Susan Saint James

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Susan Saint James
SusanSaintJamesCivitan.JPG
Susan Saint James in a Civitan International public service announcement in 1986.
Born
Susan Jane Miller

(1946-08-14) August 14, 1946 (age 73)
OccupationActress
Years active1966–present
Spouse(s)Richard Neubert (1967–1968)
Tom Lucas (1971–1977)
Dick Ebersol (1981–present)
Children5, including Charlie Ebersol

Susan Saint James (born Susan Jane Miller; August 14, 1946) is an American actress and activist, most widely known for her work in television during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, [1] especially the detective series McMillan & Wife (1971–1976) and the sitcom Kate & Allie (1984–1989).

Actor person who acts in a dramatic or comic production and works in film, television, theatre, or radio

An actor is a person who portrays a character in a performance. The actor performs "in the flesh" in the traditional medium of the theatre or in modern media such as film, radio, and television. The analogous Greek term is ὑποκριτής (hupokritḗs), literally "one who answers". The actor's interpretation of their role—the art of acting—pertains to the role played, whether based on a real person or fictional character. Interpretation occurs even when the actor is "playing themselves", as in some forms of experimental performance art.

Activism efforts to promote, impede, or direct social, political, religious, economic, or environmental change, or stasis

Activism consists of efforts to promote, impede, direct, or intervene in social, political, economic, or environmental reform with the desire to make changes in society. Forms of activism range from mandate building in the community, petitioning elected officials, running or contributing to a political campaign, preferential patronage of businesses, and demonstrative forms of activism like rallies, street marches, strikes, sit-ins, or hunger strikes.

<i>McMillan & Wife</i> television series

McMillan & Wife is an American police procedural that aired on NBC from 1971 to 1977. Starring Rock Hudson and Susan Saint James in the title roles, the series premiered in episodes as part of Universal Television's wheel series NBC Mystery Movie, in rotation with Columbo and McCloud. Initially airing on Wednesday night, the original lineup was shifted to Sundays in the second season, where it aired for the rest of its run. For the final season, known as McMillan, numerous changes were made, including the killing off of St. James' character of Sally McMillan.

Contents

Early life

Saint James was born in Los Angeles, California, to a Connecticut family, the daughter of Constance (Geiger), a teacher, and Charles Daniel Miller, who worked in business. [2] Saint James was raised in Rockford, Illinois, where she began modeling as a teenager. [1] In her younger school years she attended the Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart in Lake Forest, Illinois. She later attended the Connecticut College for Women. [1]

Los Angeles City in California

Los Angeles, officially the City of Los Angeles and often known by its initials L.A., is the most populous city in California, the second most populous city in the United States, after New York City, and the third most populous city in North America. With an estimated population of nearly four million, Los Angeles is the cultural, financial, and commercial center of Southern California. The city is known for its Mediterranean climate, ethnic diversity, Hollywood, the entertainment industry, and its sprawling metropolis. Los Angeles is the largest city on the West Coast of North America.

California State of the United States of America

California is a state in the Pacific Region of the United States. With 39.6 million residents across a total area of about 163,696 square miles (423,970 km2), California is the most populous U.S. state and the third-largest by area. The state capital is Sacramento. The Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second- and fifth-most populous urban regions, with 18.7 million and 9.7 million residents respectively. Los Angeles is California's most populous city, and the country's second-most populous, after New York City. California also has the nation's most populous county, Los Angeles County, and its largest county by area, San Bernardino County. The City and County of San Francisco is both the country's second-most densely populated major city after New York City and the fifth-most densely populated county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs.

Connecticut state of the United States of America

Connecticut is the southernmost state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. As of the 2010 Census, it has the highest per-capita income, Human Development Index (0.962), and median household income in the United States. It is bordered by Rhode Island to the east, Massachusetts to the north, New York to the west, and Long Island Sound to the south. Its capital is Hartford and its most populous city is Bridgeport. It is part of New England, although portions of it are often grouped with New York and New Jersey as the tri-state area. The state is named for the Connecticut River which approximately bisects the state. The word "Connecticut" is derived from various anglicized spellings of an Algonquian word for "long tidal river".

Career

She moved to California at age 20, when she began her acting career. Her first screen role was in the TV movie Fame Is the Name of the Game (1966) with Tony Franciosa, launching her career when it became a series two years later. Among her other early television appearances were two episodes of the first season of Ironside ("Girl in the Night", December 1967 and two months later, playing a different role in the episode "Something for Nothing"). She also had a supporting role in Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows (1968), the sequel to The Trouble with Angels .

