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#51 - John Wilder

Few show business professionals can lay claim to the track record of acclaimed TV writer and author John Wilder.

john wilder author writer

Having amassed hundreds of credits as a writer and producer for his work in radio, television, and film, John is the creative force behind such iconic television fare as Spenser for Hire, Lonesome Dove, The Streets of San Francisco, The Yellow Rose and the epic adaptation of James Michener’s Centennial.

In this informal conversation, you’ll hear how John worked his way into television and film acting, appearing in early teen movies and as a regular guest performer on dozens of shows like Broken Arrow, Wagon Train, and The Real McCoys.

As so often happens in show business, it was a personal connection–this one with Chuck Connors, star of TV’s hit western The Riflemanthat led to his first television writing gig.
From that point on, John wrote and produced some of the most iconic TV series of the era, winning multiple Emmy nominations, the Chicago International Film Festival Award, a pair of Western Heritage awards, and two trips to the winner’s circle at the Writers Guild of America’s Awards.

Listen carefully to this interview, and you’ll hear John outline for you his blueprint for Hollywood success and creative longevity. You’ll also get the inside story on Nobody Dies in Hollywood, John’s gritty debut novel–a compelling and rapid-fire read that rubs the reality of headline crimes against the underbelly of Hollywood at its glitzy best and introduces a uniquely contemporary hero into the literary private detective genre.

john wilder novel nobody dies in hollywood

This candid interview tells the unique story of John Wilder, a man who has literally “led three lives” with careers as an actor, producer-writer, and now as a major novelist. He’s truly a remarkable talent, and hearing him tell his own story is both entertaining for fans of his work and inspiring for those hoping to follow in his footsteps.

Direct download: 51-JohnWilder-FINAL-110916.mp3
Category:Celebrities -- posted at: 7:11pm PDT

In this informal and highly personal conversation with Bob & Suzanne, Lorenzo Lamas shares intimate stories of his childhood as the son of legendary movie stars Fernando Lamas and Arlene Dahl and as the stepson of MGM super-star Esther Williams.

lorenzo lamas fernando lamas esther williams

Lorenzo with stepmom Esther Williams & dad Fernando Lamas

You’ll hear what life was like as a boy growing up in the shadow of his parents’ showbiz fame…and how he transformed himself from a chubby teen to a genuine Hollywood heartthrob.

Lorenzo tells fascinating stories of his years bouncing around between schools in New York and California, and of the day he told his father he wanted to become an actor. An impromptu “audition” for his movie star parents soon had him studying at the famed Tony Barr Film Actors Workshop.

It wasn’t long before Lorenzo was cast in small TV roles and found himself playing alongside John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John in Grease.

Lorenzo’s rising profile as an actor soon led to a long list of guest roles on hot TV shows like Switch, Fantasy Island, The Love Boat, and Hotel.

But it was Lorenzo’s audition for the role of “Lance Cumson” on CBS-TV’s Falcon Crest that shot him to stardom working with family friend Jane Wyman.

As the only Falcon Crest cast member to appear in all 227 episodes, Lorenzo shares a unique perspective on the series.

During this interview, Lorenzo reveals how he was cast by Stephen J. Cannell as “Reno Raines” in Renegade, a starring role that captured his true persona.

Lorenzo also shares details here about his new autobiography, Renegade at Heart, and reveals his feelings about life as a “reality” TV star as well as his love of performing in live theater, where he’s had starring roles in The King and I, The Fantasticks, and A Chorus Line.

Lorenzo Lamas—martial arts black belt, professional helicopter pilot (wait until you hear about that!), published author, acclaimed TV-film-stage actor—is today’s definition of a true Hollywood Renaissance Man! 

Direct download: 50-Lorenzo_Lamas-Final-6.11.16.mp3
Category:Celebrities -- posted at: 9:26pm PDT

Gregory Harrison’s commitment to his acting craft runs strong and deep.

In this insightful interview, Greg tells a story that takes us from his life as a dinner theatre bar bouncer-actor to acting classes at the Stella Adler Academy, to early roles that took him to the pinnacle of TV, film, and stage stardom.

