"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
Katherine Helmond was interviewed for two hours plus in Los Angeles, CA. Helmond spoke about being a shy child and how she blossomed when she became an actress, feeling most "at home" on stage. She talked about her stage background in New York, appearing in such plays as Ruth Gordon's autobiographical "Years Ago." She talked about her move to Los Angeles, in her mid-30s, and the guest appearances she made in television. She spoke in great detail about one of her most well-known roles, "Jessica Tate" on Soap. For Soap, she described her reading for Susan Harris (who rather than laughing, sat seriously throughout the audition), described her character (a "childlike" woman who floated through life), described a typical workweek, and gave her impressions of the other members of the ensemble (including Robert Guillaume, and Cathryn Damon). Helmond then talked about her long run as "Mona Robinson" on the sitcom Who's the Boss? For this series, she discussed working with co-stars Judith Light and Tony Danza, described her character, and noted her favorite episode (in which Mona goes to a graduation dance with a college-aged boy). She then described her series roles on the popular sitcoms Coach and Everybody Loves Raymond. Lastly, she recalled her work on several notable feature films, including The Hospital, Alfred Hitchcock's Family Plot, and Terry Gilliam's Brazil. The interview was conducted by Karen Herman on March 6, 2008.