Sunday, November 8, 2015

Happy birthday, Norman Lloyd!

The St. Elsewhere Experience wishes Hollywood legend and St. Elsewhere star Norman Lloyd a happy birthday.

The St. Elsewhere Experience is pleased to extend the warmest of birthday greetings to the man who gave life to Dr. Daniel Auschlander--the great Norman Lloyd. We've been blessed to have Norman with us for the past 101 years.

Image from
Image from

Also, check out Norman Lloyd on upstaging Orson Welles and playing tennis with Chaplin.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

St. Elsewhere star Norman Lloyd featured in Trainwreck

St. Elsewhere star and Hollywood legend Norman Lloyd shows off his considerable comedic talents in his latest film role in Trainwreck.

Trainwreck's Judd Apatow, Norman Lloyd, and Amy Schumer
(image borrowed from
Should've had this post up almost a month ago, but it's never too late to celebrate the great Norman Lloyd, who, at the age of 99, experienced his first taste of improvisational comedy film-making in Judd Apatow's Trainwreck, starring Amy Schumer.

St. Elsewhere fans know how funny Norman Lloyd can be from his role as Dr. Daniel Auschlander, the liver specialist and Chief of Services who was originally slated to die of cancer after four episodes, but experienced "the longest remission in television history" and survived six seasons until he succumbed from a stroke in the series finale.

Now, at age 100, the press is celebrating that a) this centenarian is still working, and b) there's someone making movies in Hollywood who worked with Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock, and Charlie Chaplin, and who still turns in a great interview. Lloyd has a well-deserved reputation as one of Hollywood's greatest storytellers, and as evidenced by this clip from an interview with DP/30, he's as sharp as ever. And he still plays tennis twice a week.

Accordingly, the story of Lloyd has made its way around the Internet. Check out this selection of features about the St. Elsewhere star and his role in Trainwreck:

Norman Lloyd on 'Trainwreck,' Hitchcock, Welles and 100 years -

TV and Film Legend Norman Lloyd On His Latest Film “Trainwreck” -

“Trainwreck”: Brilliant Comedy Features Veteran Actor Norman Lloyd, Age 100 - Showbiz 411

Trainwreck’s 100-Year-Old Co-Star - AdWeek FishbowlNY

Meet Hollywood’s Oldest Working Actor - The Daily Beast

‘Trainwreck’ Review: Amy Schumer Shoots And Scores In Winning Romantic Comedy - Deadline

Norman Lloyd on 'Trainwreck', Hitchcock, Welles and 100 Years - Hitchcock's Vertigo

Friday, June 26, 2015

Ray Charles on St. Elsewhere

Music legend Ray Charles made a guest appearance as a blind homeless man on a fifth-season episode of St. Elsewhere.

Ever wondered what Ray Charles looked like without
his shades on?
The sixteenth episode of season five of St. Elsewhere, "Jose, Can You See?", is the "eye" episode. Dr. Jacqueline Wade (Sagan Lewis) suffers abrasions on her corneas from her new contact lenses; Dr. Elliott Axelrod (Stephen Furst), Dr. Daniel Auschlander (Norman Lloyd), and Dr. Donald Westphall (Ed Flanders) try on each other's glasses during an elevator ride; Daniel Auschlander's long lost love Margaret Ryan (Geraldine Fitzgerald) is admitted to St. Eligius with a eye-related ailment; and Dr. Carol Novino (Cindy Pickett) and Dr. Philip Chandler (Denzel Washington) clashing over blind, homeless patient Arthur Tibbetts, played by music legend Ray Charles.

Arthur Tibbetts is "minding his own P's and Q's" in an alley when a pair of thugs begin harassing him. After stealing his hat, they assault him, stabbing him in the abdomen and breaking a bottle over his head. He enters St. Eligius's ER, where he is treated by Drs. Novino and Chandler.

X-rays reveal that Tibbetts is sufficiently well to be released. Novino is moved by his plight, and wants to admit Tibbetts to get him off the street for the night. Chandler, a stickler for policy, and mindful of the hospital's budget crisis, insists that the patient be released. Novino then takes it upon herself to play "musical beds" until Chandler goes over her head to Westphall.

