The Phil Donahue Show

February 22, 1984

APPEARANCES:     Mr. Phil Donahue
Melissa Sue Anderson
Jay Bernstein
Bruce Boxleitner
[A = an audience member
C = a caller]

PD: The only way to get a job on television is to be a blonde.

A: (All right)

PD: No. What's the matter? You're sure.

A: Positive.

PD: Brunettes, they don't hire brunettes.

A: There is very pretty brunettes.

PD: Now we've been to the blonde arena, now we seem to---

A: Brunettes, redheads.

PD: It doesn't matter?

A: It doesn't matter.

PD: The color of your hair is not important?

A: (As long as you have big boobs)

PD: As long as you have big---

A: (Laughter)

PD: They didn't hear you. As long as you have big what?

A: (Laughter)

PD: Does that bother you? Do you have to have talent?

A: (No)

PD: Then what?

A: I think they make you have talent.

PD: In other words, you don't have to be born with it. They can just---

A: Some people need more talent but they do work on it.

PD: Yes, ma'am, you wanted in this thing.

A: I don't think you need talent in the beginning but if you're going to stay for a while you're going to need talent.

PD: I'm sorry, hang on just a minute. Boy, we've got all kinds of advice here. You need some what?

A: You need some innate talent. You can't just be a singer and not know how to sing. You can't be an actor and not know how to act.

PD: But if you're gorgeous can't they just paint you up and send you out?

A: If you're gorgeous they will make you even more gorgeous and you'll look a lot better.

PD: And you don't have to have any talent.

A: That's not necessarily true. You have to partly have talent. It has to be a gift from God to begin with.

PD: All right, I am pleased---

A: You could just be loud!

PD: You could just be loud.

A: (Laughter)

PD: You are all actors, actresses. How are you doing? Are you eating? Out of a soup can, right. Is it rough?

A: The soup can?

PD: No, the starving.

A: (Laughter)

PD: We read about you. There is 8,000,000 people for one part.

A: This is true and I've met them all out on the street.

PD: So why ain't you in Hollywood? What are you doing here in Chicago?

A: Trying to work. There's a lot of work going on here.

PD: There is?

A: Yes.

PD: It's a good place to start but William Morris doesn't want you until you're a hit. And when you're a hit you don't need them.

A: Well, you practice your craft here, and maybe they'll watch you and summon you.

PD: Yeah. How do you feel about this little dialogue here? Do you have to be gorgeous and all that?

A: I don't think so. I think it's talent. I don't think you have to be gorgeous.

PD: You don't.

A: I really don't.

PD: It's about politics and who you know and whether your agent is any good.

A: Exactly. I believe that.

PD: Jay Bernstein is what's called in Hollywood the super agent. We'll meet him in just a moment. I want you to meet two of his talented clients. I am pleased to present---you know her work so well and I know you approve of it---a woman who has finally left the prairie after seven years to go on to---I don't think she would say necessarily better things because that vehicle certainly served her very well and showcased her talents. But she is now doing other things. Please welcome Melissa Sue Anderson.

A: (Applause)

PD: And here from "The Scarecrow and Mrs. King" is Bruce Boxleitner.

A: (Applause)

******STATION BREAK******

PD: We were talking about your business, Bruce. Any feelings? Melissa, what do you think? Do you have to have talent?

BB: Ha, ha!

A: (Laughter)

PD: Well, there is a suspicion that all they do is paint you up and if you have the right---

BB: Yeah, I wish it was that easy.

PD: You don't agree that it is?

BB: I don't agree with that at all.

PD: Yeah. Well, guess who's here.

BB: Uh-oh!

PD: Jay Bernstein, I read where you said talent is only 35%. Do you still believe that?

JB: I think 35% of making it in Hollywood is the talent. The other 65% is having the team behind you, as having an agent, press agent, business manager, an entertainment attorney. There's like five people that you really need. If Laurence Olivier came out and you didn't know who he was, I don't think he would make it on talent alone. I've met a lot of talented waiters that are still waiters in Hollywood.

PD: That's a little scary though isn't it, Jay? What that means is that who gets in and who doesn't is determined not so much by innate ability but by manipulation and the power brokers who are---we read novels about that. And what's going to happen to these folks? Do you have any idea how much they can afford an attorney, a press agent, a makeup person?

JB: 15% of nothing at the moment. Right.

PD: But the point is---

JB: Wouldn't you take a good team if you could have one?

PD: But they can't is the point, Jay. They can't afford it. And neither can---

JB: Sure, they can because it's only a percentage, Phil. You don't have to pay dollars. It's a percentage. It's like a football team. You can be a great quarterback but if you don't have anybody on the line you're gonna get sacked everytime.

A: (Are you saying---)

PD: Are you saying what?

A: Are you saying that you need all those people behind you?

JB: Eventually. The bigger the team the better off you are. As long as it's a good team. If not, it's like Switzerland invading Russia. You need an Air Force, Marine Corp, a Navy. You need all the help you can get.

