Episode 106: "Scarecrow and Mrs. King and Martha Smith"

Aka - Some Gals Have All The Luck! Sharon and Susan talk with “Scarecrow & Mrs. King’s” one-and-only “Francine Desmond” – actress Martha Smith. Our conversation covers everything from her early days as a model for the Ford Motor Company to her “National Lampoon’s Animal House” adventures and finally to working on the show she first knew only as “The Secret Kate Jackson Project” – we’ll find out why Martha Smith truly is the “Gal With All The Luck”! Along the way, we’ll discuss…
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The Conversation

  • Brunching with John Belushi! Touring with Rod Stewart!
  • Posing for Playboy Playmate of the Month!
  • The “other” spy show that almost happened: “Ebony, Ivory and Jade” (1979) with Bert Convy and Debbie Allen.
  • Going undercover with Kate Jackson in Martha’s all-time favorite episode, “Life of the Party” aka Maids.
  • The shelved script from Season 2 (“A Matter of Choice”) that was dusted off for the end of Season 4 – and finally gave Francine a boyfriend - and an apartment!
  • Francine’s on-screen adventures in Europe – and Martha’s off-screen ones, too! (Who were those German men Bruce Boxleitner keeps teasing her about, anyway?)


Plus: We talk about how she stood up for herself (and her character, Francine) as the show – and showrunners – kept changing; and everything from divorces to motorcycle accidents to… Bruce Boxleitner and “The Hooker Routine”?! 


Join us on our deep-dive into all things Francine and Mrs. King with the impressive, irreverent and irreplaceable Martha Smith! 

Our Audio-ography

Martha Smith: https://www.facebook.com/groups/154944167855260

Scarecrow and Mrs. King Anniversary Reunion Page:


Watch Scarecrow and Mrs. King at Amazon - https://amzn.to/3ChHVXM

On DVD - https://amzn.to/3SuipDQ


Fiona W. book: 

When Women Invented Television by Jennifer Keishin Armstrong - 

Affiliate links! https://amzn.to/3LPVPTP

Tamara M. show:  Hunter with Stephanie Kramer and Fred Dryer. - 


80s TV Ladies theme and parody songs, including this episode’s “Some Gals Have All the Luck - Martha Smith” by Amy Englehardt. Written by Susan Lambert Hatem and Amy Englehardt.

AmyEnglehardt.com - https://www.amyengelhardt.com

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80s TV Ladies™ Episode 106 - “Scarecrow and Mrs. King and Martha Smith.” Produced by 134 West and Susan Lambert Hatem. Hosted by Susan Lambert Hatem and Sharon Johnson. Guest: Martha Smith. Sound Engineer and Editor: Kevin Ducey. Editor: Chris Stachiw. Producer: Melissa Roth. Associate Producer: Sergio Perez. Music by Amy Engelhardt. Copyright 2022 134 West, LLC and Susan Lambert. All Rights Reserved.


Susan Lambert Hatem  00:00

Hi there 80s TVLadies listeners. We want to take a moment to remind you that your vote is your voice and your voice matters. This coming November is one of the most important elections of our lifetime. So please make sure you are registered to vote. You can go to vote.org to check your registration, or sign up and make sure that your voice is heard. That's vote.org. V O T E dot O R G.

song  00:27    

(parody of Rod Stewart's 'Some Guys Have All the Luck') Some gals have all the luck. Some gals have all the pain. This gal once hung with Rod Stewart. Stake-out. Starts backin' Mrs King! woo oo oo woo oo. woo oo oo oo. Martha Smith. woo oo oo woo oo. woo oo oo oo

Susan Lambert Hatem  00:46

Hello everyone! Welcome to 80s TV Ladies. I'm Susan Lambert Hatem and I'm super nerd ball excited today.

Sharon Johnson  00:53

And I'm Sharon Johnson. We're your host and we're talking about female driven TV shows from the 1980s

Susan Lambert Hatem  01:00

And I am nerding out Sharon because we have another special guest today from Scarecrow & Mrs. King. Today we're going to be talking about acting in the 80s, Kate Jackson, Bruce Boxleitner and 80s hair with the actress who played Agent Francine Desmond in Scarecrow & Mrs. King.

Sharon Johnson  01:16

And I have many many questions about Animal House and Love Sydney. Welcome to SMK Special Edition with Martha Smith.

Susan Lambert Hatem  01:26


Sharon Johnson  01:26

Martha is probably best known for her motion picture debut as the southern cheerleader Barbara Babs Jansen rival to John Belushi's Bluto in the comedy blockbuster Animal House. She's made hundreds of TV appearances and shows from Days of Our Lives, Happy days, Charlie's Angels to Taxi.

Susan Lambert Hatem  01:45

So welcome Martha Smith.

Martha Smith  01:47

Why, thank you guys.

Susan Lambert Hatem  01:48

I'm gonna nerd out. So forgive me for that.

Martha Smith  01:50

I'll nerd with you.

Susan Lambert Hatem  01:51

Okay, good. We have so much to talk about. But before we get into all things SMK, we need to talk about a couple of projects that happened before Scarecrow.

Martha Smith  02:00


Susan Lambert Hatem  02:01

Animal House.

Martha Smith  02:02


Susan Lambert Hatem  02:03

I mean, things happen for you before that. But Animal House. Can you talk about... did you know what you were getting into with that movie?

Martha Smith  02:11

Not at all. No, no, it was everybody's first movie except for like Donald Sutherland and Tim Matheson maybe. But, so we were all virgins for the film scene. And Animal House, I got called into read for the other role. The other Blonde Cheerleader that looked... always gets confused with me. But you know that scene read in the script, she stands nude in front of the window and masturbates herself. And there was another scene in the script that said, she's in her cheerleader outfit. She jumps up into splits with nothing on underneath her skirt. And John Belushi looks up. So I thought, you know I don't know if I want to do this right now. My first film role, you know. I had been fighting that image. And I saw the other role, (with the accent) the Southern Cheerleader who was just such a bitch. (Laughing)

Sharon Johnson  02:50


Martha Smith  02:51

So I thought, Well, this looks like a lot of fun. I could get my teeth into that. And I asked them, can I read for Babs? And they said, Yeah. And so that was the genesis of how that came about. And no, nobody knew. Landis knew. John Landis our director, he sent us little kind of 1930s postcards every day in our mailbox at the hotel. And he sent us, they would say, we're making a great movie. This is gonna be historic! This is legend! And he'd say at the end of the scene, you know, this scene's going down in history! And we're like alright.(Laughing) Nobody knew. But it... It all came together in such a fresh way. That at that time hadn't happened. And I really attribute so much of that to, besides casting, our writers were phenomenal from Harvard Lampoon...that would become National Lampoon. Doug Kenney, who we lost in 1980, and Harold Ramis and Chris Miller, those guys. And then John Landis. His spin on it all, also being very new to film, it's like a second or third film, you know. And he had this frenetic kind of comedy sensibility. So then Belushi! You know, throw, throw that in the mix from Saturday Night Live, and boom! It just, it just did it.

Susan Lambert Hatem  03:54

Amazing! And so, you know, those guys have a reputation. (guffaw) What was ...

Martha Smith  04:00

Which one? (laughing) All of them!

Susan Lambert Hatem  04:02

John Belushi and all of them. But so was it like professional onset? Was it like chaos on set?

Martha Smith  04:08

Well, there was a kind of organized chaos for the comedy to spin. John Landis is a character who, you can tell in his films, he is operating at a different hyperspeed than everybody else. So he's like, Be FUNNY. Do this. Now throw. (laughing) You know, he's really on top of the rhythm. But that was the chaos. The chaos was nothing to do with John Belushi. John Belushi was a totally professional actor. Always on time. Always there. Did his role. Knew what to do. Very funny. Very kind. And I loved working with him. I had, I didn't see drugs, I'm sure, I'm not naive you know. I know, I've seen the stories and read the books and all of that, and I know how he died. But for his filming on the set of our movie, he was there as an actor.  You know? I went to a party at his house. And even then, I didn't you know, it was a brunch. I didn't see anything. We all went to a party. I don't know. It's just something that was separate.

Susan Lambert Hatem  04:59

What a phenomenal talent. And I just... it's so funny how many six degrees of separation there are. Because Eugenie Ross Lemming started with John Belushi and Second City...

Martha Smith  05:00

... I know!

Susan Lambert Hatem  05:08

So we, we talked to her, you know, last week and so...

Martha Smith  05:11

And Kevin Bacon. Throw him in, too!

Susan Lambert Hatem  05:13

I know. There you go! everybody's connected. Everywhere around the world. Uh oh, Melissa has a question...

Melissa Roth  05:18

No, I have I have a connection to both Tim Matheson and Harold Ramis.

Susan Lambert Hatem  05:23


Martha Smith  05:24

Yeah. ...

Melissa Roth  05:24

Rest in peace. Harold Ramis...

Melissa Roth  05:26

He was great to work with. I worked with him. He was directing a TV movie that I was working on. Yeah.

Susan Lambert Hatem  05:31

You we're working on. What, do you remember what the name of it was?

Melissa Roth  05:33

No, it was, you know, but it was really fun working with him. Yeah...

Susan Lambert Hatem  05:37

He seemed like a sweetheart.

Martha Smith  05:38


Susan Lambert Hatem  05:39

Melissa was was in camerawork for for many a years, many a decade.

Martha Smith  05:43

Oh good!

Melissa Roth  05:43

Yeah. Matheson directed Without A Trace.

Susan Lambert Hatem  05:46

Okay. All right.

Martha Smith  05:47

Ah, ha Tim's Great. What an Otter! What a wonderful Otter. He's a gynecologist now. (Laughing)

Sharon Johnson  05:55


Martha Smith  05:55

Beverly Hills.  (chuckles)

Sharon Johnson  05:57

And I have a good friend who was an extra on Animal House. He was in the scene near the opening of the show where, movie where... it, there's a party at the Frat House. And what's hilarious about Dennis is being able to see him on screen. It's, he's wearing this yellow sweater, and...

Martha Smith  06:14

...Ooh.  I remember the yellow sweater!

Martha Smith  06:17

I think I do! That that's a great scene! That, I'm in that scene! (laughing)

Sharon Johnson  06:17

Do you reallly? (laughing)

Sharon Johnson  06:22

So you see him sitting over in the corner somewhere with some people and then they cut away to the looking at the other direction. There he is going out the door. So throughout the entirety of the scene, you see that. But he's also in, in the scene where the, the the pledges are being rousted out of bed, and they're lined up. And he's in that. He's one of the guys in that as well. And he... I was just recently, I was just telling them recently, that when he was shooting it, he was a freshman at at O.U. And one day found a couch to sit on, to do some reading for a class. And here comes John Belushi and sits down and they proceed to have a lovely conversation for about an hour. So..