Before he is released, Tibbetts has a nice moment in the hospital lounge with fellow patient Margaret Ryan, reminiscing about the past. Naturally, you can't have Ray Charles on your show without having him play the piano, so he performs a rendition of the Carole King classic, "You've Got a Friend".

Check out Ray Charles on St. Elsewhere:

Guest appearances by famous musicians seemed to be all the rage at the time. Three weeks after this episode aired, Frank Sinatra guest-starred as a retired cop on Magnum, P.I.. A year earlier, Frank Zappa appeared on an episode of Miami Vice as a drug lord.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

More Nudity on St. Elsewhere

In the episode "Girls Just Want To Have Fun", St. Elsewhere producers slipped a scantily-clad extra passed the network censors.

St. Elsewhere pushed the envelope on September 30, 1987 when Dr. Donald Westphall tendered his resignation by mooning boss, Dr. John Gideon (Ronny Cox), and actor Ed Flanders bared his backside for the most flagrant display of nudity on network television to that date. But it turns out that this was not their first foray into exposed buttocks.

Thank you to a sharp-eyed anonymous commenter who spotted this cheeky detail thrown into the third season's "Girls Just Want To Have Fun", originally aired November 28, 1984. At about eight and a half minutes in, Dr. Mark Craig (William Daniels) is engaged in another conflict with Assistant to the Chief of Services Joan Halloran (Nancy Stafford) when a female extra emerges from a room into the hallway.

Her hospital gown isn't quite fastened all the way, and for a few frames, her bare butt can be seen, tan lines and all:

About five minutes later, bone marrow donor Herschel Millstein (Bill Macy) is explaining to visiting specialist Dr. Christine Holtz (Caroline McWilliams) why there's such bad blood between him and his brother when the brazen blonde makes another appearance:

As the actors exit screen right, the young woman's assets are still on display:

Indeed, girls just want to have fun, sometimes by letting it all hang out.

Here are the clips:

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

R.I.P. Edward Herrmann, St. Elsewhere's Father McCabe

TMZ reports that actor Edward Herrmann has passed away from cancer at age 71.

In St. Elsewhere's finest episode(s), the fourth season two-parter "Time Heals", we meet the hospital's founder, an Irish Catholic priest from Southie named Father Joseph McCabe, played by Edward Herrmann. McCabe re-appeared in the fifth season opener, "Where There's Hope, There's Crosby", returning from Arizona (with Herrmann in old-age makeup) suffering from ALS. For that appearance, Herrmann was nominated for an Emmy award for Outstanding Performance by a Guest Actor.

According to a report from TMZ, Herrmann had been battling brain cancer and had been in the ICU for the past three and half weeks. He was taken off life support and passed away this morning at the age of 71.

Herrmann was more recently known for his role on Gilmore Girls, and he assembled a long list of credits dating back to the early seventies. To 80s kids like me, he was the King of the Vampires in The Lost Boys.

Follow this link to a YouTube playlist to enjoy Edward Herrmann's performance in "Time Heals".

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Happy 100th Birthday, Norman Lloyd!

Hollywood legend and St. Elsewhere star Norman Lloyd celebrates his 100th birthday today, and tributes have been pouring in.

The St. Elsewhere Experience wishes Norman Lloyd, who played Dr. Daniel Auschlander for six seasons of St. Elsewhere, a happy 100th birthday. In honor of this occasion, today has been declared "Norman Lloyd Day" in the city of Los Angeles.

Check out the accolades Lloyd has received from around the web, and learn more about the living legend who is one of Hollywood's greatest storytellers. Lloyd has slowed down a bit at the century mark: he has only one film due out for release at the moment, and only plays tennis twice a week.

The first article was written by Jim Longworth, who produced On Call: The St. Elsewhere Appreciation Club Newsletter in the nineties.

YES! Weekly - Happy 100th to Norman Lloyd: The Ultimate Pro

Variety - Norman Lloyd at 100: Hollywood's Living Memory

ABC 7 Los Angeles - Veteran Actor Norman Lloyd Celebrated by Los Angeles City Council

The Hollywood Reporter - Norman Lloyd at 100: THR's Todd McCarthy on a Legend's Staying Power

Fishbowl NY - Peter Bart Pays Norman Lloyd the Highest Hollywood Compliment

Birthday wishes also go out to Alfre Woodard, St. Elsewhere's Dr. Roxanne Turner, who turns 62 today.

