Linda Dano
      Linda Dano
      Season 6 - Episode 18
      1/1/00
      0.0
    • Dixie Carter
      Dixie Carter
      Season 7 - Episode 8
      2/5/01
      0.0
    • Genie Francis
      Genie Francis
      Season 7 - Episode 9
      1/1/01
      0.0
    • Holly Hunter
      Holly Hunter
      Season 7 - Episode 10
      1/1/01
      0.0
    • Ivana Trump
      Ivana Trump
      Season 7 - Episode 11
      1/1/01
      0.0
    • Cindy Williams
      Cindy Williams
      Season 7 - Episode 6
      1/1/01
      0.0
    • Cheryl Tiegs
      Cheryl Tiegs
      Season 7 - Episode 5
      1/1/01
      0.0
    • Allison Janney
      Allison Janney
      Season 7 - Episode 4
      1/1/01
      0.0
    • Helen Keller
      Helen Keller
      Season 6 - Episode 25
      1/1/00
      0.0
    • Tammy Faye
      Tammy Faye
      Season 7 - Episode 1
      1/1/01
      0.0
    • Brooke Shields
      Brooke Shields
      Season 7 - Episode 2
      1/1/00
      0.0
    • Bobbi Brown
      Bobbi Brown
      Season 7 - Episode 3
      1/1/01
      0.0
    • Kim Fields
      Kim Fields
      Season 7 - Episode 13
      1/1/01
      0.0
    • Lisa Hartman-Black
      Lisa Hartman-Black
      Season 7 - Episode 14
      1/1/01
      0.0
    • Janis Joplin
      Janis Joplin
      Season 6 - Episode 23
      1/1/00
      0.0
    • Rosa Parks
      Rosa Parks
      Season 7 - Episode 23
      1/1/01
      0.0
    • Sharon Gless
      Sharon Gless
      Season 7 - Episode 24
      1/1/01
      0.0
    • Minnie Driver
      Minnie Driver
      Season 6 - Episode 20
      1/1/00
      0.0
    • Linda Evans
      Linda Evans
      Season 6 - Episode 19
      1/1/00
      0.0
    • Holly Robinson Peete
      Holly Robinson Peete
      Season 6 - Episode 2
      1/11/00
      0.0
    • Patty Duke
      Patty Duke
      Season 7 - Episode 21
      1/1/01
      0.0
    • Naomi Campbell
      Naomi Campbell
      Season 7 - Episode 20
      1/1/01
      0.0
    • Lee Grant
      Lee Grant
      Season 7 - Episode 16
      1/1/01
      0.0
    • Facing the Truth
      Facing the Truth
      Season 11 - Episode 24
      5/15/04
      0.0
    • Linda Blair
      Linda Blair
      Season 7 - Episode 18
      1/1/01
      0.0
    • Lisa Rinna
      Lisa Rinna
      Season 7 - Episode 19
      1/1/01
      0.0
    • Yoko Ono
      Yoko Ono
      Season 1 - Episode 2
      11/21/95
      0.0
    • Jennifer Lopez (J Lo)
      Jennifer Lopez (J Lo)
      Season 8 - Episode 27
      12/9/02
      0.0
      Jennifer Lopez: Do-It-All Diva Jennifer Lynn Lopez, aka J.Lo, was born into a loving Puerto Rican family in the Bronx, New York. Her mother, a kindergarten teacher, passed on her love of musicals to her three daughters, who used to create productions of their own. The performing bug hit the middle Lopez daughter hard, so much so that the young J.Lo left Baruch College during her first year to pursue her passion full-time. It didn't take long for her auditioning to prove fruitful. In 1990, Lopez earned a spot as a Fly Girl, a dancer on the hit sketch comedy show "In Living Color." She packed her bags and moved to Los Angeles. After two years as a Fly Girl, Lopez yearned for more. She left the show and became a backup dancer for Janet Jackson. She also scored minor roles in TV pilots. But her big break came in 1995, with a role in the movie "Mi Familia," which was about an immigrant Mexican family. Lopez's well-received performance led to steady acting work. The novice then snagged the much-coveted role of slain Tejano singer Selena Quintanilla in the film "Selena." It was a hit that earned Lopez praise and a Golden Globe Award nomination. She had officially arrived. In February 1995, Lopez married boyfriend Ojani Noa, but the go-getter's hectic modeling and acting schedule contributed to the couple's breakup after only eight months. Lopez recovered by focusing on her other big dream: a career as a singer. Her first album, "On the 6," was released on June 9, 1999. It went triple platinum, produced a number one hit and garnered a Grammy Award nomination. On a roll, Lopez continued singing and returned not only to acting but to the altar. After her relationship with Sean Combs, aka P. Diddy, fizzled, she married dancer Chris Judd in September 2001. Four months later, in January 2002, Lopez achieved the unthinkable: a simultaneous number one album ("J.Lo" ) and number one film ("The Wedding Planner"). The megastar used her unstoppable fame to launch her own clothing line, fragrance and restaurant. Unfortunately, her union with Judd wasn't as strong as her career. The two parted ways after a mere seven months. But Lopez didn't have to wait long for love to come along again. She soon began dating her friend actor Ben Affleck, whom she met while they were shooting the film "Gigli." The tabloid-material twosome became inseparable, and they paired up for another movie, "Jersey Girl," as well as for a more permanent union. They announced their engagement in October 2002.moreless
    • Suzanne Pleshette
      Suzanne Pleshette
      Season 8 - Episode 29
      12/23/02
      0.0
      Suzanne Pleshette: Bold Broad When Suzanne Pleshette first entered into the world, doctors were forced to take extraordinary steps to save her. Born without a heartbeat, she was given an adrenaline shot to get it started. That spark ignited the little girl who grew up to be a frank, feisty woman who led a glamorous life. Pleshette, the daughter of a ballerina and the head of a fabled New York theater, was destined for a life in entertainment. She enrolled in the "Fame" High School of the Performing Arts and went on to study at the legendary Neighborhood Playhouse. The aspiring actress soon began getting parts in plays, and soon won the role of a lifetime, replacing Ann Bancroft in the Broadway production of "The Miracle Worker." Pleshette fell for heartthrob Troy Donahue and the couple married in 1964, but the actor's alcoholism led to the dissolution of the marriage just nine months later. The sultry star soon took up with the very married David Janssen of TV's "The Fugitive," but when he refused to leave his wife she married businessman Tommy Gallagher in 1968. Her career proved more stable as she took turns starring with some of Hollywood's biggest names, including Steve McQueen in "Nevada Smith" and James Garner in "Support Your Local Gunfighter". The bawdy, brash Pleshette became a favorite on Johnny Carson's show after she remarked, " I did nine westerns. I can't ride but I mount with great authority." Her wicked humor convinced comedian Bob Newhart to cast the saucy star as the wife on his new sitcom in 1972. Pleshette accepted, but there was a catch: No kids on the show. The request stemmed from her real-life situation; the actress had miscarried and would never get pregnant again. A TV show about a childless couple was groundbreaking--allowing the focus to be on careers and adult relationships--and the actors' obvious chemistry made the sitcom an instant hit. Newhart was slight and quiet, and the strong, vocal Pleshette was his perfect foil. The show lasted six stellar seasons. Throughout the '80s and '90s, Pleshette worked regularly on television. But in 2000, the actress' personal life took a turn for the worst when her husband died from e. coli poisoning after surviving a bout of cancer. Thankfully, Pleshette reunited with her old love, actor Tom Poston, also of "The Bob Newhart Show," who had lost his wife. The two decided to join a support group together, and soon, after forty years apart, they rekindled their romance and were married in May of 2001. Pleshette is enjoying a professional comeback as well, appearing as Karen's emotionally stunted mom on "Will and Grace," a role she has parlayed into a starring turn on the new sitcom "Good Morning Miami". It appears now that Pleshette's is a tale of all's well that ends well.moreless
    • Stockard Channing
      Stockard Channing
      Season 11 - Episode 17
      1/10/04
      0.0
      Stockard Channing: Totally Transformed
    • Lucille Ball
      Lucille Ball
      Season 8 - Episode 30
      0.0
    • Missy Elliott
      Missy Elliott
      Season 11 - Episode 21
      3/13/04
      0.0
      Missy Elliott: Song of Strength
    • Molly Shannon
      Molly Shannon
      Season 11 - Episode 18
      1/17/04
      0.0
      Molly Shannon: Queen Of Quirky
    • Nancy Kerrigan
      Nancy Kerrigan
      Season 11 - Episode 22
      4/9/04
      0.0
    • Dionne Warwick
      Dionne Warwick
      Season 11 - Episode 23
      4/11/04
      0.0
      Dionne Warwick: Speaking Volumes
    • Leah Remini
      Leah Remini
      Season 11 - Episode 20
      2/21/04
      0.0
      Leah Remini: Queens Bee
    • Donna Summer
      Donna Summer
      Season 11 - Episode 19
      2/7/04
      0.0
      Donna Summer: Disco Diva
    • Nancy McKeon
      Nancy McKeon
      Season 11 - Episode 13
      12/1/03
      0.0
      The life and career of Nancy McKeon.