PD: Melissa, you're nodding approvingly. Is that so?

MSA: Yes, I definitely agree. It would be like, for example, you. You have associate producers, executive producers, everyone backing you to make a good show.

PD: True.

JB: Phil, if you look at the two of them they all had these representatives. In Bruce's case he has an attorney. He came out here from Illinois and you didn't have any of these things. You were in the same position that these kids are in. You came out and now you have an entertainment attorney, you have a personal manager. I know that because it's me---

A: (Laughter)

JB: You have a talent agent, the William Morris Agency. You have a business manager and you have a press agent, Rogers and Cowan. So you've got the full complex and so does Melissa.

PD: Over here.

A: How do you get the complex though?

PD: How do you get this conglomerate?

JB: It's very complex.

BB: When I left Chicago in 1973 I got a one-way ticket to L.A. and I said I'm going to give it a try.

JB: That's from the city---

PD: Yeah.

BB: I said we're going to go out there and give it a few months and see what happens. A few months went on to a couple of years and suddenly things started to happen, you know.

PD: And then you got this conglomerate company.

BB: Yeah, but it was some time later.

A: I have the 35% talent, okay.

BB: Uh-huh.

A: (Laughter)

A: Here's my picture.

A: (Applause)

PD: Anybody else?

JB: This is the next big star.

PD: All right, who wants to be a star! It's easy. All you got to do is know somebody.

A: (Laughter)

A: What it comes down to then is not what you know, it's who you know.

PD: Right. That's the nature of this beloved industry that has become, in the view of many, corrupt.

JB: Phil, I can make a point here.

PD: Sure, go ahead.

JB: The people that you get to represent you in the very beginning aren't necessarily the same people that will be representing you five years later, seven years later. Bruce had a whole group of people. They've all changed. As you get bigger, as your needs grow you get---I won't say better people but I could say better people. In other words, the people who want you once you're a bigger star are different that the people who wanted you in the very beginning.

A: I was curious, when you left Chicago to go to L.A., did you have anybody backing you up? Were you told to do this?

PD: Did you park cars or how much money did you have when you got there?

BB: I never parked cars. I always worked as an actor. But I took a play from Chicago called STATUS QUO VADIS and bombed on Broadway with it. And then came back here and did it again. But the only thing that I had out in L.A. was a phone number and a guy's name who said call this guy at IFA, which is a big agency---it's called ICM now---and look this guy up. I did not know him. He was an agent.

PD: Did you get cameos or small parts in series or what? Did you do Mary Tyler Moore then?

BB: I did Mary Tyler Moore.

PD: How long was your---how many lines did you have in your first shot?

BB: Probably four lines.

PD: What did you do? Did you deliver a package to Rhoda's apartment or what?

A: (Laughter)

BB: No, it was worse than that. Ted Knight's character found me in the mail room. I was going to take Murray's daughter out to a movie.

PD: Four lines, huh.

BB: I was discovered in the mail room.

PD: Yes, ma'am.

A: I would like to ask Jay, what exactly is the difference between you and like the press agent or publicity manager? What do you do for these people?

JB: Let me very briefly tell you what each of the functions are.

PD: Very.

JB: Very briefly. The agent gets 10% for getting you a job, the personal manager gets 15% for directing the career. The business manager gets 5% for handling your money.

PD: That's 30%. We are now down to seventy cents, friends.

JB: The entertainment attorney gets approximately 5% for looking at the small print, of which there is a lot.

PD: Yeah.

JB: And the press agent is on a salary of anywhere between $1500 a month to $3000 a month, to publicize what you're doing so people will know what you're doing.

PD: So you make fifty cents on every dollar.

JB: Yeah.

PD: And Uncle Sam's going to take, assuming a low income, which is going to be at least 20%. So you're going to take thirty cents home, friends. Isn't that pretty good arithmetic?

JB: That's not true because usually if you have all these people, Phil, you usually are in the 50% tax bracket. You're a corporation, the government pays half of it. So if you pay out all those percentages, half of it is paid by the government.

A: (How much control---)

PD: How much what?

A: How much control do you have over your own life with all these people behind you? Not much or a lot?

MSA: I'm a good person to answer that.

A: (Laughter)

MSA: I have all the control. Having a team behind you to guide you doesn't mean that you can't say no, I don't want to do that.

A: If you were to say no because you didn't want to do something, what would be the end result?

MSA: Well, I could be wrong and I would be told I'm wrong.

PD: And sent to your room.

MSA: I could still go along with it, but in the end it's my decision.

A: I realize I have little to no talent as an actor. What I would like to know is how Mr. Bernstein got started because being an entrepreneur myself that's very interesting.

JB: I got off the freeway from Oklahoma City and wherever I landed that's what I thought was a nice apartment. It was $90.00 a month. I couldn't afford it. I got a job at a talent agency called the William Morris Agency for $40.00 a week running errands. Couldn't pay for the apartment, so I worked at nights in beautiful downtown Burbank on an assembly line making ball bearings. And I parked cars on the weekends at a restaurant called Lowry's. That's how I got started.

