Episode 111: “Remington Steele Interview with Stephanie Zimbalist – Part Two”

Steele Chatting: Susan and Sharon continue their talk with award-winning stage, TV and film actress Stephanie Zimbalist who created the 80s icon, Laura Holt…
Read Transcript

The Conversation

  • Working with her real-life dad – showbiz legend Efrem Zimbalist Jr – How he became a father figure for co-star Pierce Brosnan. (And how he taught Stephanie the secret to “playing drunk”…!)
  • Her decades-long friendship with Alec Baldwin.
  • When Jimmy Stewart was almost on Remington!
  • The Amazing Remington Steele Guest Stars, including…
    - Paul Reiser – and how Pierce broke up every time he said a line.
    - Louie Anderson – and that horse
    - And Beverly Garland –  Laura’s mom! (Wait -- were Laura Holt and Amanda King sisters??)
  • How she was cast in – but had to quit – ROBOCOP.
  • Why she has never gone back to rewatch “Remington Steele.”
  • Why “the blood isn’t real on “Remington Steele” -- and how humor on TV has changed…
  • How curiosity leads to love.
  • New York, noodles – and a “rude awakening” in the theater…


So listen in as Susan, Sharon and Stephanie talk “Moonlighting”, memories and Mary Tyler Moore! 

Our Audio-ography

Stephanie Zimbalist Fan Page on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/StephanieZimbalistFanPage

Renegade women in film and tv – by  Elizabeth Weitzman and illustrated by Austen Claire Clements


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80s TV Ladies™ Episode 111 – “Remington Steele Interview with Stephanie Zimbalist – Part Two” Produced by 134 West and Susan Lambert Hatem. Hosted by Susan Lambert Hatem and Sharon Johnson. Guest: Stephanie Zimbalist. Sound Engineer and Editor: Kevin Ducey. Producer: Melissa Roth. Associate Producer: Sergio Perez. Music by Amy Engelhardt. Copyright 2022 134 West, LLC and Susan Lambert. All Rights Reserved.


Stephanie Zimbalist TEASER

Hello, this is Stephanie Zimbalist, and you're listening to 80s. TV Ladies. I don't even know their real names.

80s TV Ladies Theme Song      

80s TV Ladies, I’m so sexy and so pretty.  80s TV Ladies, I’m steppin out into the city. 80s TV Ladies, I been treated kind of sh#*ty. Working hard for the money in a man’s world. 80s TV Ladies!

Sharon Johnson  00:25

Hi everyone! I'm Sharon. It's time for Part Two of our interview with Stephanie Zimbalist. And we think you're gona to enjoy it just as much as you did Part One.

Susan Lambert Hatem  00:37

But first, we're going to start with some Fan Feedback, because there's some questions that might come up later. Thank you guys so much for contacting us and sending us your emails and your comments and your ratings and reviews. It really means a lot to us and we love hearing from you. I want to shout out Lea B. And she says, just listened to the second and third Scarecrow and Mrs. King Episodes and you may have already figured this out. But Scarecrow and Mrs. King and Remington Steele both shot in Europe due to the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics being in town, and they needed to shoot those early season episodes. That is true. We figured it out a few episodes after we've been listening. But it takes us a while. But thank you very much for your comment.

Sharon Johnson  01:19

Thank you, Leah! Loved hearing from you! Hope you are continuing to enjoy the podcast. Next up is Kristen, who says, 'Thank you so much for the wonderful episodes on Remington Steele. I miss the show terribly. Even after all these years, I remembered that Stephanie Zimbalist and Robin Bernheim wrote 'Steele in the Chips'. So when I came across your podcast, I was thrilled that you were going to interview Robin Bernheim! And now to learn that you will chat with Stephanie Zimbalist as well. I can't wait! I'd love to hear more about what Stephanie did to shape the character of Laura Holt, and especially her efforts to keep Laura Holt as a strong female lead character. I still remember where I was when I saw the first Episode, a senior in high school and thinking, Oh my God! Finally, a female character that I can relate to and be inspired by. Thank you again. Thank you so much, Kristen! We both feel the same way about Remington Steele and I think you'll enjoy what Stephanie Zimbalist has to say in this Episode.

Susan Lambert Hatem  02:26

And on Apple podcast, from WORSTAPPEVER0/10 We got this review. Thank you so much for your podcast. I miss Remington Steele, and it was so wonderful to hear such nice things said about the cast. Well keep listening because we're gonna keep talking about Remington Steele for a few more episodes. Thank you Worst App Ever Zero out of 10!

Sharon Johnson  02:49

So happy to hear that so many are enjoying our episodes.

Susan Lambert Hatem  02:53

And oh my gosh! From Dakota, we got this question. I'm wondering if Stephanie Zimbalist still keeps in touch with Pierce Brosnan? Thank you, Dakota. Thank you for reaching out to us on 80s. TV Ladies. Stay tuned. And let's see if we can find out. We have so much to talk about.

Stephanie Zimbalist  03:11

I know.

Susan Lambert Hatem  03:13

Oh, I do want to go back to working with your Dad.

Stephanie Zimbalist  03:16


Susan Lambert Hatem  03:16

on Remington Steele. And that had to be amazing?! And cool?! But also weird.

Stephanie Zimbalist  03:25

I, it's amazing and cool. But I do have to tell you about. It just flopped in my head I have to tell you about. After Remington, we were doing the Night of the Iguana. Alec Baldwin, who I had worked with. We did a movie of the week called um through...bla... 1984. Love on the Run! It was for NBC. We've been friends ever since. We don't necessarily agree on how the world should be run at this point. But by the way, when we met back in 1984, he was about to leave.  He was a, he was a regular on Knott's Landing at the time.

Sharon Johnson  04:05


Stephanie Zimbalist  04:06

And he was about to leave The Business because he was so passionate about politics that he was going to go and run for office back then! He didn't, but he was going to. I mentioned it because he, we've always been, you know... Oh, gee. You're working at Williamstown. Can you help me get in? Yeah, let me just make a call. So I made a call when he was in Williamstown. Bla bla blah. So he calls me and he says I'm doing um, Night of the Iguana. I'm doing a reading down at Nola. Down at the Tennessee Williams Literary Festival. I'm doing it with um ah, Elizabeth Ashley. Will you do it with us? I said sure. So a couple of friends from a Theater I work at here saw the Production and they said, Oh my God! She was great as as um, Hannah Jelkes. So it ended up that we got this production of Night of the Iguana and they asked my Dad to play Nonno, which is my father in this lovely production of Night of the Iguana that we did in Ventura. And then we took it up to Winnipeg, Manitoba. Well, when we were first uh (chuckles), first, you know, working through the kinks, shall we say. (chuckles) My Pop was in an antique wheelchair. And there was a ramp that had a high grade. And the ramp goes off off stage down this high grade, down to stage um, audience right, and disappears. Well, we're in Tech, I think there was an audience.(chuckles) It was actually, we were in Tech, and I hadn't put the lock properly (guffaw) on this wheelchair, and it was facing backwards, I think. No, it wasn't backwards. No, it was facing frontwards. Thank God. So I go off. I go off stage right, and I hear this bblumpbumbrombbl.

Susan Lambert Hatem  04:06

Oh Yea.

Susan Lambert Hatem  05:55


Stephanie Zimbalist  05:57

And it's my father going down this ramp alone, unguided and crashing at the bottom of this thing. (laughs)

Sharon Johnson  06:04

Oh no! (laughs)

Stephanie Zimbalist  06:06

And the audience... Oh My God! And my Pop being the professional that he was... He was in his late 70s then? Early 80s? Popped up, just like nothing had happened. Popped up, dusted his pants off, said, Well, that was fun. (giggles)

Sharon Johnson  06:24


Stephanie Zimbalist  06:24

And we walked back up the ramp. That's my Father. That's my Dad. (laughs) Oh my God. But he was very, as you can see, he was very athletic, also. It was it was such a delight to work with him on Remington. It was such a delight to work with him on Remington, that when Daddy died, and I did, I did a lot of I did. I did the service. My brother said you do it all. Oh, Thanks Skip. Thanks. You do the whole thing. So I did the first Memorial. I did the service. I did the second Memorial, and they're big productions. They're huge productions with help from many wonderful people that helped me with this. But anyway, when we did the one at at the Sportsman's Lodge, in LA, I invited Pierce, because I thought that he would enjoy it. Well, not only did Pierce show up, he got the date wrong. And he showed up a week before the event. He arrived looking apparently dazzling in his suit. And the people of the desk said, Well Mr. Brosnan, it's so nice to see you but you're a week early. Well, you'd think that that, and he was coming from a great distance, he lives in a beautiful part of LA. And so you'd think that would put him off on showing up on the date. It didn't. He shows up on the date. And he was such a delight, and had so many lovely stories about Daddy. And me. And I mentioned this because you know, Pierce didn't have the best relations with his own father. And those episodes of working with Daddy. He loved my Dad. He Loved my Dad! Daddy enjoyed him immensely! But Pierce really thought of Daddy as a real father figure. So it meant, it was a lovely closing the door on on that lovely connection that he had with Daddy and I was very touched that he made the effort Twice! Not once, but twice.

