Film director Robert Altman. He's best known for the 1975 film "Nashville," a free-form mosaic of American life as seen through 24 characters involved in a political rally. His other films include "3 Women," a hypnotic film about the troubled friendship of three troubled women. Altman has been working in television recently, directing the remake of the classic 1953 movie "The Caine Mutiny" that aired earlier this month on CBS.
Comic and actor Howie Mandel. Mandel is one of the stars of "St. Elsewhere," the acclaimed NBC weekly series that follows the lives of the medical staff of the beleaguered St. Eligius, a fictional hospital set in a rough-and-tumble Boston neighborhood. Today, May 25, is final episode of the seven-year series.
Television producer and screenwriter Allan Burns. He co-created "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," "Rhoda," "He and She," "Lou Grant" and "The Munsters," a body of work that has earned him 8 Emmys. Burns has a new series this fall on NBC titled "FM." It's about the on-the-job and at home travails of a public radio program director. (Interview by Sedge Thomson)
Television producer Steven Bochco. He is, arguably, one of the most influential creative people in television. With shows like "Hill Street Blues" and "L.A.Law," Bochco can claim credit for a whole TV genre: intensely realistic dramas that use an ensemble cast and multiple, interweaving plots that quickly cut back and forth. Those programs helped make NBC the top network and the perceived leader for innovative programming.
Actor Ed Begley, Jr. He's best known for his role as the bumbling Dr. Victor Erlich in the television show, "St. Elsewhere." Before that, he's appeared in "Spinal Tap," where he had a non-speaking role as a drummer during the "paisley period," in "The Accidental Tourist," and in "Scenes from a Class Struggle in Beverly Hills." He's also done stand-up comedy. He's starring in the new movie, "She-Devil," with Meryl Streep and Roseanne Barr.
Actor and Director William H. Macy. He's been associated with playwright and film director David Mamet for over 15 years. He appeared in the original productions of Mamet's American Buffalo and The Water Engine. He's appeared in Mamet's films, "House of Games," and "Things Change." Now he's directing the theatrical debut of Mamet's play, "Squirrels," at the Philadelphia festival of New Plays. One of Macy'S earliest acting roles was in the workshop production of "Squirrels" in the 1970's in Chicago.
Actress Laurie Metcalf. Metcalf plays Roseanne's sister in the hit TV series. She's appeared in several movies, such as "Uncle Buck," "Making Mr. Right," and "Desperately Seeking Susan," and she plays a cop in the new film "Internal Affairs," starring Richard Gere and Andy Garcia. Metcalf got her start at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theater, which she started with John Malkovich and Terry Kinney.
Actor Timothy Busfield. He plays Elliot Weston on the ABC series, "thirtysomething." (he's the one with the red hair). He also appeared last summer in the movie, "Field of Dreams." Those roles follow a career that included commercials, parts in "Revenge of the Nerds," "Reggie," and "Trapper John M.D." Next week, Busfield is hosting a Lifetime cable special called "Don't Divorce the Children," about the trauma of childhood separation and divorce.
Actress Barbara Hershey. Hershey's had a long career in Hollywood, from films such as "Boxcar Bertha" in the 60s to "Hannah and Her Sisters," and "The Last Temptation of Christ." Next week, she stars in a made for T-V movie called "A Killing in a Small Town." It's based on the true-list story of a Texas woman who brutally murders her friend.