PD: Jay, you're honest to say that you as a kid, I think were attracted or enamored as so many of us were, by the glitz of Hollywood and the lights and so on. You now drive in a Rolls Royce I'm told. Is that so?

JB: I always felt that Alan Ladd was my favorite. I was an overweight kid from Oklahoma City who couldn't bounce a basketball. So I would tell my parents I was at basketball practice, go downtown and watch Alan Ladd slug somebody in the mouth or whatever. When I came out I just wanted to meet Alan Ladd. Eventually when my TV series Mickey Spillane's MIKE HAMMER with Stacey Keach sold, I said if it sold I was going to buy Alan Ladd's Rolls Royce and put a license plate on the back of it that said HAMMER. And that's what---

PD: That's what you have now isn't it.

JB: That's what I have now.

PD: And you live in Carole Lombard's house, do you?

JB: I have Carole Lombard's home that she built in 1936 when she was married to William Powell, who was the THIN MAN.

PD: So what is wrong with you people? Why are you just sitting here in the Midwest when all the gold is out there? Stand up.

A: Nobody has promoted us yet.

A: (Laughter)

PD: Yes, ma'am, you want to stand.

A: What would you tell a seventeen-year-old girl whose dream it is to be like Ann-Margaret someday?

PD: Let's start with Melissa. Want to give us a little personal thing.

MSA: I would say---

PD: Excuse me, but how old were you when LITTLE HOUSE happened to you?

MSA: When LITTLE HOUSE happened I was eleven. I had already been in the business for two years.

PD: So help this mother who is understandably more than a little anxious about whether or not she should even encourage her daughter.

MSA: Well, at seventeen I would say, first of all, wait until eighteen and then---

PD: Why?

MSA: Because if you are going to work, then at seventeen you're a minor and you need a welfare worker, teacher---

A: Should she go to college?

MSA: That's depending. I would say some kind of teaching, whether it's acting, college---

A: Isn't your educational background a little bit more lax than children that have to go to school every day?

MSA: No, not at all.

PD: In fact, it may be better. You get personal attention, assuming you can afford it.

MSA: I was always ahead.

PD: We understand that eighteen is good conservative advice.

MSA: Right.

PD: Now what?

JB: Excuse me, under eighteen you can only work half a day. They don't want to hire you if you're under eighteen because you can only work four hours a day. They would rather have someone who is eighteen who can work a full say..

MSA: Yes.

PD: Okay. Now how about all that other business we hear about out there, Melissa?

MSA: I would say don't expect to work for at least the first year. Do something else for money. And learn. Learn the craft as much as you possibly can, and then give it a shot.

PD: Is the caller there?

C: Yes.

PD: Go ahead.

C: I think a perfect example of this is Brooke Shields. All looks and no talent.

A: (Laughter and applause)

C: I think somebody should---

PD: I'm not sure everyone would agree but---

C: She's fine in modeling. I think she's great. But you get her on a movie or TV and she falls apart.

PD: Well, Jay.

JB: I disagree. I've seen Brooke do some fine work. She did a movie called TILT. She did KING OF THE GYPSIES. It depends on what the roles are. Most of the roles they have given her are roles that don't really demand more than looking beautiful and wearing the right clothes. But I think she has developed into an actress. They just don't want to use that part of her because that's not the most commercial part.

PD: I think there is also an awful lot of energy out there that works against a beautiful woman.

JB: Like Farah Fawcett.

PD: You think that's true of her do you?

JB: Yeah, I think that was the problem in the beginning is she was so beautiful that they didn't want to really give her a chance as an actress. I've seen Farah recently on Broadway, which she did EXTREMITIES. She did a marvelous job. But she has developed into playing those kind of parts. If somebody is just going from CHARLIE'S ANGELS to something very glitzy, you don't expect much from them, and so you don't get much from them.

PD: Bruce, do you think about going to the big screen in a big way? Isn't that everybody's---

BB: Oh, sure. Have you got an offer?

PD: Here's my question. It apparently doesn't work for everybody. In fact, the little tube seems to grind people up. Let's just talk about the people who made it. John Travolta.

BB: John Travolta. Right. He was a "Sweathog" and he went to---

PD: Wait a minute, there are others.

JB: You talking about from television to movies.

PD: Yes, television to movies.

JB: Goldie Hawn from LAUGH-IN. Clint Eastwood from RAWHIDE. Burt Reynolds---I don't know if you know this---did like three series. He was the blacksmith on GUNSMOKE. He did one as the second lead to Darrin McGavin pm RIVERBOAT. He did one called DAN RAVEN---(AUGUST). He did another one called HAWK. Burt did four series before he started working.

PD: All right, but you'll agree that it doesn't happen to most people. Now why is that? Bruce, any ideas?

BB: I don't know. I think it's opening up nowadays. I think Tom Selleck is a good example of stepping off into the feature world.