    • LeAnn Rimes
      LeAnn Rimes
      Season 11 - Episode 14
      12/8/03
      0.0
      LeAnn Rimes: Country's Youngest Megastar
    • Ashanti
      Ashanti
      Season 11 - Episode 15
      12/15/03
      0.0
      Ashanti: An Unstoppable Force
    • Bonnie Hunt
      Bonnie Hunt
      Season 11 - Episode 16
      12/22/03
      0.0
      Bonnie Hunt: Never Say Quit
    • Sarah MacLachlan
      Sarah MacLachlan
      Season 11 - Episode 12
      11/26/03
      0.0
      Sarah MacLachlan: Feminist Music Maven
    • Pat Benatar
      Pat Benatar
      Season 8 - Episode 23
      10/20/02
      0.0
    • Josie Natori
      Josie Natori
      Season 1 - Episode 5
      6/4/95
      0.0
    • Jane Pauley
      Jane Pauley
      Season 11 - Episode 25
      5/29/04
      0.0
    • Maria Shriver
      Maria Shriver
      Season 11 - Episode 5
      10/13/03
      0.0
      A look at Maria Shriver, California's first lady
    • Vanessa Marcil
      Vanessa Marcil
      Season 11 - Episode 4
      10/6/03
      0.0
      Vanessa Marcil
    • Debbie Reynolds & Carrie Fisher
      Debbie Reynolds & Carrie Fisher
      Season 1 - Episode 2
      9/19/96
      0.0
      One was "America's Sweetheart", while the other made her mark as a "Space Age Princess." Both have reached the heights of Hollywood stardom and both have had to endure the lows of stormy break-ups of their marriages. They are survivors.
    • Grace Kelly
      Grace Kelly
      Season 1 - Episode 3
      9/26/96
      0.0
      Grace Kelly reigned as one of Hollywood's brightest stars before she took on her role as the wife of Prince Rainer of Monaco.
    • Kathie Lee Gifford
      Kathie Lee Gifford
      Season 1 - Episode 4
      10/3/96
      0.0
      Viewers fell in love with Kathie Lee as the "La La Girl" on Name That Tune...and as one of the bodacious Hee Haw Honeys. But it was being selected as a last minute replacement on a morning television show that changed her life forever.
    • The Princesses of Monaco
      The Princesses of Monaco
      Season 1 - Episode 5
      10/10/96
      0.0
      When Grace Kelly married Prince Rainer of Monaco, she brought elegance to the tiny principality. Their daughters, Caroline & Stephanie, became known for their rebellious, scandalous behaviour, seemingly designed to tarnish their family's dignity.
    • Mary Magdeline
      Mary Magdeline
      Season 1 - Episode 4
      4/23/95
      0.0
    • Marla Maples
      Marla Maples
      Season 1 - Episode 3
      3/12/95
      0.0
    • Farrah Fawcett
      Farrah Fawcett
      Season 11 - Episode 26
      8/30/04
      0.0
    • Diane Keaton
      Diane Keaton
      Season 7 - Episode 13
      3/20/01
      0.0
    • Diedre Hall
      Diedre Hall
      Season 7 - Episode 3
      1/8/01
      0.0
    • Ann Curry
      Ann Curry
      Season 12 - Episode 1
      10/9/05
      0.0
    • Grace Kelly
      Grace Kelly
      Season 1 - Episode 1
      1/29/95
      0.0
    • Rose Kennedy
      Rose Kennedy
      Season 1 - Episode 2
      2/19/95
      0.0
    • Amy Brenneman
      Amy Brenneman
      Season 11 - Episode 11
      11/24/03
      0.0
      Amy Brenneman: Queen of the Courtroom
    • Mo'Nique
      Mo'Nique
      Season 11 - Episode 10
      11/17/03
      0.0
      Mo'Nique: Full-Figured, Funny and Fabulous
    • Dana Delany
      Dana Delany
      Season 11 - Episode 9
      11/10/03
      0.0
      Dana Delany: Bold Beauty
    • Linda Grey
      Linda Grey
      Season 9 - Episode 12
      3/24/03
      0.0
    • Niki Taylor
      Niki Taylor
      Season 9 - Episode 14
      3/31/03
      0.0
    • Joan Collins
      Joan Collins
      Season 9 - Episode 15
      4/14/03
      0.0
    • Michelle Phillips
      Michelle Phillips
      Season 9 - Episode 13
      4/21/03
      0.0
    • Famous Families
      Famous Families
      Season 9 - Episode 10
      3/10/03
      0.0
    • Faith Hill
      Faith Hill
      Season 9 - Episode 16
      4/29/03
      0.0
    • Josie Bisset
      Josie Bisset
      Season 9 - Episode 9
      2/24/03
      0.0
      Josie Bissett: Model Mommy Josie Bissett, né¥ Joelynn Heutmaker, grew up in a close-knit household in a suburb of Seattle. Fun and outgoing, she began modeling in high school, with her family's full support. It wasn't long before Bissett was appearing in catalogs and teen magazines, and at age 18 she moved to Los Angeles to further her career. After a year of struggling while taking acting classes, Bissett landed a few roles in commercials and music videos. In 1990, she landed a guest part on "Doogie Howser, M.D." and a small role in the biopic flick "The Doors," directed by Oliver Stone. At one fateful audition, Bissett met a handsome aspiring actor named Rob Estes. The pair fell for each other fast, and they exchanged vows on May 1, 1992, just days before each launched into breakthrough roles. Bissett starred on the Aaron Spelling soap "Melrose Place," and Estes was a part of the Miami cop show "Silk Stalkings." Bissett's character, Jane Mancini, was the nice, normal girl caught up in a sea of intrigue, passion and nastiness. Playing the victim over and over eventually wore on Bissett, as did the fact that her husband was working on the other side of the country, surrounded by beautiful women. Feeling unfulfilled, Bissett left "Melrose" during the show's fifth season after discovering that she was pregnant. The expectant mother looked forward to a new chapter in her life but was heartbroken when she miscarried. But the couple kept trying to conceive, and in June 1999, their son, Mason, was born. Bissett cherished her role as a mother and decided to capture her new experiences in a book. The first-time author wrote a parenting book called "Little Bits of Wisdom" in 2000, based on tips she pulled together from various moms and dads. She is working on a follow-up book and is backing a line of children's toys and girls' clothing. In 2002, Bissett gave birth to daughter Maya Rose and also returned to television as the host of "Parenting and Beyond."moreless
    • Erin Brockovich
      Erin Brockovich
      Season 9 - Episode 3
      1/16/03
      0.0
      Erin Brockovich Erin Brockovich was born Erin Pattee in 1960 in Lawrence, Kansas, the youngest of four children. A traumatic molestation experience and struggles with dyslexia led to feelings of low self-esteem as a young girl. It wasn't until Brockovich reached high school that the gangly teen began to hit her stride. By 1979, she was attending the Miss Wades School of Fashion Merchandising in Dallas. She then moved with some girlfriends to California, where she met and married housepainter Sean Brown. The newlyweds moved to Nevada together. By the mid-1980s, Brockovich had two children and a strained marriage. After she divorced Brown in 1987, the suddenly single mom took a secretarial job. The vivacious 27-year-old eventually fell in love with her boss, broker Steven Brockovich. The two married in 1989, but their relationship quickly fizzled. Brockovich filed for divorce, and soon afterward she learned that she was pregnant with her third child. After moving her brood to California, the mother of three was desperate for work. She muscled her way into a job answering phones at the law firm of Masry & Vititoe. One day, Brockovich was asked to look for a file; what she discovered immediately triggered her internal alarms. She took it upon herself to investigate the case, using unusual tactics to uncover one of the biggest cases of soil contamination in U.S. history. In 1993, Brockovich helped 634 residents of Hinkley, California, file a lawsuit against Pacific Gas & Electric that resulted in a settlement of $333 million. Brockovich's personal life also picked up — she found love with actor Eric Ellis, whom she married. Brockovich's chiropractor shared the story of the young woman's legal success with another patient, a Hollywood mover and shaker. Before long, the movie "Erin Brockovich," starring Julia Roberts, was being produced. The 2000 blockbuster earned Roberts an Oscar® and made Brockovich a household name. The do-gooder continued to share her story in a 2001 best-selling autobiography, "Take It From Me: Life's a Struggle That You Can Win." Brockovich continues to tackle tough cases as the director of environmental research at Masry & Vititoe. Recently Brockovich hosted the short lived Lifetime series Final Justice with Eric Brockovich.moreless
    • Mariah Carey
      Mariah Carey
      Season 9 - Episode 1
