A Candidate for "Queen of Episodic Television"

Media Sight #4: Winter 1983
Cincinnati Q&A, with additional questions by Geoffrey Schutt

 

Q: What sort of interest do you have in the Star Wars epics?

AL: I loved them. For the first one (Star Wars) I couldnít get to the theaters because the lines were so long. But, I went to a Crosby, Stills, and Nash concert and was backstage with a couple friends of mine and they said ďDo you want to go see Star Wars?Ē I said yes (enthusiastically), that Iíd love to. They said they had a theater on Hollywood Boulevard that had really good sound in it. The theater had closed for the night just to accommodate about 60 of us people. It was like calling my own limo to take me to see Star Wars with a group of rock stars. Yes, I am a big Star Wars fan. Iíve known Mark Hamill since he was 16, and I am really happy for his success.

Q: What is it like working with a talking car (for the Knight Rider series)?

AL: Thatís all done later (the editing in of the car). This first episode I did was back in August of 1982, and the show hadnít aired yet. It was difficult because I didnít have a concept of the talking car. I didnít know what it did, and itís hard to play scenes to a car when you donít know what it sounds like. So that was a little difficult. In this episode (which aired as the first episode of Knight Rider for the 1983-84 season) I talked into Davidís (David Hasselhoff) wristwatch.

Q: Have you ever filmed any projects with your mother?

AL: Yes, but not too much. We used to work together a lot when I first started. The producers would say ďHereís two Lockharts and oneís cheaper.Ē However, I stopped doing that because I felt I should begin working alone. But, we were offered a script for Magnum P.I. that was just impossible to refuse. My mother and I play the same person forty years apart. I played a girl in 1941, and my mother played that girl grown-up. That was a lot of fun. Sheís great to work with.

Q: Is your sister in the acting profession?

AL: No. My sister works for a company called MovieVision (sheís their entire West Coast office) that manufactures 3-D glasses. So when you go and see Space-hunter, she was involved in producing the glasses; although I didnít think the 3-D was that great in that movie.

 

Anne Lockhart

Anne Lockhart

 

Q: Have you done a lot of comedy?

AL: Iíve done some comedy. I did two specials with Steve Martin; one was called Commercials and the other was called Twilight Theater. Because of the Commercials show, I was put under contract with NBC for a year and a half. I like to do comedy. Iíve done comedy on the stage, but not too much on television and film. I had a reputation as a good solid dramatic actress and I could not get hired for comedy. No one would see me or give me an interview until Steve Martin hired me after I auditioned for him.

Q: What was it like working for Steve Martin?

AL: Heís wonderful to work for. He is very quiet until you turn the camera on. Heís wonderful to watch.

Q: Are there any shows youíd like to do an episode for?

AL: Yes. Iíd like to do Hill Street Blues, and possibly another episode of Magnum. I think I will have the opportunity to do an episode of the new series Hotel. It would just thrill me if Iíd get one of the magic six episodes that Bette Davis will be working on.

Q: Have you ever worked on a soap opera?

AL: I did a guest appearance on the pilot for the first cable soap opera. I only did the first episode. They wanted me to do it regularly, but everybody takes their clothes off and I didnít want to do that.

Q: Would you like to do a long term series?

AL: Yes, because you have the chance to really develop a character, and if youíre working with the writers and they can find out about you, they can write the part for you.

Q: Would you like to be the star of a series?

AL: It would depend on the situation. Thatís a big responsibility. Sure, Iíd like to do it. Iím a ham (laughter).

Q: What was it like doing Battlestar Galactica?

AL: It was a good show to do. I worked with a lot of talented people. At the time I didnít realize the benefits would be so long-ranging.

Q: What was it like having an actress for a mother?

AL: Completely normal. I didnít know it was any different. My mom had a job. That was about it. My upbringing was such that I didnít have birthday parties with Desi and Lucyís kids. I really didnít know many other children of actors. My mother never took a job that meant she had to leave town, and if she did take a job out of town, sheíd take us with her. She made sure she was always home early in the evening so that weíd have a good family life.