A: (Laughter)

BB: Is he here? And Tom one of these days is going to hit a big film.

PD: I've got to believe that the people who manage all the movement and the flow of money out there have thought about this long before I have.

BB: Oh, yeah.

PD: So what is the current wisdom on this? How do you repeat the Goldie Hawn success, since we like to believe we have some talented people.

JB: Well, this may sound strange but a lot of people don't want to do motion pictures. the average age of the motion picture audience today is fourteen to twenty-four years old. You go out to the theaters and most of it's being made for kids. They would rather do a movie like the one that Marlo Thomas did that got the high ratings, because millions and millions of people get to see their work. As opposed to doing a film. Bruce did a film when we first met called TRON. But it wasn't as satisfying as some of the work he did like the four and a half hour mini-series of BARE ESSENCE that he did. Stacy Keach, who works for me as Mike Hammer, much prefers playing Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer than any of the features that he has ever done. Because millions of people get to see you and you get to work on a character as opposed to just doing a medium that's for children.

PD: Hi, are you there?

C: Yes, I am.

PD: Go ahead.

C: I have a two and a half year old daughter who just got a part in a nonunion commercial and I have questioned like who brings her makeup and how much should she be paid that I want to find out answers to without going to an expensive entertainment attorney. Is there a way to find out?

JB: Yeah, go to a cheaper entertainment attorney.

A: (Laughter)

C: (Laughter)

JB: I think you always need good advice because if not and you try to do it like a home movie, I think you always need the best professional advice you can get.

PD: Yes.

A: I would like to know if your schedules are flexible and as these clients become more famous does your percentage go up?

JB: No, mine is a straight 15%. It never varies.

PD: What varies is the income of your clients.

JB: Right.

A: Jay, may I ask what type of relationship you have with your clients. Sometimes do you hear where there's a lot of anxiety that develops between the actor and the agent. They want one part and you may not be able to get it for them or want them to take something diferent.

JB: There is a lot of checks and balances. Like with Melissa, she was offered a wonderful role to play. The girl was anorexic, was that correct?

MSA: Yes.

JB: It was just something---she said, "Jay, I know it's a beautiful role but I just don't feel comfortable playing this part and I think that someone else can do it better." I said, "Well, then you have to be the judge of the material." What I am is I'm like Congress. I bring something in but Bruce, Melissa, they say yes or no, like Reagan. They just give me a yes or no.

A: Mr. Bernstein, don't your clients resent being manipulated? I would resent it like crazy. I mean, I hear that they've got agents and something for this and something for that.

BB: Manipulate?

A: Yes, you're being manipulated.

BB: No, I'm not.

A: You don't feel you're being manipulative?

BB: I think there are a lot of myths running around here about Hollywood. She's asking if the education is poorer than all the rest. Where are you people hearing all these things?

MSA: I don't think anyone pays to be---

BB: Really, I think the ENQUIRER is a lot of---

A: (Laughter)

BB: It has a lot to do with this. It's amazing.

PD: Well, you're not here to say that your industry is without sin.

BB: No, no. But all this manipulation! My gosh, it sounds like some fascist state---

PD: I don't think her comment was quite that severe. Here's the problem. Who we see on the screen appears to have more to do with the ubiquitous nature of the high powered agents and lunches that have to do with favors and trades than it does with what we would hope would be the talent which would like cream, rise to the top. That's the point.

BB: It's show business.

JB: Not show art.

BB: Not show art.

A: I agree with what he was just saying. It's a business above any other business. You're a lawyer, you're a doctor, it's a business.

BB: Yeah.

A: And just because you're an actor doesn't mean that you are just beautiful---and you are. And all of a sudden you're a star. I mean, it's a business. You have to make your contacts, sell yourself and market yourself like any other type of business.

A: I just wanted to comment that that's why Bruce and Melissa are here today, to sell themselves. To show everyone else that you are not just LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE. That you are a person, that you can talk, that you're intelligent.

BB: Well, I don't know about this morning but---

PD: Yes, ma'am, you'll stand, please.

A: I would like to ask Mr. Bernstein, how do his clients find him or does he go out---I see he's a dapper dresser. Do they find him or do they go through your company or just how do you---

PD: What determines who you take, Jay?

JB: Well, that's usually my decision. For example, if it's someone relatively new---I've never taken a total unknown. It's someone where first I saw---

A: (Why not?)

PD: Why not they want to know. Look at this group over here. Why not?

JB: Because you got---

PD: You got the Rolls, you got Carole Lombard's house. Now take a nobody. Try it.

A: (Applause)

JB: The reason is that I've been in the business for a quarter of a century. The people that I know are at the top in the industry. The producers, the heads of the studios, the heads of the networks. If I were to take someone who was just starting I would do them a disservice because I don't know the people in the trenches, in the bottom, to help them go from level to level. I did this in the beginning. I started three young ladies who were relative unknowns: Farah Fawcett Majors, Suzanne Sommers and Christy McNichol. I started them but I don't want to do that at this stage.

