"Laughter is such a marvelous thing really, it's such a healing thing, that's one of the reasons I've always enjoyed doing comedy... it was great fun for me because I knew that my character was good, I knew the show was good, and it was giving to pleasure to a lot of people."
About This Interview
In her over two-hour Archive interview, Katherine Helmond speaks about being a shy child and how she blossomed when she became an actress, feeling most "at home" on stage. She talks about her stage background in New York, appearing in such plays as Ruth Gordon's autobiographical "Years Ago." She discusses her move to Los Angeles, in her mid-30s, and the guest appearances she made in television. She describes in great detail, one of her most well-known roles, "Jessica Tate" on Soap. For Soap, she recalls her reading for Susan Harris (who rather than laughing, sat seriously throughout the audition), describes her character (a "childlike" woman who floated through life), outlines a typical work-week, and gives her impressions of the other members of the ensemble (including Robert Guillaume and Cathryn Damon). Helmond then talks about her long run as "Mona Robinson" on the sitcom Who's the Boss? She discusses working with co-stars Judith Light and Tony Danza, describes her character, and notes her favorite episode (in which Mona goes to a graduation dance with a college-aged boy). She then describes her series roles on the popular sitcoms Coach and Everybody Loves Raymond. Lastly, she recalls her work on several notable feature films, including The Hospital, Alfred Hitchcock's Family Plot, and Terry Gilliam's Brazil. Karen Herman conducted the interview in Los Angeles, CA on March 6, 2008.