Skip to main content /TRANSCRIPTS



Interviews With Ted Danson, James Van Praagh

Aired April 25, 2002 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, actor Ted Danson believes he made contact with his late father thanks to a spiritual medium. He's now playing that same psychic in a TV series.

The medium is James Van Praagh. Whether you have faith in him or think he's a total phony, he's a fascinating guy. We'll also be taking your calls.

But first, a decision about the death penalty in the Robert Blake case. We'll hear from his defense attorney and the lawyer representing his murdered wife's family. All next on LARRY KING LIVE.

Begin on the phone with Harland Blake, the attorney for Robert Blake -- Harland Braun, rather, the attorney for Robert Blake. The DA's office says it will not seek the death penalty. Harland, what do you make of that?

HARLAND BRAUN, ROBERT BLAKE'S ATTORNEY: I'm sort of proud of the DA's office in this case. They did the right thing for the right reason. They did it very quickly, got it over with. And they basically took that off the table as a consideration. So I think we're going to have a different kind of trial this time around.

KING: Why, if it was a planned murder, premeditated, killing in cold blood, not to be cute, why not the death penalty?

BRAUN: Well, they assume that's what the case is. But on the other hand, even under their theory, a man of almost 70 years old without a criminal history, under their theory arising out of a domestic situation, the motive being to protect a child from a perceived evil, it doesn't merit the death penalty. And I think they did it for the right grounds.

KING: You said it will change the course of the trial. How?

BRAUN: Well, it will shorten it immeasurably, immensely, because you don't have to take what we call a death-qualified jury. And it will allow us to focus our energies of the facts rather than on the penalty. So I think it is a plus for everyone. And I think we're going to have a professional trial with professional prosecutors and a fair trial.

KING: Have you spoken to Robert about this decision? BRAUN: I actually did, just about 10 minutes ago. I didn't realize that he didn't know it earlier. I thought the sheriffs would have told him. And he called me. You know, it basically meant to him is that we can concentrate on the facts of this case rather than litigating issues involving the death penalty. So that's how he felt that it was a step forward.

KING: Was he surprised?

BRAUN: He wasn't surprised because I told him that I thought at the end of the day that's the decision. But he was surprised that they did it so quickly.

KING: Now, what about these two stuntmen. Is he standing by the fact that nothing was ever said to them about killing his wife?

BRAUN: That's right. I mean, he never solicited them. It's ironic that one of the stuntmen I've seen before in trial when I was defending the moviemaker in the "Twilight Zone" case. In that case, he came forward and said he warned Landis about the dangers and, of course, the jury completely rejected that. I also understand they may be on the payrolls of some of the scandal sheets now.

KING: You mean the scandal sheets are paying them to break the story to the scandal sheets?

BRAUN: I don't know. I mean, it's obvious they've got them tied up in an exclusive. They've given interviews to one of the scandal sheets and they won't talk to the legitimate press.

KING: You mentioned his age and first defense. Does that lend you to think there may be the possibility of bail?

BRAUN: I hope so because, you know, we have a Constitutional right to bail. And it doesn't say except for murder cases, except for Los Angeles. It says no excessive bail. So he's not going to run and I can prove it. I have a bondsman who is willing to post $1 million bond without a scrap of collateral because he tells me that there is no risk that he would run.

KING: And you would say that in court. Is that going to help the cause?

BRAUN: I would think so. I mean, I would be impressed if I were a judge with a bondsman who says I will post $1 million bond and I will take the entire risk myself because a bondsman, the one I use, has been doing it for 50 years. He's a professional in this sort of thing.

KING: And what happens next Wednesday, Harland?

BRAUN: Next Wednesday, we're going to talk about cameras in the courtroom again. And then we'll talk about bail and then we'll determine when the prelim will be.

KING: You still holding out against cameras, right? BRAUN: I'm against cameras. Yes, I'm old fashioned.

KING: Thanks, Harland, as always.

BRAUN: Thank you.

KING: Harland Braun, the attorney for Robert Blake.