PD: Is the Lindsay Bloom a story that would flatter you?

JB: Yeah, Lindsay Bloom is playing Velda in my series, Mickey Spillane's MIKE HAMMER. But when she first came in to see me I said she's totally wrong. She was a blonde, she was twenty-two pounds heavier---

PD: Why is that wrong, Jay?

JB: Because Velda's a brunette.

PD: Who said?

JB: Micky Spillane said.

PD: Is this an age of brunettes in your view? Is this kind of like a trend?

JB: There's two questions. Let me finish the Lindsay Bloom answer because by trying to do two things---

PD: We're a little long and I'm sorry to do this to you. I really am. She lost weight didn't she and dyed her hair and came back?

JB: Three months later she back in as a brunette, lost twenty-two pounds. I said, "Now that's the look I'm looking for." Not knowing I had turned her down three months before. She got the role.

PD: And she's secretary to Mike Hammer?

JB: To Mike Hammer.

PD: Here she is, Lindsay Bloom. You'll see her, she's the secretary. Watch this.

(TAPE): Stacy Keach: Got anything for---

LB: For one he doesn't smoke.

SK: I'm cutting down. What else?

LB: He has no driver's license, no employment record and no credit cards. But according to the tax assessor's office he stole $5 million worth of art in New York City last year. Not bad for a guy that doesn't exist.

SK: Well, that checks out with what Eve Warwick said.

LB: How nice. I spent all day on this. What else does she have to say?

SK: Well, according to her he's not an American. Lives in the West Indies---


PD: What do you think?

A: (Great)

PD: What? Her chest. More than one viewer will wonder if we're not back to T&A. I'm not sure we've ever left it, Jay. What do you think?

JB: I think it depends on the show. I think in Mickey Spillane's MIKE HAMMER we're at least back to T.

A: (Laughter)

JB: On the other hand, we're on the same network that's showing CAGNEY & LACEY. Mine's a genre piece, and it has a lot to do with the look of Mickey Spillane's MIKE HAMMER and all the women and characters.

PD: What's the matter? How does that make you feel?

A: I just think there's nothing wrong with like having the right look. What is wrong with that girl? She didn't do anything wrong. I give her a heck of a lot of credit for doing what she did with---you know what I'm talking about. I think that's great.

BB: I worked with Lindsay eleven years ago in a small budget film. The girl is just now getting a decent break.

PD: And she's always been talented.

BB: She has always been talented.

PD: And we'll be back---

BB: She has worked hard.

PD: ---in just a moment.

******STATION BREAK******

PD: Yeah.

A: Well, I think a perfect example of that is Cher. She always did those TV shows and now she's in films and I think everybody is amazed. The woman can act.

BB: Uh-huh.

A: And she tried for a long time.

PD: Yeah, and the hit was that she was just sort of a face and a little kooky.

A: All make-up.

PD: Did she get nominated for SILKWOOD?

JB: Yeah.

A: Supporting actress.

PD: Good point. Let me get some folks who haven't had a shot. Yes, ma'am, you'll stand.

A: I wanted to ask Bruce, what role does your wife play in your career? How does she feel about the things you do? Does she have a say in the parts that you take?

BB: She has a lot to say.

A: (Laughter)

BB: She has a lot to say. She gets me out of bed in the morning. This is a business like everybody else's business. I need that backup and she provides more than that. She was an actress herself and she understands it.

A: Another question for Jay. I was wondering if you ever wanted to be an actor yourself and now you're just in this position.

JB: I did. When I was a kid I wanted to be an actor. I looked up on the screen and I saw Alan Ladd and Tyrone Power and Robert Taylor and said I don't look like that. I could be the second male lead. I could be Gig Young or Tony Randall. But I remember they put the female lead in between the first male lead and the second male lead, and if I could only be third in my chosen profession I had better choose another one.

A: I wanted to ask Jay. What actually happened with your relationship with Suzanne Sommers? We heard a lot of friction and everything, but what actually happened?

JB: We have an office right next door to each other at Columbia, by the way. Nothing happened except that the contract ran out. They felt---they were paying me close to half a million dollars a year in commissions and Alan Hammel, who is the husband and a man I respect very much, felt that he would like to now take that over. We had been together for four years and he felt that they could do it themselves.

PD: Over here.

A: I would like to know what Melissa's future plans are, and how you're going to shape her?

JB: Are you talking to me?

PD: Melissa, do you have any ideas about your own future?

MSA: I'm pretty flexible.

JB: Melissa has a motion picture coming out called CHATTANOOGA CHOO CHOO. She has an episode of HOTEL coming out. She just finished a TV movie with Joel Higgins for CBS. So we're in movies for television, episodic and theatrical motion pictures. She is just twenty-one years old, and what we're doing is we're going past the stage where she was playing a teenager who was blind---which is a very restricting role---on LITTLE HOUSE, to showing that she's a young woman. We're going very slowly, picking the parts carefully.

PD: Are you there?

C: Mr. Boxleitner.

