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Larry King Live

Angie Dickinson Discusses Her Role in 'Duets'

Aired September 19, 2000 - 9:00 p.m. ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, she's been called Tinseltown's classiest broad and a TV trailblazer, Angie Dickinson for the hour, with your phone calls, next on LARRY KING LIVE.

What a great treat to have her with us for the hour, an old friend, a dear lady, Angie Dickinson. It's always great to see her. She lights up a room. The camera loves her. She's been a star for a long, long time. And she's in the new film "Duets" with Gwyneth Paltrow.

Now, I got to ask you this, you play her grandmother?

ANGIE DICKINSON, ACTRESS: I play her grandmother, yes.

KING: Oh, come on. This is sad.

DICKINSON: I could probably play beyond that. Well, it's sad, but it's realistic.

KING: How does it feel after this glamour career to play a grandmother, I mean, really?

DICKINSON: Well, the glamour vanished very slowly so -- I hope very slowly. I had time to adjust, and she does play a young girl. She does play about 20 in this, and she is absolutely adorable, by the way, and I think she's probably about 26, but she plays a very kind of, oh, 19, 20, just getting into the world.

KING: And your character is?

DICKINSON: Well, I'm her grandmother, because her mother has died. So we are burying my daughter, and one of the persons comes to visit, to the visitation and Gwyneth takes a liking to him immediately and they are feeling so good comforting each other, and I interrupt by telling her that that's her father.



KING: How do you like her?

DICKINSON: Oh, I like her so much. She's just wonderful, and she's brilliantly talented, not just good. She's fascinating, and again, as I say, if I didn't know her work before "Duets" I would (AUDIO GAP) probably not too bright, and she's about 20. She's so convincing in anything she does, she's just amazing. And she sings, by the way.

KING: Oh really?

DICKINSON: In case we don't get to fill this hour, she sings great.

KING: Do you think we are going to have trouble filling this hour? Are you -- do you -- no.

DICKINSON: Not at all.

KING: OK. But what I -- when they came to you and said, Angie, we have a part for you and we want you to play her grandmother.

DICKINSON: Yes. Well, I did wince on that.

KING: Come on.

DICKINSON: Because I knew I was into mother parts, and I had played a grandma already on a miniseries called "Wild Palms" for Oliver Stone.

KING: Oh, that was wild.

DICKINSON: It was wild.

KING: It was crazy.


KING: Who was the director, Lynch? Who directed that?

DICKINSON: Three directors directed that, Catherine Bigelow and...

KING: But that was a crazy story.

DICKINSON: Yes. It was -- it really was cuckoo, and I was a cuckoo grandma. I murdered my own daughter in it. And she says, why, Mother, and in rehearsal I said, why not.


DICKINSON: I mean, it was a wild...

KING: But there was some trauma over -- what's it like, when you reach a certain age in this town...


KING: ... and those roles that we are going to be talking about and we're going to see clips of them don't come around anymore. Is that hard to face? DICKINSON: No, it's not. It's regrettable, but it's not hard to face. I mean, I have not fooled myself about my age. I have tried to fool the public, but I have known that the glamour roles would end soon, and I wouldn't embarrass myself by playing them past their time.

KING: But is it tough when it does come? I mean, it's coming to everybody, everybody gets older.

DICKINSON: No, it isn't. If you read the paper everyday, when you see how bad it might be, I feel so blessed. I'm older, but I'm still walking. I'm older, but I'm still working. I'm older, and I still -- well, I don't look too good -- but...

KING: You don't look bad.

DICKINSON: Well, but not really. But I just think all of those who don't work at all anymore, those that are really hurting, physically or financially or something, and I just feel so blessed. It's all a gift.

KING: And have you always pretty much worked?

DICKINSON: I've worked all my life.

KING: You haven't gone through periods where scripts didn't come?

DICKINSON: No. I might have gone a year without making something notable, but a year is nothing for an actor.

KING: So you have never felt like, boy, it's over?

DICKINSON: Oh, no, no. I said to Armey Archard (ph) once, he said, so you're between pictures, and I said, I certainly hope so. But I've never felt -- no -- and people say, are you retired now, and it's a word I don't recognize.

KING: You have another film coming, too, right?


KING: What's that one called?

DICKINSON: That one is called "Pay it Forward," and in that I play Haley Joel Osment's grandma and Helen Hunt's mother. She's his mother.

KING: You're the new grandma.

DICKINSON: I'm the -- I'm Tinseltown's grandma.

KING: We need a grandma, let's call her.

Who else is in that movie?

DICKINSON: Kevin Spacey. KING: You don't land bad, I tell you?

DICKINSON: And a few others, Jon Bon Jovi is in it and -- oh, I know I'm going to forget.

KING: When is that coming, next year?

DICKINSON: October. No, that will be out in October.

KING: So "Duets" is now?

DICKINSON: That's a real do-good movie, it's wonderful. "Duets" is now. And by the way, Huey Lewis on the set, he said, wait until you hear Gwyneth Paltrow sing. And he -- and this is Huey talking, and he's a wonderful singer.