You’ll hear how Greg went from working as an “extra” on The Harrad Experiment—where he and Suzanne first met—and how dedication to learning his craft eventually led to guest starring roles on TV shows like Barnaby Jones, Wonder Woman, and M*A*S*H.   Greg’s lifelong love of surfing was used to great advantage when he played “Chandler” in the iconic North Shore...a role that established him as both an actor and as a true “water man.”

But it was his starring role in Universal’s Logan’s Run alongside actress Heather Menzies that truly propelled Greg into the pantheon of leading men. Greg’s enthusiasm for acting is obvious as he recalls his role in Centennial and the experience of co-starring in the landmark series Trapper John, M.D. It’s a wide-ranging conversation as Greg and Bob share “notes” about Greg’s role of “Michael Sharpe” on the last season of Falcon Crest, which leads to Greg’s thoughts about the state of film and television acting today.

With hundreds of television, movie, and legitimate theatre performances to his credit (The Gathering, The Women’s Room, Dark Skies, Au Pair, CSI, Rizzoli & Isles, Fair Haven), Greg Harrison’s career is the reflection of a man who is far more than just an actor or a “Hollywood celebrity.” He’s also an award-winning theatrical producer (more than 60 plays) and as the driving force behind his Catalina Productions.

A devoted family man—he’s married to Chips star Randi Oakes—Greg Harrison has achieved unparalleled success on every level. In this interview, you’ll learn that it’s all come as the product of intelligence, discipline, creative instincts, and hard work. Greg share’s his insights about the craft, career, and business of acting, revealing a man of many dimensions continuing to carry his talent and celebrity with exceptional grace.

Direct download: 49-GregHarrison_4.16.16_FINAL.mp3
Category:Celebrities -- posted at: 12:05pm PDT

#40 - Greg Evigan

Actor Greg Evigan—best known as the star of the hit TV shows B.J. and the Bear and My Two Dads—has an intimate conversation with Bob & Suzanne that reveals a singular talent and a genuine commitment for all things “showbiz”.

greg evigan bj and the bear

B.J. and the Bear: stardom!

Greg shares his experiences as a fledgling actor and singer auditioning for Broadway’s Jesus Christ Superstar while still in high school.  He talks about “heading to Hollywood” to make it as an actor, only to find the struggle frustrating and creatively unrewarding.  You’ll hear about the day he had his car packed up, ready to hit the road and head back home, when he got a fateful call from a casting director who pleaded with him to go on just one last audition.  Maybe it was because he had practically given up “caring” about Hollywood, but that off-the-cuff persona of his won him the role of “B.J. McKay” in what would become a major NBC-TV series watched by millions of viewers every week, B.J. and the Bear.  Greg Evigan soon found himself becoming an international “teen idol” and an in-demand actor with all the unpredictable realities faced by anyone seeking a career in Hollywood.

A consummate musician and vocalist, Greg wrote and performed the hit TV show theme songs for My Two Dads, P.S. I Luv U, and B.J. and the Bear. Throughout the podcast, you’ll hear cuts of Greg singing You Can Count on Me, Talk to Me, and Slow Down.

Greg Evigan remains a genuine “leading man” with an active performing and recording career.  You’ll find inspiration and wisdom as he tells a candid tale of navigating a dynamic Hollywood career landscape.  It's a great story you won’t want to miss!

Direct download: 40-Greg_EviganFINAL-5.15.mp3
Category:Celebrities -- posted at: 6:38pm PDT

tab hunter gunman's walk

Actor Tab Hunter may be Hollywood’s purest definition of “genuine screen legend”…but he’s much more than just an actor.

In this exclusive conversation, Tab openly shares details of a childhood that set him off on a true journey of self-discovery, worldwide celebrity, and spiritual awareness.

Tab reveals details of his early career as an actor alongside Natalie Wood andJames Dean as the last of the studio system’s “contract players” and as Warner Bros. Studios’ top grossing star throughout the 1950s and 60s.

Tab Hunter is not just “another actor” with an amazing list of credits. He’s a dynamic creative force and an inspiring example for us all.  If you have any dreams of a Hollywood career...you'll want to listen to these words of wisdom!

Direct download: 44-TabHunter-FINAL2-8.12.15.mp3
Category:Celebrities -- posted at: 10:41pm PDT

#45 - Actor William R. Moses

William R. Moses is one of the most prolific TV and film actors of his generation. His hundreds of credits on shows ranging from Castle, CSI: Miami, and Mad Men to NCIS, The Mentalist, and Mind Games—have established him as one of Hollywood’s true leading men.

