William Peter Blatty

Photo:Terry Ballard

Back in the 1960s, he had a very successful career writing screenplays for comedies. William Peter Blatty’s credits include movies like A Shot In The Dark, the second movie in the Pink Panther series, and The Man From The Diner’s Club, starring Danny Kaye.

The “Exorcist Stairs” in Georgetown, Washington DC

But of course, Blatty’s most famous and popular work, the one for which he is best remembered today, was his 1971 novel that at first, no one wanted to publish.

It was called The Exorcist. And it has become a classic.

In 2013 I had the chance to spend a few minutes with this very warm, funny, and personable author.

So here now, from 2013, William Peter Blatty.

William Peter Blatty died in 2017, five dayus after his 89th birthday.

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Laura Walker

How would it make you feel if you woke up one day and realized your father was a traitor to his country?

Unfortunately that was more than just a rhetorical question for Laura Walker, whose father, John Walker Jr., is considered one of the most notorious and dangerous spies in American history.

By the time he was caught in the mid-1980s John Walker Jr. had been spying for the Soviet Union for over 20 years, even bringing his son Michael into the “Walker family spy ring,” as it became known.

And he tried to recruit his daughter Laura into his spy ring as well, after she joined the military, but it was only after she tipped off authorities that her father and brother were caught.

In 1988 Laura Walker wrote a book about called Daughter of Deceit. That’s when I have a chance to meet her. So here now from 1988, Laura Walker.

John Walker was sentenced 36 years ago this week to life in prison. He died in prison in 2014 at age 77.

Bill Kinison

It was an HBO Young Comedians special in late summer 1985 that launched a young comedian to national fame. Sam Kinison became wildly popular almost overnight.

And for the next several years was one of America’s favorite stand-up comedians.

Tragically Sam Kinison’s life ended abruptly in April 1992 in a horrible car crash in California. His brother Bill Kinison was in the car behind him and witness the accident.

Two years later Bill Kinison wrote a book about his little brother call Brother Sam. That’s why I had a chance to meet him/

So here now from 1994 Bill Kinison.

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Gennifer Flowers

In recent years it’s Donald Trump’s extramarital Affairs that have captured all the media attention. But thirty years ago, there was someone else who was all over the headlines, for her claims of an extramarital affair with a then-presidential candidate.

In January 1992 Gennifer flowers came forward with her story of a long-time affair with then Arkansas governor Bill Clinton, who was running for president.

But as she explained in a 1995 book, flowers may never have brought her allegations public, if not for media articles the out of her, including a story in the supermarket tabloid the star.

I met her in 1995 when she was doing a book tour. So here now, from 1995, Gennifer flowers.

Gennifer Flowers is 71 now.

Sen. Robert Byrd

For over half a century Robert Byrd served the people of West Virginia in Congress, first in the House of Representatives, then in the United States Senate. He was, in fact, the longest serving US senator ever, until Michigan’s John Dingell surpassed him.

And if you think West Virginia’s current Senator Joe manchin has outsize influence, he’s nothing compared to what Byrd had.

The one and only time I had a chance to meet Senator Byrd was in 2004. It was just a couple of months before the presidential election, in which George W Bush was running for re-election against Democrat John Kerry..

Byrd had written a book obviously intended to help carries effort, in which Byrd scathingly criticized President Bush for the Iraq War.

That’s the background on the context. So here now, the interview. My 2004 conversation with Senator Robert Byrd.

Senator Robert Byrd died in 2010. He was 92.

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Walt Frazier

As the 1960s Drew to a close, New York had a unique Trifecta of sports victories.

In January of 1969, the New York Jets won Super Bowl 3.

After an incredible summer with baseball, the Miracle Mets won the 1969 World Series.

And then the 1969 – 70 New York Knicks tore up the MBA, including an 18-game winning streak, and won the league championship in the spring of 1970.

One of the key players on that Knicks team was Walt Frazier, nicknamed Clyde. In fact he is often considered one of the greatest NBA players of all time.

In 1988, several years after he retired, Walt Frazier wrote A Memoir of that 6970 season. And that’s when I met him.

So here now, from 1988, Walt Frazier.

Walt Frazier is 76 now. He can still be heard doing color commentary on New York Knicks games.

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Tony Robbins

Photo: Randy Stewart

After a childhood he once described as “chaotiz” and “abusive,” and a pituitary tumor that made him grow 10 inches in high school. Tony Robbins moved out on his own at age 17. He didn’t go to college, and it may have looked like he was destined for a life of disappointment and despair.

But an epiphany when he was in his early 20s turned his life around, and Robbins eventually became one of the country’s best-known and most in-demand motivational speakers.

I first met him in 1986, as his career was taking off, and then again five years later when he wrote his book Awaken the Giant Within.

So here now, from 1991, Tony Robbins.

Tony Robbins is 61. He lives in Florida.

Alice Walker

She may be best known by most people for her novel The Color Purple, which won the 1982 Pulitzer Prize for fiction, and which later became a hugely popular movie.

But Alice Walker has also written dozens of other books, both fiction and nonfiction, including many collections of poetry.

I met and interviewed her several times over the years, including in tghe spring of 2003 when she published a book of poetry called Absolute Trust in the Goodness of The Earth.

Our conversation took place just hours before the Us and other nations launched the attacks that initiated the Iraq war. And that was weighing heavily on her mind.

So here now, from 2003, Alice Walker.

Alice Walker is 77. Her most recent book of poetry, Taking the Arrow Out of the Heart. was published in 2018

Her last novel, Now Is the Time to Open Your Heart. was published in 2004.


Photo: Donovan (r) with Bill and Hi;llary Thompson

The people of Scotland and Ireland have a centuries-old tradition of song, poem, and story.

In the early 1960s a young poet, Storyteller, and songwriter emerged, and uickly captured the imagination of millions.

His name is Donovan Leitch, but he has always been known professionally as simply Donovan.

His more than 200 songs included ,amu mpw-classic ‘60s tunes.

But in 1970, still only in his mid-twenties, Donovan walked away from it. And he explained why, in a 2007 book that he called “The Autobiography of Donovan.”

I interviewd him when he visited the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC that January.

So here now, from 2007, Donovan:

Donovan is 75 now. He lives in County Cork, Ireland.

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Al Franken

Al Franken has had several careers. He was one of the original writers and cast members of Saturday Night Live in the mid-1970s. In fact, he was with the show for 15 years.

Later he became a liberal commentator, with his own radio show.

Then there was a short-lived NBC sitcom called Lateline..

And then, in 2008, he ran for the United States Senate from Minnesota. And he won. Six years later, he was re-elected.

But he was forced to resign his senate seat in early 2018, after allegations of sexual misconduct.

Al Franken is now 70 years old. He can be heard Saturday mornings on Sirius-XM Radio. And he’s currently on a 15-city live tour.

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