Where Hollywood Hides: Television | Movies | Music | Show Business | Writing | Producing | Directing | Acting (television)

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.”

Direct download: Susan_Sullivan_Final_Compressed_07141.mp3
Category:Television -- posted at: 4:44pm PDT

#52 - Director Ray Austin

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!

Direct download: 52-RayAustin-FINAL-A.mp3
Category:Television -- posted at: 6:43pm PDT

#21 - "Transformers" Writer Ron Friedman

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 Manand Iron Man.

With more than 700 TV and movie scripts to his name on shows like Get Smart, Bewitched, The Odd Coupleand Charlie’s Angels, Ron shares his secrets to entering the rarified atmosphere of professional film and television writing…as well as some practical tips for surviving on a rigorously competitive career path.
 
If you want the real “inside story” of life as a successful Hollywood writer, this is it. 
Direct download: PodcaST21EDITFINALMay21.mp3
Category:Television -- posted at: 9:44pm PDT

#43 - TV Director Michael Zinberg

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.

 

Direct download: Podcast_43-MichaelZinberg-FINAL-8.1.15.mp3
Category:Television -- posted at: 10:43am PDT

#41 - TV Writer Philip Taylor

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”.

 

Direct download: Podcast_41-Phillip_Taylor-FINAL5.26.15.mp3
Category:Television -- posted at: 6:55pm PDT

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.”

 

Direct download: Podcast38_DavidSelbyFINAL_03.28.15.mp3
Category:Television -- posted at: 9:54am PDT

#23  Jerry London: Famed Director of Major Television Movies & Mini-series

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 Daysand Love, American Stylewhere 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 FilesKojakHawaii Five-0The Six Million Dollar Manand Barreta.

The biggest mini-series of all time!
The biggest mini-series of all time!

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!

 

 

Direct download: Podcast23EDITFINAL6.30.14.mp3
Category:Television -- posted at: 5:47pm PDT

#18 "Zorro" - Behind the scenes in Hollywood and in Madrid

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...

Direct download: Podcast_18FINALjan24.mp3
Category:Television -- posted at: 6:31pm PDT

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?”

Direct download: Podcast_17Final.mp3
Category:Television -- posted at: 7:05pm PDT

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!

Direct download: Podcast_16FINAL.mp3
Category:Television -- posted at: 8:52pm PDT