Fri, 14 July 2017
Susan Sullivan—perhaps the most prolific television actress of this generation or any other—joins the podcast in what is truly a personal reunion with Bob & Suzanne.
It’s a free-wheeling, in-depth conversation that will take you from Susan’s Long Island origins to Hollywood’s red carpets. Uniquely candid and straightforward, Susan talks about her childhood dreams of someday becoming an actress...and then details exactly how she made her dreams come true.
With wit, charm, and unabashed talent, it didn’t take Susan Sullivan long to go from college theatricals to the Broadway stage opposite Dustin Hoffman, to a Universal Studios contract and a starring role in television’s daytime soap A World Apart.
In this interview, you’ll hear how Susan—while starring in Another World—learned the lesson of “being prepared” that she has carried her through more than 300 film and television appearances. Her list of credits is far too long to list here (check them out at imdb.com), but they include roles in Midway, The Incredible Hulk, Rich Man, Poor Man, Falcon Crest—where her portrayal of “Maggie Gioberti” won her multiple Soap Opera Digest awards—and most recently as “Martha Rogers” co-starring with Nathan Fillion on ABC-TV’s Castle.
Susan Sullivan candidly shares her personal philosophy about the acting craft and the need for us all to “be in the moment of your life.” What she has to say will inspire anyone with ambitions to excel on any stage of life. Her remarks are far more than “acting tips”; they describe the life journey of an eminently successful, fulfilled artist that serves as a lesson in Life 101.
Perhaps inspired by her life partner psychologist and best-selling author Connell Cowan, Susan emerges as far more than an erstwhile Playboy Bunny who made good as an actress; she’s someone who understands herself and appreciates “the moments” of our lives as few Hollywood stars ever have.
Be sure to visit directly with Susan on her Twitter page (@realSSullivan) where she interacts with the world, shares her opinions, and enjoys her latest role as “the actor as teacher.”
Mon, 2 January 2017
You can count on one finger those industry professionals who have transitioned from a career as a stuntman climbing the faces of Mount Rushmore in Hitchcock’s North by Northwest to that of Hollywood’s “go-to” television director.
That man is Ray Austin, whose work as a director includes episodes on every hit TV series from the 1960s to the present day.
In this incredibly entertaining conversation with Bob & Suzanne, Ray shares intimate stories of his wartime childhood and the events leading to his lifelong relationship with legendary film star Cary Grant. You’ll be infused with Ray’s unmatched energy and work ethic as he recalls his early conversation with Alfred Hitchcock that revealed his own ambition to someday replace Hitchcock in the director’s chair.
Ray created and coordinated the amazing stunts for such epics as Cleopatra and Spartacus, and worked as an actor in classic films like The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner. More acting followed in TV series like The Saint and The Avengers, which only whetted his appetite for calling the shots from behind the camera. You’ll hear how Ray’s athletic prowess and charismatic personality were matched by a keen writing ability that soon won him his first directing gigs.
The life and career of Ray Austin—with more than 300 directing credits ranging from The Saint and Black Beauty to Magnum, P.I., The Six Million Dollar Man, Highlander, Spenser: for Hire, and The New Zorro—and with a pantheon of show business celebrity friendships ranging from Cary Grant to TV’s iconic producer Quinn Martin--is nearly the stuff of fiction.
Today, Ray—the bona fide holder of an historic feudal Irish title as The Baron Raymond John DeVere-Austin—is the renowned author of Find Me a Spy, Catch Me a Traitor as well as the Beauford Sloan Mystery Series, a page-turning trilogy which includes The Eagle Heist, Dead Again, and Your Turn to Die (all great reads now available at Amazon.com).
The story of Ray Austin’s life and career is an inspiring and compelling piece of Hollywood history, the likes of which will never be seen again. It’s a conversation you don’t want to miss!