BB: Yeah.

PD: Not much time, sir. You sound real laid back to me and I'm running out of time.

C: I've just completed a role in a TV movie and it was my first. Knowing what you know now, what course of action would you take?

PD: You say you've been in a TV movie?

C: I just completed one.

PD: Do you mind telling us which one? It's up to you, you don't have to.

C: It's going to be picked up by a network; it's called DREAM WEAVERS.


C: Yes.

PD: Was it a major role or what?

C: It's a small part. It's like fifteen or eighteen lines.

PD: Right. How old are you?

C: Twenty-five.

PD: And your question is what do you do now?

C: Yeah.

PD: Are you represented?

C: Yes, I am.

JB: I would have your representation try to get it out in whatever media., newspapers, trade papers, whatever, to announce this role and get some attention on it. That's about all you can do right now. And hopefully other roles will come from it.

PD: Yes, ma'am.

C: Okay.

PD: You had a question. I thought I saw your hand.

A: I first want to say, Melissa and Bruce, you are very attractive. You are very handsome people and I think it doesn't hurt to be attractive.

BB: What's wrong with that?

PD: No, it doesn't. But, you know if you're not---yes, ma'am, you want to stand.

A: I saw you in the pilot of MIKE HAMMER. Is this a one-time shot or are we going to be seeing more of you on TV?

JB: I think that was really it. It was sort of a tawdry story. I was sleeping with the executive producer, me---

A: (Laughter)

JB: I just wanted to try it. It was something I had never done before, so I did it and that's it. I got killed and I'm through.

A: Mr. Bernstein, are producers ever paid by actors' representatives to get parts, to get positions?

JB: No. Not to my knowledge.

PD: Uh-huh. Yes, ma'am.

A: Mr. Bernstein, when you take on a new client, what do you promote first? Their sexuality or their talent?

JB: It depends on the client. See, I've been around the business so long that what I did with Farah, in my mind she was Betty Grable. With Suzanne Sommers she was Judy Holliday. With Christy McNichol she was Margaret O'Brien. In fact, when we first got together with Bruce I said, "I only want you to play hero roles. Turn down all of those character roles, all the villain roles, and it will pay off for us." So he went from TRON as a hero to BARE ESSENCE as a hero, to SCARECROW & MRS. KING, GAMBLER PART II. SCARECROW is the one that has now worked as a hero. It's a point of view. That's my job. It has nothing to do with sexuality. It had to do with the way we wanted to do.

PD: Yes.

A: Another question for Jay. I would like to know if he ever had to drop a client because of artistic conflicts or personal things?

JB: Yes.

A: Can you expand on that?

JB: Usually if I want to take somebody from one to ten, from six to ten, and if I feel I can only get them from six to seven, that's the best I'm going to do, and I don't want to waste their time or mine.

PD: And we'll be back in just a moment.

******STATION BREAK******

PD: Are you there? Hi.

C: I'm there. Hi.

PD: Sir. Go ahead, we're waiting for you at about $1000 a minute. Go ahead.

C: Many people feel that stardom and the attention it brings, brings happiness. I would like to ask Jay, have you ever seen that happen?

A: (Laughter)

JB: (Laughter) I think that happiness is something that comes in stages. I'm doing the Susan Hayward story next and the basis of her story was someone who fought to get to the top. She had five Academy Award nominations; the finally won for I WANT TO LIVE. Then she gave it all up for the man she loved. Then he passes away. Then I brought her back the last eight years. But your happiness level goes like anything else. It's up and down. It's just like a marriage.

PD: The man's question is asked against the background of what we seem to think are the majority of successful people who are miserable. That professional success has nothing to do with who you are and whether you're happy and whether it has been fun for you here.

JB: I think it depends. If professional success helps a lot---I mean, if you're unsuccessful in your personal life and you're unsuccessful in your business life, it's not a lot of fun to have life.

PD: Are you there? Go ahead.

C: My question is to Jay. Why is there not a market for black actors and actresses? And, if so, when they do have movies or TV pilots for them, they always be garbage. It's almost like an insult. It's not to put Jay on the spot but I would like an honest answer to that question.

JB: Okay, it's a tough question. Cecily Tyson is a client that I manage and she's done a lot of good work. I think every year we come up with some really good things for her.

A: (Applause)

C: Cecily Tyson is a good actress.

JB: Answering the question. There is not a big market in Europe. What they do is they have a thing called ancillary righhts---

C: Uh-huh.

JB: We can do well with a movie in America starring black actors but in Europe they don't do well. So it's all a dollars and cents business. They say well then don't send us as many. So if they can make more money it's a bottom line. It's a business. Like Bruce said, it's not show art, it's show business. But there are from time to time very good parts for blacks but not as many as you want.

A: If there's not a good market for blacks in Europe, does that mean that I as a black actor in America can't work here?

JB: No.

A: That's how it sounded.

C: I waited a long time to get on and I would like one more question answered, please.