KING: I love Huey.

DICKINSON: You know, a lot of rock'n'roll singers, we don't realize how good the singer is because it's got so much going on -- he's a good singer and he said Gwyneth is great, and he was right.

KING: Huey is in it, huh? Is he the lead?

DICKINSON: Huey is her daddy and he is -- there are three stories -- three couples that the stories are about. So you follow them intermittently as you go back and forth.

KING: Huey is in it with The News or without The News?


DICKINSON: Huey is without The News.

KING: A little joke there, folks.

Our guest is Angie Dickinson, she's with us for the full hour. We're going to do kind of a tribute to Angie and talk about lots of things in her extraordinary life. But as we go to break, here's a scene from "Duets."


DICKINSON: You knock up my daughter like she's some (EXPLETIVE DELETED) in heat and then you disappear without so much as a backward glance. Well, it's time to pay up.

HUEY LEWIS, ACTOR: Well, I mean, I was going to give you something, you know, for the funeral and all.

DICKINSON: I'm not talking about money, but I'll take it. Now you better listen. That girl is not going to lose a mother and a father in the same week.

LEWIS: Oh, come on. You can't be serious. She's got a life here. I mean, she's got a job. She's an adult for Christ's sake. DICKINSON: Listen to me, I don't give a damn whether you stay or go, but not until that sweet child manages to turn her life back around. She's a special girl. You may not be much, but you and I are all she has, and what she needs now is a father.

LEWIS: Don't be ridiculous.



KING: Not bad, huh? Angie...

DICKINSON: From the good old days.

KING: That first scene was from a movie called "The Killers" in which Ronald Reagan played a terrible villain.


KING: Horrible guy. He hits you in that movie.

DICKINSON: Oh, he slaps me.

KING: You're his wife and he slaps you around. We will get to that in a while.


KING: "Duets," one other thing, it's about karaoke.

DICKINSON: Yes. And I neglected to mention that. And that's why we hear Gwyneth sing, because her dad is a karaoke hustler, Huey, being such a good singer. So he hustles up bets on the side about winning for the night. Well, we hear Gwyneth sing. We hear Andre Braugher sing. And who steals the picture for me is Paul Giamatti.

KING: I love him.

DICKINSON: He plays -- he's -- I didn't know him before this. But he plays a guy who is so bored with his life. It's a normal salesman's job. And he gets into karaoke. And he sings so wonderfully. And Maria Bello is fabulous. She sings...

KING: Do you sing?

DICKINSON: No I just do grandma.

KING: Have you ever sung?

DICKINSON: Yes, I've sung two Perry Como's Christmas specials.

KING: Were you good?


KING: You never sang in a movie, though, right?

DICKINSON: No, never in a movie -- and another special a long time ago.

KING: Little Angie Dickinson comes from North Dakota, right?


KING: To move here, to break into movies?

DICKINSON: No, no, no. I was with my -- my mother and father were like everyone else in 1942: coming to California to get jobs because the war plants were in California. So we moved out too.

KING: So you grew up where-- Glendale, right?

DICKINSON: Burbank, actually, and went to school -- college in Glendale.

KING: You were a beauty queen? What were you, Miss what?

DICKINSON: Well, I -- I -- no -- I think I won second prize or something. I was in the beauty contest, but there were no prizes.

KING: What was your film break?

DICKINSON: Well, really, "Rio Bravo" with John Wayne and Dean Martin and Rickey Nelson -- one of the best Westerns around. And that was Howard Hawks'. And Howard was...

KING: Not a bad director.

DICKINSON: ... one of those great directors. Yes, and he was one of the best. And he always chose a special woman. Yeah, that's "Rio Bravo."

KING: What was he like to work with? Duke.

DICKINSON: He was quiet. And he was friendly, but not overly. I mean, he was just comfortable. And -- but the trouble is, I was a Democrat and he was a Republican, so I would be -- I sat a little far away.

KING: But Dean, you got along with, right?

DICKINSON: Yes -- oh, I got along with Duke. But I was cautious with Duke. He was really right wing.

KING: But that was a big movie for you, and a damned good Western.

DICKINSON: Oh, it was the most -- it was the most important movie in my life.

KING: Now, you had done "Gunsmoke," right? "Cheyenne..."

DICKINSON: Oh, yes. Oh, yes.

KING: "Death Valley Days..."

DICKINSON: Oh, heavens, yes.

KING: "Wyatt Earp," right? And a lot of things with guns. You were in "Man with the Gun," "Gun the Man Down," "Tension at Table Rock," "Shoot-Out at Medicine Bend." Why you and guns?

DICKINSON: Gosh, all those classics you're mentioning. Westerns were very popular in the '50s. I came into the business in 1954. And they were still doing the black-and-white half-hour Westerns. Almost all the shows you mentioned are television Westerns. But Westerns were very, very still popular in movies. The "Tension at Table Rock," the "Man with the Gun," I think, is Robert Mitchum.