Fame Is the Name of the Game (1966) is an American TV-movie that aired on NBC and served as the pilot episode of the subsequent series The Name of the Game. It was directed by Stuart Rosenberg. It was produced by Ranald MacDougall, who also wrote the teleplay, from the novel One Woman by Tiffany Thayer.

<i>Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows</i> 1968 film by James Neilson

Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows is a 1968 American comedy film directed by James Neilson and starring Rosalind Russell, Stella Stevens, and Binnie Barnes. Written by Blanche Hanalis, the film is based on a story by Jane Trahey about an old-line Mother Superior who is challenged by a modern young nun when they take the girls of St. Francis Academy on a bus trip across the United States.

<i>The Trouble with Angels</i> (film) 1966 film by Ida Lupino

The Trouble with Angels is a 1966 American comedy film about the adventures of two girls, later best friends, in an all-girls Catholic school run by nuns. The film was directed by Ida Lupino and stars Hayley Mills, Rosalind Russell and June Harding.

From 1968 to 1971, as a result of her first role in Fame Is the Name of the Game, she had a regular part in the series The Name of the Game , winning an Emmy Award for her role as research assistant Peggy Maxwell in 1969 and establishing her as a popular young actress. The series format, set at a large media company, featured rotating lead characters played by Tony Franciosa, Gene Barry, and Robert Stack  generally only one of their characters seen each week. Saint James provided a measure of series continuity by appearing as a research assistant at various times to all three. She appeared in approximately half the episodes, usually in a supporting role, although her Peggy Maxwell was the primary character in the second-season episode "The King of Denmark," alongside Franciosa's "Jeff Dillon". As well, in the first-season story "Pineapple Rose" (a Gene Barry segment), Saint James was prominently featured when her character was kidnapped in a case of mistaken identity.

<i>The Name of the Game</i> (TV series) television series

The Name of the Game is an American television series starring Tony Franciosa, Gene Barry, and Robert Stack, which aired from 1968 to 1971 on NBC, totaling 76 episodes of 90 minutes each. The show was a wheel series, setting the stage for The Bold Ones and the NBC Mystery Movie in the 1970s. The program had the largest budget of any television series at that time.

Emmy Award American television production award

An Emmy Award, or simply Emmy, is an American award that recognizes excellence in the television industry. It is presented at numerous annual events held throughout the calendar year, each honoring one of the various sectors of the television industry. The two ceremonies that receive the most media coverage are the Primetime Emmy Awards and the Daytime Emmy Awards, which recognize outstanding work in American primetime and daytime entertainment programming, respectively. Other notable Emmy events include those honoring national sports programming, national news and documentary shows, and technological and engineering achievements in television, including the Primetime Engineering Emmy Awards. Regional Emmy Awards are also presented throughout the country at various times through the year, recognizing excellence in local and statewide television. In addition, the International Emmy Awards honor excellence in TV programming produced and initially aired outside the United States.

Gene Barry American stage, screen, and television actor

Gene Barry was an American stage, screen, and television actor. Barry is best remembered for his leading roles in the films The Atomic City (1952) and The War of The Worlds (1953) and for his portrayal of the title characters in the TV series Bat Masterson and Burke's Law, among many roles.

Saint James as Peggy Maxwell in the television series The Name of the Game, 1969 Susan Saint James 1969.jpg
Saint James as Peggy Maxwell in the television series The Name of the Game , 1969

In 1967, Saint James had a small part in the pilot episode of the Robert Wagner crime-caper series It Takes a Thief . This led to a recurring role playing a new character, Charlene "Chuck" Brown, Alexander Mundy's fellow thief and "casual" love interest. She was featured in four episodes of the series from 1968 to 1970. She went on to appear in the pilot episode of the western series Alias Smith and Jones (1971).

Robert Wagner American actor

Robert John Wagner Jr. is an American actor of stage, screen, and television, best known for starring in the television shows It Takes a Thief (1968–70), Switch (1975–78), and Hart to Hart (1979–84). He also had a recurring role as Teddy Leopold on the TV sitcom Two and a Half Men and has a recurring role as Anthony DiNozzo Sr. on the police procedural NCIS.