      1/6/03
      0.0
      Mariah Carey: Pop Princess Mariah Carey grew up in Long Island, New York. Her mother was an opera singer who fostered her daughter's natural singing talent. By eighth grade, Carey was writing her own songs; by age 13, she was performing radio jingles. After graduation, Carey headed to Manhattan to follow her show-business dreams. Before long, she was singing backup for Brenda Kiss Star. The seasoned singer took Carey under her wing and introduced her to record executive Tommy Mottola, who quickly began grooming the teenager for superstardom. In July 1990, Carey released her first album, "Vision of Love." The album produced four number one hits and garnered two Grammy Awards: one for Best New Artist and another for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. But the 20-year-old didn't sit back and bask in the glory; she immediately returned to the studio and released "Emotions" in September 1991. A recording of her MTV Unplugged concert followed. As Carey's career continued to blossom, so did her relationship with Mottola. On June 6, 1993, the 23-year-old singer wed her 42-year-old boss in an extravagant gala with 300 guests. After the honeymoon was over, Carey came out with three more best-selling albums in the span of three years. Eventually, Carey tired of Mottola's controlling hold over her life, and the couple separated in 1997. That same year, Carey broke away from her sweet image with a sexier style for the release of her album "Butterfly." Her next record, "Rainbow," produced the singer's biggest hit: "Heartbreaker." Feeling unstoppable, Carey decided to try her hand at acting, portraying an aspiring crooner in the 2001 flick "Glitter." But her workaholic ways finally got the better of her: In the summer of 2001, Carey collapsed from exhaustion. The tabloids had a field day while speculating about the cause of the pop star's breakdown, and to make matters worse, "Glitter" was shredded to pieces by critics. Soon afterward, the Sony record label broke its contract with Carey. But Carey wasn't easily defeated. Within the year, she joined the Island Def Jam Music Group and formed her own label: MonarC Records. In addition, her acting in the independent film "Wisegirl" was universally praised. And if Carey needed more confirmation of her star appeal, she could look to her 2002 album, "Charmbracelet," which sold 241,000 copies in its first week. Carey's reign as a pop princess continues!moreless
    • Carnie Wilson
      Carnie Wilson
      Season 9 - Episode 2
      1/13/03
      0.0
      In April 1968, Beach Boy Brian Wilson and his wife, Marilyn Rovell, a singer from the 1960s band The Honeys, welcomed their first child, Carnie, into the world. The eldest Wilson child grew up harmonizing with her family; she made her stage debut at the tender age of five at a Beach Boys concert. She joined the band in singing "Help Me, Rhonda." Unfortunately, Wilson's father suffered from a serious drug addiction, and his habits broke up her parents' marriage in 1979. Wilson turned to eating for comfort. In her teenage years, she took a stab at acting, but her excess weight kept her from getting work. In 1986, after graduating from high school, Wilson returned to her musical roots and formed the band Wilson Phillips with her sister, Wendy, and Chynna Phillips, daughter of Michelle and John Phillips of The Mamas and the Papas. After a few years of plugging away, the trio landed a recording contract in 1989. The band's 1990 debut album spawned three number one singles, including the smash "Hold On." Celebrity motivated Wilson to lose 80 pounds, but by 1993, she had regained the weight. Wilson fell into a deep depression after Phillips left the band and their record label dropped the group. Following a successful 1995 appearance on "The Howard Stern Show," Wilson was tapped to host a new daytime talk show. Despite decent ratings, it was canceled after just three months. In 1999, Wilson's life continued to fall apart when she went from rock star to retail worker and ballooned to 300 pounds. To make extra money, she sang backup for Al Jardine, an old friend of her father's. While on tour, Wilson met musician Rob Bonfiglio and fell for him. At age 31, Wilson was happy in love but scared to death. Her doctor told her that unless she lost weight, she might not make it to her 40th birthday. Desperate to lose the pounds, Wilson took a chance on a radical new stomach reduction surgery: gastric bypass, commonly referred to as stomach stapling. The results were stellar — Wilson dropped an astounding 160 pounds. In 2000, the newly svelte and glowing singer married Bonfiglio. She also decided to share her struggles with weight issues by writing her autobiography, "Gut Feelings." Confident and ready to tackle the world, she has even teamed up with her former band mates for a new Wilson Phillips album, which is slated for release in 2003.moreless
    • Bea Arthur
      Bea Arthur
      Season 9 - Episode 4
      1/20/03
      0.0
      Bea Arthur: Brassy & Golden Bea Arthur was born on May 13,1923, in New York City. The awkwardly tall and shy girl often hid behind her wicked sense of humor. Although she longed to be a blond starlet, because of her height she was usually cast as a boy in school plays. After graduating from high school, Arthur enrolled in drama school, where she discovered that being 5'9'' and having a deep voice were assets in classical theater. Unfortunately, Broadway wasn't biting, so the ambitious actress decided to switch gears and try comedy. In 1953, she was cast as Lucy Brown in "The Threepenny Opera," the first of her well-received funny-woman roles. That same year, Arthur married theater director Gene Saks. The hardworking couple started a family — Matthew was born in 1961 and Daniel in 1964 — but Arthur soon returned to Broadway to play second banana Vera Charles in the Broadway musical "Mame," which was directed by her husband. Arthur's stellar singing and comic timing earned her a Tony Award for Best Supporting Actress. Soon, television came knocking. Arthur's friend, fabled producer Norman Lear, invited her to guest-star as Edith Bunker's cousin, Maude Findlay, on the hit show "All in the Family." Arthur's dazzling portrayal led to the creation of the series "Maude" in 1972. During its seven-year run, the hit comedy show tackled difficult issues, such as alcoholism and abortion, with sensitivity and humor. Arthur won an Emmy Award in 1977 for Best Actress in a Comedy Series. But in 1979, Arthur called it quits on "Maude" and her marriage. She kept a low profile until 1985, when she was invited to star as the outspoken and sarcastic divorcée Dorothy Zbornak on the sitcom "The Golden Girls."She joined her former "Maude" co-star Rue McClanahan as well as actresses Betty White and Estelle Getty. The show about four older women still going strong was a hit for seven years, earning Arthur her second Emmy, in 1988, for Best Actress in a Comedy Series. In 1992, Arthur again decided to leave a blockbuster show at its peak. She took some time off, until she was eventually coaxed back to the stage for the autobiographical one-woman show "Bea Arthur on Broadway: Just Between Friends." The hilarious musical revue evolved into a 23-city tour that ended in April 2002. Arthur has since returned to her other passion: animals. She does extensive charity work on behalf of organizations such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Great news for us and especially Bea fans in California! Bea is continuing into 2004 with a special one time only show for a gala event for the South Bay Conservatory's Student Scholarship Fund. Read more at the following two sitesmoreless
    • Naomi Judd
      Naomi Judd
      Season 9 - Episode 5
      1/27/03
      0.0