But they -- along about the '60s, they weren't so popular anymore.

KING: You've worked with some terrific men, right.

DICKINSON: The best.

KING: Brando, you worked with.

DICKINSON: Yes, "The Chase."

KING: Played his wife.

DICKINSON: It's the only picture I've taken without reading the script. They said Marlon Brando's wife. Oh...

KING: What was that like? I've gotten to know him. I like him.

DICKINSON: It was -- oh, he's wonderful. He's the best kisser. You know.

KING: I know.

DICKINSON: We'll never forget you and...

KING: We've both been kissed by him. That's the big thing. We both have.

DICKINSON: He was -- yes, it's true. He was with me like he was with you. He loves to put people on. He's so confident and just gets a kick out of making you squirm. And yet, I love him.

KING: Did you date him?

DICKINSON: No, I didn't date him. But...

KING: But -- come on...

DICKINSON: And I didn't -- well, I didn't think he ever liked anybody except those beautiful Eurasian, Tahitian girls. I never thought I would be even be noticed by him. And about a few weeks into "The Chase," I got married to Burt Bacharach. And I showed up Monday for work having got married.

And he said, "I didn't even get into the batter's box." And it was the first time I ever realized that he might have been interested in me. So, Marlon, if you're listening...

KING: So life could have changed completely.

DICKINSON: Absolutely.

KING: Because you would have dated him?

DICKINSON: Well, I don't know. I liked him an awful lot. But I knew he was dangerous.

KING: How do you mean?


KING: Come on. You -- you know all these guys out here. Dangerous how?

DICKINSON: Well, he's -- because you could get smothered, killed. Somebody, for me, that confident, I would -- I think I would be intimidated an awful lot, yes. I don't think I would have dated him. I think I'd have said: Thank you, but no thanks. I really liked him, though.

KING: We will go to break and we are going to talk about the Rat Pack. "Ocean's 11," they are remaking that.

DICKINSON: Isn't that great?

KING: "Ocean's 11," what a great movie. The end: unbelievable.

We will be back with Angie D. And we'll be taking your phone calls, too.

Don't go away.


DICKINSON: You're the only person that ever made me feel ashamed: ashamed of my mother, my race, myself. I know I'm different. I know the difference between me and my sisters and my cousins. But I never felt ashamed of it. I told you he might look Chinese, didn't I? But you said it wouldn't make any difference, as long as the baby were healthy, didn't you?

GENE BARRY, ACTOR: Yes, but it's different when it really happens to you. I never figured it would be such a one-sided birth. There's nothing...

DICKINSON: No, there's nothing Brock about him -- except half his blood. (END VIDEO CLIP)


KING: We are back with Angie Dickinson.

OK, the Rat Pack: Sinatra, Martin, Davis, Lawford. And you said, you were what, a fringe chick? I mean, what was the story of Angie and them?

DICKINSON: Well -- and we must not forget Joey Bishop.

KING: Joey Bishop.

DICKINSON: Joey and I are the only ones, I think, living, aside from Patrice Wymore, who was another chick in the movie. And Shirley MacLaine did a part in it. Well, because, for instance, Juliette Prouse (ph), I think that's who Frank was seeing at the time. She was a genuine -- locked into that group.

But I was -- I was just not -- you know, I wasn't seeing one of them or something. So I wasn't with them that often.

KING: You were pals?

DICKINSON: Oh, very much pals. And I was under contract to Warner Brothers, you see. And the picture was made at Warner Brothers. And it was -- I think I told this on your show before -- that Sammy Davis is the one who suggested me as for Frank's wife in the movie. And Frank said, "Hey, what a great idea." Or I think he said, "That's a gas," in Frank's terminology.

KING: That's a great caper, that movie.

DICKINSON: Oh, it's wonderful, where they decide on New Year's to...

KING: Little twist.

DICKINSON: ... to hit five casinos all at once. Yes, the ending is unbelievable.

KING: Unbelievable -- and the surprise.

DICKINSON: Yes, whether or not they are going to do that on the remake, I don't know. But I am going call Jerry Weintraub and ask him if he can just put me at a dice table playing. And somebody, one of the cast, say, you know, "Get a match" -- or something, and not say a word. Wouldn't that be fun?

KING: Stories -- did you go out with Frank?

DICKINSON: Oh, yes, I dated Frank for a long time. Off and on for a long time.

KING: What was that like? DICKINSON: Oh, he was great. You know, he's the absolute ultimate gentleman, and very considerate, very generous. I used -- we used to be driving along Sunset Boulevard.

KING: He drove you? He drove the car?

DICKINSON: Yes, he drove. He drove a Carmen Gia (ph).

KING: No (UNINTELLIGIBLE) or anything. He'd call for you.

DICKINSON: No, he...

KING: Frank's at the door?

DICKINSON: In the morning the garbage men would come and hang around the car...


... because he was parked in the driveway. It was the most expensive car on that block. And he was -- he was wonderful. Great, great guy. Great man. I loved him all my life.