<i>It Takes a Thief</i> (1968 TV series) television series

It Takes a Thief is an American action-adventure television series that aired on ABC for three seasons between 1968 and 1970. It stars Robert Wagner in his television debut as sophisticated thief Alexander Mundy, who works for the U.S. government in return for his release from prison. For most of the series, Malachi Throne played Noah Bain, Mundy's boss.

<i>Alias Smith and Jones</i> American Western series

Alias Smith and Jones is an American Western series that originally aired on ABC from January 1971 to January 1973. The show initially starred Pete Duel as Hannibal Heyes and Ben Murphy as Jedediah "Kid" Curry, outlaw cousins who are trying to reform. The governor offers them a conditional amnesty, aiming to keep the pact a secret. The "condition" is that they will still be wanted until it becomes politically advantageous for the governor to pardon them.

Then came her first starring role as Rock Hudson's younger supportive wife, Sally McMillan, in the popular, light-hearted crime series, McMillan & Wife (1971–1976), for which she received four Emmy Award nominations.

Rock Hudson American actor

Rock Hudson was an American actor, generally known for his turns as a leading man during the 1950s and 1960s. He was viewed as a prominent "heartthrob" of the Hollywood Golden Age, and he achieved stardom with roles in films such as Magnificent Obsession (1954), All That Heaven Allows (1955), and Giant (1956), for which he received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor. He found continued success with a string of romantic comedies co-starring Doris Day in Pillow Talk (1959), Lover Come Back (1961), and Send Me No Flowers (1964). He appeared in films including Seconds (1966), Tobruk (1967), and Ice Station Zebra (1968) during the late 1960s, then began a second career in television through the 1970s and 1980s, starring in the popular mystery series McMillan & Wife and the primetime ABC soap opera Dynasty.

Saint James left the show due to a contract dispute, but went on to further her career as an actress in feature films, such as co-starring with Peter Fonda in the film Outlaw Blues (1977). She achieved significant success in the vampire comedy Love at First Bite (1979) and followed up with a role in the comedy How to Beat the High Cost of Living (1980), co-starring Jessica Lange and Jane Curtin. Between films, she made a guest appearance in the March 3, 1980 episode of M*A*S*H (Episode 192: War Co-Respondent). After other film ventures failed to establish her, she returned to television, starring in the comedy series Kate & Allie opposite Jane Curtin from 1984 until 1989. She received three more Emmy Award nominations for this role.

Saint James was a celebrity guest commentator for the World Wrestling Federation's WrestleMania 2 event in 1986 along with Vince McMahon.

Susan Saint James's Hollywood Walk of Fame Star. Susansaint james.jpg
Susan Saint James's Hollywood Walk of Fame Star.

In her mid-40s, Saint James proclaimed herself retired after Kate & Allie ended. [1] [3] In addition to motherhood (her second-youngest son was born during the fourth season of Kate & Allie), she's been an active volunteer with the Special Olympics (an organization she began actively supporting in 1972); [4] [5] she has in the past also served on their board [3] and served as Civitan International's celebrity chairperson for their Special Olympics involvement. [6] In 1998, Saint James, her sister Mercedes Dewey and friend Barrie Johnson founded "Seedling and Pip", a baby gift basket business. She also is a board member of the Telluride Foundation. [7]

Saint James occasionally has emerged from retirement to appear in television series guest roles, such as the mother of (her real-life lookalike niece) Christa Miller in the first season of The Drew Carey Show , and ten years later, as a defense attorney on the February 28, 2006, episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit . She also starred in a Warner Theatre (Torrington, Connecticut) 1999 production of The Miracle Worker . [3] On June 11, 2008, Saint James was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Personal life

Saint James in 1970 Susan Saint James 1970.JPG
Saint James in 1970

Saint James married aspiring writer-director Richard Neubert at age 21, but the marriage lasted only a year. She was married a second time in 1971, to Thomas Lucas, a makeup artist. They had a daughter, Sunshine Lucas (born 1972), and a son, Harmony Lucas (born 1974); the marriage lasted six years.

In the late 1970s, during an interview, she stated: "About eight and a half years ago, my husband and I decided to stop eating meat and then about six months later we stopped eating fish. … I had two beautiful births as a vegetarian; they were great labors—no bleeding, no complications, no problems. The diet worked perfectly for me." [8]

While guest-hosting Saturday Night Live in 1981, Saint James met her third husband, then-SNL executive producer Dick Ebersol; they married within the year. The marriage produced three sons, Charles, William, and Edward (Teddy). In March 2002 Saint James filed for divorce from Ebersol, but the couple reconciled later that summer. [3] Ebersol was chairman of NBC Sports until May 2011.