Martha Smith  07:06


Sharon Johnson  07:06

...had nothing but great things to say about him. Which echoes exactly what you were saying as well.

Martha Smith  07:10

Yeah, and I hate what happens posthumously when they take potshots at these people. And everybody's got flaws, but they'll take them, magnify them make them uber dramatic, like some sort of novella. Which they're doing right now with Hefner. And it really bothers me when the dead person isn't there to defend themselves. And they go in for this kill. You know?

Sharon Johnson  07:29

Everybody's not one thing. So.

Martha Smith  07:31


Susan Lambert Hatem  07:32

So let's talk about your Playboy time, because that was a big breakthrough.

Susan Lambert Hatem  07:38

... (laughing) That's a good segue.You brought it up. Let's go. But I mean, come on. You're from Midwest, right? You're like, you're young. Were you trying to be an actress? And a model?

Martha Smith  07:38

...into that. (laughing)

Martha Smith  07:49

No, no, that was the least thing in my mind, honestly. I was, I wanted to be a shrink. (laughing) I wanted to be a psychologist. And, actually, I had been accepted to a community college at a very young age, but they told me that, they discouraged me from going out as a major in psychology. They said, you're going to, you know, not socially... it's not good for you. It'll kill your passion for psychology. And so I went and worked in mental institution instead (laughing) at that time, as a very young person in an extremely regressed ward. But I saw, later on the similarities between, you know, acting and psychology and all of these other Ologies, you just take to your character card. I wanted to be a professional. I was in that Era where that was what I was going to do, but didn't get a full college education. So my next goal was to get out of the house and to move into my own place very young, and get a little money to put down on rent. And I took up modeling, because my sister was a model. And she had been in Playboy before me. She had been the top half of a Rare Bird. You probably remember that. (laughing)

Susan Lambert Hatem  07:49

I don't, but I'm gonna go look it up. (chuckles)

Martha Smith  07:52

But it was just one of those, you know, exotic pictures. And so she kind of broke the ice for the family, which is a very conservative family from the Midwest, like you say. So I was modeling for... in Detroit, when you're a model, you're actually modeling for cars and windshield washer wipers and generators. Engines. Glamorous work. So I was modeling for Ford Motor Company doing a brochure for the new cars, and a guy walked in and said he was a talent scout for Hefner. And he was in fact. He wasn't lying. Go figure. In those days, people really were. And he gets a little kickback for anybody who gets accepted. Right?! He said, Would you be interested in shooting some pictures? I said, Okay, why not? I'm thinking rent money. (laughing) And we shot the pictures. They went to Chicago. They called me in, immediately, to fly in, to shoot. And then they accepted me after the test shoot. And they, I think this was like, just a few months before... you know how publishing is. There's, there's that lead time, right? They had to throw out another person who was scheduled for my month, which was July, and put me in really fast. Because they were excited about it. Right?! Because it was a really good shoot. So that's what happened. That all happened really fast. They hand you this contract. and just say, Sign here while you're shooting. (in a squeeky voice... )Okay, I'll sign. I'm just a teenager. I don't know anything about contracts. So that's what happens there. And that part of it is true. You do get kind of wrangled into a lifetime, in perpetuity contract, for all media ever invented in the future of the universe. Yeah, every every picture you take everything you shoot ends up somewhere, you know, Anytime. You you sign off on it.

Susan Lambert Hatem  07:52


Martha Smith  08:32

So I was really young, I got my, I got my rent money...

Susan Lambert Hatem  09:32

... you got your rent. You made rent!

Martha Smith  09:35

I did I did. And still didn't want to be an actress. I mean, I had studied a bit later but mostly more from the theatrical side. And that was just kind of an anomaly but, they put me on the road for like five or six years a lot of travel. I was representing the magazine for meet and greets and the press and things like that. Openings of whatever. And so that... they liked that I could walk and talk at the same time. As you can see, Chatty Cathy's going.(laughing) And so that became a lot of travel and brought me to LA quite a few times, which I decided I'd move out here. And everything else happened by accident, honestly.

Susan Lambert Hatem  11:12

Well, it's beautiful weather out here. So ...

Martha Smith  11:14

...yeah, you're here to right?

Susan Lambert Hatem  11:15

I am here too. And Georgia isn't terrible weather. It's beautiful weather too, but I wouldn't. I love the snow.

Martha Smith  11:22


Susan Lambert Hatem  11:22

To visit.

Martha Smith  11:23


Susan Lambert Hatem  11:23

But I wouldn't, I couldn't live in it for very long.

Martha Smith  11:26

Oh no, no. I got in my Impala. I had this big green honking Detroit metal car. And I had cruise control. So I thought it was super cool with tru, cruise control on my car. So I'm doing like yoga postures driving on the freeway going to California. Here I come. Everything I own in the back of the Impala.

Sharon Johnson  11:26


Susan Lambert Hatem  11:44

And what year is this? What year is is?

Martha Smith  11:45

This is 1975 I think. Pretty sure it was 75. Yeah. And I have no idea what I'm gonna do, but I'm pretty sure I'm gonna enroll at UCLA and go back to studying. That was my plan. And what happened was, I was still modeling and still working with Playboy. And somebody called me to Universal Studios to do an album cover for the Music Department. And the guy that was there at the shoot. He said, I really want you to meet my friend Bob LaSanka  upstairs in The Tower. And Bob LaSanka was Head of Casting for all Universal everything at the time. Older man, very gentlemanly. And for some reason, he did not hit on me or anything like this, but for some reason, he said, This girl's gonna be a star!  Like Old Hollywood. And he took me down to every single Universal Casting Director in The Tower and introduced me in that same fashion. Next thing I knew I had like six roles at Universal. The kind that you know, you get stabbed and shot and strangled and chloroformed to death. But that was… my first roles were all Universal. Animal House came shortly thereafter,

Susan Lambert Hatem  12:50

And then shortly after this, this is now, this was my discovery today. Ebony, Ivory and Jade. Holy Crap….

Martha Smith  12:57

… Oh. You discovered that. You must have been digging!

Susan Lambert Hatem  12:58

That is so great. This is a 1979 TV movie co-starring Debbie Allen and Bert Comby and Nina Foch. We're going to talk about her in a minute. Now it's not to be confused with Ebony, Ivory and Jade blaxploitation movie from 1976. This is basically a Charlie's Angels, right?! Like it.

Martha Smith  13:19

Yeah, kind of. And actually, I did the First Season of Charlie's Angels with Kate, which is also ironic. And I did How the West Was Won with Bruce way before Scarecrow.  But anyways, back to Ebony Ivory Jade with Debbie. Wow. Yeah, that was … everybody in town auditioned for that. And I was not a singer dancer. I mean, I had sung and I have sung professionally but it's … I'm married to a singer. So I know my levels and my limits. Very, very modest and mediocre.

Susan Lambert Hatem  13:44

You’re beautiful. You have a beaut, like it's a beaut … I saw the opening number. It's fantastic!

Martha Smith  13:48

Oh, gosh. The dancing.Debbie…

Susan Lambert Hatem  13:51

You up against Debbie Allen…

Martha Smith  13:51

Nobody dances like her. I mean, she's so… poor thing. I felt sorry for her because they throw me in with her. We’re at very different levels, you know, and …but I got it. And they kept telling me don't worry, we'll fix it in post. (laughing) And I remember the audition because I sang Rollin' On the River. And I was dancing...

Susan Lambert Hatem  14:12

It is fantastic. I only got to watch the first 10 minutes and I'm I'm hooked. I'm gonna go back and finish it. So Bert Convy stars as Mick Jade, a former tennis bum turned Las Vegas song and dance man. And who doubles as a private eye with two female dancers Ebony and Ivory. And the trio go undercover to protect a lady scientist from an international Hitman as she heads to Washington DC from the Middle East with her secret formula. Good god that's a great show!

Martha Smith  14:29

And doesn't that sort of ring a little bit of Scarecrow?

Susan Lambert Hatem  14:52

Sounds a little bit like Scarecrow & Mrs. King. But how adorable! You and Debbie Allen are fantastic! Again, I only got to watch 10 minutes of it, but I'm gonna go back and finish.

Martha Smith  15:02

That might be good enough. (laughing)

Susan Lambert Hatem  15:04

Anyway, but you have a beautiful singing voice and so did... but you didn't train as a singer.

Martha Smith  15:09

I did a bit. And why was that? There was something... it was. It was Ebony, Ivory, Jade. But there's something else like... Well, my very first SAG job I sang, but that was just silly. I think it was for Ebony, Ivory, Jade that I started the lessons, maybe earlier. And then I continued them and I actually met my husband while singing. This is a good story. I'll give this story. Use it or not. It's fine. It's your choice. But VH1 had come to do a story on me as, I started a singing group. It was one of those strikes we get in town. I always do another creative project when we have a strike. So I had all my girlfriends, a bunch of girls get together. And we had a friend who owned a Cabaret in town. So we did this group, I had a stand up bass, and it was kind of a Cabaret Weird Show. But I wanted to do a duet. There's a song that Tom Waits and Bette Midler did called Never Talk to Strangers.... you know that one. And I wanted to do that song really badly. So I needed a guy. And I was out... VH1 had done this show on me showing my singing at home with piano. And I said just use any of this footage you want. Don't use the first 15 seconds because it's off key. Well, VH1 used the first 15 seconds. Martha Smith is singing for her supper. And you know, it was just this pathetic character that was off the show Scarecrow and didn't have anything going on. She was singing in this little... It was one of those, I was so depressed watching that show. I went to our local hangout. And there's, they have people singing there. You know you, if you're a good singer, you can sing at this place. It was called Backstage in Beverly Hills. And my husband was, my now husband was singing this amazing voice, right? And I'm really drawn to voice and he was singing... I don't remember which song he was singing at the time. But I went up to him and started singing with him. And we, I didn't know that he never shares his microphone.(laughing) But anyways we, it was really going well. And I asked him if he could do a duet... a Tom Waits. He said yes. He came for rehearsal. He did Tom Waits so well, I gave him six songs on the show. And here's the fun part. The show we fell in love on stage performing the show. It went on and it developed it was kind of a storylines, like theater and music. So this couple meet, they hate each other. They get together, they love each other, they divorce, they get back together. So while we're doing the show, he had fired my bass player and hired a new one. He fired my keyboard player and hired a new one. He fired the backup singer and hired a new one. And then he fired Me! He had a band and he married me. And had a wife and a band! (laughing) He never tells that part of the story!  He always says, I saw him singing and fell in love.  And that's the end of his story! (laughing)

Susan Lambert Hatem  17:37

And that's the end of the story.