      Naomi Judd Naomi Judd was born Diana Judd in 1946, in Ashland, Kentucky. One of four children, she enjoyed happy times as a young girl. But that changed in 1963, when Judd, then 17, got pregnant and dropped out of high school. She was also helping her parents care for her brother Brian, who had just been diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease. Daughter Wynnona was born in May 1964. Judd relished her new role as a mother, but her happiness soon turned to mourning the next year, when her brother passed away. Soon afterward, the young mother married a former boyfriend and moved to Los Angeles with him. In 1968, she gave birth to her second daughter, Ashley (the future movie star), but Judd's marriage soon soured. After the divorce, the single mom went on welfare to make ends meet and then took her two daughters back to Kentucky, where she enrolled in nursing school and decided to take on a new name: Naomi. Judd often relaxed in those stressful times by singing with Wynnona. By 1979, singing had become more than a pastime for the mother-daughter duo, and the family headed to Nashville with dreams of country-music stardom. Judd took a job working for a music manager and never missed an opportunity to hand out demo tapes. In 1980, the Judds appeared on "The Ralph Emory Show"; three years later, they signed a deal with RCA and released their first album, "Why Not Me." The duo shot straight to the top, releasing eight hit albums and earning six Grammy Awards and nine Country Music Awards. Judd married her longtime love, Larry Strickland, in 1989. In 1990, the 44-year-old was on top of the world, but everything came crashing down when she was diagnosed with a fatal form of hepatitis C that forced her to retire from performing. Always the fighter, the feisty musician defied the odds when the disease went into remission. Meanwhile, she put her heart and soul into championing Wynonna's career, writing songs for her daughter and singing backup on special projects. In 1994, Judd penned a best-selling autobiography, "Love Can Build a Bridge," that became a TV movie. The multitalented Judd has also written a cookbook and two children's books and worked as host of a TV show, and she is the loving grandmother of Wynonna's two children.moreless
    • Celebrity Love
      Celebrity Love
      Season 9 - Episode 7
      2/10/03
      0.0
      In a special episode of Intimate Portrait, Lifetime shares the stories of famous women who found love or survived heartbreak despite a life in the spotlight, including Pam Dauber's decision to leave Hollywood to make her husband Mark Harmon and children a priority, Amy Grant's acceptance of the growing distance in her marriage to Vince Gill, Lisa Rinna's finding the love of her life from the worst first kiss with Harry Hamlin, and others.moreless
    • Eve Ensler
      Eve Ensler
      Season 9 - Episode 8
      2/18/03
      0.0
      Eve Ensler's young life in an affluent Upper East Side household seemed like a fairy tale to the outside world. However, Ensler's close relationship with her dad, the president of a high-profile company, and her entire life were forever changed when he sexually molested her. Afraid and insecure, Ensler had trouble making friends in school. The tormented teen retreated into a private world and began keeping a journal. While attending Vermont's artistic Middlebury College, she began to discover her own voice. Ensler became a student leader and found a supportive group of buddies. "That time in my life…gave me a sense that I might be able to do something…of value," says Ensler. After graduation, Ensler headed to New York City, where she spent much of the next decade working as a waitress and turned to alcohol to deal with feelings of low self-esteem. She befriended bartender Richard McDermott, who helped her get sober and turn her life around. The couple married, and Ensler adopted her husband's 15-year-old son, Dylan McDermott, who would go on to star on the TV drama "The Practice." Ensler's mate encouraged her to pursue her artistic dreams, and by 1988 she had staged her first play, "The Depot." Ensler's career really took off when she wrote "The Vagina Monologues." Unfortunately, her first marriage ended in divorce; but when she met artist Ariel Orr Jordan, who, like her, had suffered from sexual abuse as a child, Ensler knew she had found her soul mate. By the early 1990s, the politically minded playwright began traveling to Bosnia to visit the refugee camps. She had heard horrifying accounts of the abuse female refugees had suffered during the civil war in that country. Ensler collected stories from victimized women and turned them into a heartbreaking play called "Necessary Targets." Encouraged by the response to her work, the outspoken artist put together a benefit show, called V-Day, in 1998. Famous Hollywood actresses, including Glenn Close, Calista Flockhart and Rosie Perez, performed "The Vagina Monologues" to raise awareness and funds for activists working to eradicate violence against women. "Embedded in ["The Vagina Monologues"] are some very real facts and statistics about the depth of cruelty against women in this country and around the world, which are usually sugarcoated," says Ensler's friend Gloria Steinem. Since its inception, V-Day has raised $14 million through productions of the "Monologues" staged on college campuses and throughout the United States. Ensler's show has also been performed in some 40 countries. In 2001, V-Day was a sellout at Madison Square Garden, a first for a women's event at a major sports arena. Ensler continues to dedicate herself to women on the fringe and teaches writing workshops for female prisoners.moreless
    • Audrey Hepburn
      Audrey Hepburn
      Season 9 - Episode 11
      3/17/03
      0.0
    • Intimate Portrait: Mothers and Daughters
    • Linda Lavin
      Linda Lavin
      Season 10 - Episode 9
      8/18/03
      0.0
      Linda Lavin: Hardworking Woman Linda Lavin was born on October 15, 1937, in Portland, Maine. She took to singing almost from birth, but her love of music couldn't mask the insecurity she felt as a child. Fortunately, she found confidence during her teenage years, when she began performing in community theater. After high school, Lavin headed to the prestigious College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, to study acting. In 1959, she followed her dreams to New York City, and it wasn't long before she scored a part in the Broadway play "Family Affair." She continued working on Broadway and in 1969, she earned her first Tony Award nomination for Neil Simon's "The Last of the Red Hot Lovers." She blossomed personally, too, finding love with fellow actor Ron Leibman. The couple married in 1968 and eventually moved to Los Angeles. There, Lavin was repeatedly told she didn't have the "leading lady look"; bigger acting roles — especially on TV — were scarce. But Lavin's dry spell didn't last. The feminist movement of the early 1970s redefined the way society saw women, and Lavin was suddenly in demand. She landed a scene-stealing role on the sitcom "Barney Miller," which led to a contract with CBS. Lavin's career was flourishing, but her marriage came to an abrupt end. The newly single actress instantly connected to a script for "Alice," a new sitcom that focused on a widowed mother who worked as a waitress while pursuing a singing career. The show was an instant success — and as the first sitcom to feature a single working mother, it was a watershed moment for women everywhere. "Alice" earned Lavin an Emmy Award nomination and two Golden Globe Awards, as well as the highest salary of any actress on a half-hour program. Lavin was the perfect choice to become the spokesperson for the National Commission of Working Women in 1979. She became an outspoken activist and joined forces with Gloria Steinem. Around the same time, she married actor Kip Niven. When "Alice" ended in 1985 after nine seasons, Lavin returned to the theater and won her first Best Actress Tony for her role in "Broadway Bound." But along with her achievements came struggles. In 1989, she split from Niven, who demanded half of all of her present and future earnings. Fortunately, Lavin emerged from a very public and very long courtroom battle victorious. In 1997, Lavin moved to Wilmington, North Carolina, and started an after-school theater program that helps teenage girls build their self-esteem. One year later, she fell in love with painter Steve Picunis. She has since returned to Broadway and has nabbed two Tony nominations for her roles in "The Tale of the Allergist's Wife" and "The Diary of Anne Frank." "Having...learned to deal with losses,...I can live in the moment and be grateful for what I have," says Lavin.moreless
    • Florence Henderson
      Florence Henderson
      Season 11 - Episode 1
      9/8/03
      0.0
      Florence Henderson: America's Favorite Mom
    • Laura Bush
      Laura Bush
      Season 11 - Episode 2
      9/15/03
      0.0
      Laura Bush: National Role Model
    • Peggy Fleming
      Peggy Fleming
      Season 11 - Episode 6
      10/20/03
      0.0
      The life and career of Peggy Fleming.