Sharon Johnson  08:36

That's so awesome. How did it come about, though, that your Dad came on to the show in the first place?

Stephanie Zimbalist  08:42

Well, Daddy was a big star. I don't know if you knew but he was. a very big star.

Stephanie Zimbalist  08:46

He was the highest paid actor on television at one point. He did... FBI was nine years. And 77 (Sunset Strip) was actually eight. And in those days you got, in 77 he got 50 cents, you know. He got nothing at all.(gufaw)

Sharon Johnson  08:46

Oh, yes! Oh yes.

Sharon Johnson  09:02


Stephanie Zimbalist  09:02

But he was a very big deal. He did about, at least 40 big feature films. Mostly for Warner Brothers because you were under contract then. Not all of them, but a lot of them were Warner's. And so Michael always had it in mind to find it, to have you know. I mean, I was Jimmy Stewart's last leading lady. We did a movie called The Magic of Lassie. And Jimmy loved me and I loved him. I'm not going to brag on myself on what he said about me. I'm not going to do that. I won't be tacky like that. But I did tell Michael how much Jimmy loved me. So Michael wrote a part for Jimmy. And Jimmy was all set to do it. He said absolutely. I'm going to come and Guest Star on Remington Steele. And he had some kind of conflict at the very last minute, and Andy Duggan took the role. And the irony was, is that that Episode, and you'll, you guys will remember it. We shot it out on Route 126. We shot it at this little, uh um, pilot, what do you call it? This bit, not a base but where they have planes...

Stephanie Zimbalist  10:07

It's one of those funny airplane. It's a funny airport. And we were actually shooting it on the day of the Challenger disaster.

Susan Lambert Hatem  10:07

Like an airport?

Susan Lambert Hatem  10:14

Oh my gosh.  

Sharon Johnson  10:14

Oh. Wow.

Stephanie Zimbalist  10:16

And that was show that Jimmy was going to do.

Susan Lambert Hatem  10:18

Is that the one where there's a plane crash that you see?

Stephanie Zimbalist  10:21


Susan Lambert Hatem  10:21

at lower seats?  Yeah. okay.

Stephanie Zimbalist  10:22

Probably. Yeah.

Susan Lambert Hatem  10:23

The radio. Yeah.

Stephanie Zimbalist  10:24

Yeah. Anyway, um, so Michael always had it in mind to bring, but you know, you saw the show. I mean,

Susan Lambert Hatem  10:32

He brought on everybody like...

Stephanie Zimbalist  10:33

He brought everybody. I mean, just Lloyd Nolan and all these fabulous actresses and oh, it was just great. We were so lucky. So he brought Daniel Chalmers on and of course, Daniel Chalmers ends up being Remington Steele's father at the end.

Susan Lambert Hatem  10:47

Spoiler alert.

Sharon Johnson  10:47


Susan Lambert Hatem  10:49

Spoiler alert. For those who haven't seen.

Stephanie Zimbalist  10:50

That's all right.

Susan Lambert Hatem  10:53

Spoiler from a, 40 years ago (guffaw)

Sharon Johnson  10:55

Yeah (Laughs)

Stephanie Zimbalist  10:55

The funniest thing though, the, our favorite, favorite time. So, my mother on the show was...

Sharon Johnson  10:55

Beverly Garland.

Susan Lambert Hatem  10:59

Beverly Garland.

Stephanie Zimbalist  11:06

Beverly Garland! Who was delightful. Well Pier uh, Daddy and I had this ridiculous scene, which was a dance scene. It was a waltzing scene. And we had this little martinet guy that was trying to get us to do the words on the turn, on the shot.  The same thing, just like the the gal moment when I did Tea at Five. You know, you turn on this word, and then you go over here and then this camera picks you up, and then you turn here. So Daddy and I, you know, Daddy was actually invited by his teacher at the Neighborhood Playhouse to join her company. He was that good a dancer. And that teacher was Martha Graham.

Sharon Johnson  11:50

Oh, wow!

Susan Lambert Hatem  11:50

Well, their you go.

Stephanie Zimbalist  11:51

He didn't do it. Because his mother said, I didn't raise... I don't want my...but you know. She didn't want that. She didn't want her son to be. She wanted her son to be a doctor or a lawyer or something. Or an engineer! She wanted him to be an engineer. Anyway, but Daddy, you know, he could move he was a very good dancer, but. I'm a really good dancer, but not when somebody is telling me to do this, do that, do this. (guffaw) So Daddy and I, (giggles) we start. The, you know, we've got the... in our ears, we've got the earbuds. Just like our resident in the White House. We've got these things in our ears (guffaw), telling us what to do. We've got the music in our ears. So when we would listen (said in staccato) to-the-music-it-would-make-us-tight-like-this-because-it-was that...

Sharon Johnson  11:59


Stephanie Zimbalist  12:01

And they said, stop, stop, stop, stop. You're sounding like a waltz. Forget. We said well, it's hard to listen to the rhythm of the waltz and try to say the lines. We started, (staccato) when-did-you-first meet-Mr.-Steele? Well that was just.

Sharon Johnson  12:24


Stephanie Zimbalist  12:26

Well, it got to the point that we couldn't keep a straight face. And because the little martinet (guffaw) who was telling us what to do. Got madder and madder. And that made Daddy and I laugh more and more. (laughs)

Sharon Johnson  13:05


Stephanie Zimbalist  13:06

Until finally we couldn't look at each other while we're trying to dance. We're just biting our lip. This stupid thing took forever. But that was one of our favorite memories was trying to do that Waltz Scene. (guffaw)

Susan Lambert Hatem  13:16

Oh, my God. All right now, I gotta go back and watch and see if I can catch you guys breaking.

Sharon Johnson  13:21


Stephanie Zimbalist  13:22

(Laughs) Yeah, it was a fun show! It was such a silly show. You know, it was fun. It was great fun. And it taught me a lot. I mean, I had, there was one Episode where I had to be drunk. I was terrified of that. I just was terrified of that. And I, I think it was my Dad that said the easiest way to play a drunk, it's, it'll work every time. You have to try to be sober. I said, really? He said, if you, piece of cake. That's all you have to do. Just Try to be sober. I said, Okay. And he was right. And I was really good in that Episode. But you got to do fun things like that. You know?

Susan Lambert Hatem  14:02

I was gonna, I was gonna say I also appreciated that like, you got, like, kind of dirty and beat up a lot. Your hair got blown out. You like like, it was, it felt so game. Laura Holt was so game.

Stephanie Zimbalist  14:15


Susan Lambert Hatem  14:16

And, and I and you got to get angry. Like,

Stephanie Zimbalist  14:20


Susan Lambert Hatem  14:21

And that, again, something you didn't see a lot of...

Stephanie Zimbalist  14:25


Susan Lambert Hatem  14:25

Is is a woman advocating for themselves and getting angry when people weren't doing what they were supposed to do.

Stephanie Zimbalist  14:31


Susan Lambert Hatem  14:31

That didn't happen on Network Television.

Stephanie Zimbalist  14:35

That's right.

Susan Lambert Hatem  14:36

People got angry in Soap Opera way, but getting angry because you're not doing what your your job, or you're not doing what you need to do in a relationship. That was so unusual. It was powerful!

Stephanie Zimbalist  14:50

Yeah. We also, you know, I don't think Pierce and I ever had. Well, at one point we sort of patted ourselves on the back. It was you know, we're in Fourth Season or something and there was really, you know, if it was just the two of us there was absolutely no need really to direct us. We knew where to go. We knew where where the where the money shots were, we knew we knew where we needed to land. We knew the rhythm. We knew how to do everything. And the directors were always delighted because we didn't, it was a well oiled machine we gave them. And we always had fun to have somebody new join us, you know, a guest person. I remember, there was an actor named Paul Reiser. You remember Paul Reiser?