Martha Smith  17:39

Now I just want to get the record straight. (laughing)

Susan Lambert Hatem  17:42

The record is now straightened. And then I also want to talk about, you starred in an Episode of Taxi. You starred in a lot of 80s television but Taxi... I love!

Sharon Johnson  17:42


Martha Smith  17:50

Yes, the best show! The best people! The best writers, the best producers and directors. It was just a wonderful, wonderful show.

Susan Lambert Hatem  17:57

It totally holds up. We've been rewatching that too... Because this all started because my husband and I started rewatching 80s television during the Pandemic...

Martha Smith  18:05

And it rhymed!

Martha Smith  18:05

Really! That's funny.

Susan Lambert Hatem  18:05

And yeah, and we actually met because of our mutual love of Stephen Cannell shows. But ultimately, we've just gone through like the 70s and the 80s a lot. And then I was like, well, I really have something to say about all these ladies in the 80s. And what they were doing...

Susan Lambert Hatem  18:05

And it rhymed. So you know, we had to make a podcast. um. But you starred in Season Three, Elaine's Old Friend.

Martha Smith  18:28

I love that. Yeah.

Susan Lambert Hatem  18:30

We're rewatching it. The show holds up pretty well. I mean, like really well so far. The writing is really great. The characters are really great. The acting's really great. And the guest stars are pretty amazing!

Martha Smith  18:41

And they were all so nice just a, Judd Hirsch. Who was at the time... he had the biggest dressing room and he's like the star of the show. He gave me his dressing room because I kind of came in at the last (minute). I'm a quick study for... everybody in town kind of knew that. So I get these jobs at the last minute. Can you learn the script in like 32 minutes? Yes, I'll be there! You know? So he gave me his dressing room, a dozen roses. I mean, just as a gesture of welcome to a guest star?!?  I mean who does that?!

Sharon Johnson  19:03


Martha Smith  19:03

Very sweet. Very sweet.

Susan Lambert Hatem  19:05

Oh my god. All right. Well, you okay, I'm so excited. Okay, but now, now I think we have to get into Scarecrow & Mrs. King because that's the whole point of this show.

Martha Smith  19:12

Oh that's right! (laughing)

Sharon Johnson  19:13


Susan Lambert Hatem  19:14

I am interested in what you were doing right before you got cast in Scarecrow & Mrs. King. Like how'd you get the gig?

Martha Smith  19:19

Are you sure you want to know this?

Susan Lambert Hatem  19:21

I do! we want to know!

Martha Smith  19:23

Okay. So. 1982 was a really rough year. It was you know, like the stress test? I like was checking every box off on this. I was in the middle of going through a divorce. I had gone early in the year to Korea to do a movie with Vic Morrow, who I got very close to during the filming. Later that year he was to die. And then we also lost John Belushi in that year. I had been working on a Soap Opera, also. I did Days of Our Lives. And for the bulk of 1982, maybe. I can't, know what months it was. But anyways, they fired me at the end of the year on ah, Pearl Harbor Day. (laughs) They dropped the bomb on me! They fired me very unceremoniously, I will say. And it was good though, because... I was playing this like crying surgeon that was always killing my patients. One of them was my husband. Oops. So I called her Sandy Oops Horton, Dr. Sandy Horton. And two days later, after they fired me, it turned out to be a good thing, which happens in life so often. I went for Tony Randall over at Warner Brothers. This is how it ties in. Tony Randall was looking for a brand new lead on his show, which was Love Sydney. You're familiar with that.

Susan Lambert Hatem  20:36


Martha Smith  20:37

That was the only American TV show to Star a closeted gay man. And yet, because at the time, this was, again, the 80s. So that was the special interests that we're trying to get show Not to do that. And so they, they had to dance very carefully. And they brought me in as his first female love interest. And this was the first time they were going to really share with the audience that he was actually a gay man. I think this Love Sydney was taken him from a movie of the same name... I'm not positive about that. When he actually was gay. They were allowed to do that in movies, but TV was different because you had Sponsors and commercials. So, this episode was like a Double Episode Tear-Jerker. And it's a sitcom, right? But they wanted to introduce this character... my character has no idea he's gay. And why is he rejecting me? We fall in love, and it's this really beautifully written... And meanwhile, what happened was the head, the President of Warner's Televis... the President of Warners TV came to our taping. And he was very impressed with my work. Now, my work was really good, because I had been going through the divorce, had the doubts, and that, being fired. And all these things... it just happened. So I had... the tears were coming very naturally.

Susan Lambert Hatem  21:45

A little bit of Method going on there.

Martha Smith  21:47

And he made note. And it was shortly thereafter, like the next month that the Scarecrow script came around. And I, it was three years later that I found out that he had shepherded me into that role and championed me. Now he said, he didn't have to twist any arms or anything. But he wanted to make sure that I got the proper attention because he'd seen my work, and liked it so much. And I did comedy and drama in that, in that particular show. Now, Love Sydney did not get picked up for another Season, unfortunately, because I was going to be... I was really excited to work with Tony Randall.

Susan Lambert Hatem  22:18


Martha Smith  22:19

But then again, how that all works out... along comes Scarecrow. (singing) Then along comes Scarecrow.

Susan Lambert Hatem  22:23

Along comes Scarecrow. And so you had worked with Bruce and Kate before that.

Martha Smith  22:29

Yeah, very small roles. Teeny tiny roles.

Susan Lambert Hatem  22:32

And so when you went in, did you know that you were... Did you know who was going to be starring in it? Or was it still all unknown?

Martha Smith  22:39

For me, for my readings and my... I had three auditions. It was, it was only called The Secret Kate Jackson Project. And everything was very hush hush. So yeah, just like Scarecrow. Right?! And they wouldn't give me the script. They just gave me the Sides. So I just had my scene. So I was kind of had, hard to put together who everybody was. But I knew Kate. I didn't know Bruce. I don't even know if Bruce was brought on by my first interview. I went to read for Eugenie and Brad. Eugenie Ross-Lemming, from Mary Hartman and Brad Buckner. And Eugenie read Kate's role. And we did a couple of scenes and in those scenes I noticed.. because I had, at the time I had this photographic memory so I know everybody's lines in every script. So I noticed she was changing the lines a lot and I'm thinking that's weird. Maybe she's just like watching me and not looking at your script or something and I just improved. Idid it. Second callback same thing. Eugenie changing the lines again! (chuckles) So okay, I think went really well. And the laughs were in the right place, since it was a comedic foil. And then I found out later about her Second City background and all of that. I knew about Mary Hartman, but I didn't know... and I found out later also that, on Scarecrow, we had to very, very, very often work improv. Scripts were changed frequently. Like while you're walking onto the set with the cameras... Action! (laughing) So you had to think on your feet and I think... I'm not positive, but I'm pretty sure that's sort of what they were testing. Got down to three people for the screen test.

Susan Lambert Hatem  24:09

Do you know who the other two were?

Martha Smith  24:10

No.They were very beautiful. They were blonde and we were all in the hallway together and not, not looking at each other. Not talking to each other. But in those days you could... they they had the, the final screen test in just like an office room, and I was the third one of the three to go in. And I could hear the two before me. And they were reading...

Susan Lambert Hatem  24:30

Oh my...

Martha Smith  24:31

I kind of knew at that point. Because there is certain comedic snap to Francine that has to be really crisp and the scenes they were doing... I just sort of knew I could have fun with that. And I went in the third knowing, ha ha ha. This is gonna be mine! (singing) And I got it! I was so excited.

Susan Lambert Hatem  24:48

Oh my god. So you're, so you're excited to... shooting a pilot. But like in some ways, like was Ebony Ivory and Jade a backdoor Pilot? Do you think? Were they thinking of making a show?

Martha Smith  24:57

That was a pilot.

Susan Lambert Hatem  24:58

That was a pilot!

Martha Smith  24:59

Yeah, I did quite a few Pilots it seems, that didn't get sold. So that, the Producers said if it sells you know, we're all happy. If it doesn't sell, you get the gowns. I don't know if you saw the sequence gowns we wore in the, in the Las Vegas show at the Aladdin? So I've still got that gown! (laughing)

Susan Lambert Hatem  25:13

You still got the gown. Oh, wow. They were fabulous gowns! Again that opening sequence... very impressive. But alright, so you get the Pilot and then they shot the pilot in DC. You guys shot the pilot in DC. Did you go to DC?

Martha Smith  25:24

No, no, I didn't go to DC. They shot a lot of external and filler stuff in DC with Kate and Bruce. But none of us went to DC. I don't think Billy Melrose... Mel. I don't think he went either. I'm not sure. But no, I didn't go to DC. The pilot. Let's see. We we did the pilot in March. And then I got in a big motorcycle accident.

Susan Lambert Hatem  25:45

Oh no.

Martha Smith  25:45

And uh, (chuckling) because they were having the, you know, the big Gala Event that the Network's have to show all the Affiliates from around the country. It's called the O&O Event, Black Tie thing. So I was in crutches and a big cast for that because I just gotten in a motorcycle accident. So I had to like hobble across the stage with all the new stars for CBS. They were'nt to happy about that, I don't think. And then, then I went on tour with Rod Stewart, because we had a little few months between, then that's another story. And then we came back and did. Yeah. Then we came back to do... it got sold right away. After it was shown to the Network. It got picked up for 13. And we started filming.

Susan Lambert Hatem  26:27

I do want to come back to the Rod Stewart story.

Martha Smith  26:30

Okay, that's a funny one...

Susan Lambert Hatem  26:31

for a second, because that's hard to pass up. You went on tour with Rod Stewart.

Martha Smith  26:35

Body Wishes Tour. Yeah. I was good friends with Rita Wilson at the time. And she had been studying in Europe. I believe that's what she, was going on. I was, I decided to go to Paris. Because you know, we were in between the Pilot... you got like three months between the Pilot and the shoot thing. So I knew I had all this time. So once my leg healed that I could walk again and dance. I went to Paris. And the first night I went to La Coupole, which is a big, huge 1927 a Rue Montparnasse restaurant. Enormous restaurant. We go to the back booth and sitting right next to us... in the next booth... is a guy I grew up with in 1970s Michigan, Detroit. A rock and roller I knew, because I've always been a rock and roller. And he's sitting there and I said, What are you doing? He says, Oh, I'm on tour with my band. And he said do you want to come with us? (laughing) So about two seconds later, after thinking it over really thoroughly. I said, Yeah. Okay. It was Rod Stewart and it was the Body Wishes Tour. And they were, that next day, I think we went to Versaille. Paris, South France, Italy, kind of around. And it was really really fun. Really exciting you know. It, I thought it was like research for Francine.

Susan Lambert Hatem  27:48

Oh my god.

Martha Smith  27:49

It was work...Okay? I wrote it off on my taxes.