You’ll hear Bill describe his unique family origins—his mother was actress Marion McCargo, his stepfather was the hugely popular U.S. Congressman Alphonso Bell, Jr.—and how he was “discovered” at a Hollywood party by an agent who soon had him in front of the cameras in a Sprite commercial.

Bill shares stories about ducking out of college classes to attend auditions and sneaking into acting classes where he began to get some idea of what this “acting thing” is really all about. By the time he was a senior, he was cast opposite Demi Moore in Choices, a roll that eventually brought him to the attention of a casting director who thought he was perfect for the role of “Cole Gioberti” in a television pilot that eventually became the mega-hit CBS-TV series Falcon Crest.

As he describes his experience working alongside such talents as Robert Foxworth, Susan Sullivan, and Jane Wyman, you’ll hear some candid “insider” stories about life on the Falcon Crest set, as well as the reasons Bill left the show in the middle of its 9-year run. The conversation then turns to how he transitioned into a major leading role in the classic romantic comedy Mystic Pizza with Julia Roberts, and then going on to co-star with Raymond Burr in more than a dozen Perry Mason movies. When you hear his fond recollections of working with Burr, you’ll find out how he was “born in the wrong year”

For anyone interested in what it takes to become a working actor, and how to sustain a successful Hollywood career, this is an interview that is truly a lesson in “getting past the hard parts and loving the craft.”

Direct download: 45-William_R._Moses-FINAL10.1.15.mp3
Category:Celebrities -- posted at: 8:49pm PDT

"Falcon Crest" Superstar Ana Alicia

This episode features Bob and Suzanne having a free-wheeling up-tempo conversation with "Falcon Crest" actress Ana Alicia, as she holds nothing back in telling her very personal story.

Ana’s story—of a girl born in Mexico, raised in El Paso, educated at Wellesley on full scholarship, and determined to follow her acting dreams even while going to law school—is an inspiring lesson for anyone thinking about a career on stage or in front of the camera.

From her initial creative “break” as a finalist in a grammar school poetry contest, as a teenager she jumped into in school plays and found her true calling as an artist.  She was soon involved in the world of local dinner theater, and while still going to law school (“trying to be practical”) turned the challenge of finding a Hollywood agent on its ear.

She describes her first screen test—and why she wore a casting director’s sweater over her own clothes—and how that propelled her into a starring role on Ryan’s Hope at the age of 20.

This fast-paced conversation reveals Ana’s very real intelligence, commitment to craft, and the personal determination that saw her rocket to national prominence on the cast of CBS-TV’s hit series Falcon Crest by the time she was 25.  (Don’t miss her story about her “sexy” audition for Executive Producer Earl Hamner…)

Ana talks about working with Bob in the role of  “Melissa Agretti” on Falcon Crest during the years he produced the show...and even opens up to Suzanne about what it was like working with the many “hunky guys” (William R. Moses, Lorenzo Lamas, David Selby) on the show.  She pulls no punches in revealing the real-life “drama” behind the scenes of the series, and how network and studio politics, including the constant changes in the writing staff ultimately affected everyone on the show.

Ana talks candidly about the real world of auditions, casting sessions, and working on the sets of more than 30 major TV shows and movies, including The Sacketts, Renegade, Murder, She Wrote, Life Goes On, Moonlighting, Hotel, The Love Boat, B.J. and the Bear, Quincy, The Hardy Boys.  She also shares personal insights into what it’s like performing alongside major stars like Raul Julia, Tom Selleck, Sam Elliott, Jane Wyman, Jack Klugman, Susan Sullivan, Edward James Olmos, James Brolin, and Angela Lansbury.

In telling her story, Ana Alicia gives a compelling lesson in determination, preparation, and the focus it takes to make it as an actor in Hollywood…and the hard choices involved in choosing family and motherhood over a stellar career.

This is an inspiring, educational, and heartfelt conversation…and it’s not to be missed.