Susan Lambert Hatem  15:36


Sharon Johnson  15:37


Stephanie Zimbalist  15:38

Well, for some reason, I mean, I thought he was a stitch. Pierce could not keep a straight face with him. He could not he couldn't. The second. Paul started to rehearse, Pierce was on the floor. He could not stop laughing. He just simply was ridiculous. He could not stop. And we really had to sort of wait for Pierce to go, kapboHehehe. He just could not stop laughing. We had a lot of fun with people like that, that were just really pistols, you know, really.

Susan Lambert Hatem  16:11

Louie Anderson.

Stephanie Zimbalist  16:12

Louie Anderson! Oh, my God. See, I had a lot to. I wrote to Pierce when Louie died. And because I, I had to do all those scenes where Louie was on the horse. And I don't think Pierce was there when Louie was on the horse. (guffaw) Oh, it was just...

Sharon Johnson  16:24


Stephanie Zimbalist  16:24

Louie was great to me. He invite, I went to his comedy act after that. He invited me many times. He was a doll. He was very, very sweet. Yeah.

Susan Lambert Hatem  16:32

Yeah, that was, that was ever again, a standout Episode. Because it was, it was so silly. But it also was so charming. That the gap, the cast was always so charming.

Stephanie Zimbalist  16:43

Yeah. Thank you, Molly! Thank you, Molly Lopata, for those wonderful people.

Sharon Johnson  16:47

Yeah, absolutely.

Susan Lambert Hatem  16:49

So I'm curious because you've been working for a while? And how, how do you see things have changed, or not, for women in Television? Both, both onstage both in, you know, sort of in front of the camera and behind the scenes?

Stephanie Zimbalist  17:05

Well, I can only go with what I have to go by now. The last time I was... First of all, I'll just I'll give Dan Roebuck a big, a big pat here. You know, if I don't think somebody can do something, I'm I say they can't do it. They're not very good at it. Dan Roebuck is a hugely gifted Director. He's not only a hugely gifted Director, but he's a really good Writer. He's really, really good. And he's also good in this light material. I don't know if you know, Susan, he's got this company. He and his wife, Tammy have this company called A Channel of Peace. And it's basically, it's faith based family movies. That sounds really boring. They're not. They're not at all boring. Because Danny has this great sense of humor.

Susan Lambert Hatem  17:58

He's got a wonderful sense of humor.

Stephanie Zimbalist  17:59

And he's just delightful to work with. Effortless. So effortless to work with. So when I worked with him, um, I did. I did the one. He didn't direct the one that I did in, with um, Sally Kellerman. That was pretty great. That was, I had a lovely scene with dear Sally. And that was 2014. That was the one that was called His Neighbor, Phil. And now it's called A Timeless Love. But working with Danny, I mean, he's just, he's a champ. And so the only experience that I have in front of the camera for quite a while is Danny. And A, I thought, God, he really knows what he's doing. And B. And by the way, the crew said, You really know how to do this. I said, Well, this is what I used to do. So I know this stuff a lot. And our DP would say, but you, you're really good at this! I said well, thanks! I mean, this is, this is my territory. This is what I know. And there's a lot that it takes to learn. And um, you either know it or you don't. Robin says to me, you know, you should be directing. So I don't want to direct. I don't want to direct! I have no interest in going, you know, when the guy gets up and gets his Oscar for Shine, let's say... Oh, it only took nine years preparation. (Chuckles) Fine. Yeah, good!

Sharon Johnson  18:19


Stephanie Zimbalist  18:23

It's one of my favorite films, by the way. I don't know if you've seen it. Shine. Do you remember that film?

Susan Lambert Hatem  19:23

I do remember that film. Amazing.

Sharon Johnson  19:25


Stephanie Zimbalist  19:25

Yeah. He said, I think it was nine years it took him to make it (guffaw). Just what I want to do. (Laughing) As far as the Theater, yeah. My theater stuff is is out in the boonies a bit. But new plays! I've done new plays, which is always exciting.

Susan Lambert Hatem  19:42

Talk about taking nine years.

Stephanie Zimbalist  19:43

Yeah, no, yeah. That's right. Um, I don't know. I mean, who knows? The only, the only unfortunate part is you can't act in a closet. So you can't even do a reading in a closet. So um. This actually what we're doing here, as you can imagine, because I'm talking so much. It's a bit of a performance. Right?

Susan Lambert Hatem  20:07


Stephanie Zimbalist  20:07

So so this is sort of what I do too, which is my thoughts about where to live. Do I want to live in the slow lane always? Do I want to really live on a hilltop? You know, dealing with farmers? Who am I going to talk to? (laughs) Not that I don't love farmers, I love them. They're great. But I was sort of made to sort of babble, I guess. Talk and get up and do things. So.

Susan Lambert Hatem  20:32


Stephanie Zimbalist  20:32

We'll see where it all ends up. Yeah.

Susan Lambert Hatem  20:34

Well, and so let's, I'm gonna swing right back to Remington. Let's talk about the end of the show. And then the re- end of the show. (guffaw) The show gets canceled at the end of Season Four. Did you know that was coming? And then it gets brought back.

Stephanie Zimbalist  20:50

Yeah, let me think now. Trying to think because it got canceled. I was, I was working at Williamstown. And so I got Robocop. I got Robocop. Show was canceled. I get cast as the lead in Robocop. And then while I'm there doing Barbarians by Gorky, or Summer and Smoke with Chris Reeve and Annie Reinking, I find out I have to go back to Remington because we're picked up again. Because the, all the all the audience complained and they said we don't want the show to be canceled. And I think it was only the second show in the history of shows that they ever brought it back because the audience said we we insist on coming back. I was fine about it. I had to give up. Not only did I have to give up an A-Picture. But my wardrobe if you ask Erica Phillips my wardrobe is all, was sitting at Sony for a long time. It was already made. And Pierce never had Bond when he made a big stink and said take this job and shove it. He didn't have the job. I did have a job. And I gave it up. I said I gotta give it up. We got to go back because the only reason they want me for things is because I'm, did this show. And so I was forever grateful for Remington because after Remington came a slew of very interesting parts, you know. Very interesting things that I never would have gotten to do if I didn't have the platform... is not a lovely word... but the platform of Remington. So nobody would have cared. If uh, you know, I remember Tommy saying, (impersonating Tommy) You know, I've taken this Show out three or four times on the road. We've never had numbers like this, it must have to do with you.' (giggles)That's what he said. He didn't have to say that. But he did say. He said it's the magic of being on television. I said, Yeah, it is.

Susan Lambert Hatem  22:41

We were talking about that. Network Television meant something very dear. Like there's so many platforms, there's so many streaming channels, there's a lot of content. It's really all interesting content. It's very exciting to have this much opportunity to create interesting stories. But at the same time, you can't keep up with them! The but is

Stephanie Zimbalist  23:00

Well here's the but. Here's the but related to what you were just going to say. How many avenues were there? Then? There were Network Television. There were a couple of PBS channels. People weren't making series on PBS channels. So there was ABC, NBC and CBS. And so if you had a market share on one of your shows. Do you know the numbers we had? I mean, it was ridiculous, the numbers we had!

Sharon Johnson  23:27


Stephanie Zimbalist  23:27

I would walk down the street after a Movie of the Week. If I were in New York, I'd get stopped about by 10 people on the block. Oh, I saw your show last night. Oh, it was great. Oh, blah, blah, blah. And it would happen everywhere I went. People would stop me because people watched television. They don't watch it anymore.

Melissa Roth  23:45

Well, they watched you, too. I have to say.

Stephanie Zimbalist  23:48


Melissa Roth  23:48

As a personal fan...

Susan Lambert Hatem  23:50


Melissa Roth  23:50

... you really were outstanding. And that's why people were drawn to you. And it was such an unusual role for the time.

Stephanie Zimbalist  23:57

You know, Thank you. And I didn't know it at the time. I didn't Know it. I mean, I remember I was at my friend Judy. And she said you got to go sign some autographs because I wanted to make some money for Michael. He was in bad straits and I was doing Tea at Five. And we thought it would bring an audience for Tea at Five in Burbank. So I went to one of these Things where you sign it, you sit down there and you write. You sign autographs. And there at the autograph signing... besides Celeste Holm which was kind of a thrill, I have to say

Sharon Johnson  24:28


Susan Lambert Hatem  24:28


Stephanie Zimbalist  24:29

... There was Ryan O'Neal. And I go up to Ryan's table and I say hello, Mr. O'Neill. It's, I don't think you know me, but my name is Stephanie Z. And he said, I had Such a crush on you!