Sharon Johnson  27:49

Of course!

Susan Lambert Hatem  27:49

That is hilarious.

Susan Lambert Hatem  27:53

It was for work, for sure. It was all for work! It wasn't. Oh, no. I'm getting a picture now. Motorcycle rider, running off with Rod Stewart's band. Yeah. Okay. All right. Hard workin.

Martha Smith  28:07

I work hard. (chuckling)

Susan Lambert Hatem  28:07

Work hard. Play hard. Martha Smith. (chuckling) Oh my god. I'm so excited. Okay, we're gonna have to take a break here.

Sharon Johnson  28:15

I think that's a great idea. Stay tuned for more of our interview with Martha Smith from Scarecrow and Mrs. King.

song  28:22

Martha Smith (parody of Rod Stewart's 'Some Guys Have All the Luck') Some gals have all the luck. Some gals have all the pain. This gal once hung with Rod Stewart. Stake-out. Starts backin' Mrs King! woo oo oo woo oo. woo oo oo oo. Martha Smith. woo oo oo woo oo. woo oo oo oo. Works hard. Plays hard. woo oo oo woo oo. woo oo oo oo. Martha Smith! Martha Smith!

Susan Lambert Hatem  29:03

All right, and we're back.

Sharon Johnson  29:04

Welcome back to part two of our interview with Martha Smith from Scarecrow and Mrs. King. This is 80s TV Ladies.

Susan Lambert Hatem  29:10

And so suddenly, you're on a hit show that's running, and you know you have 13 episodes.

Martha Smith  29:17

And mind you I had just been divorced. Kicked out of my house. I had six days from... I got the show six days after I moved into a new place. I had to grab a roommate. Find something. Move all the boxes. And and that all happened. I didn't think I'd have you know any money again. Or any work, because I had started a greeting card line. So all my money was tied up from the soap opera in this, in these cards that were just sitting in a warehouse. And it was six days and I had that. So then it becomes a hit! Can you imagine this this like cascading good luck that I got. Thank you!

Susan Lambert Hatem  29:49

And so we sort of mentioned when we were exchanging emails, that the Francine that Eugenie Ross-Lemming and Brad Buckner created, was the Francine you liked the most.

Martha Smith  29:59

Yes. And that's just personal because that's just... sigh... I love satire, and I love comedy. Those are the things I love. Those guys did it great. They knew what, that was their genre. Now, I think if I were to look more objectively, and not just look about myself and what I like, but look at the whole big picture of the show. The show was better when it became a little bit more of a generic tone of the Romantic Comedy Adventure Series that ended up being. As opposed to... there was more bite in everything in the earlier. This is my opinion, but especially from my character only. So I loved that and I loved playing that. It turned out that it wasn't loved by everybody. And so there were some back and forth trying to figure out how to work with that part of the character. And for a while they just stripped it out and I became kind of expositionary. Like some, Billy, line four. Pickup now. Here's the file. (guffaw) Go get the truck Lassie. So for awhile, that's what happened, but I think we rediscovered her.

Susan Lambert Hatem  31:02

Well, I think that was one of the things that I loved about the show. Was that there was another female agent. (guffaw) A.  Right?!.

Martha Smith  31:10

Aha. Yeah.

Susan Lambert Hatem  31:10

You could easily do this show, and it's just her in a sea of male agents. But there was another female agent who was clearly capable. Who was clearly had her own agenda.

Martha Smith  31:20


Susan Lambert Hatem  31:20

And, and that even though there was some snark...

Martha Smith  31:24

Oh, yes.

Susan Lambert Hatem  31:25

Lots of snark.

Martha Smith  31:26

Yeah. Yeah.

Susan Lambert Hatem  31:27

In those early episodes, there's a weird kind of, I'll make room for you but I think you're an idiot. You know like...

Martha Smith  31:33

Yeah. Yeah. I'm glad you saw that...

Susan Lambert Hatem  31:34

And so the, the fact that basically, there were just two very different women approaching a particular career in a very different way..

Martha Smith  31:35


Susan Lambert Hatem  31:35

Felt very female driven, because there were two women doing something in the same space. (chuckles)

Martha Smith  31:41

I don't know between Eugenia and Brad, but that was probably Eugenie's input, that that part of the storyline and the characters. And Francine was so power driven, and she could have been easily a man and the script. You could just take away the, her fashion sense, we could call it. (laughs)

Susan Lambert Hatem  32:08

Okay, great. Let's, let's dive in. Come on....

Martha Smith  32:09

Oh, you're gonna go there. You're gonna go there...

Susan Lambert Hatem  32:11

We were gonna wait. But now we're gonna do it. Like, okay, we got to talk about Francine's hair, Francine's outfits. Costumes and hair... Huge. And we know with women, particularly in television, that, that there's a lot of discussion about what the woman's hair is going to be doing. At least there is now.

Martha Smith  32:28

So, you see this is like been my hair since probably I graduated from high school. (laughs) I'm not big on change. But I played those characters before. The hairdresser was a lovely woman. She's so sweet. And so kind. And I just hate to say anything at all disparaging. But she was from an Era and styles that were considerably different than, you know. And that was the vision that she brought to the early Francine. As time went on, I got a perm. And I, you know everybody did it in the 80s. Right?! So I kept begging that they would let me kind of go more natural and the makeup and the hair. Because there was a lot of makeup too in the earlier days. And then the wardrobe was not. So what I ended up doing after a season or two is... I made a big folder of what I thought Francine should look like. I just wanted to,  please help me on this, you know? And I went to the Producers and everybody and showed them, like pulled all these tear sheets out of Vogue and Bizarre. And I saw her is very sophisticated, very avant garde and into fashion. But she used fashion more like she used her words, kind of like a weapon. Her one upsmanship. You know what I mean? She was really into that. And her rivalry. So fashion was part of it. I thought it was really important, but it didn't quite get across. But it, things got better and easier as time went on. It was just a lot of adjusting.

Susan Lambert Hatem  33:49

All right. All right. And I've been taking up a lot of time. I've been taking a lot of questions. So I haven't I have to hand them off to Sharon.

Martha Smith  33:57

Oh, okay.

Sharon Johnson  33:58

Well, let's for the moment anyway, let's stay a little bit with, you know, the hair and wardrobe.

Martha Smith  34:03

Oh. Sharon.

Sharon Johnson  34:07

I, as someone who worked in an office at that time, there was a somewhat consistency with what women were asked to wear at the time. So, well not asked to wear, but what was sort of the style. Maybe a little exaggerated in some respects. But still, Francine looked like a professional woman of that time. It kind of made sense. But I, so...

Susan Lambert Hatem  34:29

Did I put you on the spot? (chuckles)

Sharon Johnson  34:30

No No. Not at all. Not at all. Because, I mean, in a lot of ways that was, that was sort of the lived experience. But that said, I wasn't sure. I don't know anything about the spy business. So I don't I don't know that that's necessarily what all the female spies were wearing at the time. But certainly...

Martha Smith  34:47

Those earrings?

Sharon Johnson  34:48

Yeah, exactly. There were some times where I thought, Really?! But again, it's a television show. So. But I did like her. I did like her style to a large extent. And, because she looked like like a professional woman of that time... what people were wearing in the office. And I know that the relationship between Francine and Kate Jackson's character evolved over time, which I also appreciated. And it also kind of brings me back to something else that you said earlier about, in the roles that you had over time. You did comedy. You did drama. You did a lot of different kinds of things. But did you have a preference? Or do you have a preference in terms of drama versus comedy?

Martha Smith  35:26

Oh, man, I'll take comedy any day of the week. I mean, I just like hanging out with comics. I like funny people. Um, I really believe there's a higher value to making people laugh beyond the obvious... it feels good. I think there's even a medical value to that. And psychological certainly.  I'll take comedy and satire, the finest form of comedy and the hardest to write and really recognize. I think I'll take that any day. Yeah.

Sharon Johnson  35:53

Did you have a sense too, over the course of the Series as different writers in different showrunners came in? Was there a change to your mind in terms of the tone of the show, be it now we're more comedic? Oh, now we're less comedic and, okay, now we're... I mean, I know, you know from Episode to Episode maybe, but I just, I kind of mean more in general in terms of what their approaches might have been.

Martha Smith  36:15

Yeah, we we had a lot of comings and goings of production and writing staff. So it's hard.  These people sometimes came on and from the ground running, they had to familiarize themselves with the show. Like you might have done before this podcast, you know, with the episodes with the characters. And so obviously, the focus is going to be on Kate and Bruce. That's the meat and potatoes of the show. Ya know, we're just a little fluff on the side, the side dishes. So I think a lot of times Francine would get lost in the shuffle. And they didn't quite know, what is this girl. She's like, kind of a, kind of a, I don't know, she's a talk-backing kind of Secretary or some. (chuckles) They didn't know what to do with her. And so hence, not a lot was done with her for quite a long time. But yeah, there were changes. And so we would just take meetings and try to talk and communicate that. And it wasn't untill I think year three that I did have to go to Alan Shayne, who was again, the President at Warner Brothers at the time. And I, I had to go to him for a couple of reasons. I had to say, things are getting really hard here. I'm not being allowed... every contract every year, I was allowed to do three guest stars on other shows on my days off. Nobody was letting me do those guest stars. And I kept getting offers and having to turn them down. And at the time, I was saying again, you know, 'Billy hurry, the trucks coming'. I was not doing much. I was sitting in my trailer. So I had to go to him to ask him that the contract will be honored. And if I could maybe get my Character closer to some semblance of what it originally was created. Just those kinds of things, a little discussion. He was so nice. And he's... that's when he told me about the Love Sidney, and all of that. So I didn't know that for years. He, by the way, is 96 now.

Sharon Johnson  37:48

Oh, wow.

Martha Smith  37:50

And still active. And he wrote a book called Double Life, in that he was closeted gay himself in early Hollywood. And he's had the same husband now for over 50 years.

Sharon Johnson  38:01

Oh. That's amazing.

Susan Lambert Hatem  38:03

That's very beautiful.

Martha Smith  38:04

And I think his special interest in Love Sydney comes from... his life was sort of reflected in that show in some ways. You know? And so maybe that's why he came that to that, you know, it all just fell together that way. I really liked him.

Sharon Johnson  38:16

What you mentioned about the, your contract allowing you to do guest appearances on other shows. Was that fairly common at the time? For that to be...

Martha Smith  38:24

Yeah. Everybody, I think the the standard contract when you get like... when you do the Pilot they lock you in for a seven year contract just in case the show gets really big and you're still stuck with... 'You get a $10 increase next year'. YAY. (guffaw) You know?!  So, in that contract, you have these I think it was three outs per year to do other. And I had even been asked by the network to do... I used to do a lot of the on camera reality stuff. So they wanted me to Host parades like the Christmas parade, the Masons.  That kind of stuff. I had to turn those down.