KING: You did? Did you see the other side of him, that temper side?

DICKINSON: Oh, yes. He was firm in his beliefs.

KING: He liked what he liked when he liked it, right?

DICKINSON: Yes, and he was usually right. And like most people, when you -- if you drink too much, you're going to get either much more sappy or much more irritable, and he's like a lot of people that go too far. And then he was difficult.

KING: But someone -- I don't want to generalize. You were so attractive and all these men liked you. Were you aware of that? I mean, were you aware of your own beauty? Do you look in a mirror and say, I've got something?

DICKINSON: No, no. I was aware of the attraction, but I did not think I was beautiful. I didn't think I was bad, but -- or I didn't say, gee, what do they see in me, anything like that. It's just that I always thought my whole package was what they must have liked, but I never even studied that.

KING: And what do you think that package was? Sexy was certainly part of it.

DICKINSON: Yes. I think I was sexy. I look at the old movies and I was sexy.

KING: Voice?

DICKINSON: Yes, maybe, voice. I never really analyzed it. I think humor. I think a light -- you know, kind of the romantic comedy attitude.

I don't know. I'm grateful for whatever it was.

KING: Because I mean, you didn't fit all the classic modes. No blue eyes?


KING: Right?

Small eyes?


KING: Right? So all the things you would say and not...

DICKINSON: Runny nose.

KING: Runny nose.


DICKINSON: But I don't know what it was.

KING: I think she's going to make it.

Angie Dickinson's our guest. We've got lots more to talk about. We'll include your phone calls.

She's currently on screen in "Duets." She's Gwyneth Paltrow's grandmother. We'll be right back.


DICKINSON: I'd like so much to have a child. You know, I was the only girl in Brooklyn who didn't get pregnant during the war. Me and my mother kept the statistics.

KIRK DOUGLAS, ACTOR: What kind of a father would I make now? Maybe when everything's right.

DICKINSON: Everything's never going to be right, Mickey, for anybody. At least you have children, and I want yours -- ours. Now.

There's a chance, isn't there? I might never have you again.



KING: We're back with Angie Dickinson. You went with -- you worked with a lot of great male actors, right? I mean, you...

DICKINSON: I really did, and I hope I learned something from them. But when you -- when you -- if you don't mind my mentioning just a few of them, our wonderful friend Gregory Peck in "Captain Newman" along with Tony Curtis and Bobby Darin and Richard Burton in "The Bramble Bush" and Robert Mitchum, as I mentioned before.

KING: What was Burton like to work with?

DICKINSON: Burton was great fund, because we -- it was not a very good movie, so we could fool around in between scenes. And he would recite poetry and tell all those incredible stories. He was such a great storyteller and a really great guy.

KING: He drank a lot, too, though, did he not?

DICKINSON: No, I didn't see that. I didn't know him personally that well.

KING: What about Rock Hudson?

DICKINSON: Rock Hudson was fabulous, very quiet, very shy man. We did "Pretty Maids" all in a row, and he's very warm and just very restrained.

KING: Did you know he was gay?

DICKINSON: No, I don't think so.


DICKINSON: That never was important in my life, so if I -- I don't think I ever wondered. No, I would never have wondered.

I don't think I -- I didn't wonder about anybody.

I had -- I had so many straight men to worry about I didn't have time.

KING: Your mind didn't go that way?

DICKINSON: No, not at all. Still doesn't.

KING: You have never spoken much about Jack Kennedy.


KING: Why?

DICKINSON: It's inappropriate. No matter what, it's inappropriate.

KING: Even with history and people gone and...

DICKINSON: Yes, but most of the stuff they print is lies, but it becomes -- it becomes so -- it becomes insurmountable because they just keep, you know, they keep repeating the same rumors.

KING: You were going to do a book and didn't do a book?

DICKINSON: Yes. I don't want to write a book yet. I would if I had time, but I don't have time. I really mean that. I would like to actually write a book myself, write every word of it, but that's a lot of work.

KING: But you were contracted once and gave the money back, right?

DICKINSON: You remember.

KING: Dave Janssen?

DICKINSON: Oh, maybe...

KING: You loved him?

DICKINSON: Maybe the best. I didn't love him the most, but I think he was one of the best guys I every knew.

KING: Because?

DICKINSON: Oh, he was just -- he was macho. He was fun. He was -- great manners. I remember we came out of a restaurant one night, and we said good night to the man. And he said, "Does he own this place?" And I said, "I don't know." And he said, "Well, if he doesn't, I just stiffed."


Because he didn't tip him.

But he was just -- I don't know why that stuck with me, but he was also that way, very open, very, very straight about -- you know, and he didn't play games. He used to say, "Hi, Stinky." He called me Stinky.

We did a wonderful movie called "A Sensitive, Passionate Man," and he was that.

KING: I never heard of that.

DICKINSON: It was a TV movie for NBC, and it's a wonderful movie. He's an alcoholic in it.

KING: He's an understated actor, wasn't he?

DICKINSON: Very much so.

KING: That low voice and...