Sharon Johnson  24:36


Stephanie Zimbalist  24:41

I said, you did? I can't tell you how many people I've met that have said that. I didn't know it at the time. I didn't have time to breathe. I worked 80 hours a week. I would get home. I'd be the first in my chair with Dorothy Fox, who I still visit.  Who's my hairdresser from Remington. I still visit her once a week in the assisted living. I go and see her once a week. She's a, 92 coming up 92. And I get in her chair at 5:30 in the morning, and we wouldn't get out of the last shot until 11:30 at night. And then I'd have to get up and be in the chair at 5:30 in the morning. And I didn't get a day off until my Fourth Season of Remington.

Sharon Johnson  25:21


Stephanie Zimbalist  25:21

Fourth Season of Remington, I got my first day off, so I didn't have time to notice my impact on the world. I didn't have time! I didn't have, I didn't know! I had no idea. My, I remember Pierce said, What did he say? He said... We were shooting in like Santa Monica or something... he said, (imitating Pierce) So why don't you? Why don't you have a fancy? Why don't you get one of these cars? Why don't you have a, you know, a Corvette? Or a Jaguar? Why are you driving around in that silly little? I said, because I don't care about cars. It's not my thing. I just don't care about cars! But I don't care about fancy houses. I don't care about any of that stuff. And I also never ever believed that the income... Which wasn't astonishing, the way, by today's standards. It was not. I mean, it really wasn't. But I never believed that it would last! So I wasn't going to spend it. I said you don't spend this money just because you're getting it today! You don't do that. Because when I was at Juilliard, they didn't teach us anything. Nothing like that! We're going Blueblulublubrulb! Nothing. We didn't know anything about that. And it's very important that we know that. But I do want to swing back Susan and talk to you about, about Remington and say, (in tears) I try not to get emotional because it's stupid. But um, I would have had a good journeyman career without it. Because I was starting that, down that road. I was I was, you know, moving very nicely along into interesting parts in Features. I did in fact, that my two big Features were before Remington! The Awakening with Charlton Heston, and The Magic of Lassie with Jimmy Stewart, were Before Remington. I would have had an interesting career. But But Remington made me a household word, Household Name. And it was a good body of work. It was nothing that I was ever ashamed of. It was always, I did the best I could do. And it was enough. So I was, I was very grateful to have it. I'm very grateful for my solvency, incredibly grateful for how long that remains, to have some kind of solvency. And I'm grateful for the opportunity it gave me to take the time to be better. Because that's what I did with it. I went to the Theater, and I took the time to get better.

Susan Lambert Hatem  28:04

That is amazing. And thank you for sharing that with us. You've changed, I mean, you've changed people's lives! You, you inspired so many women to to recognize that they could be themselves and sort of pick their own journey.

Stephanie Zimbalist  28:16


Susan Lambert Hatem  28:17

And, and that show resonates and it resonates for for a reason. So we have a little segment on the show called 90s. TV Babies. That's a younger generation that looks at these shows. And it's pretty amazing when they look at these shows how much they get from them.

Stephanie Zimbalist  28:34


Susan Lambert Hatem  28:35

Because I think they're gonna look at 'em and start laughing. But they really appreciate them. And appreciate. I think it gives them an insight into what the 80s was. But also they they sort of appreciate what these shows were trying to do. And and they really get them, a little bit more than I thought they would.

Stephanie Zimbalist  28:55


Susan Lambert Hatem  28:56

Sharon and I both been surprised when they're like, Oh my God! It's just like this, and this here. And then the Hair! (Laughs)

Stephanie Zimbalist  29:00

Well, also the fact that they can binge! You know that's, that adds a lot to it, because then they get a real fla... I've never binged anything... but they get a real sense of what the show, what the statement of the show was, by binging it. You know?

Sharon Johnson  29:00


Susan Lambert Hatem  29:16

Yeah, yeah. Streaming has revived some of these older shows that were really resonant at the time, and now carry a new resonance that I think is reminding people. It's so, it's so interesting, because it feels like the way that Remington Steele is giving nods to older movies in the show.

Stephanie Zimbalist  29:34


Susan Lambert Hatem  29:34

Which I love, was another thing, part of the show that I loved. I would, I would literally try to, kind of write those down and then go find those movies, which were hard to find.

Stephanie Zimbalist  29:42

Goodness. Yeah!

Susan Lambert Hatem  29:44

But as a person that was starting to love Movies and Television, it was like, Oh, I better go check out you know, Casa Blanca! And I see a lot of references, I see a lot of references to the Remington Steel's of the day and stuff, in modern Television in particular. I think I think there are, and that's why you keep hearing like, oh, Remington's gonna be revised. Oh, or there's gonna be a, you know. But I, it's one of the reasons we keep looking back at our old shows and movies and stuff. And I think there is value in rebooting stuff. I think there is. I like new stuff. I develop new stuff.

Stephanie Zimbalist  30:17


Susan Lambert Hatem  30:18

But I think there is something in re-imagining sort of these stories that have resonance, as well. I'm, because I, I like. I like all culture. (chuckles)

Sharon Johnson  30:29


Stephanie Zimbalist  30:29

Right. That's right. Yeah.

Susan Lambert Hatem  30:31

Okay, we're gonna have to take a break here.

Sharon Johnson  30:32

I think that's a great idea. Stay tuned for more of our interview.

Susan Lambert Hatem  30:36

We'll be right back.

80sTVLadies   30:37

_________________________________Commercial Break__________________________________

Susan Lambert Hatem  30:43

All right, and we're back!

Sharon Johnson  30:45

Welcome back to Part Two of our interview. This is 80s TV Ladies!

Stephanie Zimbalist  30:50

You know, it's funny. I uh, when we did I guess, what was it? I don't know what it's called where you go in a studio and you comment and they put that in the DVD?

Sharon Johnson  30:58


Susan Lambert Hatem  30:58

The DVD extra special. The commentaries. Yeah.

Stephanie Zimbalist  31:00

Oh, yeah. That's about the only time that I've seen Remington since we did it. And the main reason is simply... First of all, I remember exactly how I shot every scene. I don't mean, it's sort of like a golfer. If ask Jack Nicklaus about, you know, 1984, and the 15th hole at Pebble and he'll know exactly the shots that he he hit. It's, that's just the way it is. And same Djokovic knows every single, you know, it's just. And actor's are the same. That, Oh, I remember. We put the camera there and did the blablababa. (laughs) And um, I haven't watched it for one simple reason. And it's simply vanity. I don't really want to go back and look at what I looked like when I was 25 to 30. It'll just depress me as all get out. And I look pretty good now. I swim about 6, 6 miles a week. You know, I don't look like a child. I haven't had a lot of, you know, scaffolding done on my face. (laughs) Oh my God. I haven't done that. But I still am a qualified member of the human race. (guffaw)

Susan Lambert Hatem  32:07


Stephanie Zimbalist  32:08

But I, it'll just depress me to go look and see what I... so what? Who cares what I looked like when I was 25 to 30? wawa weh. You know, fine. That's good.

Melissa Roth  32:18

I hope you do get a chance to re-look at, because you and Mr. Brosnan are so completely adorable together.

Stephanie Zimbalist  32:26


Susan Lambert Hatem  32:26


Sharon Johnson  32:26

And the commentary you did with Michael Gleason for the the Episode you wrote, was fantastic. So fantastic!

Stephanie Zimbalist  32:35

Oh, good.

Susan Lambert Hatem  32:36

The specials on the, like the behind the scenes on the DVDs has been really, really fun to dive into. So I really appreciate that. And I was just saying that's one of the challenges of streaming is you don't have those special features. Like I, I appreciate that, again, as a person that is interested in how things get made and is interested in Movies and Television and Theater. I really appreciate those. I miss the Criterion Collection.

Stephanie Zimbalist  33:00


Susan Lambert Hatem  33:01

So it's why I recommend you get the DVDs of Remington Steele instead of trying to stream it. Also, in streaming, they tend to cut off your head.

Stephanie Zimbalist  33:08

I'll tell you what I have Susan. I still have the Beta Max's.

Sharon Johnson  33:13

Oh, wow.

Stephanie Zimbalist  33:13

That I originally recorded my show on and I'll tell you why. Because I was prescient enough to record one commercial in between each of the breaks. Not because I felt it needed it, but it did because the shows were written to have commercials. So it's helpful to have the break. But I put the commercial in because I always wanted to know what the flavor of the world was when we were doing it. So I would pick one commercial and put it in the break. And I still have all of those Betamax's that are rotting. I haven't had them transfered yet. But I have all of them! How many are there? 80? No. 99? 95? Something like that.