Sharon Johnson  38:53

Oh wow.

Martha Smith  38:53

And it wasn't like I was carrying a big storyline. I just wasn't being allowed out. I'm not even sure why or who. But it was difficult and I'm... because I wasn't being creative on the show so much that I wanted to do something where I could play another character or play a character. You know.

Susan Lambert Hatem  39:09

I'm fascinated by when women get to be in scenes together that aren't, you know, about men. So there were a couple episodes where Francine and Amanda get to work together. And The Maid one...

Martha Smith  39:24

I love The Maid.  That's my favorite.

Susan Lambert Hatem  39:26

It's adorable. You guys are fantastic together. You're really funny together. It's it's wonderful. I think Francine gets to be very Francine and Amanda gets to be very Amanda. And yet you sort of both kind of win. Right?! So it's it to me, it was one of the you know, the stronger episodes of that Season.

Martha Smith  39:48

Do you know what Season that was? Was that Two? I'm curious. Because that was a really nice kind of forming a relationship with Amanda and Francine there. And that was so fun to shoot. She was great. She really was wonderful.

Susan Lambert Hatem  40:00

You tell her she did a great job!

Martha Smith  40:01

Oh my goodness. (laughs)

Susan Lambert Hatem  40:03

It's so startling. And she's so startled. You're like, 'That was great Amanda.'  It's where she pushes the meat over somebody and like at the very end...

Martha Smith  40:11

Oh yeah! At the end and we shake hands or something. And that was that actual meatpacking plant in Vernon. Oh my goodness the smell. Yeah.

Susan Lambert Hatem  40:19

I want to talk about the fans. It's a really core fan base for Scarecrow & Mrs. King.

Martha Smith  40:25

It's amazing!

Susan Lambert Hatem  40:26

And yet what's funny is it seems to be multigenerational. Seems to be people that originally found the show. And then people that found the show later, and that weren't around...

Martha Smith  40:35

And watched with their parents. I get a lot of that. My mother... I watched it when I was little with my mom, you know?

Susan Lambert Hatem  40:39

And do you see a difference in those fans? And what they love about the show?

Martha Smith  40:43

I am always kind of confused about... No, honestly. I mean, I think it's a great show and all but they're so avid. And they're so... they're very smart... our fans. And they they know, like I say, they kind of memorize everything. So I asked actually, David, who I think you might be talking with... David Johnson who is working on the book with Taya. I talked to him recently when he was in town about, "what is it?" And he gave me you know that it was the characters and how real they were, and the storyline, and all of that stuff. And I see it. But it's just that it's lasted so long! I mean, there's still... we have Jeanette throws these events that are these reunions, along with David and other people. And these people come from all over the world, from other countries. They fly in just to talk about this show. How many years later?

Sharon Johnson  41:33

Well, I think that's something sort of unique to television, because, you know, it comes into your house every week, and you watch it and you, as you said, fall in love with the characters. And then they're reruns and you can watch them over again. And there's so much content and, and and it's also something that everybody else can watch. Everybody else, you know, and you can, and when the Internet allows you to make it easy to find other people who share your love of something. I think it's you know, I know that all sorts of content has all sorts of fan bases. But I think the the television fan bases are very unique in that way.

Martha Smith  42:05

Yeah, I think there was a warm, a warmth in the relationship, certainly with Kate and Bruce, that kept them coming back for more. As they kind of teased that relationship along slowly, into the you know, played with the audience a little bit with that. I think that kept them coming.

Sharon Johnson  42:22

But I think it's also the relationships that that Amanda had, that everybody had between them. They, it really was a good team.

Martha Smith  42:30


Sharon Johnson  42:30

For all of the ups and downs and back and forth. It's a it's a it's a good team that ultimately does work really well together.

Martha Smith  42:37


Susan Lambert Hatem  42:38

And it, did definitely the First Season felt more like a little bit more like an ensemble show. And then it does sort of become you know, not that it's not about Bruce and Kate, because it is. It's Scarecrow & Mrs. King, but it felt more ensemble in the First Season. It felt like there was more time spent in the Spy World, of spies...

Martha Smith  43:00


Susan Lambert Hatem  43:01

Trying to figure it out. And yet, and yet, the later seasons feel very 'Casey'. Right? They feel very case of the week.

Martha Smith  43:07


Susan Lambert Hatem  43:08

And more concentrated on that and more serious. So I'm curious about... because there was a big upheaval in the middle of the Season One where Eugene Ross-Leming and BrAd Buckner left the show. And Juanita Bartlett came on. Can you talk about that at all? Do you have memories of that time, what it felt like?

Martha Smith  43:28

I am usually the last person on a set or on a job or anywhere to to hear like the scoop, you know. I'm always the one. I don't know what it is about me. But I am literally always the last person... "Really?!' That's what happened?" So I just do the, you know, they had gone rather quickly. And Juanita had a real different flavor. But she had a really literary background, quite different in terms of tone. But I liked that she was strongly based in publishing background and whatnot. And I enjoyed her work, uh her her scripts. And and still Francine was different, but interesting, you know. It didn't feel diluted or anything, just a little different shade for, from my point of view. There was... every set is difficult, and ours had its difficulties. So I don't really want to go into it. But I'm telling you, I was always happy! (laughs) Every time I'd drive onto that Lot and say hi to that dark stage, and see my name on that parking spot.. Stage 24. I was a happy camper.  You know? And I had no problems on set or anything. I found it all just a great experience, really.

Susan Lambert Hatem  44:43

And so and so. Bruce Boxleitner and you guys, you guys are still in touch. You still show up at the reunions?

Martha Smith  44:50

Yeah, those reunions, every now and then we'll see him, and Bruce and I have maintained the same sort of antagonistic relationship with each other but it's just kind of a faux antagonism. It's really sort of like brother and sister bickering at each other you know. He always sees me for some reason as this like Wild Liberal. (laughs) And so he says, I don't want to talk about any politics. (Chuckles) Neither do I ! Really! Now Bruce, I don't want to talk about any Horses. Okay? Let's let's get this straight.

Susan Lambert Hatem  45:18

It was that broken leg. It was that motorcycle accident that he's like, she's out with the rockstars...

Martha Smith  45:23

Yes. Yes, Bruce always made fun of the, the men I was dating. And now that I look back, he was probably right. (laughs) But he was, always had something to say.

Susan Lambert Hatem  45:34

And he calls you Chatty Cathy?

Martha Smith  45:37

He does. Isn't that endearing? (guffaw)

Susan Lambert Hatem  45:38

(Guffaw) I heard a little Francine in that comeback.

Martha Smith  45:46

Oh. (laughing)

Susan Lambert Hatem  45:48

And so you got to work a little bit with Beverly Garland, more in the early seasons. How was that? How was she?

Martha Smith  45:55

I almost never got to work with her actually, a little bit here and there. Yeah, like the Pilot I think. And then of course it's not... But Beverly I adored! I just loved her. She, her birthday was one day off from mine. So we always had mutual birthday cake celebration and stuff. And she was, she was a real hero to me. I just loved her... everything about her as a woman, as a person, as an actress. And it was always, but I didn't get to work with her very much at all. And she, her scenes were often another day, another location, another set. So I didn't get to see her. But we saw each other socially. And she would always invite me to her big Boxing Day parties and stuff like that. And we'd go lunch. And I love Beverly.

Susan Lambert Hatem  46:33

And so let's talk about Season Two. So the beginning of Season Two is a lot of Europe shows. Did you get to go to Europe? You, I think you were in?

Martha Smith  46:40

Yes. I went to Europe.

Susan Lambert Hatem  46:41

Yes. Okay.

Martha Smith  46:43

Please don't ask Bruce about... are you interviewing Bruce, did you do it already?

Susan Lambert Hatem  46:45

We haven't done it already.

Martha Smith  46:47

Oh. Okay.

Susan Lambert Hatem  46:47

We're gonna to try and get him. But I don't know.

Martha Smith  46:49

If you ask him about Europe. You're going to get all these terrible stories about me and German men. Engaging all these people.

Sharon Johnson  46:58


Martha Smith  46:58

And the gynecologist story isn't true. (laughing)

Susan Lambert Hatem  47:01


Martha Smith  47:01

The guy hears stories. Just... you just tell them you'd rather not discuss those things. They're very private.

Sharon Johnson  47:10

You got it!

Susan Lambert Hatem  47:11

Very private. I only want to hear about Rod Stewart. Yeah. And so I think it's interesting when you know, you look at Remington and you look at Scarecrow in particular, because there's sort of two sides of a coin. And Moonlighting being sort of the third of... the third side of that coin, because you didn't know coins have three sides. But it was the beginning of, and Cheers being part of that, it was a real like exploration of power in relationships. And like, I'm attracted to you, but I also need to be my own person.

Martha Smith  47:42

You noticed Francine never had a boyfriend until like the last Season. (Chuckles)

Susan Lambert Hatem  47:50

I know! And so, you know, and again, but but Francine was having a life.

Sharon Johnson  47:54


Susan Lambert Hatem  47:55

She was, she was... I'm going Embassy parties. I need to meet the Prince of you know, whomever. I did like that about Francine, Francine was very clear about what she wanted. That became, that was very clear.

Sharon Johnson  48:08

Clear and unapologetic. She was not apologetic about what she wanted and what she was doing and how she was doing it. And I like that a lot about her too.

Martha Smith  48:16

Oh, Thank you. Thank you, Francine appreciates that. I had decided that Francine was a Daddy's Girl. And Daddy was extremely ambitious and wanted her to strive to obtain the same sorts of standards. And so her competitiveness came out of just her hardwiring. She couldn't really do anything about it. And so she just accepted it and that was her life. She just needed to always get further. Succeed. Climb that ladder and get you know, get to the top of everything! And nothing was gonna get in her way.

Susan Lambert Hatem  48:46

And so what were some of your favorite most memorable episodes for Francine?

Martha Smith  48:50

Oh, definitely 'Life of the Party', which is what I call Maids. But anytime I could go undercover, I loved. I loved anytime I could use, speak different languages. And like we had the Afghanistan kidnapping Episode.

Susan Lambert Hatem  49:02


Martha Smith  49:03

I got to wear no makeup and my natural hair in that one when I got kidnapped. You know, because I'm supposed to be all... I was so happy! (laughing) That's what I looked like in those days. Nobody knew what I looked like. People would come to interview in my home, and they'd go, 'Francine?!' Ha. You know?! And Magda was fun like... (with accent) 'the (petrache?) from the Hungary.' Of course, I got to do that. Twice. I got to do that. So that was fun. Because that nice dunk wig. And the Jackie O look.