    • Sheryl Crow
      Sheryl Crow
      Season 11 - Episode 7
      10/27/03
      0.0
      Sheryl Crow: In Tune With Herself
    • Rosie O'Donnell
      Rosie O'Donnell
      Season 11 - Episode 8
      11/3/03
      0.0
      Rosie O'Donnell: Can-Do Woman
    • Penny Marshall
      Penny Marshall
      Season 10 - Episode 7
      8/4/03
      0.0
      Penny Marshall: Directing Diva Penny Marshall was born in the Bronx, New York. Her mother, a dance teacher, taught her to tap and recruited the youngster into a dance troupe that performed on TV. But Marshall's mother also constantly criticized the young girl about her unglamorous appearance, contributing to her decision to move far afield after high school, to the University of New Mexico. In her junior year at college, Marshall got pregnant by her boyfriend, Mickey Henry; she dropped out of school and the two got married. Their daughter, Tracy, was born in July 1964. Unfortunately, the young couple's marriage crumbled just two years later. Soon after, Marshall tried her hand at acting as part of the Albuquerque Light Opera. In 1967, at the age of 24, she headed to Los Angeles to visit her brother, Gary, a comedy writer. With his encouragement, she enrolled in an acting class. Although she had trouble landing parts, Marshall did get lucky in love: She married rising star Rob Reiner in 1971. She later got her first big break with a recurring role on the hit show "The Odd Couple." Off camera, Marshall began spending most of her time with her writing partner, Cindy Williams, creating comedy scripts. After Marshall's brother, Gary, asked the twosome to make a guest appearance on his new show "Happy Days," they got their own sitcom, "Laverne & Shirley," about a couple of quirky roommates in the 1950s who worked as bottle cappers in a brewery. The show premiered in 1976 and was an instant smash. It stayed on the air for seven years, and Marshall even directed a few episodes. But success strained Marshall's marriage; she and Reiner divorced in 1981. Marshall was devastated. But in 1986, things began looking up when a new friend, Whoopi Goldberg, invited Marshall to direct her film "Jumpin' Jack Flash." Although it failed to ignite the box office, the movie introduced Marshall to her true calling. Her next film, "Big," became the first picture directed by a woman to earn $100 million. Other hits followed, including "Awakenings" and "A League of Their Own." Today, the nurturing grandmother still plays ball in a mostly boys' club — and she is still one of the industry's most sought-after directors.moreless
    • Tracey Gold
      Tracey Gold
      Season 10 - Episode 6
      7/21/03
      0.0
      Tracey Gold: No More Growing Pains Tracey Gold was born in New York City and was raised by her mom, an ad executive, and her stepfather, an actor. As a child, Gold tagged along to one of her stepfather's auditions for a Pepsi commercial and, much to his surprise, the little girl was cast instead. By age six, Gold was regularly appearing in print ads, TV shows and movies. Entering adolescence while in the spotlight wasn't easy for the young actress; by the time she was 12, Gold began obsessing over her weight and eventually succumbed to the early stages of anorexia. In 1984, the 16-year-old Gold landed her big break: a role on the TV sitcom "Growing Pains," about a quirky family raised by a stay-at-home dad and a working mom. The show's popularity skyrocketed, but Gold's personal life was about to plummet. After several seasons of shooting the hit series, Gold, then 19 years old, began to put on weight; fat jokes subsequently began appearing in the scripts. When producers asked her to shed some pounds, her anorexia returned with a vengeance — the 5'4" actress's weight eventually dropped to a mere 80 pounds. In 1991, Gold left the show and checked herself into a hospital. Her eating disorder became front-page news, and the actress reluctantly went public with her disease. Gold's road to recovery was long and difficult, fraught with relapses and years of therapy. While reviving her career with a slew of TV movies and battling toward good health, she was introduced to Roby Marshall by "Growing Pains" co-star Joanna Kerns. (The murder of Marshall's mother was the subject of the TV movie "Blind Faith.") The two fell in love, helping to quiet each other's demons. On October 8, 1994, Gold and Marshall tied the knot. The couple now have three children: Sage, Bailey and Kaylee Lynn. Gold has finally overcome her body-image battles and turned her recovery into a mission to help others. She starred in the well-received TV movie "For the Love of Nancy," about a young woman who struggles with an eating disorder. Also, in 2003, she released a book, "Room to Grow: An Appetite for Life," which offers a personal look at her triumph over anorexia.moreless
    • Susan Lucci
      Susan Lucci
      Season 9 - Episode 18
      5/12/03
      0.0
      Susan Lucci: Soap Queen Susan Victoria Lucci was born in Long Island, New York. Her father imparted to her a strong work ethic, while her mother nurtured the young girl's imaginative side. In school, Lucci was an honors student, a cheerleader and a member of the drama club. The teen blossomed into a confident beauty, and after graduation, she headed for Marymount College to study musical theater. One summer, while working at a hotel, the co-ed met Austrian chef Helmut Huber. Lucci then headed to New York City to pursue her dream of becoming an actress, and in 1969, she married Huber. When the newlyweds returned from their honeymoon, Lucci had a message waiting for her: The producers of a new soap opera called "All My Children" wanted her to audition for them. On January 5, 1970, Lucci made her debut on "All My Children" as Erica Kane, a rebellious teen looking for love in all the wrong places. Over more than three decades, this character's multiple trips down the aisle, evil schemes and other outrageous antics have lit up the TV screen. Meanwhile, Lucci's real life has been much more serene. In 1975, she gave birth to daughter Liza, and son Andreas arrived in 1978. For a while, the only thing missing in Lucci's life was an Emmy Award. The actress waited 18 years before finally taking home the little gold statue for Best Actress in 1999, after her 19th nomination. That same year, Lucci realized another lifelong dream: strutting her stuff on a Broadway stage, in the starring role in "Annie Get Your Gun." Lucci also launched her own line of beauty products. Life seemed perfect until 2002, when her husband was diagnosed with prostrate cancer. Three weeks later, doctors found lung cancer in her father, who eventually succumbed to the disease. Lucci dealt with her grief by throwing herself into her work and her charitable efforts on behalf of Little Flower Children's Services, an organization that helps find safe homes for abused children. Thankfully, her husband underwent successful surgery and is now cancer-free. As for the future, Lucci has no plans to retire her Erica Kane alter ego anytime soon.moreless
    • Chaka Khan
      Chaka Khan
      Season 10 - Episode 1
      6/9/03
      0.0
