"Take any opportunity that takes you into where you want to go, even if it's peripheral. Begin collecting experiences, and more importantly, connections. Networking. People who are today's mailroom boys are tomorrow's studio heads. You get a base of friendship and of working together, and you pursue your dream. Sooner or later, these things all kind of come together, I hope. It has for me."
About This Interview
In his three-hour Archive interview, Harve Bennett (1930-2015) talks about his early exposure to show business as one of the contestants on radio's "Quiz Kids," on which he appeared 213 times. He speaks of writing for the "Chicago Sun-Times" as a teenager, attending college at UCLA, and serving in The Korean War. He then describes how he came to work for CBS, eventually becoming a producer (the youngest at the time), working with rising stars like Johnny Carson. He discusses his transition to ABC, where he ultimately served as the Vice President in charge of programming under Leonard Goldberg. Bennett recounts how he left ABC to produce The Mod Squad with Aaron Spelling, and details the series, which featured "one white, one black, one blonde," (as the show promoted). He outlines production on The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman, talks about the casts of the shows, and comments on pop culture touchstones such as the "bionic" sound effect, and the voice-over narration ("Steve Austin. Astronaut. A man barely alive…"), which he himself voiced. He reflects on the production of the landmark miniseries Rich Man, Poor Man and its introduction of actor Nick Nolte. Bennett also describes working on From Here to Eternity (miniseries and series), A Woman Named Golda, and The Jesse Owens Story. Lastly, Bennett talks about "becoming a Trekkie" watching every episode of the classic series to prepare himself to produce the feature films (II through V). He notes the ideas behind some of the movies, and gives his impressions of the actors in the series. Stephen J. Abramson conducted the interview on February 13, 2008 in Pacific Palisades, CA.