Now in our studios is Cary Goldstein, the attorney for the family of Bonny Lee Bakley. What's your thought on the refusal to go for the death penalty?

CARY GOLDSTEIN, BAKLEY FAMILY ATTORNEY: Well, I think the district attorney's office made a very strategic decision, very calculated. I have complete confidence and faith in the district attorney's office. I'm convinced they know just what they're doing in this situation.

You know, a lot of people would tell you that being that this is still a special circumstance case, that life in prison without parole may not be the better alternative to the death penalty. I think they know what they're doing, and no one is shaken by this whatsoever.

KING: And one of your clients, Margerry, doesn't favor the death penalty at all.

GOLDSTEIN: That's correct. And while the district attorney's office hasn't said anything to us about that, it may have been an influence on their decision to do this.

KING: Are you surprised that Harland said that these stuntmen may be on the payroll of some scandal sheets?

GOLDSTEIN: Well, you know, the district attorney has come forth with a whole litany of allegations against Robert Blake. If you are to assume that everything Mr. Blake's defense counsel says is true, then what you're saying is that the district attorney's office and the LAPD have totally fabricated a story. They're not going to file these charges unless they're founded in fact.

KING: But it is not going to help them a lot, Cary, if the two stuntmen are writing for "The Star" or "The Globe."

GOLDSTEIN: Well, you know, there are people from different walks of life with different situations. And my understanding is, for instance, Mr. McLarty lives out in a pretty remote rural area without paved roads, goats on his property. The guy might need the money. And if this is true, if the tabloids are paying him money -- we don't know that's true -- he's entitled to take it. He's telling his story. It doesn't mean one way or another that he's telling the truth or not telling the truth.

KING: Is this going to be a sequestered jury?

GOLDSTEIN: Hard to say. That's something that I have to leave my thoughts to the discretion of the district attorney's office. KING: Of course, you're not involved in the criminal aspect at all, right? You're an onlooker.

GOLDSTEIN: I'm hoping that. I may end up being a witness in the case.

KING: Really? How so?

GOLDSTEIN: Well, if you remember, I was Bonny's attorney when she was alive, representing her in a paternity action and in a prenuptial agreement. Bonny corresponded with me and communicated with me over the telephone. So I do have information.

KING: And that's considered not privileged because she's dead or because the trial involves her killing?

GOLDSTEIN: Both, I believe.

KING: So you can...

GOLDSTEIN: I can definitely...

KING: ... discuss things she said to you?

GOLDSTEIN: Yes, I can get authority from her personal...

KING: Her sister says that she told her sister that Robert Blake was going to kill her.

GOLDSTEIN: That's correct.

KING: Did she ever tell you that?

GOLDSTEIN: Almost that. What my recollection is is that she told me that if I am killed, you can be sure it was Robert Blake that did it.

KING: Does it concern you that these two stuntmen didn't report this right away?


KING: That will come up at trial.

GOLDSTEIN: We don't know when it was reported. You know, my feeling is that -- well, I know that these people were around quite some time ago. We told that to the media then. So it was reported a while ago. It's not that they just surfaced very recently.

But I believe -- I'm speculating on this -- that the district attorney's office was convinced that Robert Blake committed the actual murder and wanted to proceed with the investigation rather than just hit him with a solicitation of murder charge.

KING: Does this look like a solid case to you? GOLDSTEIN: It sure does, Larry. I mean, I just think they're swatting at so many flies right now trying to give everything good spin, but just, you can't do that. I mean, it's founded in truth.

KING: Thanks, Cary, as always.

GOLDSTEIN: Thank you, Larry.

KING: Cary Goldstein.

Now don't go away. We've got quite a rest of the program coming for you. Ted Danson, the famed actor, he is going to play James Van Praagh, who has been a regular on this program in a two-part series called "Living With The Dead." Van Praagh contacts the dead. One of the dead people he contacted was Ted Danson's father. Ted Danson will play James Van Praagh in the series and they're both with us next. Don't go away.


MARY STEENBURGEN, ACTRESS: James is a psychic, Molly. He helped us find Teddy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You? Son, you talked to him?