      Chaka Khan: Shining Star Before she became Chaka Khan, she was Evette Stevens. Born in Illinois in 1953, she grew up in a household filled with music. When the Black Power movement gained steam in the 1960s, the then 13-year-old singer joined a band called Shades of Black. During this time, a shaman christened her Chaka after the great warrior Chaka Zulu. By age 16, she had left school, joined the Black Panthers and moved to a commune. She also teamed up with Rufus, an up-and-coming R&B band. Thanks to her deep, powerful voice, the group scored a record deal. In June 1970, the singer married Chicago musician Hassan Khan, with whom she had a daughter, Milini. However, the marriage hit rock bottom in 1973. Musically, Chaka Khan was collecting successes. During the recording of Rufus' second album, her idol, Stevie Wonder, showed up at the studio with a song for her. "Tell Me Something Good" became the band's first hit. In 1974, Rufus earned its first Grammy Award. But life on tour was hard and lonely, and Chaka Khan turned to drugs to cope. In 1974, she married Richard Holland, a neighbor who saved her from a drug overdose that nearly killed her. In 1978, she decided to go solo and released her first solo album, featuring the smash hit "I'm Every Woman." After giving birth to her son, Damien, in 1979, Chaka Khan split from her second husband. In 1984, Chaka Khan was at the top of her game with the catchy hit "I Feel for You." Unfortunately, in 1988, battles with her record company stalled her career, and the star once again turned to drugs. She finally moved to London to get her life together, and after two decades of narcotics use, she kicked her habit once and for all. Life was looking up: She won her sixth Grammy in 1990, and a few years later she launched her own record label, Earth Song Entertainment. After undergoing vocal-cord surgery with her voice intact, the singer decided it was time to give something back. In 1999, she launched the Chaka Khan Foundation to help battered women and children. Now 50 and a grandmother, Chaka has plenty of experience to share with her loved ones and the world.moreless
    • Shania Twain
      Shania Twain
      Season 10 - Episode 2
      6/16/03
      0.0
      Shania Twain: Country Survivor Shania Twain (born Eileen Regina Edwards) was born in Windsor, Ontario, on August 28, 1965. When she was young, her parents divorced and Twain lived with her mom and two sisters. The kids were eventually adopted by their mom's new husband. The family struggled with poverty, and Twain's mother suffered from bouts of deep depression. Twain turned to singing to find happiness amid her harsh reality. In 1974, at the age of nine, she was already performing in honky-tonk clubs to help pay the family's bills. At age 12, Twain appeared on a local country show, and later she fronted a cover band, called Long Shot. In 1983, the teenager began singing full time after graduating from high school. However, her career came to a terrible halt when her parents were killed in a car crash in 1987. Devastated, the 22-year-old Twain took on the task of raising her sisters and two half-brothers; she supported them with a singing gig at a tourist resort. By 1992, her siblings were all grown up and Twain began to focus on her career. Although she soon scored a recording contract, her big break turned out to be a disappointment — her debut album wasn't a hit. In 1993, the struggling singer took a call from the legendary Robert "Mutt" Lang, a reclusive rock producer. The two began writing songs, and it wasn't long before they were making beautiful music together as husband and wife. Twain's second album, "The Woman in Me," which fused country with pop, was released in 1995. It was a smash success, spawning seven hit singles and winning Twain numerous awards. The 32-year-old's 1997 follow-up, "Come on Over," catapulted her to superstardom. But after three years of touring and celebrity life, the performer needed a break. In 2000, she and her husband moved to Switzerland. The couple had a baby boy, Eja (pronounced "Asia"), in 2001. While she savored the tranquility of her life, Twain returned to the studio in 2002 to record the album "Up!" Since her album UP! has been released it has had major success. It has sold 10 million copies, and since its release it has not fallen out of the TOP 10 on the BILLBOARD COUNTRY ALBUMS Chart. It has been in the TOP 10 on the BILLBOARD COUNTRY ALBUMS Chart since its release, 66 consecutive weeks.moreless
    • Gladys Knight
      Gladys Knight
      Season 10 - Episode 3
      6/23/03
      0.0
      Gladys Knight: Soul Survivor Gladys Maria Knight was born on May 28, 1944, in Atlanta. While her father juggled three jobs to support the family, her mother was busy nurturing the young girl's natural singing talent. When she was seven years old, Knight won the popular Ted Mack Original Amateur Hour contest. In 1952, she and her two siblings and two cousins began performing at local supper clubs and churches. In 1960, they officially became known as Gladys Knight and the Pips. After a few personnel changes, the quintet recorded the top R & B hit "Every Beat of My Heart." At age 16, the aspiring singer discovered she was pregnant and married saxophone player Jimmy Newman. Unfortunately, Knight miscarried. Anxious to be a mom, Knight became pregnant again and gave birth to Jimmy Jr. in 1962 and to daughter Kenya two years later. Because of financial pressures, the young mother returned to performing with the Pips, and the group began putting out bigger hits, including "I Heard It Through the Grapevine," under the direction of the legendary Berry Gordy's Motown label. Feeling underrated with Gordy, the group boldly switched to Buddha Records in 1972. The move paid off with the release of the album "Imagination," which featured the classic song "Midnight Train to Georgia." The triple-platinum recording scored the group two Grammy Awards. Knight made a romantic change as well; she divorced Newman and married TV producer Barry Henkerson in 1976. The couple had a son, Shenga Ali, together. But Knight's superstardom overshadowed the relationship and the couple divorced in 1979. Knight hit rocky times with a bitter custody battle and a gambling addiction that left her bankrupt. With the support of her family, she began to get her life back on track with some small TV roles and the 1987 Grammy-winning song "Love Overboard." In the early '90s, Knight opted for a solo career for the first time since she was seven; during this period she had a short-lived marriage to motivational speaker Les Brown, which ended in 1995. Feeling lost again, Knight found direction by joining the Mormon Church. Her newfound spirituality would be tested in 1998, when she lost her mother to diabetes and her 36-year-old son, Jimmy, to respiratory failure. Knight eventually found comfort as well as love with longtime friend William McDowley; she married him in 2001. The crooner also threw herself into performing nightly in Las Vegas and producing "At Last," the first solo album that garnered her a Grammy. Today, the rejuvenated 59-year-old is feeling unstoppable and in search of new challenges. In the summer of 2003, she is making a huge acting splash in the Harrison Ford blockbuster comedy "Hollywood Homicide." Gladys has also recently been on the American Idol spinoff American Juniors serving as one of the judges.moreless
    • Cloris Leachman
      Cloris Leachman
      Season 10 - Episode 4
      7/7/03
      0.0
      Cloris Leachman: Accomplished Chameleon Born in 1926, Cloris Leachman grew up in a small town near Des Moines. As a child, she loved to act and play the piano. At age 11, she landed a job on a local children's radio show. By 17, Leachman had joined the Kendall Community Playhouse; a year later the aspiring actress headed to Northwestern University on a drama scholarship. At 20, Leachman entered a local beauty pageant on a lark and made it all the way to the Miss America finals. Leachman lost the beauty contest, but not her love of the spotlight. She headed for New York City and was recruited for the prestigious Actors Studio. Determined not to be typecast as a beauty queen, she tackled a smorgasbord of parts. In 1952, the starlet fell for aspiring director George Englund; the couple married in 1953 after Leachman discovered she was pregnant. Although Englund would have several affairs, the couple stayed together for many years and had four more children. Ignoring the traditional 1950s stereotypes of motherhood, Leachman kept working on both the small and big screen, which includes her critically acclaimed turn as a prostitute in the 1969 classic "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid." But it wasn't until she was 44 that Leachman scored the biggest role of her career. She was cast as Phyllis Lindstrom, the snooty, busybody neighbor on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show." Her outrageous antics earned her rave reviews and two Emmy Awards. During the sitcom's hiatus, the diverse actress portrayed a neglected wife in "The Last Picture Show." Her powerful performance won her an Oscar® for Best Supporting Actress in 1971. In 1975, Leachman went on to star on her own show, "Phyllis," based on her famous TV character, for which she took home a Golden Globe Award. Despite the successes in her career, the actress's personal life was unraveling. After 26 years of marriage, she divorced her husband in 1979 so that he could marry another woman. More heartbreak followed when Leachman's son Bryan died of a cocaine overdose in 1986. Though, devastated, Leachman eventually found her way back to her first love, acting. She took home her eighth Emmy in 2002 for her portrayal of the grandma from hell on "Malcolm in the Middle."moreless
