Episode 225: “The Rockford Files, 80s TV & 70s Family l Elayne Heilveil”

Susan and Sharon sit down with actor, director, and writer Elayne Heilveil. Elayne has worked with Mike Nichols and Mark Rydell in the classic 70s television series Family and has guested on such shows as The Rockford Files, The Waltons, Emergency!, Hawaii 5-0, Hill Street Blues and The Mary Tyler More Show.
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The Conversation

  • How a “mystical” experience reading “The Creation” by James Weldon Johnson at eleven years old led to Elayne’s start in show business.
  • Going to the Fame school –the movie and TV show barely scratched the surface!
  • Topless go-go dancers and drunk bodies in the streets: living and acting in 70’s New York.
  • What do you say when an agent wants you to change your name – to Daisy Astor?
  • On being asked to take her top off at an audition: “I broke out laughing and said, ‘Are women buying this bullshit?’ ”
  • On casting quirks: “I’ve played three nuns. It’s every Jewish girl’s dream to be a nun.”Being “beyond nervous” auditioning for Mike Nichols.
  • Doing the TV movie, A Cry For Help – and wearing Columbo’s trench coat the whole time!
  • What do you do when your lines aren’t quite right on The Waltons? Give them to Richard Thomas’ John-Boy!
  • LIVING WITH AN ‘ANGEL’ – what’s it like secretly living with Stuart Margolin, and then getting “married” on-screen?
  • What’s the best therapy after an abusive moment on set? Try throwing drinking glasses at a brick wall.

So join Susan and Sharon – and Elayne – as they talk nude photos, James Garner, reverse nepotism, finding your sweet spot – and getting tear-gassed by Rip Torn! 

Our Audio-ography

The Rockford Files is streaming FREE on Roku.

So Fetch, The Making of Mean Girls (and Why We’re Still Obsessed with It) by Jennifer Keishin Armstrong. Get it at Bookshop or your favorite bookstore.

Pre-order the book: The Girls: From Golden to Gilmore by Stan Zimmerman. Will ship Feb. 13.

Read The Creation by James Weldon Johnson.


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This month, the 80s TV Ladies travel to Podfest 2024! If you'll be there, find us and say hello to Sharon and Susan.

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80s TV Ladies™ Episode 225: “The Rockford Files, 80s TV & 70s Family l Elayne Heilveil” Produced by 134 West and Susan Lambert Hatem. Hosted by Susan Lambert Hatem and Sharon Johnson. Guest: Elayne Heilveil.  Sound Engineer and Editor: Kevin Ducey. Producer: Melissa Roth. Associate Producer: Sergio Perez. Music by Amy Engelhardt. Copyright 2023 134 West, LLC and Susan Lambert. All Rights Reserved.