Melissa Roth  33:14

You may have been very prescient and, it's still up in the air. What is the best archival? and Betamax is a pretty good archival medium. Believe it or not.

Stephanie Zimbalist  33:26

Yeah I know.

Melissa Roth  33:27

You it, they may not be rotting.

Stephanie Zimbalist  33:29

Good. Let's hope so. Let's hope not.

Sharon Johnson  34:07

And I haven't revisited them for a while, I'll admit, but the times that I have put in a VHS tape of something that I had recorded, and the commercials are like this time capsule.

Stephanie Zimbalist  34:20

Yeah they are.

Sharon Johnson  34:21

I mean it's, it's really it's really kind of fun and astonishing and scary all at the same time to see what was in commercials at that time. And how things were sold at that time as opposed to now.

Sharon Johnson  34:33

It's fascinating. So.

Stephanie Zimbalist  34:33

That's right.

Stephanie Zimbalist  34:35

There's three other things, why Remington is terribly important right now. One, it captures what Los Angeles looked like in that time.

Sharon Johnson  34:47


Susan Lambert Hatem  34:47

Oh my God. So beautifully.

Stephanie Zimbalist  34:49

Recorded everywhere. We went everywhere! And you'll see mountains that you don't see anymore. You'll see houses. You don't see those anymore. You'll see a whole lot. You'll see a whole lot. In fact, a lot of people that would watch Remington are probably looking at the background going, Oh my God. Look at that! That's one reason. Another. We were, it was so smart of Gleason, not to want us in contemporary clothes.

Sharon Johnson  34:49


Stephanie Zimbalist  34:50

We were picked to be in classic attire, whether it was Ron Talski, our Designer, whoever it was. Paula Giokaris was our First Lady, I think. And then Ron took over and he was great. It was a sad death there. It was very sad. He was a fabulous man. He put um, what's her name in the t-shirt? In um? Geneviève Bujold? Was that, Who was in that? What's the big movie? And she was wearing a wet t-shirt.

Melissa Roth  34:50

Oh, The Deep.

Stephanie Zimbalist  34:53

The Deep.

Melissa Roth  35:01

That was Jacqueline Bisset.

Stephanie Zimbalist  35:47


Susan Lambert Hatem  35:48

Oh right!

Stephanie Zimbalist  35:48

He put Jackie Bisset in a t-shirt. (guffaw)

Sharon Johnson  35:50


Melissa Roth  35:50


Stephanie Zimbalist  35:52

He didn't put me a t-hirt in the deep. (guffaw)

Melissa Roth  35:55


Stephanie Zimbalist  35:55

We were dressed so classically so that it would never look dated.

Susan Lambert Hatem  36:00


Stephanie Zimbalist  36:00

So we weren't dated right away. So that was very important. And the third element that is terribly important, especially where our world is today. We don't have a funny bone anymore. We don't have a sense of lightness, we can't Laugh(!) at ourselves and each other. We need that! We need that button where we can laugh at ourselves. We need that button where we can laugh at each other. And that's what Remington did. It raised us those three inches off the ground, so that we could laugh. I mean, that's where we got the comments like 'the blood isn't real on Remington Steele'.

Stephanie Zimbalist  36:41

And that was true. That's what we used to say. And you know, you didn't quake at a gun that was pointed at you, the way that you do in a real Drama. You didn't. That's not how the gun was treated. It was just a different story, because we weren't quite real. Well, all of those elements make it a show that is well worth revisiting today.

Susan Lambert Hatem  36:41


Susan Lambert Hatem  37:04

Yeah that, the Action Comedy has kind of left Television. There's Movies that do it. But, and I think you're right. I think too. It's, it's lovely to have that.

Stephanie Zimbalist  37:16


Susan Lambert Hatem  37:16

It's lovely to be able to be like, Oh, it's fun to be a spy and a mom! Like for Scarecrow and Mrs. King (chuckles) and, and, and, Remington Steele and Moonlighting.

Stephanie Zimbalist  37:26


Susan Lambert Hatem  37:26

They had a lot of 'wink' in them. And, and it was it was lovely to experience that lightness.

Stephanie Zimbalist  37:33

We had I mean, with, with with the way we are with divisiveness, you know. I would never be cast today as Remington. I wouldn't be. But I was thinking that somebody said, in that we're talking. Some Theater friends, it was Lucie Arnaz, and another friend of mine that I did a tour with. And I said, But you have to understand in the Theater, especially the Theater, we're a tribe. And also in the Film and Television business, we're a tribe as well. And the tribe, what the tribe applauds is excellence. The tribe, whether the tribe is an Actor, a Director, a Producer, a Playwright, we applaud excellence. And it doesn't matter whether that person is gay, is straight, is you know, what side of the fence. Man if they can deliver in any form, it doesn't, we just we just leap to our feet and support. It's just the nature of what we do. And it's it's funny, because that is the way, the internal feeling of the business, whether it's the Movie business or the Theater business, that is definitely true. I examine through the eyes of excellence. If it's excellent, it deserves to win, period. Anyway, that's, that's my that's my, my boat. (laughs)

Susan Lambert Hatem  39:03

The excellence of Theater! One of my favorite things is, in ah Santa Barbara, we're walking by the Theater. It's for the Santa Barbara Symphony, and it was closed and boarded up. (guffaw) But there's this poster that said, 'the pursuit of excellence continues'. And we're like, really? Like that's your poster? Like, you haven't gotten there? But you're gonna keep going.(Laughs) Like really?

Sharon Johnson  39:03


Stephanie Zimbalist  39:32

Yeah. Well, I you know, if I like a Movie, I will, I've, there's so many Movies that I've seen about seven times. I won't go see a whole swath of Movies just for fun. If I find one that's just absolutely dead on superb. Well, guess what? It's better, every time I see it. It's better. I saw Shine many times. I saw you know, I'll probably see Denzel again, in Macbeth. He was just knockout great in that Film. When Molina was doing The Father... not the, not the movie that Tony Hopkins did. Sorry, I don't have many things to say about that. But I do have. When Molina did the play, I had to go back to the Pasadena Playhouse. I had to go see it again.

Susan Lambert Hatem  40:11


Stephanie Zimbalist  40:12

I think I saw it three times. I said, you're just too good.

Susan Lambert Hatem  40:14

I love watching him. Red. Red was that for me, for him. I just watched him the whole time. It was really...

Stephanie Zimbalist  40:20

I remember that. Yeah.

Susan Lambert Hatem  40:20

Really resonant.

Stephanie Zimbalist  40:21

That's right.

Sharon Johnson  40:21

Yeah, I love I love rewatching things. Just Just as an aside, I happen to come upon a movie on HBO, sometime in the last couple of days called Return To Me. It was Written and Directed by Bonnie Hunt, and I love this movie.

Stephanie Zimbalist  40:36


Sharon Johnson  40:37

And it's about a woman who has a heart, has a heart transplant and then meets a guy. Falls in love and realizes that she has the heart of his deceased wife.

Stephanie Zimbalist  40:47

Oh my gosh!

Susan Lambert Hatem  40:48

Wow. Okay, that sounds like a TV Movie, for sure!

Sharon Johnson  40:51

But it also has, she's been, she was raised by her two Grandfathers who were played by Carroll O'Connor.

Susan Lambert Hatem  40:58

Oh, come on.

Sharon Johnson  40:59

And... Why can I think of his name? Italian Actor, and they run a restaurant called O'Malley's Italian Cuisine.

Susan Lambert Hatem  41:08

Come on.

Sharon Johnson  41:08

I'm not kidding. It's so good!

Stephanie Zimbalist  41:11


Sharon Johnson  41:11

It's so good! Anyway, that's my recommendation for the day. So. (Laughs)

Stephanie Zimbalist  41:15

I wrote that down.

Susan Lambert Hatem  41:16

Robert Loggia.

Sharon Johnson  41:17

Yes! Robert Loggia!

Susan Lambert Hatem  41:18

Thank God for Google.

Stephanie Zimbalist  41:19

Robert Loggia! I remember Robert Loggia.

Sharon Johnson  41:20

Oh, my gosh! I love that movie so much.

Susan Lambert Hatem  41:22

Wow! This cast is pretty amazing. David Duchovny Joely Richardson, Minnie Driver. Wow. Okay! I gotta go check it out.

Sharon Johnson  41:28

I love it. Anyway. (Laughs)

Susan Lambert Hatem  41:31

You guys were kind of, you launched in 1982. 1983 is Scarecrow and Mrs. King. And then what? 85 is Moonlighting,

Stephanie Zimbalist  41:38


Susan Lambert Hatem  41:40

Did you? Were you aware of those shows? Did you know that?