Direct download: Podcast34-AnaAlicia-FINAL-1.15.14.mp3
Category:Celebrities -- posted at: 1:38pm PDT

#32 Melissa Sue Anderson - "Little House on the Prairie" Emmy Award Winning Actress & Author

Melissa Sue Anderson became an internationally-recognized television star at the age of eleven and remains a fan favorite for her long-running portrayal of “Mary Ingalls” on Little House on the Prairie. 

In this revealing and very personal conversation, Melissa shares details of her life as a child actor who broke into the business because—in spite of her confessed shyness—“it sounded like fun”.

Melissa’s innate sense of humor is evident as she shares with Bob and Suzanne the anxieties of auditioning for network executives, producers, and directors…all the while competing with other talented kids like Jodie Foster.   But Melissa apparently had “that special something” that sold well on the tube, because by the time she was cast in her first television role on The Brady Bunch, she had dozens of on-air commercials to her credit.

Throughout the podcast Melissa delivers the impressions of a 10-year old working on Hollywood’s sound stages where she was surprised to find that “things were so fake.”  She describes her many co-stars with amusing candor, and shares memories of those who generously gave her their inside “acting tips”.

Fans of Little House will be intrigued to hear Melissa describe her first meeting with Michael Landon and what it was like competing for the role of “Mary Ingalls”…and ultimately working on the show where she really learned the ropes of working in an ensemble of actors on a hit series.

She also shares her secret to “playing blind”…a technique that served her well as she was cast as a sightless person more than she would have liked.  Melissa then shares her fond memories of working with her “favorite producer” Aaron Spelling and both the joy and disappointment of working on Dark Mansions, Bob’s 2-hour series pilot that fell victim to studio and network politics.

An author (her book The Way I See It is available at Amazon.com), Emmy winner, and member of the Western Performers Hall of Fame--whose favorite acting gig was on The Equalizer--Melissa Sue Anderson’s story is inspiring and instructive.

Listening to Melissa delivers great insights into working with agents, producers, directors…and the unpredictable yet very real value of “luck”.


Direct download: Podcast32MelissaFINAL11.1.14_2.mp3
Category:Celebrities -- posted at: 6:02pm PDT

From television, to movies, to hit records...Shelley Fabares has

done it all, and she continues to do so with unmatched

grace, humility, and instinctive talent. 

One of Hollywood’s most enduring and  beloved leading ladies,

Shelley openly shares the details of her childhood as a

department store “fashion model”, and how that led to her first

television appearance at the age of 10.

In constant onscreen demand from an early age, she appeared in more

than 50 television series, from early classics like Annie Oakley to

her breakthrough role on The Donna Reed Show.

Shelley shares memories of her eight years playing “Mary Stone”

and working closely with TV legends Donna Reed, Paul Petersen,

and Carl Betz, and then describes the unique experience of

becoming an international teen idol with the release of

her #1 hit recording of Johnny Angel. 

As the only female co-star to appear in three of Elvis Presley's

movies (Clambake, Girl Happy and Spinout), Shelley describes

what it was like meeting “the King” for the first time...and how

she still thinks of him as her “favorite leading man”.

Shelley then goes on to recount her adult life as an actress on

shows like Love, American Style, The Rockford Files, and Fantasy Island

and her professional joy working opposite James Caan in the era’s

most memorable television movie, Brian’s Song.

This is an intimate, open-hearted dialogue with a legendary actress as

she shares the realities of Hollywood’s type-casting in the Sixties

while giving us a real sense of the personal and professional values

that brought her years of success on major hits like

One Day at a Time and Coach. 

It's an engaging conversation with a truly

classy lady as she reveals the personal side of

the Hollywood "actor's life" that you won’t want to miss!

Direct download: Podcast29EditFinal9.24.14.mp3
Category:Celebrities -- posted at: 9:48am PDT

The episode opens with an audio-clip tease of things to come...

and if you’ve never heard of “Radio XERB”, you’re about to get

a real lesson in the early days of Rock n’ Roll!

Suzanne opens the show with “movie news” about this season’s classic sci-fi

monster flick Godzilla starring Ken Watanabe (Suzanne’s fave) and Bryan Cranston (Bob’s fave)

revealing the tongue-in-cheek contemporary “take” on it.

Bob then jumps into the heart of the episode with his questionable vocal impression of

one of the world’s true broadcasting originals, the inimitable

Wolfman Jack. 

