American Masters http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters A series examining the lives, works, and creative processes of outstanding artists. Thu, 23 Oct 2014 22:01:18 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.8.4 en hourly 1 Juilliard: Marian Seldes on Teaching at Juilliard: An In Memoriam Tribute http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/juilliard/marian-seldes-on-teaching-at-juilliard-an-in-memoriam-tribute/3499/ http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/juilliard/marian-seldes-on-teaching-at-juilliard-an-in-memoriam-tribute/3499/#comments Tue, 14 Oct 2014 22:07:23 +0000 knightc http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/?p=3499 Marian Seldes, a vital figure in New York theater, died October 6, 2014, in her Manhattan home. She was 86. Seldes was an enduring presence on the Broadway stage, notably performing in the works of Edward Albee, Samuel Beckett, and Tennessee Williams. In a career that spanned decades, she became a regular in the plays of Edward Albee, which in part earned her a lifetime achievement award at the 2010 Tony Awards ceremony.

Seldes was also an influential teacher of her craft, serving on the faculty of the Drama Division at the Juilliard School from 1969 to 1991. She helped shape a generation of famed performers, including Kevin Spacey, Patti LuPone, and the late Robin Williams. American Masters explored this facet of her illustrious career in an exclusive interview for Juilliard (2003). Below are three outtakes from the film.

Marian Seldes on Her Devotion to Students

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Marian Seldes recounts when she was first hired by John Houseman, the founding director of the Drama Division at The Juilliard School. She passionately describes being overwhelmed with love for her students and her instinct to help people.

Marian Seldes on The Work and Fame

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Marian Seldes reflects on the idea of recognition and fame, and suggests that we are all defined by the work that we have accomplished, and not by name recognition by the public. She acknowledges that she never became a household name as an actor.

Marian Seldes on Empathy and Cruelty in Directing Actors

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Marian Seldes describes her personal connection to acting school through the different phases of her life, and how these experiences were formative to her style of teaching. Seldes stresses that she herself did not like to work in a situation that made her frightened, feel panic, or sense she was wasting someone else’s time. She is greatly opposed to being cruel while directing an actor.

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Bing Crosby: Bing Crosby Rediscovered: About the Film http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/bing-crosby/bing-crosby-rediscovered-about-the-film/3448/ http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/bing-crosby/bing-crosby-rediscovered-about-the-film/3448/#comments Mon, 06 Oct 2014 22:01:28 +0000 knightc http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/?p=3448 BING-CROSBY_end-frame

Bing Crosby (May 3, 1903-October 14, 1977) was, without doubt, the most popular and influential multi-media star of the first half of the 20th century. For more than three decades, through radio, film, television and records, he reigned supreme.

The new documentary American Masters: Bing Crosby Rediscovered, premiering nationwide Tuesday, December 2 at 8 p.m. on PBS (check local listings) as the series’ Season 28 finale, explores the life and legend of this iconic performer, revealing a man far more complex than his public persona. The film is available December 2 on DVD from PBS Distribution. A holiday encore presentation airs Friday, December 26 at 9 p.m. on PBS (check local listings).

Crosby’s estate, HLC Properties, Ltd., granted American Masters unprecedented access to the entertainer’s personal and professional archives, including never-before-seen home movies, Dictabelt recordings, photos and more. Narrated by Stanley Tucci, the film features new interviews with all surviving members of Crosby’s immediate family — wife Kathryn, daughter Mary and sons Harry and Nathaniel. The film reveals Crosby’s struggles with his first wife, Dixie Lee, and their sons Gary, Dennis, Phillip and Lindsay. Mary addresses accusations of abuse first published in Gary’s 1983 memoir, which tarnished their father’s legacy. Gary speaks candidly about both his and his mother’s alcoholism as well as his difficulties with his father in a never-before-seen 1987 interview. Other new interviews include singers Tony Bennett and Michael Feinstein, record producer Ken Barnes, biographer Gary Giddins, and writers Buz Kohan and Larry Grossman, who both share the story behind Crosby’s Christmas special duet with David Bowie.

American Masters: Bing Crosby Rediscovered – The Soundtrack features songs heard in the documentary, including 16 previously unreleased recordings, and is available November 25, 2014, via Bing Crosby Archive and Universal Music Enterprises.