Sun, 7 February 2016
Ron Friedman is one of Hollywood's most prolific and celebrated television writers of all time. Join this raucous “live” conversation over lunch in the busy outdoor patio at Caffé Roma in Beverly Hills as Ron talks about working with show business legends like longtime friend Stan Lee, the creator of X-Men,Spider Man, and Iron Man.
Mon, 3 August 2015
In this very personal and candid conversation with Bob and Suzanne, you’ll hear their longtime friend Michael Zinberg as he share the candid details of a professional history that spans four decades and multiple career paths. Michael is unique in the world of Hollywood, laying claim to hundreds of major directing, writing, and producing credits, as well as to two stints as a network executive.
Today, Michael is among Hollywood’s most enduring and prolific writer-producer-directors, with a track record of creating hit shows that has earned him multiple Emmy nominations and the prestigious Directors Guild Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dramatic Television for his groundbreaking work on Quantum Leap.
Michael—ever the consummate story teller—brings his innate good humor to the conversation as he talks about coming from San Antonio, Texas brimming with ambitions of big-time Hollywood success...and how he has actually achieved it. You’ll hear about his first job as a CBS-TV usher, how he broke into a dynamic prime-time “above the line” career as an Associate Producer and eventually transitioned into comedy writing and directing with The Bob Newhart Show and The Mary Tyler Moore Show at legendary MTM Productions.
Zinberg has directed in every television format and genre, from half-hour sitcoms to hour dramas, to mini-series and movies. He’s worked with the entire pantheon of Hollywood celebrities on shows like Taxi, Lou Grant, Family Ties, Everybody Loves Raymond, The Practice, JAG, and Newhart. Still in non-stop demand as a seasoned, “go-to” director, Michael continues working on major hit shows, including NCIS, Lost, The Unit, The Blacklist, and The Good Wife.
Michael Zinberg reveals the extraordinary work ethic behind his remarkable success, and lights the way for anyone hoping to build a meaningful Hollywood career. It's a conversation you'll want to be part of.
Tue, 26 May 2015
Philip Taylor has a unique show business history and track record. In this podcast interview, he describes his journey from a childhood in rural England to Hollywood sound stages, with dozens of writing and producing credits on some of TV’s most memorable hit shows.
Taylor talks about his years of studying at London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, and recalls the thrill of performing Shakespeare on the international stage. He then shares his experience “being in the right place at the right time”, and how he began writing scripts for hit TV shows.
Not many TV writers have the ability to move between comedy and dramatic genres, but Philip has multiple credits on both sides of the fence. He’s written for shows as varied as . “Mork & Mindy”, “Murder, She Wrote”, “Eight is Enough”, “CPO Sharkey”, “Good Times”, and “Knight Rider”, demonstrating an unusual ability to move between half-hour sitcoms, hour dramas, two-hour longform TV movies, and feature films.
With great humor and plenty of behind-the-scenes details, Philip tells Bob and Suzanne how he wrote the cult movie classic “Lust in the Dust”, starring Tab Hunter and the legendary Divine. He then describes his four-year stint writing for “The New Zorro” (and acting in an episode on location in Spain), which he quickly followed with multiple scripts for “Highlander” and for Jerry Bruckheimer’s first TV series, “Soldier of Fortune, Inc.”
Now teaching film and television writing at Arizona State University, Philip candidly shares tips that have helped many of his students break into the Hollywood mainstream. If you’ve got your sights set on writing for movies or TV, this conversation with Philip Taylor is “required listening”.
Mon, 30 March 2015
Listen in as Bob & Suzanne talk to actor David Selby about his life and starring roles on stage, screen, and television.
David describes his childhood in rural West Virginia, and his discovery of “something inside” that drove him to become a serious student of acting.
Having appeared in more than 70 stage productions—including starring roles in everything from Oklahoma, to The Crucible, to last year’s A Delicate Balance—David’s theatre work has been the backbone of an unparalleled TV and movie career.