A: (Laughter)

C: And that is it's probably because the quality---I understand that there are black actors and actresses starving to death. So they may take a role just to feed themselves or get known. But some of the garbage that I see that my five-year-old daughter turned to me and said, "Why is it that I can't see a black person on TV with a good part?" This is from a five-year-old. Even she notices it. I resent that because I know there's talent out there and I would like to see it. It's a business, just like when I go to Jewell Food Store. If I want a different kind of milk I pick it up.

JB: This could go on forever. Lou Gossett played Sadat. I think that this was very brave on Hollywood's part to say I want a black man to play this role because he is the best actor for the job.

C: Uh-huh.

PD: I don't know if they necessarily deserve an award for courage. I think there was an amazing likeness. Sadat was a man of color.

JB: But it was a very brave casting choice because Sadat was not a black man. He was the best actor, Lou Gossett, to play that part.

C: I don't want to use the term black and white.

PD: Just a second.

A: I understand that Egypt didn't like Lou Gossett---

PD: Egypt does not speak in one big---

JB: They didn't like the political interference because of the regime that was in Egypt at the time. Had nothing to do with black or white.

PD: Yeah, we're talking about you, actress, get in this.

A: The only thing I want to say is, why is it that we have to be known as black actors and actresses?

BB: That's what I would like to know.

A: I mean, I would like to be known as a talented actress.

A: (Applause)

A: And then work from there. If we could get rid of that barrier then maybe there may be roles out there. It doesn't necessarily have to be a black actress. I mean, I'm pretty sure that a lot of you all have best friends as black people. Right?

A: (Laughter)

A: That will work. Just get away from that "she's a black actress" and just say that she's an actress. See if she can work.

PD: Let's get away from color for a moment. What type do you think you are? You probably don't want to be a type do you?

A: No.

PD: But they're gonna---so when the guy looks out at you with the cigar and looks you over, what do you think he'll think?

A: Basically for me I think I'm like the girl next door.

PD: I do, too, but I was afraid to say it because I thought you were going to get mad at me.

A: No. Come on now.

PD: But that means you're always going to be somebody's sister.

A: That's okay if it will get me a part. I'll be somebody's sister.

A: (Laughter)

A: I could be a tomboy. It's really amazing. I'm working in a show right now and I have to be funny. I don't necessarily think I'm that funny but, I mean, I like it and it's a lot of fun.

PD: Yeah.

A: So, yeah, I think I would like to do that. I would like to be somebody's next door neighbor. I would like to be somebody's best friend. I mean, you know, I think that will work.

PD: Yeah.

JB: I think you're absolutely right. The last series Bruce and I did together, I produced a show that Bruce starred in called BRING 'EM BACK ALIVE. And Ron O'Neal, what was Ron playing?

BB: He was playing the---

JB: Sultan.

BB: ---Sultan of Jahor.

BB: And Ron is from Detroit, Michigan.

PD: It worked is what you're saying.

BB: It worked as the Sultan of Jahor.

PD: Okay, I must break here.

JB: And the third lead on SCARECROW AND MRS. KING---

BB: Plays the head of the (unintelligible) CIA.

JB: But it could be black, white, or not.

PD: But this woman's point cannot be dismissed that we should have more people of color playing roles that don't necessarily have anything to do with the traditional play---

JB: I totally agree but I'm not Hollywood. I'm just one person. I agree with you though.

PD: And we'll be back in just a moment.

*****STATION BREAK******

BB: Monday nights.

PD: Monday nights on CBS.

A: (Applause)

PD: THE SCARECROW AND MRS. KING. Here is Bruce Boxleitner at work with Kate Jackson.

(TAPE): BB: Amanda, I know I promised I---

KJ: Sssh!

BB: I know I promised I would have her out of here and I will. It won't be more than a couple of hours. See, the plan was to get her to a safe house, which turned out to be here, through nobody's fault. We're going to get her information, sneak her out of Washington and relocate her with her mother and sister. It's too hot to move her now.

KJ: Now look, it's not just that. It's this Brobich person. If he's prepared to kill Magda and even Francine, then what about Jamie and Phillip. They are just little boys. And mother has a cold and we don't even have any protection here.

BB: You don't need any. Amanda, would I leave you if I thought you were in danger?

KJ: No, of course not. You wouldn't do that.

BB: All right, if it will make you feel any safer---

KJ: Get her away. I would rather have the whole Hungarian army in my house than that. I don't even know how to use it. (Gun).

BB: Maybe it's time you learned.

KJ: I don't want to shoot anyone.

BB: You won't have to, and that is a promise.


PD: You like that?

A: (Applause)

A: This is just a comment to Jay. I'm wondering if you wouldn't love to be Michael Jackson's agent.

A: (Laughter)

JB: I'm a manager, not an agent. But, yes, I would like to be Michael Jackson's agent.

A: I have a question for the strugglers. You get a part, you land a role and you're working in it---it's one of your first roles and you're working in it, and you do not get along with who you're working at at all. Would you keep the role just to get your face known?