Sharon Johnson  49:27

I think though, one of my favorite Francine and Amanda scenes was, I think early in Season Four.  When it really became apparent to everybody else that Amanda and Lee were seeing each other, outside the office, if you will. And and Francine said to her, 'Are you sure?!" Because of the way that this could complicate things, complicate your life and it wasn't... It didn't come across as anything other than concern for Amanda as far as I was concerned.

Martha Smith  49:55


Sharon Johnson  49:56

It wasn't catty. It wasn't jealousy. It was just, 'Have you thought about all the ramifications of this? And are you sure you really want to do this?' And I Really appreciated that!

Martha Smith  50:07

And I don't remember that.. they must have cut out the catty part!

Sharon Johnson  50:12

(laughs heartily) But see, I never really saw Francine as... she may have been snarky, but she wasn't catty. She...

Martha Smith  50:21

No, that's true.

Sharon Johnson  50:22

You know, it was more that she just had a hard time understanding how and why this person, who wasn't trained and hadn't gone through the things that Francine had gone through, was getting the opportunities that she was getting. And, but it was never, it never came across as as anything other than that. It wasn't personal. It wasn't jealousy. It wasn't, you know she wasn't trying to undermine her in any way. You know?! Which I thought was great!

Martha Smith  50:46

Do you remember the scene that we had, Kate and I in the freezer?

Susan Lambert Hatem  50:49


Martha Smith  50:52

Where we could establish relationship. We didn't get a lot of opportunities in the script to do that, but so much actions are going on. But that one was, you know, really, you got to see into where they were coming from and intertwine their own needs, you know. Kind of that that was, that was interesting and fun to... And that was another one of those that was actually re-written as you're walking onto set. (Guffaw)

Sharon Johnson  51:11


Susan Lambert Hatem  51:13

And so what, what was happening that was creating that? Was that just the writers were doing that? Or were, was network it? Do you know what, why you were doing...

Martha Smith  51:22

No, Network was never really around to make those kinds of notes. That was just, uh, you know, Kate was very specific about what she wanted. It was partially her Show! You know, her Production Company owned part of that show.  A good part of it, and she really knew what she wanted. And if it wasn't what she wanted, she would make those adjustments, you know. So like I said, we all kept on our toes, and it was for the better, you know, she would make the scene better.

Susan Lambert Hatem  51:46

And I love it. Again, that is the charm of the show. The show survives, I think and and maintains its charm, because of the relationships in the show. Those little moments, the moments between Francine and Amanda, the moments, obviously between Amanda and Scarecrow and Lee Stetson. And and even the Mel Stewart. Like, like, it's just a very Charming show.

Martha Smith  52:09

That's a good word for it. Yeah.

Susan Lambert Hatem  52:11

It has a lot of charm. And it's the kind of show that doesn't really get made as much anymore, which is sort of an action comedy show. We can see that in movies, but we take our spying really seriously now.

Martha Smith  52:21

Yeah, No. I think it's too innocent, also.

Sharon Johnson  52:24


Martha Smith  52:25

To be made today. It's not, it doesn't have the edges. Even with Francine or without, it doesn't have today's elements. I don't think.  And but yet, people you know, like I say these fans are still watching it like on their old DVDs and things.

Susan Lambert Hatem  52:44

So I do want to ask you about Season Three. Kate Jackson directed a couple episodes, the only female director on the Season. I mean, on the Show. How was that? How were those shows? And did that change anything for Francine? And for you as an actress?

Martha Smith  52:56

Um, I don't think it did it. No. I mean, she obviously knew the show better than anybody. Like the back in her hand. So those went, went well. And then of course, the Episode Titles I never remember those. (Laughs) I had my own names for all of them. You kinow?!

Susan Lambert Hatem  53:10

The other thing is, is that I think there was a couple episodes where Kate Jackson had to leave. So there was a Tennis Episode that I think seems to have been written for, you know, Lee and Amanda.

Martha Smith  53:21

You picked that up!

Susan Lambert Hatem  53:22


Martha Smith  53:23

Good. You're not supposed to be able to see that!

Susan Lambert Hatem  53:26

Well, you know.  Playing For Keeps is the Tennis Episode.

Martha Smith  53:30

Yeah. Tennis one

Susan Lambert Hatem  53:31

Was that the last minute? Did you remember that Episode? And do you remember being like, okay, Francine's been called up to The Show?

Martha Smith  53:36

Yeah, yeah. Yes, I do remember. I remember actually on the set, being handed the script.  And that, all they kind of did was cross out, you know Amanda and put Francine. I remember talking, I think it was to the AD, who had his walkie talkie on at the time with the Production Office. And I remember saying, you know Amanda, and Francine are like really different kinds of characters. And you can't just really give me this dialogue. It's it ... (laughing) The producer didn't know that I was listening on the other end.... 'She got a problem with that?!' (Laughing)

Martha Smith  54:09

I am a Libra. I'm always like really, you know, diplomatic about things. And, I'm just saying, it's not that I'm a problem. It's just that they're really different characters. And ah, it was a little sticky, but you know. We did what we could.

Sharon Johnson  54:09


Susan Lambert Hatem  54:20

But when you go into Season Three and Season Four of, of a, of a show, and you're not being used as much as you would hope as an actress or you would hope for your character. Like, what do you do? How do you make that work for you?

Martha Smith  54:33

Well, that's why I was I was begging literally, to do other shows because I was being offered roles. And begging is what I was doing. So that's what you do. I tried also I went to the Production Office I had one very teary-eye meeting with our Producers at the time. You know, that's when I had my little notebook full of, this is what Francie is. Can we, can we kind of try to... like save the whales. I was trying to save Francine. You know? I wanted to bring her back a little bit and it didn't work. Um, they seem to be understanding that things proceeded as they were, more status quo. And I was getting the feeling also that, I don't know, I never took it for granted. You know, I was always extremely grateful. I'm telling you literally every time I drove on a lot, I was just like, this is a wonderful, wonderful gift. But I was starting to feel like you know, don't say anything, don't make any waves, you're lucky to have a job at all.

Susan Lambert Hatem  55:23

And then in Season Four, you know, Kate Jackson gets diagnosed with breast cancer. And we know that now...

Martha Smith  55:30

And I didn't know that for the longest time. I didn't know that. Bruce knew. And I think it was Bruce that told me, but it was quite late. So I really didn't know what was going on. I just kept hearing she wasn't well. That's kind of generic, you know, couldn't come in. But I didn't know until really, really late. Again. I'm always the last one to know anything. I don't know what it is.

Susan Lambert Hatem  55:49

I mean, it seems,  and so it does seem like there were a couple episodes again, where Francine sort of gets kind of shoved in.

Martha Smith  55:56

Yeah. Well, the script of the last where I had to finally had a boyfriend and I had an apartment and all that stuff. That was written by Juanita, back back in early Season... was it,  when did Juanita come on...

Susan Lambert Hatem  56:08

Two. She was she was a she was, she came on second half of Season One and all of Season Two.

Martha Smith  56:12

And she wrote that script. And it, for whatever reason, didn't get made. But it was on the shelf for the longest time. So years later, when we needed material and we needed material with Francine, there was that script. It was already written. So had, they had to build my set for my apartment. They had to bring on the boyfriend that you know, I didn't know I had. I was rather excited because... Laughing... I waited a long time to have a boyfriend. And Beeman was as close as I got, and I just wasn't interested in.

Susan Lambert Hatem  56:40

Oh my god. There's a lot of fan love about Francine and Beeman. I gotta tell you...

Martha Smith  56:45

I love Beeman as a person. He's a great guy. But Francine wasn't into it.

Susan Lambert Hatem  56:50

It is surprising. There's a script written in Season One or Two, that basically would have established a whole other life for Francine.

Martha Smith  56:58

Yeah!  I just didn't know it was there?

Susan Lambert Hatem  56:59

That's, that's... and it gets done in Season Four.

Martha Smith  57:02

Yeah, it gets pulled out, dusted off. And bam, there we go!

Sharon Johnson  57:07

And you weren't aware that the script even existed until they dusted it off?

Martha Smith  57:11

Didn't have a clue.

Sharon Johnson  57:11

Oh, my goodness. Wow.

Susan Lambert Hatem  57:13

And there was one line that I believe is in late Season Three or early Season Four episode. I couldn't find it. I went looking for it again. But I couldn't. I didn't have time to watch all the shows, again to find this one line, that's kind of a throwaway line. Lee Stetson is on the phone with Billy and and they're, you know, like, 'Do this! And do that! And whatever.... Have Francine do her hooker routine!

Martha Smith  57:33

Oh, I remember the hotel...

Susan Lambert Hatem  57:35

Is literally the line!  

Sharon Johnson  57:36


Martha Smith  57:37

Francine he has a lot of routines. (Laughing)

Susan Lambert Hatem  57:39

I gotta tell you, I kind of almost fell out of my like chair at the time, or the or the couch. Because I was like, that would never have been a line in Episode One. I mean, in Season One.

Martha Smith  57:49

Well, what it would have actually been... would have been, do her 'Honeypot'. And that is Intel Talk for the same thing that, that you know. So whoever wrote that? I don't know. But that was what Season you said? Three?

Susan Lambert Hatem  57:59

It's late Three, or I thought it was in Three...

Martha Smith  58:01

Yeah. So that's...We've already lost Juanita by then, probably.

Susan Lambert Hatem  58:05

Yeah, it was just sort of startling. And now (giggle) my husband and I say it alot (giggles), 'Oh just have Francine do her hooker routine.

Martha Smith  58:13

You know, my husband says that too.  That's funny.

Susan Lambert Hatem  58:14

(Laughing) And so here's my question. When you were on the show, did you feel like oh, this is, this is a show that puts women upfront? Did you feel like it was a what we would call a feminist show now? Or at least a female driven show?

Martha Smith  58:33

I think it was right in the target of the time in terms of that. Because I was that age where, when I grew up in this very traditional family, with a mother who stayed home and a father who worked. All I wanted was to be a professional. Because I was in that Era. Right?! Where that was sort of being first introduced. And it sounded very exciting to me. So all I wanted to do was... and so Francine, also, and then Amanda even also, maybe later and maybe in a different... in her own way. But I think that... now this is you know, 80s and I was growing up more. I was born in the 50s. So you know, see that difference in time. But I didn't start thinking about those things until being of age to work. So I don't know about... I don't think it was ahead of the game or behind the game actually. I think it was kind of right there where it should be at that time. And I, Francine like I said, Francine could have easily been a male character. And she wasn't. She was that combination of it's... She is very Yang. You know, she was like combination of energies that was definitely... it was career. It was power. It was the whole nine yards.