His first major television role as “Quentin” on Dark Shadows made David a huge fan favorite. From there, he jumped into feature films, starring in The Super Cops and playing opposite Barbra Streisand in Up the Sandbox. Always in demand by Hollywood casting directors, David’s hundreds of acting credits include The Waltons, Police Woman, Raise the Titanic, Mad Men, The Social Network, and the soon-to-be-released Equals, with Twilight’s Kristen Stewart.
When David joined Bob on Falcon Crest to play opposite Jane Wyman, he earned an international following that continues to this day. David talks about making “Richard Channing” an unforgettable character with unusual depth and complexity, which he followed up with as “Xavier Trout” on Soldier of Fortune.
Beginning his acting career as far from Hollywood as you can imagine, David Selby has worked with directors like Tim Burton, David Fincher, and Ridley Scott...and with actors from Jeff Bridges and Jason Robards to Barbra Streisand and Julia Roberts.
While scaling the heights of show business, David has also managed to author ten books of memoirs, plays, poems, and novels. David Selby, an actor who has remained devoted to his family and rooted in his West Virginia origins, is the ultimate “Hollywood Renaissance Man.”
Mon, 30 June 2014
Bob and Suzanne interview one of Hollywood’s most esteemed directors, Jerry London. With hundreds of primetime television series, movies, and mega-miniseries to his credit, Jerry tells how he broke into show business as an apprentice film editor on I Love Lucy, and what it was like "paying dues" working on The Untouchables and The Danny Thomas Show.
Jerry has great stories about working closely with Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, including his "day at the races" with Hollywood stars betting and winning on longshots.
Jerry describes his early directing gigs on shows like Hogan’s Heroes, Happy Days, and Love, American Style, where he made a daring creative decision that put him in the limelight and propelled his career forward onto nearly every hit show in Hollywood, including The Rockford Files, Kojak, Hawaii Five-0, The Six Million Dollar Man, and Barreta.
From directing TV series non-stop, Jerry then graduated to movies and miniseries, ultimately becoming the creative force behind such memorable productions as The Scarlet and the Black, Chicago Story, Women in White, Escapade, Wheels, and the longest, most critically acclaimed miniseries of its time, Shogun.
Jerry London’s behind-the-scenes stories, his advice to
aspiring filmmakers, and his personal impressions of
the many stars he worked with (Burt Reynolds, Doris Day,
Angie Dickenson, Rock Hudson, Lee Remick,
James Garner, Richard Burton, Clint Eastwood,
Richard Chamberlain), make this an episode
you won’t forget!
Fri, 24 January 2014
Suzanne opens this episode with her “shout out” to evergreen actress Betty White
for yet another birthday milestone and shares her anticipation
of the forthcoming Academy Awards.
She then candidly reacts to director Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s Blackfish, the documentary
that details the history of SeaWorld Orlando trainers
and their work with the killer whale Tilikum.
Moving past zoological politics, Bob and Suzanne then share
their experiences shooting Zorro in Madrid, Spain starring Duncan Regehr
and Henry Darrow. Bob details the initial casting process and
the creative satisfaction of working on such a classic character
with nearly total creative freedom.
Bob remarks that Suzanne wrote one of the show’s “scariest”
characters into an episode, and compliments Executive Producers
Gary Goodman and Barry Rosen on their well-oiled
production machine, while Suzanne seems to snicker at the
fact that Bob is obviously afraid of horses.
Remembering guest stars Adam West (Batman), Andre The Giant,
Jesse Ventura, and Daniel Craig (James Bond), Bob tips his hat to
Story Editor and writer Philip Taylor...while Suzanne reminds Bob
that what he seemed most intrigued by were the topless sunbathers
he pretended to ignore at the beach...
Fri, 20 December 2013
Suzanne opens this episode with some brief gushing over
Chris Hemsworth in Ron Howard’s Rush, a film she and Bob
both recommend this year along with Dallas Buyers Club.
After mentioning the ongoing Hollywood-Santa Barbara
connection—with a nod to the Santa Barbara International Film
Festival soon coming to their neighborhood—Bob admits that he
may not have been the “perfect fit” as writer-producer
on Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Bob confesses his frustration with the “downward spiral of politics”
among the show’s executives and producers, and reveals
his ironic point of view about writing for one of
television’s cultural holy grails.