DICKINSON: Oh, yes. Very, very subtle.

KING: And you worked with Michael Caine in "Dressed to Kill," one of my favorite all-time thrillers.

DICKINSON: Great movie, yes.

KING: You die wild in that.

DICKINSON: Oh, yes. KING: They stabbed you a hundred times in an elevator.

DICKINSON: And they stab me more that isn't even on there. Brian...

KING: There it is. Look at that.

DICKINSON: Yes. Brian De Palma -- well, that's a little before I got stabbed. That's in the shower...

KING: That's in the...

DICKINSON: ... and the dream -- dream sequence.

KING: That's the opening scene of the movie.

DICKINSON: Yes. And -- but Michael stabbed me, also slit my throat, but they had to take it or Brian would not get -- he would have gotten an x or whatever rating, and he couldn't do that. So -- and I'm glad, because it's a classic this way.

KING: We'll take a break, we'll come back, we'll include your phone calls for Angie Dickinson. She's on-screen now in "Duets."

This is LARRY KING LIVE. Tomorrow night, Governor Jesse Ventura of Minnesota and a political panel. We'll interview Jesse and then he'll join the panel.

Friday night, an evening with Dick Van Dyke. We'll be right back.


RONALD REAGAN, ACTOR: You get back to the hotel and stay there.

DICKINSON: I like it here.

REAGAN: Go on. Get moving.

DICKINSON: I said I like it here.

REAGAN: Well, I can change that in a hurry.

JOHN CASSAVETES, ACTOR: You touch her again, I'll kill you.

REAGAN: After the job, we'll settle this, North.

CASSAVETES: Let's settle it now.

REAGAN: OK. Let him go.

I know we agreed not to meet again after we make the split. I'm willing to make an exception in your case.

Sheila, my car's outside.

DICKINSON: I'll see you later, Johnny.



KING: We're back with Angie Dickinson on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE.

Angie, is it true that you really were impressed with Hillary recently?

DICKINSON: Oh, yes, very, very much so. I -- I met Mrs. Clinton about two years ago, and I was very surprised at my reaction to her. And then I saw her a couple months ago at the...

KING: Surprised how?

DICKINSON: I didn't know I would like her that much, and I didn't think I would find her as genuine as she seemed to be. I found her to be very clear-thinking and not that -- not a false politicizing at all, just very genuine. And I watched her not just with myself. I watched her with other people , and she really struck me as very different.

KING: That scene with Ronald Reagan, that was his last movie, right?

DICKINSON: It was his last one. He didn't want to do it, but he owed Universal one more picture. So he just said, OK, and then off he went, of course.

KING: Was that his first villain and first and only villain?

DICKINSON: First and only villain.

KING: He...

DICKINSON: And he was so bad.

KING: He was not effective, because he...

DICKINSON: No, he's just too good a man. You just -- it's like asking Dolly Parton to play a villain.

KING: So what was it like to be slapped by a president of the United States?

DICKINSON: It -- it felt good.


KING: And John Cassavetes was in that?

DICKINSON: Oh, he was incredible, yes. It's quite a good little movie, but it was made for television.

KING: Yes, I know, "The Killers."

DICKINSON: So its rather cheap -- talk about B movies, that's a B movie.

KING: Riverside, California -- we'll include calls for Angie Dickinson -- hello.

CALLER: Hi there. Hi, Angie.


CALLER: My question is, as of today, who's been your favorite co-star, and can you tell me why?

DICKINSON: Well, that's a hard question because they've all been wonderful, and I've been asked it before and I cannot pick one. It's like picking a favorite food, but there have been some great guys there.

KING: You were married to one of the great songwriters?


KING: Burt Bacharach.

DICKINSON: He is -- his music is so fantastic and so great.

KING: Did you watch him write it?

DICKINSON: Well, I listened.

KING: I mean, you must have heard songs first -- you would have heard them first, right?

DICKINSON: I heard "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head" -- the first person other than himself. He had two choices -- he wrote two songs for that spot, and he said here's one with the lyric and here's just an instrumental. Which one do you like?

KING: That was for the movie, right, "Butch Cassidy"?

DICKINSON: For "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid." So, that's the one -- and maybe the only one, I don't know -- that I heard first, before anyone else other than Burt. He's a great, great composer.

KING: Euclid, Ohio, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry. Hi, Angie.


CALLER: I just wanted to know if you have a great memory about the Rat Pack that you can share?

DICKINSON: I have a lot of great memories about the Rat Pack, and I think that other than the stink bombs that they used to throw on the set when they were all together...

KING: What do you mean?

DICKINSON: They had -- they had meetings where Ocean and his 11 friends, Danny Ocean, would meet. So they had these scenes when they were all together, and they were always acting up something. They were pulling practical jokes on everybody, and the stink bombs that Frank...

KING: He threw stink bombs?


DICKINSON: ... would throw were very interesting.

KING: These were adults?

DICKINSON: They were adults playing with children's toys, yes. But the most fun of all about the Rat Pack was the shows at night. They worked all day in Vegas, as you know, and then they put on...