Susan Lambert Hatem  59:46

And again as a counterpoint. You know, Remington Steele, Laura Holt is way more Francine than she is Amanda King. Right?! We're about to look, we're going to look at Remington Steele next, and Laura Holt is all about business and all about this. And then you know, a man walks in. So, you know, it gets a little, a little more complicated. We have a little segment, a special segment on our show called 90s TV Babies. And it's a younger generation that looks at these shows from a different perspective and talks about them. And I have to say, you're a Favorite of theirs in the episodes of Scarecrow & Mrs. King. Because they're like, Ah! The outfits, the hair, the attitude! And, and they really like, it it does really sort of pop for them.

Martha Smith  1:00:30

That's good to know. Good to know. I know, I did a lot of awesome in the 80s... I did a lot of Dick Clark's uh, Pyramid. It's a game show. Right? And they have celebrity contestants. Well, Dick Clark and I really got along well, so he would have me on all the time. And on that show, I could dress as myself. So I wore all the, I mean, I was Cyndi Lauper, Madonna, I had the lace glove, the ribbon in the hair, the big shoulders, the big hair, the spiky Rod Stewart hair ... there's back to Rod Stewart. (guffaw) And the people that go back and watch those now, like on YouTube and whatnot, and you're right, it's all the younger people that say... Oh, she was classic 80s! I love it! You Know? It's so fun to be historically admired. (giggles)

Sharon Johnson  1:01:09


Martha Smith  1:01:10

I just really keep going back to the 'life of the party', The Maids with Kate. That that was just... when you, when Kate's on a roll, and you get to work with her like that, with a good script. And everything's working right. It's just magic. You know, it's like a band when all the instruments are just kind of in sync with each other. And, and that really stands out for me a lot as my favorite, my favorite Episode in every way. I mean, just as a viewer and as a participant, you know.

Susan Lambert Hatem  1:01:35

And then, you know, so Season Four comes and and, and you don't get picked up. You don't get renewed

Martha Smith  1:01:42


Susan Lambert Hatem  1:01:43

Oh... oh! Do tell...

Martha Smith  1:01:46

Ha! Oh, no.

Martha Smith  1:01:47

Uh, yeah...Word... some say (laughing). Some say that we did. And uh, but it wasn't to be. It wasn't to be.

Susan Lambert Hatem  1:01:47

Yeah, come on.

Susan Lambert Hatem  1:01:59

Is that in the book? Is that what we're gonna...you're saving it for the book?

Martha Smith  1:02:01

No. I don't think it. I'm not sure. I haven't gotten that far yet. Ha Ha!  The book...

Sharon Johnson  1:02:05

So when you ...  when you ended Season, when you stopped shooting Season Four was there... had it not, had it been determined at that point? Whether or not the show was going to continue?

Martha Smith  1:02:13

No. We were told that was ... that was pretty ... we were told that was it.  Bbecause I remember the last day of shooting and I was shooting that Episode, by the way, that Francine Episode with her apartment and her  boyfriend. Ah that was I think the last one we shot and I could not say goodbye to everybody. It was too difficult. It was too emotional. I was crying. I'm gonna cry thinking about it!  And I drove off, you know and had my farewells afterwards. Yeah, it was really, really sad. Because that's four years of real intense... being with people that many hours a day. When they say it's like a family. It is like a family! Kate had health issues that were a priority. And I don't want to say anything that's not, you know, I don't know what's public and what's not. So I'm just saying that, that was The most important thing. She had to take care of that. And so there was not to be any more. And she knows she had to have surgeries and all sorts of things. It was not easy. And that was it... it was Scarecrow & Mrs. King. That was the show. So there wasn't....

Susan Lambert Hatem  1:03:12

There was no show without Kate Jackson. And it it, and such a scary time. Like it's scary all the time. But I think, you know, 30-40 years ago...

Martha Smith  1:03:22


Susan Lambert Hatem  1:03:22

Getting a diagnosis of breast cancer was Terrifying.

Martha Smith  1:03:25

Yeah. And if everything had been in order, and if Kate had been healthy, (I suspect) we would have gone for another Season. I'm pretty sure.

Susan Lambert Hatem  1:03:33

Yeah. I mean that and, and it's, and it's also sort of seems like scary, to even announce that in the 80s. I think women were not comfortable saying, hey, I need this time.

Martha Smith  1:03:45

Well, it's always very personal, health matters. You know, you don't want to have everybody in your face. And when you're, she's a huge star. She was at the time her TV Q, which is rating on the scale was way, way up there. She was one of the few women at the top of TV Q.  If you combine both genders, I mean she was like right up there at the top. Because Charlie's Angels and everything else.

Susan Lambert Hatem  1:04:07

And so you're still in touch with Kate Jackson.

Martha Smith  1:04:11

I am. We had a lot of years where we didn't see each other. We just, you know, like happens on shows you lose touch with people. And then we reconnected a few years ago. And we went out to the movies together and had a lot of fun. And then lost touch again. And so I'm trying to reconnect again. She actually wanted to do a podcast about our show, with kind of fast forward going where our characters would be today. That kind of thing. You know, she was talking to me about that. And it's uh, she had some really good ideas.

Sharon Johnson  1:04:42

That could be fun. Yeah!

Susan Lambert Hatem  1:04:43

I think people would be ready for that. So you should tell her. We'll,  we'll promote it. We'll have her on.

Martha Smith  1:04:50

Sounds good.

Susan Lambert Hatem  1:04:51

But also I think it was just a, kind of a perfect blend of of Kate Jackson and a character that was gonna see goodness in people? Like there's really, again, that's where I think the charm and and the stuff that sort of holds up.

Martha Smith  1:05:06

It's a good point. Yeah. Yeah, I think you're right.

Susan Lambert Hatem  1:05:08

It's it's one of the things when I'm looking back at shows. And and again, it felt like, in some ways a more innocent time or I was just you know,

Martha Smith  1:05:15

It was...

Susan Lambert Hatem  1:05:16

A young baby person. But it it also felt like there was a lot of possibility in those characters. And so I'm glad that Francine and Amanda are friends. (chuckles)

Sharon Johnson  1:05:28


Susan Lambert Hatem  1:05:29

I'm glad to hear that.

Martha Smith  1:05:31

Yes. And I see Bruce every now and then at, also at the um... there's these (cher), charity events that Hollywood throws that Bruce goes to and because every every year when they have this event, you have to wear... it's always Western Wear. And I like Francine and me have zero Western Wear. I've like one cowboy hat that, just for these events. And then I throw on some like, you know, high heeled boots or something. This kind of Western. Right? And then Bruce shows up in this full garb, you know, his John Wayne Look. Laughing

Susan Lambert Hatem  1:05:58

With his saddle over his shoulder?

Martha Smith  1:06:01

Right. He brings the horse to the parking lot.

Susan Lambert Hatem  1:06:05

Oh my gosh. All right. And so we're gonna get to three questions, which is our sort of last wrap up. But what what what's happening?

Martha Smith  1:06:12

Oh No!

Susan Lambert Hatem  1:06:13

Don't worry. They're easy. They're super easy. You're chatty. You're You're fine. No, we love chatty.

Sharon Johnson  1:06:18

(laughing)  Chatty

Susan Lambert Hatem  1:06:19

This a podcast about chatty. Chatty is great and wonderful. It's a compliment.

Martha Smith  1:06:24

OK.  I'll take it that way.

Susan Lambert Hatem  1:06:27

Oh, sure. When Bruce Boxleitner says it. (chuckles) He's on you.

Martha Smith  1:06:31

Blabby Bruce. We call him Blabby Bruce!

Sharon Johnson  1:06:33


Susan Lambert Hatem  1:06:33

Blabby Bruce!

Susan Lambert Hatem  1:06:34

We're happy for chatty.

Martha Smith  1:06:36

Good.  I'm glad.

Susan Lambert Hatem  1:06:37

Podcasts love chatt, and you know, I like women who have something to say. But I did want to say what's happening, stuff happening?

Martha Smith  1:06:44

I am doing real estate and I'm kind of doing the Francine version of it. I mean, I've got a small client, high end clientele. But I sold homes to Princes and Rock Stars, and celebrities of all types. So you know, it's that certain, I have right now, I have a listing for 14 million dollars. That's really really beautiful and hoping to sell soon. I dream of retiring honestly, I'm kind of... there's a lot of nonprofit work I'm interested in and I would really like to branch out and do things a little bit more the meaningful sector. You know, that that that point in my life where I want to make my big footprint of meaning on the world. So.

Susan Lambert Hatem  1:07:25

Alright, well keep us posted. Let us know when you're doing your next creative project. Because we want to hear that.  And and when you're selling something like a, like a $400,000 house. (laughs)

Martha Smith  1:07:35

I think that's a garage here.

Sharon Johnson  1:07:38

I was gonna say, is there such a thing in this area? In Los Angeles anywhere?

Susan Lambert Hatem  1:07:42

Nice try. Nice try. I was just, you know... But 14 million dollars. I think that's going to sell really well.

Martha Smith  1:07:50

That's for a young professional. That's not what, that's not the high end yet. That's not the 20 million and up. They just sold one for like 185 million in Bel Air.

Susan Lambert Hatem  1:07:59


Martha Smith  1:07:59

Ridiculous house.  Ridiculous.

Susan Lambert Hatem  1:08:01

185 million.

Martha Smith  1:08:03

Yeah, it was they, they tend to shave the mountain top and build this house that goes on forever. With you know like, theaters and bowling alleys and all this, we need in our home. 32 bathrooms.

Susan Lambert Hatem  1:08:13

It's more of like a city. (guffaw) It's more like a...

Martha Smith  1:08:16

It's Real Estate Porn, is what it is. (laughs)

Sharon Johnson  1:08:19

Isn't that the House that um, that guy built? Think, you know, and it had to go to auction or something?

Martha Smith  1:08:24

Yes.That's the one. It's called The One.

Sharon Johnson  1:08:26

Yes! Oh my gosh!

Martha Smith  1:08:28

Now it's called The Half because it sold for half what they wanted. (laughs) it's just my joke...

Sharon Johnson  1:08:35


Susan Lambert Hatem  1:08:37

Okay, all right. So here we are three questions. What's the 80s Ladies driven TV show that resonated with you? And you can't say Scarecrow & Mrs. King because you were on it.

Martha Smith  1:08:46

But I didn't watch.... um 80s ladies. I liked Cagney & Lacey, does that count?

Sharon Johnson  1:08:52


Susan Lambert Hatem  1:08:53

Totally counts.

Martha Smith  1:08:53


Susan Lambert Hatem  1:08:54

Yeah. All right. Okay.

Martha Smith  1:08:55

I got one down!  

