When I was a kid one of the TV shows I most look forward to every week was the Sunday night episode of “Candid Camera.”
With hidden cameras set up to catch their reactions, host Allen Funt played benign but often ingenius practical jokes on ordinary people. “Candid Camera” was a TV hit for years.
After Funt’s death in 1999 at aged 84, his son Peter Funt took over the family business, as it were, and carried on the “Candid Camera” franchise.
Photo: ABC Television
In 2013, he published a collection of his essays, and that’s when I had the chance to speak with him — and to get some inside scoop on “Candid Camera.”
So here now, from 2013, Peter Funt
Peter Funt is 74.
He writes a syndicated column and speaks to business organizations, often using clips from “Candid Camera” in his presentations.
She is one of America’s most high-profile lawyers.
In a career that began in the 1970s, Gloria Allred has become especially known for taking on cases involving sexual harassment and women’s rights, especially in the workplace.
In 2006, she looked back on her career in a book that she admits may be the closest she will ever come to writing a full-fledged autobiography.
So here now, from 2006 Gloria Allred:
Gloria Allred will be 80 in July. And still practices law.
In the early 1960s, the San Diego Chargers were a powerhouse in the American Football League.
In 1966, the franchise was purchased by a very successful California businessman named Gene Klein. He paid the them-princely sum of 10 million dollars.
But after running the team for 18 years, Klein solded in 1984.
And a couple of years later he wrote a book about his experience, which he called First Down And a Billion. And that’s when I met him.
I interviewed him just five days before Super Bowl XXI, so be sure and listen to the end to find out what his prediction was. And how accurate he was.
So here now, from January 1987, Gene Klein.
Gene Klein died in 1990, at the age of 69.
Photo: Gage Skidmore
Well, in most of the U.S. warm spring weather is here. And for many of us, that’s an inspiration to get
outside work in the garden.
And it reminded me that in the late fall of 1991, I had the first of several interviews I’ve done with Martha Stewart, the well known master of all things domestic.
People often ask me, when they find out I have interviewed her if she was rude or condescending or otherwise difficult. And I always say, no, Martha Stewart was always kind and pleasant to me.
Now, one more thing you should know. This interview is all about gardening. It would be many years before Stewart’s legal troubles emerged, so that topic never even comes up here.
So here now, from 1991, Martha Stewart.
Martha Stewart will be 80 this summer. She is chairwoman of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia
Photo: Capitol Records
He was the kid from a small town in Arkansas who grew up to become a country and western superstar.
Born in 1936, Glen Campbell first took up the guitar as a young boy. By the time he was in his twenties, he was an in-demand studio musician in Los Angeles, recording with some of the biggest names of the day.
He broke out as a solo artist in the mid-’60s, and had his first big hit — “Gentle on My Mind” — in 1967.
Then came more chart-toppers: “By the Time I Get to Phoenix”.. “Dreams of the Everyday Housewife” .. “Wichita Lineman” ..”Galveston” .. “Rhinestone Cowboy”.. and “Southern Nights.”
He also had his own very popular TV variet show.
But in his personal life, there was also serious substance abuse.
In 1994, Glen Campbell wrote his memoir, a book he called Rhinestone Cowboy. And that’s when I met him.
So here now, from 1994, Glen Campbell
Glen Campbell was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2011. He died in 2017. He was 81.
When you begin to list the greatest American Jazz percussionists of all time, near the top of that list has to be the great Vibe the harpist and drummer Lionel Hampton.
In a career that began in the 1920s, when he was a teenager, Lionel Hampton rose to primnence in the jazz community, playing alongside such names as Louis Armstrong and Benny Goodman.
Later, Hampton became a bandleader himself.
He wrote a memoir in 1989, and that’s what I met him
So here now, from 1989, the great Lionel Hampton.
Lionel Hampton died in 2002. He was 94.
Raise your hand if you had a Barbie Doll, or Hot Wheels, when you were a kid.
Or how about a Chatty Cathy, or a See-and-Say?
Bu perhaps no toy of the 20th century in America was more iconic, more popular, and more widely known than the ubiquitous Barbie doll.
Ruth Handler was the key figure in bringing all of those to market, as the co-founder of Mattel Toys.
She told her story, and Mattel’s, in a 1994 book. That’s when I met her. So here now, from 1994, Ruth Handler:
Ruth Handler died in 2002 at the age of 85.
Well before her 20th birthday, Patty Duke had already won an Oscar and was star of her own TV series.
Patty Duke won the Oscar for best supporting actress in The 1962 movie The Miracle Worker, which was the captain from the Broadway play in which she also starred.
On the heels of that success came her TV series, the Patty Duke Show, in which she played the dual roles of typical American teemager Patty and her identical cousin from England, Cathy.
Later Patty Duke moved on to more sophisticated, adult roles, including a part in the movie Valley of the Dolls.
But all along the way, she suffered from severe, undiagnosed bipolar disorder, Exacerbated by various forms of abuse.
In the early 1980s Duke finally got the help she needed, And a few years later, she wrote a memoir entitled Call Me Anna. That’s when I met her.
Now it’s important to keep in mind that this interview is 33 years old, and many advances have been made not only in the treatment of the disorder, but how we refer to it.
So here now, from 1988, Patty Duke.
Patty Duke died in 2016. She was 69.
Nobel laureate Dr. James D. Watson, Chancellor, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.
In 1953, an earnest and ambitious 25-year-old scientist nmaed James Watson made a groundbreaking discovery that helped revolutionize science, medicine, even the law.
Working alongside Francis Crick, Watson identified the double-helix structure of DNA.
That breakthrough earned Watson and Crick the Nobel Prize in medicine in 1962. Watson wrote a book explaining the double helix.
I met him in 2002, when he published another book, which he called “Genes, Girls, and Gamow.” That was a reference to George Gamow, a pioneering theoretical physicist who contributed to, and built on, Watson and crick’s work.
From the moment I met him, Watson won me over with his warmth, humanity, and roll sense of humor.
So here now, from 2002, James Watson.
James Watson celebrated his 93rd birthday last week. We’re not sure if you ever got an email account.
A third-rate burglary” at Washington’s Watergate hotel and office complex in the summer of 1972 launched a scandal that ultimately brought down the presidency of Richard M. Nixon.
At the very center of that burglary, and ensuing Scandal, was G. Gordon Liddy, a former FBI agent who headed the the infamous White House “Plumbers” unit.
After serving prison time for his role in Watergate, Liddy wrote a book called “Will,” which became a bestseller for years to come.
In 1991 Liddy updated his book, adding new information that had been revealed in a book by two journalists,Len Colodny and Robert Gettlin, called “Silent Coup.”
As you are about to hear, Libby discovered that the Scandal that he was at the center of was not what he thought it was.
So here now, from 1991, G. Gordon Liddy.
G. Gordon Liddy died last week. He was 90.