KING: They did the movie during the day, and then...

DICKINSON: And then they did the night club show at night, and it was -- it was just not to be believed.

KING: Did you go at night?

DICKINSON: I went nine times.

KING: Nine times to watch them?


KING: They did anything, right? Anything that came to them, they did?

DICKINSON: Everything, again the practical jokes and just great fun. It was as if they were in their living room performing for their children.

KING: Has it been difficult seeing friends die?

DICKINSON: Yes, it's really -- it's really hard. I -- it's not as hard when you're older. When you're young and you lose people, it's really -- it's really hard. So as you get older you just kind of, at least with me...

KING: You accept it?

DICKINSON: You just kind of expect it.

KING: So the shocks in your life were what? David Janssen's death, that was a shock to you?

DICKINSON: David's wasn't even that much of a shock, because we know he abused himself with alcohol and cigarettes and probably other things. But when you're in your 20s and 30s and you lose people young, it's -- it's rough.

KING: How's your sister?

DICKINSON: My sister is still living with Alzheimer's. It's 16 years now. And thank you for asking. It's a terrible, terrible disease, and there's been -- thanks to you and programs like yours -- but you've been very, very influential -- the interest in it and the progress for research is incredible. They are making great strides.

KING: When did you first -- what was the first sign?

DICKINSON: There were two things. Mary Lou had gone New York to visit friends for a week, and I redid her kitchen and her bathroom while she was gone, very quickly but very beautifully, and when she came home, she barely noticed it and didn't say, "What happened?" or "What have you done?" It was, "What are you doing here?" because I was still screwing the handles back on the cupboards in the kitchen and barely noticed the difference.

KING: So what was your reaction?

DICKINSON: I was just stunned. Gee, that's kind of ungrateful after I had broken my butt for a week and everybody helping, but -- and she had gotten lost. She had evidently gotten on a wrong bus, so it was very late. So I was just, I was just perplexed, but I suspected nothing until the following Christmas -- and I've told this before, too. She left packages in the trunk of her car.

She had come to my house, loaded them up for her to put under her tree, and in about March, they were still there and she never took them out. And that was the beginning for me of knowing something wasn't right. And also at work, at her work -- she worked for the city of Burbank -- things -- work was getting difficult. So we started putting and two and two together.

KING: We'll be right back with more of Angie Dickinson, more of your phone calls. You'll see her on screen as grandma in "Duets." Don't go away.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did Elizabeth pick out her dress?

DICKINSON: We're still doing the guest list: 600 so far that's just not our size.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: That's not a wedding; it's a town.

DICKINSON: Stop. It's going to be wonderful. Elegant but simple, lavish but tasteful.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Cheap but expensive.


DICKINSON: That girl? The one with David.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: Oh, well. Oh, that's -- that's just -- oh my God! That's Sabrina. Oh, yes, David's known here since she was 2 years old.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: She didn't have that dress when she was 2 years old.





DICKINSON: Carrie (ph), Carrie, come on. It's OK. It's OK. It's all right, sweetie. Now, he loved you and you loved him. Not being together doesn't make love die.


KING: Angie won a Golden Globe for best actress in a dramatic series as Sergeant "Pepper" Anderson in "Police Woman."

That was a TV trailblazer, right?

DICKINSON: Yes it was.

KING: A woman star of a show?

DICKINSON: There had been other women who started in shows, but they were all comedians: Carol Burnett and Mary Tyler Moore.

KING: First drama starring a woman.

DICKINSON: And in a non-comedic role, in a drama series -- other than the episodic -- oh, not episodic -- Loretta Young did the -- what is that called?

KING: What do you call it where you do a different show every week?

DICKINSON: Not anthology series. I don't know. But anyway...

KING: Anthology.


KING: Los Angeles, hello.

CALLER: Hi Larry. Hi, Angie.


CALLER: My question is: Will there ever be a "Police Woman" reunion?

DICKINSON: Oh, that's a -- it's an often-asked question. I'm asking it more than anyone. No, I'm too old for that now. I could not possibly seduce anyone again at my age and convince him that I wasn't undercover. It just doesn't work. You had -- I had to be very attractive to get away with what I got away with on that. And...

KING: How did that series come about?

DICKINSON: Yes. "Police Story" had been on the air for its first season. And the final episode of the first season was starring a woman cop. And I was the star. And they were about three days into it. And they -- my makeup man is the first one who said, "You know, they're talking about this being a series." And I said," Oh, my God, get away!"

And it just looked so good. And David Gerber was the executive producer. And he said, "Let's do it."

KING: How many years did you do it?

DICKINSON: Four years.

KING: Did you like working regular television?


KING: No. Hard work?

DICKINSON: It's very hard work.

KING: You turned down "Dynasty," right?

DICKINSON: Yes, I did. It came right after four years on "Police Woman." And I was already trying to see my daughter once in a while.

KING: So no regrets over that?

DICKINSON: Oh, no, no. I regret it. But I can't regret what I -- the reasons I did it for.