With a focus on the show’s characters and storylines,
Bob’s year as a writer-producer was colored by
his irreverent take on all things technical...to the point that
he wrote Samaritan Snare, an episode featuring an alien culture
that was the antithesis of The Star Fleet.
Giving a couple of dialogue quotes from the episode,
Bob points to an old grammar school joke he employed
in the script, and admits to simply “having some fun” among
all the behind-the-scenes drama on the Paramount Studios lot.
Suzanne then points out the remarkable connection between
I Love Lucy and the original Star Trek, following that up with
the announcement of Bob’s recent award from the Writers Guild
for having been named for “outstanding television writing”
on the show...and a moment later teases Bob with “where’s the money?”
Tue, 3 December 2013
Suzanne starts the episode with a “local’s view” of Oprah Winfrey’s recent
“yard sale” at The Santa Barbara Polo Club just down the road from the
podcast recording studio.
After Bob dodges her questions about “what’s happening with your face?”,
he describes returning to the studio where he was once a “gopher”,
as a writer-producer of Paramount Television’s huge syndicated hit
Star Trek: The Next Generation.
With never-before revealed details of his Rolls-Royce ride and
3-martini lunch with Gene Roddenberry, Bob recalls
the rapid turnover of writers, producers, and executives on ST:TNG,
which became a hugely successful syndicated series hit in spite of
the downward spiral of internal staff and studio politics.
Bob pulls no punches in describing his meetings with members
of the show’s cast, to the point where Suzanne says “What a mess!”
Caught in the middle of what he describes as “Shakespearean complexity”
on the show, Bob reveals the secret of surviving on the staff of
any hit television series.
He then describes his process for writing credible
science fiction in pursuit of the Star Trek vision, and provides
the behind-the-scenes motivation for his script
The Icarus Factor...in which he actually tried to kill off
the captain of The Enterprise!
Thu, 15 August 2013
Suzanne begins by creating some mystery and reveals secrets as she talks about her new bathing suit,
today’s generation of pampered Hollywood pets, why The Wizard of Oz’s “Toto” was
envied by the “munchkins”, and then refers to the new book she and Bob
are working on...but won’t reveal the title!
The conversation turns to Bob’s experiences as Supervising Producer on Ohara,
a Warner Bros. TV series that starred Pat Morita of The Karate Kid fame.
Bob reveals the difficulties in writing and producing a cop show for the former “Mr. Miyagi”
with a vague, constantly-changing franchise...a challenge made all the more difficult
by a phalanx of bickering producers, studio chiefs, and network executives
ranging from future Oscar-winner Brian Grazer to a Keith Richards look-and-act-alike.
Even with all the behind-the-scenes drama, Bob remembers the fun of writing
great cop action scripts alongside L.A.P.D. Homicide Detective (and future Assistant L.A. Mayor)
Joe Gunn, while casting future superstars like Brandon Lee, Benicio del Toro,
and Cuba Gooding, Jr. in routine “day player” roles.
Those casting stories lead Bob to recall his friendship with Bruce Lee long before
Enter The Dragon turned him into an international action superstar. Bob even details his
eyewitness account of Bruce Lee’s on-the-set humility and a display physical power
that provides plenty of contrast to his experience on Ohara
It may have been a case of “too many chefs in the kitchen” on Ohara, but
Bob admits that working on the Warner Bros. studio lot—and bumping into people like
Clint Eastwood—made producing the show a true Hollywood Experience.
Sun, 7 July 2013
Suzanne opens discussing Ryan Seacrest’s new reality show “Montecito” and then
analyzes some hits before reviewing “The Seven Worst Reality Shows” to
ever make it on the air...while Bob shares his passion for
vinyl Rock ‘n Roll record albums.
