Lynn Redgrave

Photo by John Mathew Smith

She was born into a prominent show business family in 1943, so it was perhaps her destiny to become a successful, award-winning and acclaimed actress.

Lynn Redgrave made her theatrical debut when she was still a teenager, and by the early 1960s had appeared in several movies.

It was her title role in the 1966 film Georgy Girl that catapulted her to startdom.

But a side effect of that newfound attention was what we would now call body shaming. Critics felt license to comment mercilessly on Red Graves weight and figure.

She struggled with bulimia. Finally, in the 1980s, she joined Weight Watchers, ultimately starring in TV commercials for them.

In 1991 she told her story in a book called this is living. And that’s whem I met her .

So here now, from 1991, Lynn Redgrave.

Lynn Redgrave died in 2010 after a long fight against breast cancer. She was 67.

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Cyndy Garvey

Photo by Cal Montney, LA Times

Major League baseball fans will remember Steve Garvey, the charismatic All-Star first baseman for the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1970s and 1980s.

On the field, Garvey was a superstar.

In his personal life, however, not so much, according to his ex-wife Cyndy Garvey.

There’s was a messy and public divorce in the late 1970s.

And, according to Cyndy, she took much of the blame from loyal Dodgers fan who couldn’t believe allegations accusing Steve of cheating and abuse.

Steve and Cyndy Garvey with their daughter, 1975. Photo: LA Times

She put it all in her 1989 book The Secret Life of Cyndy Garvey.

And that’s when I met her. So here now, from 1989, Cyndy Garvey.

Cyndy Garvey celebrated her 74th birthday this month.

More than 30 years after his retirement from baseball, Steve Garvey has not yet won election to the baseball Hall of Fame.

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Thomas Keneally

Tom Keneally has written dozens of books in his career, spanning from the 1960s.

But the one book with which you may be most familiar is his prize-winning 1982 book called Schindler’s Ark. It was later renamed Schindler’s List, and that’s what the movie was based on.

Keneally is one of Australia’s most prolific, and most honored, authors.

He has also been a playwright, lecturer, and even actor.

I’ve had the privilege of interviewing him half a dozen times over the years, including our talk in 1995 about his novel A River Town.

So here now, from 1995, Thomas Keneally.

Thomas Keneally will be 88 this fall. His last book was published in 2019.

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Amy Tan

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Helen Gurley Brown

Photo by Kingkongphoto

What is it about growing older? That seems to really freak some people out?

Yes, you can talk the good talk about growing old gracefully at all that. But some people just don’t want to grow old.

Or, at least, feel like they are growing old.

Such was the case with the long time editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine, Helen Gurley Brown.

After all, she had built her reputation from the 1960s on the idea of being youthful and sexy and vibrant.

But, facing up to chronological reality, in 1993, Brown wrote a book called The late show. And that’s when I met her.

So here now, from 1993, 71-year-old Helen Gurley Brown.

Helen Gurley Brown died in 2012. She was 90.

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David Morehouse

His story may sound like something from a scary science fiction movie.

Or from an episode of South Park.

But in 1996, a former Army intelligence officer named David Morehouse wrote a book about his experience as what he called a “psychic warrior.”

In that book, Morehouse explained how he was recruited for a super top secret defense program called Operation Stargate.

It was based on the principle of so-called “remote viewing,” in which extraordinary powers of the mind were used as an intelligence-gathering tool.

I met David Morehouse when he was on a book tour promoting “Psychic Warrior.” So here now, from 1996, David Morehouse.

David Morehouse later made a career of training others to use their powers of remote viewing. He is now 69 and losing California.

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Phyllis Schlafly

She was a middle-aged housewife from Alton, Illinois. But in the 1970s, Phyllis Schlafly launched an anti-feminist crusade that would make her a household name — lauded by many, revered by some, but hated and smeared by many others.

Schlafly positioned herself as the defender of traditional motherhood, becoming virulently anti-feminist, and the leading opponent of the then still-pending Equal Rights Amendment.

As the founder of the group Eagle Forum, Schlafly also had huge influence on the direction of the conservative movement in America.

She even had a syndicated column, and in 2003 she published a collection of those columns, a book she called Feminist Fantasies.

So this is one of the several times that I interviewed her over the years. So here now, from 2003, Phyllis Schlafly.

Phyllis schlafly died in 2016. She was 92.

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Richard Adler

In the mid-1950s no one on Broadway was hotter than the team of Adler and Ross.

Composer Richard Adler and lyricist Jerry Ross produced back to back Broadway hits The Pajama Game and Damn Yankees, featuring songs that would remain popular for decades.

Their songs helped make other artists popular, too, like Tony Bennett and Rosemary Clooney.

But in 1955, the same year Damn Yankees was becoming a hit, Jerry Ross died at age 29 from complications of chronic lung disease.

The loss was both a professional and personal tragedy for Richard Adler.

He continued his work, teaming with other collaborators from time to time, and adapting to changing times.

In 1990, Adler wrote his autobiography, which he called You Gotta Have Heart. And that’s when I met him. So here now, from 1990, Richard Adler.

Richard Adler died in 2012. He was 90.

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Roz Chast

Photo by Larry D. Moore

What do you get when you bring together one of America’s favorite comic actors and one of its favorite and most prolific cartoonists?

You get a whimsical and unique book for children,

created by comedian Steve Martin and New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast.

It’s called The Alphabet from A to Y With Bonus Letter Z

I talked with Roz Chas about it when the book was published in the fall of 2007.

So here now, from 2007, Roz Chast.

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Alan Shepard

Alan Shepard was one of the original Mercury 7 astronauts, you know, the guys with “the right stuff.”

Just a few years later, Shepard became the oldest man ever to walk on the surface of the moon.

Shepard was a key player in NASA’s Apollo space program, which put us on the moon in 1969.

And in 1994, Shepard, along with fellow astronaut Deke Slaytonnand two veteran journalists, co-authored a book about that mission to the moon Their book was called Moon Shot.

Sadly, Slayton died before the book was released. But I had the chance to meet and interview the great Alan Shepard .

So here now, from 1994, Alan Shepard.

Alan Shepard died in 1998. He was 74.

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Paul Dickson

Tomorrow night is major league baseball’s All-Star game.

Did you ever consider how many words and phrases in our everyday language have their origins in baseball?

We all know what it means, for example, to be giving a big presentation and be a big success at it- they say you hit a home run.

Or if it fell flat, you struck out.

Those are just two of the thousands of baseball terms and slang that writer Paul Dickson found when he put together his definitive book called The Dickson Baseball Dictionary.

It’s been out for over 30 years, but it’s still the definitive book on the subject.

Paul and I go way back, and when we talked in 1989 about The Dickson Baseball Dctionary it was one of our several interviews over the years.

So here now, from 1989, Paul Dickson.

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