KING: Did you ever turn down a role did you regret?


KING: What?

DICKINSON: The one -- Carroll Baker did it -- Nevada Smith -- what was the name of that? "Carpetbaggers."

KING: Oh, "Carpet" -- Alan Ladd.

DICKINSON: I think so.

KING: Yes, he was Nevada Smith.

DICKINSON: Yes, that's right. I turned that down. And I think Carroll Baker was much better in it. But I did -- I should have done it.

KING: Harold Robbins' book.

Richmond, California, hello.

CALLER: Hello, Larry. Hello, Angie.



CALLER: I enjoyed your "Police Woman" very much. What contribution do you feel you've made to the women in the police stories today?

DICKINSON: Well, thank you for that. I feel I did make a contribution, because it was a wonderful role model. Ever since that show was on, they've had far more applicants for police women than they ever had before. So, I -- as I say, I was a heroine. And there aren't many shows where you have a heroine. And we need heroes.

And it allowed them to have something to work for.

KING: They also -- you did a lot -- they made you a detective, right? You got to -- you went to colleges and you were treated as a cop?

DICKINSON: Well, I was -- yes, I was undercover. And...

KING: No, but I mean you got awards. Police departments gave you medals.

DICKINSON: Oh, yes -- oh, in real life?

KING: Yes.

DICKINSON: Oh, yes. I -- yes, it was very, very nice -- even the New York City Police Department. That's my biggest pride and joy.

KING: They made you an honorary...

DICKINSON: Well, they gave me a plaque saying you're our role model, in essence -- that our women -- the women on our force want to be like you. And that's great.

KING: Back with more. And more calls for Angie Dickinson on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE.

Don't go away.


DICKINSON: If you're near the Hollywood Roosevelt, don't walk on by. Come up an step on me some time. Thank you.



KING: She's also in the North Dakota Hall of Fame, right?

DICKINSON: People laugh at that. But after all...

KING: That is where are you from -- where, Fargo?


KING: Fargo is too big.

DICKINSON: It's from a little, little town, Kulm -- and then moved to Edgeley.

KING: Kulm?

DICKINSON: Kulm was where I was born -- k-u-l-m.

KING: Cold in the winter?

DICKINSON: Very cold.

KING: Fort Lee, New Jersey, hello.

CALLER: Larry, I'm jealous, sitting across from this beautiful, who is as sexy as ever.

DICKINSON: Thank you.

KING: Angie, if Aaron Spelling calls now with "Titans" coming up for the fall, are you available?

DICKINSON: Yes. In a nutshell, yes. I...

KING: You would go back and do series television?

DICKINSON: I wouldn't -- I couldn't -- I don't think I could do regular. I could maybe two, three days a week.

KING: Guests shots, I guess.

DICKINSON: I could never do five weeks -- five days a week again. Ever. Never. It's not possible.

KING: Do you still get the same kick out of working?

DICKINSON: Yes, I love working. I work again next month. I play another -- no, I play a -- yes, a momma: Debra Winger's mother- in-law to Arliss Howard, her real husband. KING: Alpharetta, Georgia, hello.

CALLER: Hello.

My question is to Angie. First, I wanted to tell her that I had the good fortune to have been told all my life that I looked like her. And that's one of the highest compliments that I have ever had paid to me.

DICKINSON: Bless you. Thank you.

CALLER: And my question is: How do you keep yourself looking so radiant and beautiful? Because I think we are about the same age.

DICKINSON: Well, I don't tell my age. But I can look radiant sitting with somebody I love, such as Larry. But I also do think if I have anything -- any radiance left at all, it is because of the positive attitude and knowing people and wanting to shine. I think it starts way inside.

KING: You've always had that, right? You always...

DICKINSON: Yes, I always have...

KING: The glass was half full to you, right?

DICKINSON: ... even as a baby. And I -- my -- under my baby pictures, it says "smiles." I was -- I don't know which comes first. Are you -- do you smile because you feel good and you're happy, or are you happy because you -- I don't know which way. But I've always had that.

KING: Because you've had tough times. You had a premature baby?


KING: How old was she? How...

DICKINSON: Nicki (ph) -- Nicki was before 6 months.

KING: Yes, born before 6 months. What did she weigh?


KING: What did she weigh?

DICKINSON: She weighed 1 pound and 12 ounces.

KING: Hold her in your hand.

DICKINSON: Oh, yeah. So everybody has good and bad...

KING: There she is now.

DICKINSON: Well, some people, it's been -- yes, that's quite a while ago. But as I was on my way to your show, I just happened to see it and I grabbed it. She's fantastic. She's 34 already.

KING: You feel old?

DICKINSON: Yes, sometimes I feel old. Not most of the time, just when I look in the mirror.


KING: We will be back with our remaining moments with Grandma Angie. You played a crazy mother once, was shooting guns and killing people.

DICKINSON: Oh, "Big, Bad Mama."

KING: "Big, Bad Mama."


KING: We will be back with our remaining moments with Angie Dickinson.