Update, August 12, 2015 -- Here's a clip of L.A. City Council celebrating an early 100th birthday for the Hollywood legend:

Thursday, October 2, 2014

On Call, Vol. 3, No. 1 - From the Hospital Security Camera Department: The Photography of St. Elsewhere "The Amazing Gunters"

From On Call: The Official Newsletter of the St. Elsewhere Appreciation Club, volume 3, number 1, June, 1999.

Marvin, Rick - 1983
Go back and watch re-runs of most TV shows produced prior to 1982 and you'll notice something movement. It was the great irony of television, a medium designed to replace radio with "moving images", became reliant on and complacent with generally static images edited together, or scenes switched live using a series of static cameras. To a large extent, St. Elsewhere helped to change all of that, and pave the way for the now expected, continuous handheld shot sequences, such as we see on ER. The story of how this change evolved is due in no small part to one particular family.

* * * * *

Rick Gunter served as the camera operator on St. Elsewhere from the very beginning, and continued in one capacity or another throughout the entire run of the series. At first he worked under Director of Photography, John McPherson. McPherson brought years of experience to the set, and worked well with the young Rick.

On Call, Vol. 3, No. 1 - News of Cast and Crew

From On Call: The Official Newsletter of the St. Elsewhere Appreciation Club, volume 3, number 1, June, 1999.

ED BEGLEY just completed a run of two new David Mamet plays in L.A., and several appearances on the WB's Seventh Heaven.

BILL & BONNIE DANIELS' characters tied the know on the season finale of Boy Meets World, and will return to the ABC show this Fall.

Fontana, ON CALL publisher Longworth 
TOM FONTANA along with partner Barry Levinson is bringing two new series to television: Hardwood, a basketball drama for Showtime, and The Beat, for the UPN. Tom also participated in a seminar at the Museum of Television and Radio in New York in May. Joining him on the panel were Dick Wolf, Steven Bochco, David Kelley, Marshall Herskovitz, and Edward Zwick. ON CALL publisher Jim Longworth was also on hand to do research for his new book which will include chapters on the six participants. Many thanks to MTR president Robert Batscha and David Bushman for an historic two days.

STEPHEN FURST is performing voice-overs for Disney including for The Little Mermaid, Part 2. He is also set to direct a sci-fi film Yogsuth. Stephen's son Nathan just completed scoring the film Baby Huey.

SAGAN LEWIS ... ends her Arizona sabbatical where she has been raising her son, and is returning to L.A. to be available for acting work. Welcome back!

ELLEN BRY MASIUS, a supermom herself, just participated in the 600 mile California Aids Ride which last year raised $10 million. FYI - John Tinker's wife Lori Mezullo also participated in the charity event. Ellen is also ready to dedicate some of her time to more acting duties.

JOHN MASIUS's new hit NBC show Providence is a shoe-in for an Emmy nomination.

DAVID MORSE will appear with Tom Hanks in Stephen King's thriller The Green Mile, slated for release this Fall.

CHRISTINA PICKLES has landed a spot on Fox's new family drama Get Real, in which she plays her favorite role - a Mom! The new series is getting great notices from early previews.

JOHN TINKER and his staff participated in an historic event. Earlier this year, Chicago Hope became the first CBS drama to shoot an episode in HDTV.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Howie Mandel recalls St. Elsewhere on David Letterman

Video of Howie Mandel, a.k.a. Dr. Wayne Fiscus, discussing St. Elsewhere on a recent episode of The Late Show with David Letterman.

Check it out--on Howie Mandel's recent appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman (I didn't see it, but from the date of the video, it was probably Monday night), Dave brings up how Howie broke through as a television actor. After guessing "Hill House Blues", Howie reminds him that the show was St. Elsewhere, and that he played a doctor, not a cop. He mentions how Denzel Washington got his start on the program, and then launches into an impressive recollection of the E.R. treatment for a gunshot wound to the chest: