The three lives of Laura Ingalls Wilder continue to fascinate us.
There was young-Laura, growing up in little houses on prairies. Many girls — familiar with the slightly fictional version in ovels and on TV (shown here) — try to replicate that life.
“They are dressed in their little gingham outfits,” Mary McDonagh Murphy, producer of a new “American Master” portrait at 8 p.m. Tuesday (Dec. 29) on PBS, told the Television Critics Association. “They come on these pilgrimages, because they feel they know her.”
And there was old-Laura, who was 65 when her first novel was published. Seven more followed and she had 25 years of fame. “Wilder transformed her frontier childhood into the best-selling ‘Little House’ series and helped shape American ideas,” said “Masters” producer Michael Kantor.
But what about middle-Laura? What about the first 47 years after she married Almanzo Wilder? Read more…
Raul Julia reached New York in 1964, a time when people made easy assumptions.
He was an actor from Puerto Rico; surely, that meant lots of street-smart roles. One talk-show host said she’d heard he didn’t speak English when he got there.
“Of course he spoke English,” theater director Oskar Eustis said. “He spoke beautiful English.”
Julia (shown here) – the subject of a PBS profile Friday — grew up around English-speaking teachers. He was college-educated, Shakespeare-trained. “He was very well-educated …. Latinos don’t (only) come under stressful conditions,” actor Esai Morales said. “We are not always struggling to survive.” Read more…
Twice now, prominent actresses have pulled Terrence McNally aside to tell him something important:
He was making a big, lunkheaded mistake.
“I heard both women profoundly,” said McNally, 80, the playwright who is profiled Friday on PBS. Read more…