Stephanie Zimbalist  41:42

Oh, yeah. And the one that's, the one that was the predecessor. She, you know, I won't say she's a legend in her own mind. I won't say that. Because I really like her a lot. And she was my mother's best friend. (Laughs) But Stephanie Powers um.

Susan Lambert Hatem  41:56

Yes. Hart to Hart.

Stephanie Zimbalist  41:57

Hart to Hart. Hart to Hart was definitely there in the specter before we were. It was definitely you know, something that we followed. And we were fully aware, um. I don't know why we didn't have Steph on the show. I don't know. I don't think she would have done it. And I knew him for oh, for so many. He's just such a gracious lovely man. But that show was before.

Susan Lambert Hatem  42:20


Stephanie Zimbalist  42:20

That was one, that was before.

Susan Lambert Hatem  42:21

Yeah. And they talk in the special features about how they pointedly did not let the chauffeur, your chauffeur, speak because of Hart to Hart. Where the chauffeur is the third Lead. (Guffaw)

Stephanie Zimbalist  42:32

Oh Yeah.

Sharon Johnson  42:32

(Laughs) Fred. Poor Fred.

Stephanie Zimbalist  42:34

That's right. That's right. I did most of the driving too, as I remember.

Susan Lambert Hatem  42:39

I love that. You did do a lot of the driving! And I love the the the Pilot where you literally like reach over. It's like the golf cart and you like reach. He's in front and you're in back and you reach over him to drive the golf cart. And I was like, there it is! That's the metaphor for the show.

Sharon Johnson  42:55


Susan Lambert Hatem  42:55

It's like she's driving. Get out. I don't care whether you're in the front the seat.

Stephanie Zimbalist  42:58

That's right.

Susan Lambert Hatem  42:59

Laura Holt is driving.

Stephanie Zimbalist  42:59

I'm the only woman I know, now, that drives a stick shift. I have a stick shift.

Susan Lambert Hatem  43:04

I love a stick shift. I taught my Husband to drive a stick shift.

Stephanie Zimbalist  43:07

Well, you know, the good thing about it is you will never get, your car will never get stolen because they can't drive it. (chuckles)

Sharon Johnson  43:12

(Laughs) I have to confess. I've never driven a stick shift. I've always had an automatic, but.

Susan Lambert Hatem  43:22

I you know, I fancy myself a Racecar Driver. So I have to use stick shift.

Stephanie Zimbalist  43:26

I'll tell you how I learned to drive a stick shift. Well, of course I learned from my dad. But Daddy had, he had a 1959 Bentley named Daphne. But that, but that was. Daphne was not. She was, no she was automatic. I learned on his Packard. And the Packard, was a 1944 Packard.

Sharon Johnson  43:49


Stephanie Zimbalist  43:49

No! A 1934 Packard because he bought it in 1944. And that's where I learned how to drive a stick shift on a hill, trying to start that car on a hill. And you have to. And my brother would teach me too. He, he'd have a stick shift, and he, we'd be on the top of like La Cienega where it meets up Santa Monica. And there's all this traffic behind you. And you hear all these horns and you're sliding backwards into the people and just screaming your head off. So you learn how to use a clutch. You have to! That's where I learned. (Laughs) That's how I learned.

Susan Lambert Hatem  43:49


Sharon Johnson  44:27


Susan Lambert Hatem  44:27

That's going into the deep end.

Stephanie Zimbalist  44:29

Yep. Yeah.

Susan Lambert Hatem  44:30

Just tossed into the deep end of stick shift driving.

Stephanie Zimbalist  44:33

The other stick shift story. Right behind me where I live, um. My first mother on television was Shirley Jones.

Susan Lambert Hatem  44:41


Stephanie Zimbalist  44:42

She was my first mother. And I was an idiot then. I didn't know anything. I mean, I knew nothing on this first Movie of the Week that I did. Which by the way... he told me many years later. Because who cares when you're coming out of school, Drama School and you get this part, you know. And you're not paying attention to who wrote it. Who, you know, it's a Television project. Well guess who wrote it? Michael Gleason wrote it. (Laughs)

Stephanie Zimbalist  45:08

Yeah. It was called Yesterday's Child, and Geraldine Fitzgerald and Shirley Jones and Claude Aikens, and the guy was on. Oh, he was. Wonderful actors were on that show. It's called Yesterday's Child. And of course they asked me at the audition I think, can you drive a stick shift? Oh, yeah, sure I can drive a stick shift.

Sharon Johnson  45:09

Oh My God. (Laughs)

Susan Lambert Hatem  45:09

Get out!

Sharon Johnson  45:20


Stephanie Zimbalist  45:22

I could no more drive a stick shift than the man in the moon. I nearly ended up going over a cliff because I couldn't drive a stick shift. (guffaw) But she was a great Mom. She was just great to me. She was lovely. I worked with her son, Patrick. And I worked with Piper Laurie on that. We did um, we did A Little Night Music. The second time I did it. I did Desiree. (singing) Isn't it rich? Are we a pair? It was a wonderful role. It was great role. And I did that with Piper, and Patrick. That was great fun. Okay, enough Theater. Stop.

Sharon Johnson  46:01


Susan Lambert Hatem  46:01

(Laughs) Well again, right. Clearly we have to start the Theater Podcast.

Stephanie Zimbalist  46:05


Susan Lambert Hatem  46:07

So we do have to do our Three Questions. It's time.

Sharon Johnson  46:09

I think it's time!

Stephanie Zimbalist  46:09


Susan Lambert Hatem  46:10


Stephanie Zimbalist  46:11


Susan Lambert Hatem  46:11

What is? And again, you were busy on a TV Show. But what is the 80s Ladies driven Television Show that resonated with you? Other than Remington Steele? You don't get to say Remington Steele. Robin tried that. We wouldn't let her.

Sharon Johnson  46:27


Stephanie Zimbalist  46:27

Let's see. Let's see.

Susan Lambert Hatem  46:30

Well you said one, Hart to Hart.

Stephanie Zimbalist  46:32

Hart to Hart So you know my shows that I watched, my big shows. I watched Dark Shadows when I was growing up. And I watched Gilligan's Island all the time. Those are the shows that I watched, that I wouldn't miss.

Susan Lambert Hatem  46:47

That is so funny. And you guys shot.

Stephanie Zimbalist  46:49


Susan Lambert Hatem  46:49

On the Gilligan's Island set.

Sharon Johnson  46:51

Oh, that's right. Yeah.

Susan Lambert Hatem  46:53

For one of the episodes.

Stephanie Zimbalist  46:54

And I know. I have stories Walter Matthau's told me that I can't even repeat here, about these. I'm not even gonna repeat them.

Susan Lambert Hatem  47:00

Come on. You should.

Stephanie Zimbalist  47:01

No. Not at all.

Sharon Johnson  47:01


Stephanie Zimbalist  47:01

No, no, no, no, no. But um, as far as women's shows. Geez. Uh I can't, I mean I was not a great. I mean, Michelle Lee is a darling friend and she's just great. But I never watched those shows about the. Where they, they were obviously, were five hours in Hair and Makeup. Those shows like Dynasty and all those shows. Those, those was, never interested me because I didn't believe them. I just didn't believe putting that much effort into Hair and Makeup and Costumes. It just and then trying to be a normal person. It's like I never, I never bought that. That didn't really, so. I mean, I'll tell you what I can do for you, Susan.

Susan Lambert Hatem  47:49


Stephanie Zimbalist  47:50

If you rattle off about 10 or 12 of them.

Susan Lambert Hatem  47:52

Okay, you got it.

Stephanie Zimbalist  47:53

I will go, that. That one.

Susan Lambert Hatem  47:55

All right, Cagney and Lacey.

Stephanie Zimbalist  47:56

Keep going.

Susan Lambert Hatem  47:57

Moonlighting. (chuckles) Um. Golden Girls, A Different World, 227.

Sharon Johnson  48:05

Kate and Allie?

Susan Lambert Hatem  48:06

Kate and Allie is late 80s. So is Murphy Brown. So is um, what else we got?

Stephanie Zimbalist  48:13

I know what I loved. I loved The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

Sharon Johnson  48:17

Oh, yes, of course.

Susan Lambert Hatem  48:18

We'll allow it. It is technically 70s. But we will allow it because we always allow the Mary Tyler Moore Show.