On November 28, 2004, a private plane carrying Ebersol and two of their sons crashed during an attempted takeoff from Montrose Regional Airport in Colorado. Ebersol and son Charles survived, but son Teddy, age 14, died, as did the pilot and flight attendant Warren T. Richardson III. [9] Teddy Ebersol's Red Sox Fields at Lederman Park in Boston, MA is named in memory of Saint James's son, and an episode of the television series Scrubs was dedicated to him.

She is an aunt of actress Christa Miller. Saint James holds honorary degrees from six Connecticut institutions The University of Connecticut, the University of Bridgeport, Southern Connecticut State University, Albertus Magnus College, the University of New Haven, [1] and Goodwin College. [10] She was a featured speaker at The Women's Conference in 2007, at a session called "Beyond Courage: Overcoming the Unimaginable." [5]

Filmography

Film

YearFilmRoleNotes
1968 P.J. Linette Orbison
1968 Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows Rosabelle
1968 What's So Bad About Feeling Good? Aida
1968 Jigsaw Ida
1970 The Cockeyed Cowboys of Calico County Mrs. Martha Kid
1977 Outlaw Blues Tina Waters
1979 Love at First Bite Cindy Sondheim
1980 How to Beat the High Cost of Living Jane
1981 Carbon Copy Vivian Whitney
1982 Don't Cry, It's Only Thunder Katherine Cross

Television

YearFilmRoleNotes
1966 Fame Is the Name of the Game Peggy ChanTV film
1967Ready and WillingJulia PrestonTV film
1967 Ironside Elaine Moreau"Girl in the Night"
1968 Ironside Verna Cusack"Something for Nothing"
1968 It Takes a Thief Stewardess Anne Edwards"A Thief Is a Thief"
1968–1970 It Takes a Thief Charlene 'Charlie' BrownGuest role (season 1, 3)
1968–1971 The Name of the Game Peggy MaxwellMain role
1970 McCloud Officer Keach"Walk in the Dark"
1971 Alias Smith and Jones Miss Porter"Alias Smith and Jones"
1971–1976 McMillan & Wife Sally McMillanMain role
1972Magic CarpetTimothea LambTV film
1976Scott FreeHollyTV film
1978Night CriesJeannie HaskinsTV film
1978Desperate WomenEsther WintersTV film
1979 The Girls in the Office Rita MassaroTV film
1979Sex and the Single ParentSallyTV film
1979 S.O.S. Titanic Leigh GoodwinTV film
1980 M*A*S*H Aggie O'Shea"War Co-Respondent"
1982The Kid from NowhereSamantha 'Sam' KandalTV film
1983I Take These MenCarol SherwoodTV film
1983After GeorgeSusan RobertsTV short
1984–1989 Kate & Allie Katherine 'Kate' McArdleMain role
1989 Tattingers Susan"Broken Windows"
1996 The Drew Carey Show Lynn O'Brien"Drew and Kate and Kate's Mom"
2006 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Monica Bradshaw"Gone"
2011 Suits Joy McAfferty"Bail Out"

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References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 "Susan Saint James". Connecticut Women's Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on 2008-08-27. Retrieved 2008-04-06.
  2. "Susan Saint James Biography (c. 1968-)".
  3. 1 2 3 4 "Where Are They Now? — Susan St. James uses her mom-sense". People . November 26, 2002. Retrieved 2008-04-06.
  4. "Special Olympics Announces Official Launch of Urban Strategy in New York City" (Press release). Special Olympics. November 2006.
  5. 1 2 Speaker Spotlight: Susan Saint James Archived 2007-11-09 at the Wayback Machine , The Women's Conference.
  6. Armbrester, Margaret E. (1992). The Civitan Story. Birmingham, AL: Ebsco Media. p. 149.
  7. Board of Directors, Telluride Foundation.
  8. Berry, Rynn (1979). "Susan Saint James". The Vegetarians. Brookline, MA: Autumn Press. pp. 46–47. ISBN   0-394-73633-8.
  9. Interview about Teddy, The Today Show , 2004-12-03.
  10. "2016 Graduates Urged to Make an Impact - Goodwin College". 10 June 2016.