    • Vicki Lawrence
      Vicki Lawrence
      Season 10 - Episode 5
      7/14/03
      0.0
      Vicki Lawrence: Mama's Got a Brand-new Bag Vicki Lawrence was born on March 26, 1949, in Inglewood, California. Although Lawrence was an extremely introverted girl, her mother, who had once dreamed of becoming a professional singer, encouraged her daughter to pursue the limelight. So a teenage Lawrence entered a Miss Fireball talent contest. A reporter covering the event compared her to Carol Burnett. Lawrence later sent Burnett a fan letter with the article, and, to her surprise, the legendary performer looked her up. At age 18, Lawrence was plucked out of high school in order to join "The Carol Burnett Show." For years, she had only a minimal role on the show because she was too intimidated to talk. But otherwise, Lawrence's life was blossoming; in 1972, she married singer-songwriter Bobby Russell. A year later she recorded his song "The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia." The tune went on to become a number one hit on the Billboard charts. In 1974, Lawrence, then 25, finally found the confidence to break out of her shell on "The Carol Burnett Show" and created the character Thelma Harper, aka Mama, an outrageous Southern curmudgeon with a sour face and a sharp tongue. The character was an automatic hit with audiences. That same year, Lawrence found unexpected love with old friend and makeup artist Al Schwartz, and she eventually divorced Russell. She and Schwartz married and had daughter Courtney in 1975 and son Garret in 1977. Between the two arrivals, Lawrence also took home another treasure — an Emmy Award — in 1976. But after 11 years, "The Carol Burnett Show" ended. One year later, Lawrence reprised her Thelma Harper persona for a TV movie, which led to the creation of her own sitcom, "Mama's Family," in 1983. The show had a successful seven-year run. In 1990, Lawrence switched gears to become a talk show host. But a public feud with the producers over the program's vision led to Lawrence's ouster. It would take several years for the star to bounce back from her depression over this debacle and return to work. In 2001, she took a recurring role on the hit sitcom "Yes, Dear," co-starring old friend Tim Conway. She also brought Thelma Harper out of retirement for a national tour of a one-woman stage production aptly titled "Vicki and Mama — A Two-Woman Show."moreless
    • Madeline Kahn
      Madeline Kahn
      Season 6 - Episode 15
      1/1/00
      0.0
    • Mackenzie Phillips
      Mackenzie Phillips
      Season 6 - Episode 5
      3/7/00
      0.0
    • Star Jones
      Star Jones
      Season 5 - Episode 13
      10/11/99
      0.0
    • Cindy Crawford
      Cindy Crawford
      Season 4 - Episode 13
      7/12/98
      0.0
    • Christie Brinkley
      Christie Brinkley
      Season 4 - Episode 14
      7/19/98
      0.0
    • Melissa Gilbert
      Melissa Gilbert
      Season 4 - Episode 15
      7/26/98
      0.0
    • Gabriel Reece
      Gabriel Reece
      Season 4 - Episode 16
      8/9/98
      0.0
    • Lea Thompson
      Lea Thompson
      Season 4 - Episode 17
      8/16/98
      0.0
    • Lauren Hutton
      Lauren Hutton
      Season 4 - Episode 18
      9/5/98
      0.0
    • Jenny Jones
      Jenny Jones
      Season 4 - Episode 12
      7/12/98
      0.0
    • Delta Burke
      Delta Burke
      Season 4 - Episode 11
      6/28/98
      0.0
    • Diahann Caroll
      Diahann Caroll
      Season 4 - Episode 4
      2/8/98
      0.0
    • Ricki Lake
      Ricki Lake
      Season 4 - Episode 5
      3/1/98
      0.0
    • Anjelica Huston
      Anjelica Huston
      Season 4 - Episode 6
      3/22/98
      0.0
    • Jaclyn Smith
      Jaclyn Smith
      Season 4 - Episode 7
      4/5/98
      0.0
    • Suzanne Somers
      Suzanne Somers
      Season 4 - Episode 9
      5/31/98
      0.0
    • Patti LaBelle
      Patti LaBelle
      Season 4 - Episode 10
      6/14/98
      0.0
    • Halle Berry
      Halle Berry
      Season 4 - Episode 19
      9/12/98
      0.0
    • Donna Mills
      Donna Mills
      Season 4 - Episode 20
      10/10/98
      0.0
    • Pamela Harriman
      Pamela Harriman
      Season 4 - Episode 21
      10/12/98
      0.0
    • Vanna White
      Vanna White
      Season 4 - Episode 30
      11/21/98
      0.0
    • Natalie Wood
      Natalie Wood
      Season 4 - Episode 31
      11/29/98
      0.0
    • Gloria Steinem
      Gloria Steinem
      Season 4 - Episode 32
      12/5/98
      0.0
    • Lauren Bacall
      Lauren Bacall
      Season 4 - Episode 33
      12/5/98
      0.0
    • Christine Lahti
      Christine Lahti
      Season 4 - Episode 34
      12/12/98
      0.0
    • Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher
    • Victoria Principal
      Victoria Principal
      Season 4 - Episode 29
      11/14/98
      0.0
    • Vanessa Redgrave
      Vanessa Redgrave
      Season 4 - Episode 28
      11/8/98
      0.0
    • Olivia Newton-John
      Olivia Newton-John
      Season 4 - Episode 22
      10/17/98
      0.0
    • Liz Tilberis
      Liz Tilberis
      Season 4 - Episode 23
      10/20/98
      0.0
    • Eileen Ford
      Eileen Ford
      Season 4 - Episode 24
      10/24/98
      0.0
    • Sydney Seward
      Sydney Seward
      Season 4 - Episode 25
      10/25/98
      0.0
    • Cyndi Lauper
      Cyndi Lauper
      Season 4 - Episode 26
      10/31/98
      0.0
    • Ann Richards
      Ann Richards
      Season 4 - Episode 27
      11/7/98
      0.0
    • Jacqueline Bisset
      Jacqueline Bisset
      Season 4 - Episode 3
      1/25/98
      0.0
    • Jessica Lange
      Jessica Lange
      Season 4 - Episode 2
      1/11/98
      0.0
    • Eve
      Eve
      Season 2 - Episode 11
      1/1/96
      0.0
    • Virgin Mary
      Virgin Mary
      Season 2 - Episode 12
      1/1/96
      0.0
    • Kathie Lee Gifford
      Kathie Lee Gifford
      Season 2 - Episode 13
      1/1/96
      0.0
    • Eva Peron
      Eva Peron
      Season 2 - Episode 14
      12/22/96
      0.0
    • Queen Latifah
      Queen Latifah
      Season 3 - Episode 1
      2/9/97
      0.0
    • Queen Esther
      Queen Esther
      Season 3 - Episode 2
      3/23/97
      0.0
    • Vanessa Williams
      Vanessa Williams
      Season 2 - Episode 10
      12/8/96
      0.0
    • Shirley MacLaine
      Shirley MacLaine
      Season 2 - Episode 9
      12/1/96
      0.0
    • Maya Angelou
      Maya Angelou
      Season 2 - Episode 1
      2/4/96
      0.0
    • Audrey Hepburn
      Audrey Hepburn
      Season 2 - Episode 3
      4/28/96
      0.0
    • Marilyn Monroe
      Marilyn Monroe
      Season 2 - Episode 4
      5/26/96
      0.0
    • Natalie Wood
      Natalie Wood
      Season 2 - Episode 5
      6/16/96
      0.0
    • Gloria Estefan
      Gloria Estefan
      Season 2 - Episode 6
      7/7/96
      0.0
    • Janet Leigh
      Janet Leigh
      Season 2 - Episode 7
      10/20/96
      0.0
    • Bette Midler
