Hume Cronyn

Sometimes if you’re an actor, it’s helpful to not have a specific look about you. Early In his career, a casting director told Hume Cronyn that he didn’t look like anything, but that may have helped him achieve the longevity many actors only dream of

The Canadian-born Cronyn had a decades-long career in the theater, movies, television and radio. Not to mention a 52-year marriage to actress Jessica Tandy

In 1991, the then-80-year-old Cronyn wrote his autobiography a book he called A Terrible Liar.

So here now from 1991. Hume Cronyn.

After 52 years of marriage, Jessica Tandy died in 1994. Two years later Hume Cronyn married Susan Cooper, his old friend who had persuaded him to write his autobiography. He died in 2003 just a month before his 92nd birthday.

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Audrey Meadows

It was on this date 66 years ago that one of the most popular, most durable, and most iconic situation comedies in television history was born.

Taking place mostly in a tiny two room apartment in Brooklyn, The Honeymooners set new standards for television comedy.

Captained by the comic genius of Jackie Gleason, the show also featured the versatile Art Carney, Joyce Randolph, and, of course, as Ralph Kramden long-suffering wife Alice, Audrey Meadows.

A classically beautiful actress who purposely downplayed her looks for the role, Meadows also proved to be a formidable counterpoint to the Ralph Kramden character.

In 1994, Audrey Meadows wrote a book called Love, Alice. And there was no way I was going to miss the opportunity to meet her and talk with her. After all, I had grown up with The Honeymooners, and I confessed, I was more than a little starstruck.

So here now, from 1994, Audrey Meadows.

Audrey Meadows died in 1998, just five days before her 74th birthday.

Maxene Andrews

This weekend marks the 76th anniversary V-J Day, the day that the Japanese surrendered to the United States to end World War II.

And the interview you’re about to hear includes one of the most moving and poignant stories associated with that day. More on that in a minute…

For the entire duration of the war, America’s entertainers provided an invaluable service to their country, by putting on literally thousands of shows for servicemen and women in the US and abroad.

And one of the most popular entertainment Acts what’s The Andrews Sisters, a trio from Minnesota that included Laverne, Maxine, and Patti. To this day, they are known for a number of hit songs…

I met Maxine Andrews a 1993, when she wrote a book about The Andrews Sisters and their experience in the USO during World War II.

Along with her co-author, writer Bill Gilbert, Andrews described the long days and weeks and months of performing, which no one complained about.

And I promise you, the story Maxine Andrews tells about V-J day is a story you will always remember.

So here now, from 1993, Maxine Andrews.

Maexene Andrews died two years after this interview. She was 79.

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Ginger Rogers

Ginger Rogers is one of those Hollywood figures who transcended mere stardom, and became a cultural icon.

In the 1930s she and her dance partner Fred Astaire dominated American film.

Her talent was apparent early on. At age 14, she wanted Charleston dance contest.

And before long she was in vaudeville, then Broadway, and finally the movies.

And then RKO Pictures paired her with Fred Astaire, and the rest, as they say, is history.

And it was famously said of her that she could do everything Fred Astaire could do, but backwards and in high heels. You’ll hear more about that in this interview…

Finally, in 1991 at age 80 Ginger Rogers wrote her autobiography. And that’s when I met her.

Wheelchair-bound, and looking a bit frail, Rogers nevertheless melted my heart.

So here now, from 1991, Ginger Rogers.

Ginger Rogers died in 1995, at the age of 84. But had she lived, she would have marked her 110th birthday today, July 16th.

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David Brinkley

Young journalist David Brinkley first came to Washington, D.C. in 1943, just as World War II was transforming the nation’s capital.

The sleepy Southern town that had been home to a small federal government suddenly burgeoned into a major city filled with office buildings, bureaucracy, lobbyists, and lots of money.

After the wa, in 1956, NBC paired Brinkley with Chet Huntley to co-anchor their nightly news.

After leaving NBC in the 1970s, Brinkley joined ABC, where he was the founding host of the Sunday morning show “This Week.” He retired in 1997.

It was in the late 1980s that Brinkley wrote his first book, on account of the War years called Washington Goes to War. It became a major bestseller. And that’s when I met him.

So here now, from 1989, David Brinkley.

David Brinkley died in 2003. He was 82.

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Chuck Yeager

He was a farm boy from Hamlin, West Virginia. Chuck Yeager join the Army at the outset of World War II, Have it wasn’t long before he became a fighter pilot.

Two years after the war ended, in 1947, Chuck Yeager became the first test pilot to break the sound barrier.

He rose through the ranks to become a general, before retiring.

By the time I met him in the fall of 1988, Yeager was still finding new adventures. He and his longtime friend Bud Anderson co-wrote a book about their adventures hiking in the High Sierras.

So here now, from 1988, Chuck Yeager and Bud Anderson:

Chuck Yeager died last December. He was 97,

Lionel Hampton

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.

Bob Feller

Tomorrow is Major League Baseball’s opening day. So today, a conversation from a few years ago with one of the greatest major league pitchers of all time.

Bob Feller, a farm boy from Iowa, joined the Cleveland Indians when he was just 17 years old. And during his 18 Major League Seasons that followed, seller set all kinds of pitching records.

Is 98 mile per hour fastball earned him the nicknames rapid Robert, or Bullet Bob.

And he is to this day the only major league pitcher to ever throw a no-hitter on the first day of the season.

I had the chance to speak with Bob Feller in 1990, 50 years after his historic opening day no hitter.

And in the interview you’re about to hear, Bob Feller also Reveals His close connection to one of the most famous baseball photos of all time.

So here now, from 1990, Bob Feller:

Bob Feller died 2010, not long after his 92nd birthday.

Mickey Rooney

In nearly thirty years of interviewing celebrities and big names, I didn’t often get very Starstruck, but this day I did.

It’s hard to overstate how big a star Mickey Rooney was. For decades, he was one of the most recognizable names and faces in all of Hollywood. If you’ve ever watched one of his movies on one of the classic movie networks, you know his Andy Hardy series, and all those hey kids, let’s put on a show movies with Judy Garland.

To the general public, Mickey was known primarily for two things: his height, he was only five foot three, and his marriages, of which there were many.

So when he published his Memoirs in 1994, I jumped at the chance to interview him.

But as you’re about to hear, Mickey wanted to talk about not just the book he was there to promote, but all his other books. I think he was a frustrated author at heart.

Anyway, here now, from 1994, the great Mickey Rooney.

Had he lived, Mickey Rooney would ha veeb 100 today. He died in 2014, at the age of 93.