“I’ve never seen an entertainer more comfortable in his own skin, more certain of who he was,” says Emmy-winning director Robert Trachtenberg, whose past films for American Masters include Mel Brooks: Make a Noise, On Cukor, Gene Kelly: Anatomy of a Dancer and Cary Grant: A Class Apart. “With the new material I’ve found, I think the breadth, depth and candor of his story will hopefully allow people to see him in a new light.”

Thirty-seven years after his death, Bing Crosby remains the most recorded performer in history with nearly 400 hit singles, an achievement no one — not Sinatra, Elvis or the Beatles — has come close to matching. A brilliant entrepreneur, Crosby played an important role in the development of the postwar recording industry. As one of Hollywood’s most popular actors, he won the Oscar for 1944’s Going My Way and starred in the iconic “Road” films with Bob Hope.

“We naturally think of Bing at Christmastime, but with more No. 1 recordings than anyone, it is easy to overlook all of his other achievements. Thankfully, this film delves deeply into all of his remarkable work, and will surprise many viewers with a unique perspective on his private life,” says Michael Kantor, executive producer of American Masters.

Launched in 1986 by series creator Susan Lacy, American Masters has earned 28 Emmy Awards — including 10 for Outstanding Non-Fiction Series since 1999 and five for Outstanding Non-Fiction Special — 12 Peabodys, an Oscar, three Grammys, two Producers Guild Awards and many other honors. Now in its 28th season on PBS, the series is a production of THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC for WNET. WNET is the parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21, New York’s public television stations, and operator of NJTV. For more than 50 years, THIRTEEN has been a partner with the tri-state community, using its rich resources to inform and inspire the passionate people of New York and the world to better understand and address the issues that challenge our diverse communities.

American Masters: Bing Crosby Rediscovered is a production of THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC’s American Masters for WNET. Robert Trachtenberg is writer, director and producer. Gillian McCarthy is editor. Junko Tsunashima is supervising producer. Julie Sacks is series producer. Susan Lacy and Michael Kantor are executive producers.

American Masters is made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Rosalind P. Walter, Anne Ray Charitable Trust, Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, The Blanche & Irving Laurie Foundation, Rolf and Elizabeth Rosenthal, Jack Rudin, The André and Elizabeth Kertész Foundation, Michael & Helen Schaffer Foundation and public television viewers.

About WNET

As New York’s flagship public media provider and the parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21 and operator of NJTV, WNET brings quality arts, education and public affairs programming to more than 5 million viewers each week. WNET produces and presents such acclaimed PBS series as Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, PBS NewsHour Weekend, Charlie Rose and a range of documentaries, children’s programs, and local news and cultural offerings available on air and online. Pioneers in educational programming, WNET has created such groundbreaking series as Get the Math, Oh Noah! and Cyberchase and provides tools for educators that bring compelling content to life in the classroom and at home. WNET highlights the tri-state’s unique culture and diverse communities through NYC-ARTS, Reel 13, NJTV News with Mike Schneider and MetroFocus, the multi-platform news magazine focusing on the New York region. WNET is also a leader in connecting with viewers on emerging platforms, including the THIRTEEN Explore iPad App where users can stream PBS content for free.

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The Boomer List: Film Outtake: Rosie O’Donnell’s Barbra Streisand Impersonations http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/the-boomer-list/film-outtake-rosie-odonnells-barbra-streisand-impersonations/3496/ http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/the-boomer-list/film-outtake-rosie-odonnells-barbra-streisand-impersonations/3496/#comments Wed, 01 Oct 2014 21:32:12 +0000 knightc http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/?p=3496 View full post to see video)

Comedian, entertainer and talk show host Rosie O’Donnell (b. 1962) used to amuse her mother with Barbra Streisand impersonations. In this film outtake, O’Donnell mimics two songs from Barbra’s live concert album, “A Happening in Central Park” (1967) — “Marty the Martian” and “Second Hand Rose.”

American Masters: The Boomer List, premiering nationwide Tuesday, September 23, 9-10:30 p.m. on PBS (check local listings), tells the story of this influential generation through the lives of 19 iconic boomers—one born each year of the baby boom.

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The Boomer List: Watch Full Film: The Boomer List http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/the-boomer-list/watch-full-film-the-boomer-list/3492/ http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/the-boomer-list/watch-full-film-the-boomer-list/3492/#comments Wed, 24 Sep 2014 14:31:22 +0000 Meredith Heil http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/?p=3492 View full post to see video)

From the time of its birth, the baby boomer generation (1946-1964) has significantly and uniquely changed our world. 2014 marks an important shift in American culture, as the last boomers turn 50.