After sharing their personal experiences with the early world of “outlaw radio”,

Suzanne and Bob deliver some amazing sound clips from The Wolfman himself and his

professional inspiration, early Rock ‘n Roll’s most powerful and popular

disc jockey (before he got busted for his involvement in assorted “payola” schemes),

the incredibly fast-talking “Moondog” Allan Freed.

Uniquely shrouded in well-planned “mystery”, Wolfman Jack’s persona

was first revealed to the world in George Lucas’ classic American Graffiti.

Bob and Suzanne share even more about this gravely-voiced legend as they describe

what it was like working side-by-side with him in a fast-paced studio environment

perpetually clouded in marijuana smoke.

Throughout the episode, classic music clips from The Miracles, KC & the Sunshine Band,

blues legend Howlin’ Wolf, and The Rolling Stones help tell the story of

the era’s most iconic, innovative, and well-loved radio star...as we

pull back the curtain to reveal the real man (and his actual name)  behind

Wolfman Jack.

In the words of Wolfman Jack himself, time to “get your boogie on, baby!”

Direct download: Podcast22EDITFINALJune2.14.mp3
Category:Celebrities -- posted at: 12:42pm PDT

#19 The Acting Life with Jimmy Hawkins

Jimmy Hawkins' career is the stuff of Hollywood legend.

From his appearance as "Tommy Bailey" in Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life to acting alongside stars like Spencer Tracy,

Katharine Hepburn, Sally Field, Shelly Fabares, Jimmy Stewart, Donna Reed, Rick Nelson,

and Elvis Presley, Hawkins reveals the secrets of his success as

"America's favorite boyfriend and sidekick".

In a career spanning more than three decades, Jimmy became the "go-to" actor who

brought unique energy and comedy timing to unforgettable characters that took him from child star to

series regular on such classics as Leave It to Beaver, The Donna Reed Show, Annie Oakley, 

and The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet.

This is a conversation you won't forget as Jimmy shares stories of casting calls at MGM and Paramount Studios,

and describes the chain of events that led him to co-star with Elvis Presley in Spinout and Girl Happy.

You'll hear what it was like to work with both Elvis and Ricky Nelson, Jimmy's "inside secret"to

dating Hollywood actresses, and why Jimmy turned down Woody Allen's offer of a major film role.

This is one conversation you won't forget...with more to come in Part 2!


Direct download: Podcast_19EDITFINALApril9.mp3
Category:Celebrities -- posted at: 12:49pm PDT

From her first days visiting a boyfriend on the set of The Godfather with Francis Ford Coppola and Al Pacino, Suzanne moved quickly from one opportunity to the next and found herself front-and-center at Hollywood’s famed Central Casting Agency.

She soon found herself  in front of the cameras on shows like Quincy, The Six Million Dollar Man, The Incredible Hulk, The Rockford Files, Columbo, Emergency, C.H.I.P.S., and Kojak, to name just a few.

Suzanne also reveals some of the “dark side” of being an attractive female on those sets, as well as her fond memories of working with true professionals like Lee Majors, James Garner and Bill Bixby.

We hear about what was surely her biggest break when Suzanne was working on Fantasy Island as one of several “Lava-Lava Girls”. Suzanne leaves us hanging a bit, promising to tell us next about her always surprising career as an actress…and much more!

Direct download: Podcast_11_.mp3
Category:Celebrities -- posted at: 7:54pm PDT

Bob & Suzanne set the direction for future

podcasts with the high points of Bob’s

writing and producing career from his years

with Aaron Spelling to his gig with Jerry Bruckheimer.

Bob shares the secret to longevity in the TV game while

recalling those shows that took his family

on extended overseas adventures.

From turning another failed pilot into an 88-episode hit

(and finding the world’s most expensive hot dogs), to selling

a network pilot based on a 3-year-old’s show idea, to

scouting the South Pacific looking for perfect surf...Bob

touches upon the high points of his long career.

and discusses the value of building credits and generating

relationships in what is really a very “small business”.

Bob and Suzanne also dish about the state of series

television today while foreshadowing great things to

come in future podcasts.


Direct download: Podcast_4.mp3
Category:Celebrities -- posted at: 9:21pm PDT