A: (Yes)

PD: Yes, yes, yes. Sure, I mean, obviously, they realize they are not in a great bargaining position.

A: Do you ever ask people to alter their appearance like plastic surgery or drastically change their hair color?

PD: You recommended brunette? No, she just did it on her own didn't she?

JB: What I do is I recommend the people maximize their potential to look the best that they possibly can. I don't recommend surgery.

PD: Yes.

A: Are looks real important like chest. Because you notice there's not too many---they are all good-looking. You don't see really any ugly actors or actresses.

JB: It depends on what ugly is. I don't think everybody looks alike on commercials. They can, but in Hollywood look at all the different stars. Meryl Streep is not considered the most beautiful woman in the world, and, yet, some people consider her the most famous actress in movies.

A: Bruce, how do you like working with Kate Jackson and does your wife ever get jealous?

A: (Laughter)

BB: I love working with Kate.

A: Mr. Bernstein, if I came to you as a client and you took me on as a client and I became a hot number---

PD: After you got your hairpiece.

A: (Laughter)

A: That's right.

PD: Wait a minute, you're a good sport. I figured I could get away with that. That's not necessarily true I assume, huh. That's just smart talk by the talk show host.

JB: (Unintelligible)

PD: Obviously you don't want everybody with hair do you?

JB: No.

A: (Laughter)

A: Great! Another chance! Anyway, after so long I become very popular and you see me only going to a seven in your scale---

PD: All right.

A: ---I feel I'm a ten. I'm under contract to you. How easy is it for me to get out from underneath that---say if I had a two or three, and you said no. Do I have to stay with you?

JB: If I felt that I really couldn't do anymore for you than a seven then I would just return your papers to you and say here's someone I can do better. Or go find someone who can do a better job.

PD: Yes.

A: Aren't you essentially providing at an independent level the same service that the old studio system when MGM had their studio system.

JB: That's exactly what I try to do.

A: I would be curious to know which the young actors would prefer. I would think the studio system where you got the schooling and all the representation in one thing, would be far less expensive, and at the same time a little more binding.

JB: But it doesn't exist anymore. And they told you everything that you had to do. This way there's freedom of choice.

PD: Yes.

A: What about TV commercials? I've always thought as I sit at home and watch commercials, I think I have 35% talent to do some of these commercials.

A: (Laughter)

A: How do you break into that?

PD: You really would like to? Would you squeeze the Charmin?

A: I certainly would.

A: (Laughter)

PD: As a matter of fact, a lot of those agencies are located---not a lot but there are several agencies in Chicago. You're in a good town for that.

JB: And they're really looking for a look. So just go in and show them your picture.

A: How many clients at a time can you have?

JB: As many as you want. I usually average about ten.

PD: Yeah.

A: I would like to know if you've chosen anyone to star in the Susan Hayward role.

JB: No, but I'll tell you who I've been thinking of. We had a meeting two days ago and I thought of Ann-Margaret to play Susan Hayward. I thought of Lindsay Wagner and I thought of Kathleen Turner, the girl in BODY HEAT. But we're in the middle of the script and these are just preliminary conversations. Ann-Margaret probably would be my first choice.

PD: Ann-Margaret they want.

A: I was wondering---

PD: I don't know---

JB: Susan Hayward.

PD: How do you see yourself? Do you think you're a type?

A: I've been told that as far as my acting goes that I'm more of a character actor. I don't know how that---not a character actor but I play roles that are not your everyday type of person, ingenue type of thing. That's why I'm in---

PD: Would you like to be a leading man? Who wouldn't, huh?

A: (Laughter)

A: If I fit the part I think.

PD: Now you do have an innocence about your face. I assume you know that and you've been told that.

A: Yes.

PD: Does that undermine your ability to get the Richard Gere parts?

A: I think it enhances it because a lot of people don't have that look.

JB: But there are a lot of leading men that don't look like Richard Gere or Tom Selleck. There's Richard Dreyfuss, Dustin Hoffman, Robert DeNiro. There's all types. Chevy Chase.

A: I was just wondering how you feel about training schools. I mean, I know you went to the Goodman---

BB: Yes, I did.

A: And have you---

BB: It was terrific. Three years there.

A: Did you go to a training school?

MSA: No. I did take a couple of acting classes in the middle of LITTLE HOUSE. But I couldn't keep going because I didn't have time.

BB: That's learning on the job.

PD: So what are you saying? It's up to him and there is no one rule.

MSA: Right. Whatever makes you comfortable.

PD: Yes. I'm out of time.

A: I have a question for Jay and don't be afraid to answer me truthfully.

JB: Okay.

A: Say there was a really pretty girl, kind of chesty blonde and there was another---

******STATION BREAK******

PD: Bruce Boxleitner stars in THE SCARECROW AND MRS. KING on CBS. Melissa Sue Anderson will be seen in a number of things, including a full length feature film titled CHATTANOOGA CHOO CHOO. Jay Bernstein, we insist---


Thank you Ruth and Claudia!

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