American Masters: The Boomer List, premiering nationwide Tuesday, September 23, 9-10:30 p.m. on PBS (check local listings), tells the story of this influential generation through the lives of 19 iconic boomers—one born each year of the baby boom:

1946 Tim O’Brien, Vietnam vet / author
1947 Deepak Chopra, M.D., New Age guru
1948 Samuel L. Jackson, actor
1949 Billy Joel, singer-songwriter
1950 Steve Wozniak, co-founder, Apple Computer
1951 Tommy Hilfiger, fashion designer
1952 Amy Tan, author
1953 Eve Ensler, playwright
1954 Julieanna Richardson, historian and founder, The HistoryMakers
1955 Maria Shriver, journalist
1956 Kim Cattrall, actor
1957 Virginia Rometty, CEO, IBM
1958 Ellen Ochoa, Director, Johnson Space Center
1959 Ronnie Lott, athlete
1960 Erin Brockovich, environmentalist
1961 Peter Staley, AIDS activist
1962 Rosie O’Donnell, entertainer
1963 David LaChapelle, artist
1964 John Leguizamo, actor

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The Boomer List: Film Excerpt: Rosie O’Donnell’s Long Island Childhood http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/the-boomer-list/film-excerpt-rosie-odonnells-long-island-childhood/3490/ http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/the-boomer-list/film-excerpt-rosie-odonnells-long-island-childhood/3490/#comments Tue, 23 Sep 2014 16:12:01 +0000 Meredith Heil http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/?p=3490 View full post to see video)

As a kid growing up in Commack, Long Island, Rosie O’Donnell (b. 1962) spent much of her time across town at her well-to-do friends’ homes, enjoying the familial warmth that stood in stark contrast to her own.

American Masters: The Boomer List, premiering nationwide Tuesday, September 23, 9-10:30 p.m. on PBS (check local listings), tells the story of this influential generation through the lives of 19 iconic boomers—one born each year of the baby boom.

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Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work: Exclusive Outtake: Joan Rivers’ Early Inspiration from Make ‘Em Laugh http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/joan-rivers-a-piece-of-work/exclusive-outtake-joan-rivers-early-inspiration-from-make-em-laugh/3486/ http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/joan-rivers-a-piece-of-work/exclusive-outtake-joan-rivers-early-inspiration-from-make-em-laugh/3486/#comments Tue, 23 Sep 2014 14:50:11 +0000 Meredith Heil http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/joan-rivers-exclusive-outtake-joan-rivers-early-inspiration-from-make-em-laugh/3486/ View full post to see video)

Comedian Joan Rivers recalls her early inspirations towards comedy. As a young actress in college, she found no female role models, and instead admired the work of comedy legend Lenny Bruce.

Conducted on November 16, 2006, this never before seen interview outtake is from the archives of the six-hour PBS comedy series MAKE ‘EM LAUGH: The Funny Business of America.

American Masters presents an In Memoriam tribute broadcast of Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work (2010) on Tuesday, September 23, 10:30 p.m.-12 midnight on PBS (check local listings).

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Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work: Exclusive Outtake: Joan Rivers on Comedic Success from Make ‘Em Laugh http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/joan-rivers-a-piece-of-work/exclusive-outtake-joan-rivers-on-comedic-success-from-make-em-laugh/3479/ http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/joan-rivers-a-piece-of-work/exclusive-outtake-joan-rivers-on-comedic-success-from-make-em-laugh/3479/#comments Tue, 23 Sep 2014 14:39:32 +0000 Meredith Heil http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/?p=3479 View full post to see video)

Comedian Joan Rivers outlines a guide to success in the entertainment industry in the late 1960’s. She describes “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” as a premiere destination for the intellectual comic, followed by mainstream acceptance through appearances on “The Ed Sullivan Show”. In this interview outtake, Rivers speaks candidly in describing both of these storied venues as instrumental to her own success.

Conducted on November 16, 2006, this never before seen interview outtake is from the archives of the six-hour PBS comedy series MAKE ‘EM LAUGH: The Funny Business of America.

American Masters presents an In Memoriam tribute broadcast of Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work (2010) on Tuesday, September 23, 10:30 p.m.-12 midnight on PBS (check local listings).

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