Stephanie Zimbalist  48:23

I loved that show. Um, loved it. I you know, I worked with everyone. I didn't work with Mary. Mary lived just a couple of miles from me here. But Cloris I worked with. Betty, I worked with. Betty was great. Betty, you know, Oh see now I get a into another story. Forget it. But Betty was great. She was wonderful. Um, I did like Cagney & Lacey. I did. I just, I didn't watch it regularly, but I liked it. And I liked, I liked um, Tyne very much. We have the same agent, I think. Um. Oh, I loved um, not Designing Women but the Golden Girls was very sweet. That was very sweet show. Very dear show. I like that show. Those are the ones that I'd say. Yeah.

Susan Lambert Hatem  49:13

And so anything with Betty White. We see a pattern.

Sharon Johnson  49:16


Stephanie Zimbalist  49:17

Yeah, Betty was great. Betty was delightful to watch, you know. Cagney, Tyne was great.

Susan Lambert Hatem  49:22


Stephanie Zimbalist  49:23

Um, I used to like, I used to like Moonlighting! I thought it was very good. It was uneven. It seems ike the stories were kind of lopsey doodle. They were sometimes, in the desire to be funny they, I mean even more(!) than Remington Steele. (guffaw)

Susan Lambert Hatem  49:40


Stephanie Zimbalist  49:41

They kind of went, wait I lost the thread there. Wait, what? What, what is that? You know?

Sharon Johnson  49:45

It's been a while since I've seen an Episode of Moonlighting but I, my recollection is that, a lot of times the the story the mystery, whatever you want to call it, suffered at the uh, because they were trying to be funny or trying to be more comedic, so. And I like Mystery, so, I prefer that my Mysteries be well told, so. But that's just me.

Stephanie Zimbalist  50:07

So I was doing a show called V.I.P. VIPs or something with um Pamela, Pam, Pamela Sue Anderson. Pamela And.

Susan Lambert Hatem  50:14

Oh Yeah. Anderson.

Sharon Johnson  50:16

Oh, right!

Stephanie Zimbalist  50:17

On the show, Steve um, big, big TV Producer. He was acting in it. He was a big huge... Steve. Steve.

Susan Lambert Hatem  50:24


Stephanie Zimbalist  50:25

No, not Bochco. Another guy.

Susan Lambert Hatem  50:27


Stephanie Zimbalist  50:28

Big big guy. Is, that V.I.P. anyway. What was I playing? I was playing, ba. Oh, that's right. I was playing uh, a has-been TV Actress. How do you like that? It was great fun. Bobby Canary, I think was my character's name. (in character) I pattern it after a lady who played my um, she played my mother in an Elvis movie I think I did a long time ago. This gal was just amazing actress and so I patterned it after her. Anyway, I'm doing these scenes. And I found Pamela was absolutely fabulous! I have to say. What are you doing? She said, it’s called texting. What is that? Well, you just take your thumbs, and you push the buttons here. But what's what's happening there. And so she was explaining what texting was, and she was divine. She was so fun. So, I, we'd shoot a master. And then I wait an come. And I come back for another angle on the same scene, and she'd be in a different outfit. And this happened a couple of times. And I went to the First and I said I'm a little confused. I, we're shooting the same scene. I come back in the same wardrobe. And she comes back and she's wearing a completely different costume. What's going on here? And he said uh, you have to call this NLR. What's NLR? No logic required.

Susan Lambert Hatem  50:42


Stephanie Zimbalist  51:54

And that was the joke of the show. She never wore the same thing in any shot. It would just be completely different. (Laughs)

Sharon Johnson  51:54


Sharon Johnson  52:03

I can't imagine. (Laughs)

Stephanie Zimbalist  52:07

Oh, OK. Oh it was hilarious. You'd be in the backseat in the same thing. She'd be driving. You'd be in the backseat. When they, they show her again, and she's in a different outfit! (Chuckles)

Sharon Johnson  52:17


Susan Lambert Hatem  52:17

That, it's like the Cher of TV shows.

Stephanie Zimbalist  52:20

She was funny. And she was smart. She was really smart. I liked her a lot.

Susan Lambert Hatem  52:28

That is funny. That is funny. All right. Um and, do you have any current TV shows? Or female driven TV shows that you're watching?

Stephanie Zimbalist  52:37

No, I'm not much of a TV thing. I watch...

Susan Lambert Hatem  52:41

Movies, documentaries, streaming?

Stephanie Zimbalist  52:42

I watch a lot of Docs, lots of Docs. I watch, if something gets thrown my way that's an, that's a Saturday Night Live skit that is just brilliant. I'll watch that and watch it again and again, if it's good. But I'm not much of a TV. There's a lot of. There's two. There’re two reasons, Susan, one is several months, several years ago, I said, you know, I've seen, I can't tell you how many Operas because I had a, I used to go to LA Opera all the time. And I had Opera in my background and blah, blah, blah. And I've done a lot of the classical plays. And I've seen the great productions. I've seen amazing things. And I've seen things twice. And I've seen revivals, and I've seen this. So I've seen that. So I don't have a bent to be entertained anymore. I don't need to be entertained. And I also think that the Theater in our world is so unbelievably demanding our attention, that there's very little room to watch Theater that isn't really happening. It takes a great deal of effort to keep up on what excuse me, what the f*#k is happening in our world? You have to pay attention. You have to stay alert. And if you're watching, if you're if you're out for entertainment, you're gona to be behind. You're just going to be behind and not know what's going on. And you have to care, have to know what's going on to know, to make the right decision on what you're gona do. So there we are. It's a different world. It's a very different world. And it's a sad world. And it's a serious world. And that's where we are, so. I've said a long time you know, I don't know who I am. I don't know. I don't know what I'm supposed to do on this earth. But the last thing I'll close with is that people ask me um, what do you, what is your driving force? And I think my driving force that has kept me going, is curiosity. Because curiosity leads to love. What you are curious about will lead you down the path to what, as Joseph Campbell says, of what is your bliss? And what is your bliss will lead you to what you love. And that's the only path that we have.

Sharon Johnson  55:07

That's fantastic.

Susan Lambert Hatem  55:09

That's pretty great. I love that. That's that's a, that's a good wrap up. I feel like I can't ask my third question, which is, what is the most...

Stephanie Zimbalist  55:09

Oh go ahead.

Susan Lambert Hatem  55:13

...television moment you've had? (Laughs)

Stephanie Zimbalist  55:16

You can move thing around. (Laughs)

Sharon Johnson  55:16


Susan Lambert Hatem  55:21

Like, what is your most like, Oh my God, I'm in a television show. Which again, is weird to ask because you're actually in a television show, and you have been in many of them. But like your most real life, like, is this scripted moment? Has this been scripted?

Stephanie Zimbalist  55:36

Now, are you saying because of the quality of the people I'm working with? Or are you saying because it was so bizarre?

Susan Lambert Hatem  55:42

No, I'm saying because you're in a real life situation. And you feel like this could be, I, am I am a television show. This is, this is a scripted moment, because it's so weird. So bizarre. So action oriented.

Sharon Johnson  55:53

So funny.

Stephanie Zimbalist  55:55

Definitely action oriented, I've got to say. I've never had anything like this happen. So my hobby for many, many decades, because I had the extra funds to be able to do it. My hobby was to either get in a car or get on a plane, and go to New York and see nine or 10 or 11, or 12, 13 shows. I did it all the time. And I saw, I mean, my, I had to finally throw em. I had so many stacks of Playbills. It was ridiculous. I mean, I saw everything, absolutely everything. So I'm in Connecticut, and a friend of mine staying with me. And another friend of ours says you got to see this play. You got to see this play. It's just opening at Playwrights. And again, I don't want to I should shut up. I don't want to give them bad thing. Anyway, I was going to see a play in New York, that was apparently hot. It was a hot play. And it was a timely play. And it was a political play. Because it dealt with the left and the right on pins and needles. It talked about the left and it talked about the right and it talked about the left and talked about the right. So we thought let's go see this. We go to see this play. And the traffic is horrible. It's just terrible. Don't know why, the traffic just stunk. And stupidly, I had noodles right before I went in. And if I have noodles, or carbs, it's not good for me. I have managed to get two seats in the back row. Because I know me. I know me and I often will dose. So I decided, okay, I'll just get two seats in the back. My friend who is very savvy, is sitting next to me on the right. We are sitting in the back row. And the new thing about New York Theater at least then, this was back in 19, 2019. They don't light it! It's under lit. The play starts. And also in fashion of people that maybe don't know how to Direct a play. They'll have (guffaw) they'll have Stage Left somebody over there that's sort of lit by a little light. They finished talking oops, there's Stage Right. There's another person over there talking. You go over there. And you look Stage Right oops, person over there Stage Left is talking again. Ooop over there Stage Right. Ooop. And by the time about eight of these, you're getting exhausted because you're bouncing. And what you're bouncing through is absolute black. There's nothing lit on the stage, except this little, this little porch over here and this little picnic table over there. And after a while I go to sleep. Well, I have many techniques when I go to sleep. I'm usually, I prop my elbows up and I put my my my my my fists under my chin, so it won't bother anybody. Well, I am awakened, not by a person behind me, who takes my shoulder and says, Lady, Lady wake up. Oh, no, no, no. I'm awakened by being slapped on the side of the head. As hard as this person could have done, whacked me with their hand. So that I landed into the shoulder of my friend who I was with. And I was so shocked. I just sat there stunned. I couldn't, I just didn't know what to do. I couldn't even turn around because I knew it would start World War II or Three or whatever. So I just sat there with my hands, you know, buried under my chin. And when the play finished, I still couldn't turn around. Because the audience had been totally captivated by this piece. And I was not going to wreck their moment. As this person clearly wrecked my moment. I did not turn around and look and see who it was. I am convinced to this day, because it was just opening, that it was either the Writer or the Director.