And Governor Jesse Ventura tomorrow night. Don't go away.


KING: By the way, Angie just told me -- Dick Van Dyke is here Friday night. She and Dick Van Dyke appeared in two of the worst movies ever made, right? "The Art of Love," and what was the other one?

DICKINSON: And "Some Kind of a Nut," and he is wonderful.

KING: Sefendon (ph), North Dakota, hello.

CALLER: Hello.


CALLER: Angie, did you ever know Marilyn Monroe, and were you ever in a movie together?

DICKINSON: I did know Marilyn Monroe. I was never in a movie with her. But I was at a couple of dinner parties where she was at the next table or two away, and then one time at a party at Romanov's (ph) -- I'll never forget, I went into the bathroom and she was in there and she was in a black strapless gown -- I'll never forget it -- and I said, Oh, Marilyn, you look great, and she said, I'm down to a size 8 and it feels so wonderful. And it was just -- she was just enchanting and so beautiful, and she like some of us have had trouble with weight, and she was glorious, glorious woman.

KING: Laguna Niguel, California, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry. Hi, Angie.


CALLER: You look wonderful.

DICKINSON: Thank you.

CALLER: Is there anybody special in your life now?

DICKINSON: Well, yes, everybody is special in my life.

KING: Oh, come on, answer the question.

DICKINSON: I don't -- anybody that I am seeing you would not know and you wouldn't have any clue.

KING: No, but is there anyone special?

DICKINSON: I'm -- no.

KING: What -- I'm no?

DICKINSON: Well, I'm usually in love with somebody.

KING: Are you in love with anyone?

DICKINSON: No, but not right now.

KING: Is this is a lull in your life?

DICKINSON: This is a lull.

KING: Do you miss being in love?

DICKINSON: No, not at all. No, I -- my life is so full, I'm still working and I am with my daughter a lot and I do not miss it at all. And I...

KING: Don't miss it at all?

DICKINSON: No. And I had the best. You know, once you've -- you just don't pine for the worst.

KING: What do you make of all this chatter from the political candidates about sex and violence in your industry?

DICKINSON: I think it's a very difficult situation and I think it exists, but I don't know what the answer is because it's always existed. Violence is -- has always been there, and it's a question of whether or not we glorify it. But the problem is, I think with the killings that go on they don't realize they're killing somebody, they're just shooting a gun, because it all comes so...

KING: You mean like Columbine in a way?

DICKINSON: Yes, that it comes so easily and I don't -- I think they think, I'm going to shoot you. They don't think, I'm going to kill you, I'm going to kill a person. I don't know. I'm not qualified to really speak on it, but it's a difficult...

KING: Are you worried about governmental interference, though?

DICKINSON: No, I think it's better they interfere then just ignore it and let it run rampant. No, I think at least it keeps people aware, and I am for gun control.

KING: But you have made some tough -- "Point Blank," pretty tough movie?

DICKINSON: Oh, yeah. Yes, but it...

KING: One of the great, by the way...

DICKINSON: It's a wonderful movie.

KING: ... genre movies of all time.

DICKINSON: Great, great movie, but he's -- but he kills for -- out of revenge. It isn't as though he's just going around killing for no purpose. So at least you see that. There seems to be an awful lot of random killing without a real -- I mean, a good reason.

KING: So we'll see you right now onscreen in "Duets" with Gwyneth Paltrow, and then "Pay it Forward" -- that's hard to say -- coming next month with Kevin Spacey and Helen Hunt. And then you're going to be what, you have another one?

DICKINSON: I'm -- yes. I'm going to Mississippi to play another mama.

KING: With who?

DICKINSON: Debra Winger and Patricia Arquette and Debra's real husband, Arlis Howard and Michael Parks, and it's in the South and it's a very interesting script, very nice movie.

KING: You keep on keeping on with those...

DICKINSON: And Paul Lemat (ph), I'm sorry.

KING: You keep on keeping on.

DICKINSON: Yeah, and I like work. I really enjoy it. You know, work is almost playtime.

KING: And your health?


KING: Health is good?


KING: What do you mean you hope so? You get check-ups? DICKINSON: Yes, but, you know, you always wonder. There is always so much -- you know, all of a sudden somebody is sick like Frank, our friend, Calkinini (ph), and you just wonder, gosh -- and when you get older, you say gosh more often.

KING: With your sister, do you fear that you might get Alzheimer's?


KING: Logical.


KING: Great seeing you.

DICKINSON: Oh, I love you. Is it over?

KING: Yes.

DICKINSON: Oh my goodness.

KING: Say good night, Angie.

DICKINSON: Good night, Angie.


KING: Angie Dickinson, you'll see her in "Duets" and forthcoming in "Pay it Forward."

Tomorrow night, Governor Jesse Ventura and a major panel, and Jesse will join the panel, too, talking about the election 2000. Dick Van Dyke will be here on Friday.

Thanks to Angie Dickinson. For the whole crew here in Los Angeles, I'm Larry King, good night.



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