The conversation moves on to how Bob took advantage of his “inside track”
deal with NBC Productions and his relationship with programming exec
Brandon Tartikoff to pitch and sell a pilot for Time Out for Dad, which starred
NFL Hall of Famer Dick Butkus and Harriet Nelson.
Bob tells what it was like meeting Chicago Bears linebacker Dick Butkus
for the first time, and then how Butkus held his own as a comedic actor
surrounded by first timers on a movie set.
Bob recalls his meeting withHarriet Nelson who appeared
in the show...while Suzanne lets it be known that she’s had a lifelong “thing”
for Harriet’s son, famed rocker Ricky Nelson. We also hear about the
casting process that discovered future TV star Johnny Galecki,
star of the CBS-TV series The Big Bang Theory .
Bob and Suzanne touch upon the fact that Time Out for Dad may
have been ahead of its time, dealing with the challenges faced by a
stay-at-home father married to a wife whose career is on the rise. They
reminisce about working with Scarface star Paul Shenar on the pilot, as well as
with the veteran crew members whom Bob spent time with, pumping them
for their stories of “Old Hollywood”.
Bob admits to being a “born marketer”, describing the story-point prop shoes
that he shamelessly wrote into the show in hopes of breaking into
the world of Nike’s Air Jordans, and then turns to the cruel odds of
the TV pilot process as a project goes through the various phases of
story-pitch-script-shoot...and then the dreaded decision-making that follows.
changes, as Bob gives his own definition of
“failure” in the world of television.
Sun, 5 May 2013
www.WhereHollywoodHides.com, and—while reminding us she’s sooo much
younger than Bob—lays claim to being a lifelong Beatles fan.
For his part, Bob admits that he’s just “a rock-and-roll kind of guy”
and would’ve bet the farm that I Want to Hold Your Hand would never
make the charts. So much for his musical tastes...
The episode moves on to what Bob himself describes as his “greatest
career failure” while under contract to Aaron Spelling Productions writing and
producing Dark Mansions for ABC-TV. It’s a tale of classic Hollywood
casting politics as Bob sets the record straight as to exactly why former
movie queen Loretta Young never got the part in the film that eventually
went to Oscar winner Joan Fontaine.
Bob reveals the nature of production and budgets in Spelling’s 1980s-era
Hollywood, as well as the rationale (follow the money!) for the excessive
proliferation of producer credits seen on Dark Mansions. With a tip of the hat
to the talents of Linda Purl, Michael York, Melissa Sue Anderson,
Nicollette Sheridan, and director Jerry London, Bob’s confidence in the show
never prepared him for the horrible results of an evening of sneak-preview
audience testing. It’s the story of how a “hit movie” with the promise of becoming
a network television series became an instant embarrassment for all...
as well as an immediate career bump for the fool who wrote it (that’d be Bob).
Going from “Golden Boy” to “Bob who?”, and proving the truth of
when you’re hot, your hot, and when you’re not...you’re not,
this episode is a good illustration of the pitfalls to be found on
the Hollywood career path for any writer, actor, producer, or director.
Sat, 2 February 2013
Bob & Suzanne open with the contrast between Barbara Walters'
recent bout with chicken pox and Matt Damon's debut as a standup
comic on "Jimmy Kimmel Live"...which leads to Bob admitting he's too
short for Nicole Kidman while Suzanne slips in yet another fawning comment
about Ben Affleck!
We learn how Bob went from writing "BJ & The Bear" to helping create one of
the most enduring nighttime soaps of all time, "Falcon Crest"...and that
Suzanne just missed becoming a housekeeper having sex with J.R. Ewing
on "Dallas" (with a nod to Governor Schwarzenneger).
And before it's over, Bob's equestrian skills become a source of humor for
his long-legged tall-in-the-saddle co-host.
Sun, 6 January 2013
For the New Year, Bob & Suzanne detail how Bob went
from Location Manager at Paramount and Universal to selling
his first story on The Six Million Dollar Man by overcoming
the age-old problem of executive nepotism and...theft.
We hear about life on the set with Lee Majors, and how
Bob just happened to spend a day alone with Farrah Fawcett well before
she ever rached stardom on Charlie's Angels.