Susan Lambert Hatem  1:08:57

Check. Uh, What are your favorite Ladies of TV shows that you're watching? Or just TV shows? I Yeah, you know, but...  You don't watch TV?!

Martha Smith  1:09:09

I know this too. Well, let's see. Now I'm gonna come up with something because I do occasionally watch things like on Netflix or you know, like. And I just had to watch all that stuff for the awards ... which I loved Dopesick. But that wasn't Ladies, so much.

Melissa Roth  1:09:22

It doesn't have to be Network.

Susan Lambert Hatem  1:09:24

Oh, yeah. No, it doesn't have to be Network. It can be streaming. It can be...

Melissa Roth  1:09:27

What's the one on the Netflix? Of um, that Ann, the making of Anna?

Martha Smith  1:09:32

Oh, Anna Delvey!  I just watched that. Yeah, she was great. I was so curious about her accent, but that in fact, was a correct accent, I found later.

Sharon Johnson  1:09:32

Inventing Anna?

Melissa Roth  1:09:33

Inventing Anna!

Martha Smith  1:09:33

Oh, really? Because there has been a lot written about what the heck was that accent? and and...

Martha Smith  1:09:46

Well I was listening, a German.  Tess_______ is her name. She's a German. I think she's a microbiologist. And she had the exact same accent. It was almost like she borrowed it from her. And so I thought, well this must be a certain part of Germany. Maybe she researched it, because it's a rare accent I hadn't heard before. And I'm like, I have an ear for accents.

Sharon Johnson  1:10:06

Oh, that's fascinating. That's fascinating. Yeah.

Susan Lambert Hatem  1:10:09

All right. Final question.

Martha Smith  1:10:11

Oh, no.

Susan Lambert Hatem  1:10:12

Listen, you've already told us like three of these.

Sharon Johnson  1:10:15


Susan Lambert Hatem  1:10:15

What's the most like television moment or action hero moment or sort of just like, one of those moments you're like, This must have been scripted. That you've experienced in real life. But it sounds, but you told us like five of them so you could revisit one of them.

Martha Smith  1:10:28

Oh, wow. Yeah, my whole life. It's been that way. Honestly. I would say maybe Animal House. You know? The way that all came down, probably. Going for that other role. Asking to do Babs. Getting Babs. And then all of a sudden the movie blowing up, like huge! All of that kind of put together was really sort of like a Hollywood Movie. You know, kind of a, happening that you don't see in life that much.

Susan Lambert Hatem  1:10:55


Sharon Johnson  1:10:56

Fantastic. Yeah.

Susan Lambert Hatem  1:10:57

And I'm super impressed about your ability to advocate at a young age for yourself and for what you wanted. It's pretty amazing. When I think about it.

Martha Smith  1:11:08

Well, thank you.

Susan Lambert Hatem  1:11:09

Like that you, you know, or it's like, Hey. Here! Take this role... And you're like meh, Could I have the other one? (Laughs)

Martha Smith  1:11:18

And it was interesting, because in those days, when you did Playboy, you had to hide it, in Hollywood. You're gonna be an actress. And I became an accidental actress because of that thing that told you about. That, that's another one of those moments. Right!? But um so, when I was offered roles like that, I couldn't... Nobody knew I was Playmate when I was going on auditions. Nobody in Hollywood. My agent is probably the only one who knew, and I didn't talk about it. And I didn't want anything to to kind of reminisce back and show up in Playboy. Although they did always say, Our Martha on Happy Days, you know? They always put some blurb in the magazine when I, when I would do something. But yeah, I had to be really really careful. And then flash forward many years later. I'm still not talking about it, and I go out on an audition for I don't remember what.  It was a movie. And the character was supposed to have been a Playmate, and I didn't get the role. And the feedback was, 'We don't buy that she could be a Playmate.' (guffaw)

Sharon Johnson  1:11:20


Martha Smith  1:11:22

And that was the best feedback I ever got at an audition.  I though that was funny. 'Audience isn't gonna buy it.'

Susan Lambert Hatem  1:12:18

No. That's so like, and so, such an interesting thing. So you feel like, do you feel differently about having been a Playmate now, than you did then? or whenever?

Martha Smith  1:12:30

I didn't feel much of anything then.  To me honestly, I had been a model. And to me it was another modeling job with a lot more money and no clothes. It just really didn't seem... I you know, I was a hippie. And being without your clothes wasn't a big deal. It wasn't sort of like,  and I wasn't you know, doing anything pornographic. I was lying with you know, a little piece of sheer fabric in between my legs and flowers behind me. Everything was soft focus, and very... it was all that Girl Nextdoor kind of look in the day. Very fuzzy, soft and pretty. And I've always been a fan of artwork, and to me it was like beautiful artwork. I had some of the best photographers in the world shoot me. I really love the images they came up with, there was nothing I felt compromised about. I was paid really well. But it was very Women's Liberation, so I was going on the road and I was meeting and greeting. And people were coming up and throwing bras at me and stuff. (laughs) It was kind of a weird juxtaposition of themes. Every audition I went to, I went business first. That's why, that's why they said that nobody believes she could be a Playmate, you know.

Susan Lambert Hatem  1:13:31

This went a different way. (laughs)

Martha Smith  1:13:34

Yep. Sorry.

Susan Lambert Hatem  1:13:35

No, no!

Sharon Johnson  1:13:36

It's fine!

Susan Lambert Hatem  1:13:36

That... we're looking at, you know, TV Ladies from the 80s. And this was a big part of it and how women had to navigate a world that was not always welcoming to them, was not always, you know, easy to navigate. Thank you so much for being on the show and for talking about Scarecrow & Mrs. King and your amazing career and, and just your experience! And I'm super excited about just how like, enthusiastic you are about life. Like that's, that's what I'm getting from this. It's like... Oh, I'm gonna go on the road with Rod Stewart. I'm gonna go create a show over here. I need to do a cabaret show and sing with a guy. I need to find a guy who's gonna sing with me. Oh, okay, I'm gonna marry him. I think that's great.

Sharon Johnson  1:14:25

And how all along through your career you were, you were looking for different creative outlets. If it wasn't happening here. You said fine. I'll just go make one over here. And I'll go try this. And that's really amazing. That's really amazing!

Martha Smith  1:14:37

Why, thank you guys.  But we did have a lot of writer's strikes and actors....

Sharon Johnson  1:14:40


Martha Smith  1:14:40

Trying to fill the gaps and so. But thank you, I appreciate that.

Susan Lambert Hatem  1:14:48

Yeah, I um, anyway, it's, it's been great. I'm a big fan of the show and a big fan of yours. And I'm really glad that you were able to come on and talk with us.

Sharon Johnson  1:14:57

It's been a real treat. Thank you for for sharing! We really appreciate it!

Martha Smith  1:15:01

Thank you, Sharon.... ma ma ma my Sharona.  (singing)  

Susan Lambert Hatem  1:15:08

Okay we're gonna go out with a song...

Martha Smith  1:15:10

Sweet Melissa (singing)

Sharon Johnson  1:15:12


Melissa Roth  1:15:12

Thank you Miss Martha! It's been wonderful.

Susan Lambert Hatem  1:15:14

I really appreciate it

Sharon Johnson  1:15:15

Be well. Take care!

Martha Smith  1:15:17


Susan Lambert Hatem  1:15:18

Our Audio-ography for today is the Martha Smith official Facebook page at yes, Facebook. And the Scarecrow and Mrs. King Anniversary website also on Facebook. facebook.com/ScarecrowAndMrsKingAnniversary. That's a page devoted to the reunions featuring Martha Smith, Bruce Boxleitner and other people involved in Scarecrow & Mrs King. I want to thank Fiona W for enjoying our Scarecrow episodes and recommending a very cool book for our audio-ography, which I'm just going to add here today. She recommended ‘When Women Invented Television’ by Jennifer Keishin Armstrong.

Sharon Johnson  1:15:58

Tamara M was inspired by our Scarecrow discussion about female characters not needing a romantic relationship with male counterparts, to recommend that we discuss Hunter with Stepfanie Kramer and Fred Dryer.

Susan Lambert Hatem  1:16:13

Hunter has come up before. It's not a show I know very well Sharon, but I think we definitely will have to cover it at some point.

Sharon Johnson  1:16:20

Sounds like a plan.

Susan Lambert Hatem  1:16:20

Okay, so we haven't actually completed exploring Season Four of Scarecrow & Mrs. King and a lot happens in that Season. No spoilers for now. But we're gonna pause for a minute, or several episodes, on Scarecrow and Mrs. King We reserve the right to return, recall witnesses and bring new interviewers on at any time. Who knows? We know we'll be talking to some wonderful SMK Fans that we're going to bring on the show. And we are still reaching out to Bruce and Kate. Keep your fingers crossed. You never know what can happen. Anything at all at 80s TV Ladies. That's the fun part.

Sharon Johnson  1:16:53

When we started this podcast we never intended to do Episode by Episode walkthroughs of Scarecrow and Mrs. King Even though we love those kinds of podcasts. West Wing Weekly, Office Ladies, Parks and Recollection.

Susan Lambert Hatem  1:17:07

Love 'em all!

Sharon Johnson  1:17:08

Just to name a few. But that's not what we're doing because we want to cover more shows than we would be able to by going Episode to Episode.

Susan Lambert Hatem  1:17:16

So we're curious what you think. This is Season One and we are enjoying ourselves immensely. But do you love going Season by Season? Do you love the interviews? Do you like a combination? Continue to reach out! We want to know your suggestions. Tell us an 80s TV Ladies show that resonated with you and tell us what you'd like to see us cover on this show.

Sharon Johnson  1:17:38

So on our next Episode, we will be talking about another romantic comedy action show. Remington Steele starring Stephanie Zimbalist and Pierce Brosnan. This happens to be one of my favorites.

Susan Lambert Hatem  1:17:49

This is a Sharon pick. We have some very exciting guests who will be joining us over the next few episodes to talk about this show. Send in your questions. What do you want to know about Remington Steele? What do you want to know about Laura Holt's deep dark secrets?

Sharon Johnson  1:18:06

And let's say we got, oh I don't know, Stephanie Zimbalist star of Remington Steele, on the show? What questions would you have for her? Email us 80sTVLadies@gmail.com Or go to the website 80sTVLadies.com. We hope 80s TV Ladies brings you joy and laughter and lots of fabulous new and old shows to watch. All of which will lead us toward being amazing ladies of the 21st century.

Song  1:18:38    

(parody of Rod Stewart's 'Some Guys Have All the Luck') Some gals have all the luck. Some gals have all the pain. This gal once hung with Rod Stewart. Stake-out. Starts backin' Mrs King! woo oo oo woo oo. woo oo oo oo. Martha Smith. woo oo oo woo oo. woo oo woo oo