      Bette Midler
      Season 3 - Episode 3
      3/30/97
      0.0
    • Brett Butler
      Brett Butler
      Season 3 - Episode 4
      4/6/97
      0.0
    • Valerie Bertinelli
      Valerie Bertinelli
      Season 3 - Episode 5
      4/20/97
      0.0
    • Dr. Susan Love
      Dr. Susan Love
      Season 3 - Episode 14
      10/22/97
      0.0
    • Wynonna Judd
      Wynonna Judd
      Season 3 - Episode 15
      11/9/97
      0.0
    • Debbie Allen
      Debbie Allen
      Season 3 - Episode 16
      12/7/97
      0.0
    • Sally Jessy Raphael
      Sally Jessy Raphael
      Season 3 - Episode 17
      12/28/97
      0.0
    • Mary Tyler Moore
      Mary Tyler Moore
      Season 3 - Episode 18
      1/1/97
      0.0
    • Katharine Hepburn
      Katharine Hepburn
      Season 4 - Episode 1
      1/9/98
      0.0
    • Patricia Richardson
      Patricia Richardson
      Season 3 - Episode 13
      9/28/97
      0.0
    • Jane Seymour
      Jane Seymour
      Season 3 - Episode 12
      9/16/97
      0.0
    • Carol Burnett
      Carol Burnett
      Season 3 - Episode 6
      5/4/97
      0.0
    • Celine Dion
      Celine Dion
      Season 3 - Episode 7
      6/15/97
      0.0
    • Heather Locklear
      Heather Locklear
      Season 3 - Episode 8
      7/27/97
      0.0
    • Joan Lunden
      Joan Lunden
      Season 3 - Episode 9
      7/29/97
      0.0
    • Cleopatra
      Cleopatra
      Season 3 - Episode 10
      8/3/97
      0.0
    • Cybill Shepherd
      Cybill Shepherd
      Season 3 - Episode 11
      9/15/97
      0.0
    • Mariel Hemingway
      Mariel Hemingway
      Season 4 - Episode 36
      12/19/98
      0.0
    • Tammy Wynette
      Tammy Wynette
      Season 4 - Episode 37
      12/22/98
      0.0
    • Helen Gurney Brown
      Helen Gurney Brown
      Season 4 - Episode 38
      12/26/98
      0.0
    • Betty Friedan
      Betty Friedan
      Season 5 - Episode 35
      8/9/99
      0.0
    • Cheryl Ladd
      Cheryl Ladd
      Season 5 - Episode 36
      11/30/99
      0.0
    • Jacqueline Susann
      Jacqueline Susann
      Season 5 - Episode 37
      8/30/99
      0.0
    • Jane Alexander
      Jane Alexander
      Season 5 - Episode 38
      1/1/99
      0.0
    • Jean Harlow
      Jean Harlow
      Season 5 - Episode 39
      9/8/99
      0.0
    • Jessica Savitch
      Jessica Savitch
      Season 5 - Episode 40
      1/1/99
      0.0
    • Barbara Taylor Bradford
      Barbara Taylor Bradford
      Season 5 - Episode 34
      12/21/99
      0.0
    • Ally Sheedy
      Ally Sheedy
      Season 5 - Episode 33
      12/7/99
      0.0
    • Stefanie Powers
      Stefanie Powers
      Season 5 - Episode 27
      5/23/99
      0.0
    • Mae West
      Mae West
      Season 5 - Episode 28
      5/26/99
      0.0
    • Sarah Brady
      Sarah Brady
      Season 5 - Episode 29
      5/28/99
      0.0
    • Margot Kidder
      Margot Kidder
      Season 5 - Episode 30
      5/30/99
      0.0
    • Carolyn McCarthy
      Carolyn McCarthy
      Season 5 - Episode 31
      6/6/99
      0.0
    • Jessica Tandy
      Jessica Tandy
      Season 5 - Episode 32
      6/13/99
      0.0
    • Tyne Daly
      Tyne Daly
      Season 5 - Episode 41
      7/26/99
      0.0
    • Kelly Preston
      Kelly Preston
      Season 5 - Episode 42
      8/16/99
      0.0
    • Laura Dern
      Laura Dern
      Season 5 - Episode 43
      12/28/99
      0.0
    • Harriet Tubman
      Harriet Tubman
      Season 6 - Episode 4
      2/3/00
      0.0
    • Patricia Heaton
      Patricia Heaton
      Season 6 - Episode 8
      1/1/00
      0.0
    • Katey Sagal
      Katey Sagal
      Season 6 - Episode 9
      1/1/00
      0.0
    • Tipper Gore
      Tipper Gore
      Season 6 - Episode 1
      1/5/00
      0.0
    • Teri Garr
      Teri Garr
      Season 5 - Episode 11
      7/28/99
      0.0
    • Swoosie Kurtz
      Swoosie Kurtz
      Season 6 - Episode 12
      3/28/00
      0.0
    • Florence Griffith Joyner
    • Diane von Furstenberg
      Diane von Furstenberg
      Season 6 - Episode 3
      1/1/00
      0.0
    • Linda Ellerbee
      Linda Ellerbee
      Season 5 - Episode 44
      10/4/99
      0.0
    • Loni Anderson
      Loni Anderson
      Season 5 - Episode 45
      11/16/99
      0.0
    • Michele Lee
      Michele Lee
      Season 5 - Episode 46
      10/18/99
      0.0
    • Pam Grier
      Pam Grier
      Season 5 - Episode 47
      11/4/99
      0.0
    • Marie Osmond
      Marie Osmond
      Season 6 - Episode 1
      2/28/00
      0.0
    • Tisha Campbell-Martin
      Tisha Campbell-Martin
      Season 6 - Episode 2
      6/10/00
      0.0
    • Agnes Nixon
      Agnes Nixon
      Season 5 - Episode 26
      5/16/99
      0.0
    • Donna Reed
      Donna Reed
      Season 5 - Episode 25
      5/9/99
      0.0
    • Barbara Mandrell
      Barbara Mandrell
      Season 5 - Episode 1
      1/1/99
      0.0
    • Leeza Gibbons
      Leeza Gibbons
      Season 5 - Episode 2
      1/9/99
      0.0
    • Iman
      Iman
      Season 5 - Episode 3
      1/9/99
      0.0
    • Andie MacDowell
      Andie MacDowell
      Season 5 - Episode 4
      1/16/99
      0.0
    • Mia Farrow
      Mia Farrow
      Season 5 - Episode 5
      1/19/98
      0.0
    • Tanya Tucker
      Tanya Tucker
      Season 5 - Episode 6
      1/27/99
      0.0
    • Women of the Bible
      Women of the Bible
      Season 4 - Episode 46
      1/1/98
      0.0
    • Witches
      Witches
      Season 4 - Episode 45
      1/1/98
      0.0
    • Donna Reed
      Donna Reed
      Season 4 - Episode 39
      1/1/98
      0.0
    • Eva Gabor
      Eva Gabor
      Season 4 - Episode 40
      1/1/98
      0.0
    • Marsha Mason
      Marsha Mason
      Season 4 - Episode 41
      1/1/98
      0.0
    • Patti LaBelle
      Patti LaBelle
      Season 4 - Episode 42
      1/1/98
      0.0
    • Phylicia Rashad
      Phylicia Rashad
      Season 4 - Episode 43
      1/1/98
      0.0
    • Spies
      Spies
      Season 4 - Episode 44
      1/1/98
      0.0
    • Faith Ford
      Faith Ford
      Season 5 - Episode 7
      2/2/99
      0.0
    • Fran Drescher
      Fran Drescher
      Season 5 - Episode 8
      2/16/99
      0.0
    • Doris Duke
      Doris Duke
      Season 5 - Episode 9
      2/21/99
      0.0
    • Bella Azbug
      Bella Azbug
      Season 5 - Episode 18
      3/28/99
      0.0
    • Jane Alexander
      Jane Alexander
      Season 5 - Episode 19
      3/30/99
      0.0
    • Joan Rivers
      Joan Rivers
      Season 5 - Episode 20
      4/4/99
      0.0
    • Olympia Dukakis
      Olympia Dukakis
      Season 5 - Episode 22
      4/18/99
      0.0
    • Lindsay Wagner
      Lindsay Wagner
      Season 5 - Episode 23
      4/25/99
      0.0
    • Dr. Laura Schlessinger
      Dr. Laura Schlessinger
      Season 5 - Episode 24
      5/2/99
      0.0
    • Melissa Etheridge
      Melissa Etheridge
      Season 5 - Episode 17
      3/23/99
      0.0
    • Ingrid Bergman
      Ingrid Bergman
      Season 5 - Episode 16
      3/19/99
      0.0
    • Della Reese
      Della Reese
      Season 5 - Episode 10
      2/23/99
      0.0
    • Eleanor Roosevelt
      Eleanor Roosevelt
      Season 5 - Episode 11
      3/8/99
      0.0
    • Marilu Henner
      Marilu Henner
      Season 5 - Episode 12
      3/9/99
      0.0
    • Amy Irving
      Amy Irving
      Season 5 - Episode 13
      3/9/99
      0.0
    • Josephine Baker
      Josephine Baker
      Season 5 - Episode 14
      7/19/99
      0.0
    • Oksana Baiul
      Oksana Baiul
      Season 5 - Episode 15
      3/16/99
      0.0
    • The Young Kennedy Women
      The Young Kennedy Women
      Season 1 - Episode 1
      9/12/96
      0.0
      The torch has been passed to a new generation of Kennedy women -- an intimate portrait of Caroline Kennedy, Maria Shriver Schwarzenegger, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend and Kerry Kennedy Cuomo.
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