(follow up interview from Media Sight)

Q: How would you like to be remembered as an actress after you have finished your career?

AL: The thing that is so great about this profession is that you do leave behind a tangible body of work. If youíre a tennis player, you might have your championships, but theyíre memories. With film, you have it; you can see it. I would hope that my body of work and career is looked back on as actress who liked doing things that are family oriented, intelligent and with quality. And I would hope that I was remembered as an actress who took chances and made people feel emotions and thing about things; that my work would convey ideas and set some sparks going.

Q: What is you r most satisfying piece of work up to this date?

AL: There are a few things that I like a lot. I enjoyed doing the episode of Tales of the Gold Monkey. I also just finished an episode of The Paper Chase, and although I havenít seen it yet, it felt really good while I was doing it. It was one of my only chances to do a real dramatic role. I play a young law student who is a single mother working two jobs trying to support myself, my childe, and go through law school. I crack under the pressure of it and have a nervous breakdown. There was a nice range there for me to play. I think I did a pretty good job. It was a really good challenge, and thatís what I like about it. It gave me something to work on.

Q: Who has been your favorite leading man?

AL: Stephen Collins. Stephen Collins is a good actor to work with because heís so well trained. A lot of TV actors donít have that extra training. Stephen has that and is a terrific actor.

Q: Iím going to read off a list of actors youíve worked with, and Iíd like you to describe them as briefly as possible. Richard Hatch.

AL: Extremely dedicated, concentrated, and a very giving actor.

Q: Gil Gerard

AL: A lot of fun.

Q: Tom Selleck

AL: A charming, nice man; down to Earth and open. Heís not what you read about. Heís a real straight-ahead, friendly guy. He is one of the most pleasant actors Iíve worked with.

Q: Lee Majors

AL: Lee Majors. That was a fun show to do (Fall Guy). He is very professional, very dedicated and still has a good sense of humor.

Q: Dirk Benedict

AL: All mischief. And, a very talented actor. He is not always given the opportunity to show what he can really do.

Q: Lorne Greene

AL: Papa.

Q: David Hasselhoff

AL: Heís great. David also is one of the nicest guys Iíve ever worked with. Heís going through this huge amount of fame right now. Itís something some people canít really handle, but heís handling it beautifully. He is prepared for it, heís ready for it, and he is loving every minute of it. Behind that, heís not getting obnoxious. He still has time for children and heís a devoted and talented guy making the best of what he has.

Q: Would you like to se yourself as a character actress, a romantic lead type actress, or a combination of both?

AL: A combination. Character actresses tend to have longer careers than leading ladies. Iíd like to have the combination leaning towards being a character actress because the roles are so varied. Itís a wider field of opportunity.

 

 

What now follows are the recollections of Mary Wernke, who attended this convention. She also provided a photo of Anne Lockhart at the Q&A and a scan of the program.

 

Anne Lockhart

convention program

 

It was called Space Con 6, a convention for Space: 1999. From what I remember, the Space: 1999 actress who had been scheduled to appear had to cancel at the last moment, so Anne Lockhart was a replacement (the better for me!). The dates of the convention were July 15-17, 1983, at Holiday Inn, Eastgate in Cincinnati.

I read the Q&A and remember some of the questions, but mine wasn't on there! I had asked her if she knew what might have happened to Battlestar Galactica if it had gone to a second season. At that time (pre-internet), there was no such information available. I was shocked, and a little disappointed, to learn that she had never been told either. That was the first time I realized that this situation haunted the cast members as much as the fans.

 

Anne Lockhart

Anne Lockhart at the Q&A of Space Con 6

 

Two of the other things she talked about were that she had just finished an episode of The Paper Chase (which Showtime had picked up). At that time we had Showtime at home and I was the only person in the room who had seen the episode, and Anne was surprised that I had seen it! The other thing she mentioned was that she had appeared in the early episodes of some late-night syndicated soap opera, A New Day in Eden, but that she decided against continuing the role because it would have required her doing nude scenes.