Suzanne manages to dish a little Hollywood gossip, but
admits to wearing "Farrah hair" when it was the rage!
Sun, 6 January 2013
This debut episode starts with Bob's FBI-agent birthright and takes us through
a childhood spent in Sunset Strip nightclubs where he hung out with
Nat "King" Cole, sang duets with Sophie Tucker and Johnny Ray, and was
introduced to the joys of Parliament cigarettes...at age six!
Raised with gun-toting West Coast Jewish mobsters as
family role models, Bob reveals the details of youthful encounters with
naked movie stars like Carol Baker and Rock Hudson...and describes his
celebrity-filled school years living just down the street from the movie-star
mansions of Beverly Hills.
Life at Beverly Hills High--where Bob did a good job of "passing" as Jewish--
led to an eye-opening experience with anti-semitism which colors his
attitudes even to this day.
Suzanne gets Bob to reveal how Vietnam-era draft evasion caused him to
change his name...and how repeated appearances on a handful of TV quiz shows
propelled him toward an unusual career choice.
Although he whimped out when he won a date with a Hollywood stripper,
Bob had a fresh taste of showbiz that he just couldn't shake.
Thu, 8 November 2012
At Suzanne's prodding, Bob McCullough details his first "on the lot"
gig at Paramount Studios and confesses his never-before-revealed
secrets of life on the set of the original "Mission: Impossible".
They talk about the unique production values, Bruce Geller's
perspective on character develpoment, and how Bob befriended
the writer who had killed his wife with a pair of scissors.
It's a revealing conversation about network-studio conflicts
making early caeer moves, all with the ground-level
view of an up-and-coming Hollywood "gopher".
Thu, 25 October 2012
Suzanne plays the “Latina Power” card, gives her review of today’s
Hollywood Reporter Magazine, does a bit of name-dropping about
their Santa Barbara neighbors, touches upon the years of the Hollywood Blacklist,
and Bob opines about how The Academy Awards seem to overlook the obvious.
Suzanne then takes Bob into the heart of his writing-producing-directing career,
touching upon being laid off from his location manager job at Universal and then
paying dues as “the writer in the closet” with a startup production company
which led him to his first “real” agent.
They discuss early breaks on shows like “BJ & The Bear” and “Sheriff Lobo”
which put Bob’s spec slasher scripts in front of CBS execs who hired him to
add some “spice” to their failed “Vintage Years” pilot. The concept of nepotism is
touched upon as Suzanne gets the credit for ghost-writing the first season’s
series bible for what became “Falcon Crest” which later propelled Bob
into the waiting arms of Aaron Spelling Productions.
Suzanne speed-dials Bob’s memories of Brandon Tartikoff, Dick Butkus, Pat Morita, and “Star Trek”.
Thu, 25 October 2012
In their second episode, Bob admits that he literally begged his way into
grad school...which proved to be a stroke of brilliance as it led to his first
showbiz job as an NBC "page" in beautiful downtown Burbank.
From ushering old ladies into "Let's Make A Deal" to gigs on "The Tonight Show"
with Johnny Carson and "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In", Suzanne gets Bob
to talk about first encounters with stars like Goldie Hawn, Sammy Davis, Jr.,
Dean Martin, and Kirk Douglas.
Suzanne reacts to Bob's obnoxious career moves as he jumped a long line of
others waiting for a dream job at Paramount Studios and wound up on the set of
"Mission: Impossible" working with Bruce Geller, Peter Graves, Martin Landau, Leonard Nimoy
and got his first taste of the writer's life with the help of producer Bruce Lansbury.
Suzanne takes Bob from "Mission: Impossible" to "Six Million Dollar Man" and
"Bionic Woman" where he sells his first script without having
the common sense to get an agent.
Suzanne describes how she got her first gig at Universal as a
production secretary who couldn't type a word...and how it eventually
led to her winding up in front of the cameras.
the common senseto get an agent.