Sharon Johnson  59:48


Stephanie Zimbalist  59:49

And they were so annoyed because clearly my head was bobbing or something was happening. But that was the worst thing and I thought, I mean can you imagine. I thought I'm on, I'm in a Film. This is...

Susan Lambert Hatem  1:00:01


Stephanie Zimbalist  1:00:01

This is totally bizarre.

Sharon Johnson  1:00:03


Susan Lambert Hatem  1:00:04

That is insane.

Stephanie Zimbalist  1:00:05

And I have never been to the Theater since.

Susan Lambert Hatem  1:00:07

Oh I'm, that makes me sad.

Sharon Johnson  1:00:09

Me too.

Stephanie Zimbalist  1:00:11

That was it. That was it.

Susan Lambert Hatem  1:00:12

I'm so sorry.

Stephanie Zimbalist  1:00:12

I wrote to the Theater. I told them the story. They never wrote back. They never apologized. They never offered me a couple o' seats. They never said thanks for telling us. All they did was write back about three more times asking for money, because I gave with my credit card.

Sharon Johnson  1:00:30


Stephanie Zimbalist  1:00:31

And I wrote them again. And they said, didn't say anything. And so I'm done. I'm finished. But that's, it's a sad it's a sad tale to tell. That was a, that was a sad tale.

Susan Lambert Hatem  1:00:39

That is a sad. And and did your friend go like, what the? Like, that's so scary.

Stephanie Zimbalist  1:00:44

Yeah. I know. I know. She knew what was happening. At any rate, it's my loss, and it's probably the noodles more than anything else. It's those, it's those noodles that did it, you know, but there you go. That's what happened.

Susan Lambert Hatem  1:00:56

But that's it. That's That's not. Well, I hope that that someday you get to go back and watch a play and not feel like you're going to be assaulted.

Sharon Johnson  1:01:05

Yeah. Exactly.

Stephanie Zimbalist  1:01:07

It's too bad because it really, it was one of my favorite, favorite favorite hobbies. I loved it. I call it a hobby because it's. You know I, there was an actor that I knew that uh, Matthew Cowles. Matthew was married to Christine Baranski. And Matthew didn't like to go to the Theater. And I said, but Matthew, that's where you learn! Oh no, I don't, I just don't like to watch Actors. It makes me very nervous. I don't like it. I said, Really, I love(!) to watch Actors. And sometimes the worst the material, the more you learn.  (Laughs) Sometimes.

Sharon Johnson  1:01:37


Stephanie Zimbalist  1:01:38

You gotta watch it. (Laughs)

Sharon Johnson  1:01:40

Well, maybe, maybe you feel comfortable going back if you knew that the, the Writer and or Director of that piece was not the same Writer Director that was at the one that you went to, and got whapped upside the head, so.

Sharon Johnson  1:01:54

Whapped up. But I, yeah.

Susan Lambert Hatem  1:01:56

You just gotta surround yourself with all the people you know. You go in a big group.

Stephanie Zimbalist  1:02:00

I mean I've had, you know, I've had the Fire Department come and the play has stopped. And I've had chandeliers fall down. And I've had, I’ve forgotten half the play, and I had to come back and do it for the audience that, in the Tea At  Five once. And I said, I left out a whole conversation and I said to the audience, and they were doing the act afterwards, I said, would you like to see the part you missed? And they all said yes! I said, Okay, you remember the part where I said blah blah blah, and I was on the phone? Okay, we're gonna be kicked up there. And they loved it. They thought it was the greatest thing in the world.

Sharon Johnson  1:02:33


Susan Lambert Hatem  1:02:33

There's so many wonderful Theater moments. It is one of the things I truly appreciate, now. Particularly after COVID, particularly in this time of incredible... and there's incredible stuff streaming and there's incredible stuff happening. I love so many shows and so many movies now. And yet, I also find I more appreciate live Theater because of that community, because of that sense of you can't fake this. You know? You can you can be really brilliant on stage with all your bells and whistles, but at the end of the day, you can't fake live Theatre.

Stephanie Zimbalist  1:02:37


Susan Lambert Hatem  1:03:09

And, and that is really special to me now. It was just really fun to laugh with other people.

Stephanie Zimbalist  1:03:17


Susan Lambert Hatem  1:03:18

And to engage with other people and, and hear everybody sort of gasp in the same places and, and.

Stephanie Zimbalist  1:03:25

It's one of my favorite places to perform, that Theater.

Susan Lambert Hatem  1:03:29

The Pasadena Playhouse.

Stephanie Zimbalist  1:03:30

Because that Theater is so unusual. When you're in an audience there, it seems huge(!). When you're on stage, it's the tiniest thing in the world.

Sharon Johnson  1:03:41

Oh, wow!

Stephanie Zimbalist  1:03:42

It is so easy to get the audience in the palm of your hand, on that main stage at the Pasadena Playhouse. It's phenomenal effect. You're sitting there and you look around and you look at the Mezzanine and you look at that thing. And you look at the ceiling and you're going waaah! But when you're on stage, it's like a little Tiny Playhouse.

Susan Lambert Hatem  1:04:02

Like a little jewel.

Stephanie Zimbalist  1:04:04

It's a jewel. Yeah, it's great.

Susan Lambert Hatem  1:04:05

I um live in Pasadena. So The Pasadena Playhouse and Boston Court, A Noise Within  are my fav theaters.

Stephanie Zimbalist  1:04:11

Oh yeah. I love that Director Jessica, who worked The Boston.

Susan Lambert Hatem  1:04:14

I love Jessica.

Stephanie Zimbalist  1:04:15

She's good. She's very talented. I've always wanted to work with her. She's very good. She's very talented. It's a lovely place, Pasadena. It is.

Susan Lambert Hatem  1:04:23

All right!

Stephanie Zimbalist  1:04:24

Look at this. We're over.

Susan Lambert Hatem  1:04:25

We're over. Thank you for going over with us. And thank you for thank you so much for joining us. This has been so special and really exciting!

Stephanie Zimbalist  1:04:36

Oh yeah! Thank you ladies. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday.

Susan Lambert Hatem  1:04:38

Thank you!

Sharon Johnson  1:04:38

Thank you! Bye.

Stephanie Zimbalist  1:04:40


Sharon Johnson  1:04:41

So, in today's audio-ography, Stephanie Zimbalist Fan Page is, Stephanie Zimbalist Fanpage on Facebook. Go check it out.

Susan Lambert Hatem  1:04:51

And in honor of Laura Holt, I have a book for you today. Renegade Women in Film and TV by Elizabeth Weitzman, with illustrations by Austin Claire Clements. Really cool.

Sharon Johnson  1:05:03

And we're always interested in finding out from you what's the 80s Ladies driven TV show that you remember or have heard of and want us to cover? You can contact us through the website and through social media.

Susan Lambert Hatem  1:05:16

The website is 80sTVLadies.com That's eight zero s TV, lad ies.com. And of course, our social medias are @80sTVLadies.

Sharon Johnson  1:05:26

And if you're liking this podcast, please rate and review us. It helps out a lot.

Susan Lambert Hatem  1:05:32

We hope you'll join us for our next Episode, we will continue our dive into Remington Steele. And let us know because we're about to pick our next show. Should we do a Comedy or Drama? Another Detective Mystery Dynamic Duo show? Don't know what that could be, Moonlighting. Tell us what show we should explore next at 80sTVLadies.com.

Sharon Johnson  1:05:51

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 forward toward being amazing ladies of the 21st century

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