DANSON: He loves you and he misses you. But he's happy.



KING: We now welcome to LARRY KING LIVE Ted Danson. He's at our studios in New York. He'll play James Van Praagh in "Living With The Dead," a CBS miniseries airing Sunday night, April 28 then Tuesday night, concluding April 30. He's currently the star of the CBS series "Becker," a very, very funny series and a two-time Emmy winner for "Cheers."

And here in Los Angeles, James Van Praagh, who got one of his big starts on this very program. The famed spiritual medium, "New York Times" best-selling author. His most recent book is "Heaven and Earth: Making the Psychic Connection." And he'll have his own syndicated TV show this fall, "Beyond with James Praagh."

Ted, how did this project come together?

DANSON: First, I just want to say something about your opening statement that I claim that I contacted my father, my dead father. That's absolutely hogwash. He contacted me.

KING: OK, Ted, putting a nice little damper on things. He called you. DANSON: Yes, he called me.

KING: OK, Ted, how did this project come about?

DANSON: Mary introduced to our family...

KING: That's your wife, Mary Steenburgen.

DANSON: Yes, Mary Steenburgen. James -- and we met James two or three times even before the project even came to be. And there were remarkable experiences. I mean, you walk in the door kind of skeptical. And then your jaw drops and then you kind of -- then it feels like, yes, of course, yes, of course. And they're amazing evenings.

And then the film came to us. But I really didn't want to have anything to do with it. When I care about something like either your personal journey or the environment or something like that, I don't want to get involved with Hollywood in that because it can get messed up pretty easily. But Mary and Steven Guillenhall (ph), the director, who is an old friend and a really great director, convinced me that the story hangs together by itself no matter what your belief system.

KING: So when you met James and went through any kind of contact you had with him, you had no idea that you'd be playing him?

DANSON: No, none. I think in his heart of hearts he was after Tom Selleck, really.


KING: That's also true, James, because you don't look like Ted.

JAMES VAN PRAAGH, PSYCHIC MEDIUM: You'll never forgive me, Ted. But it doesn't matter.

KING: Let me ask James. Was Ted the first choice?

VAN PRAAGH: Of who, of the network or of me?

KING: Of you.

VAN PRAAGH: I really had no idea who they were going to go with.

KING: Well, how did they come to you with this idea, James?

VAN PRAAGH: Well, my first book "Talking to Heaven," these producers actually took the book and they were trying to make a movie for two years out of this. And they came about this -- it actually went through NBC first and they hired a writer. And then things changed around and they dropped it. And CBS picked it up the exact same day. And they said, this is an incredible story. Let's make it a miniseries instead of two hours.

KING: Because I understand it, it deals with the hunt for someone at the end. It becomes like a whodunit. VAN PRAAGH: A mystery story, right, a thriller/mystery/ghost story.

KING: Ted, as long as I've known you and interviewed you, I would say you're a skeptical person. So how did you approach James Van Praagh who is going to communicate with dead people?

DANSON: I read his books, "Talking to Heaven," the first one. And they're very sweet, caring, healing books. That's his message. I mean, he really takes the fear out of death, the death process. So I was looking forward to meeting him. Listen, I'm -- skeptical is great, cynical is stupid. Skeptical is great until you have an experience that changes the way you think. And I would be hard- pressed to tell you that what happened in that room was not what James said.

KING: Will you tell us what happened?

DANSON: No. No. You know, that's kind of personal. But without -- I'll tell you what did happen. The experience of it was I went from feeling a sense of loss and kind of low-grade longing for my father who had died about six months beforehand. And after that evening with James, it was almost my -- I felt like I had a current relationship with my father. Not that I can do what James does, but when I'm still enough, I do absolutely feel like I am in a present relationship with my father.

KING: So, therefore, have you come to the belief that dead people are still around, their spirits are still around, that indeed your father may be with you now?

DANSON: Yes. Absolutely. But that's not foreign to me. I grew up around Hopi and Navajo Indians all my life. You know, pretty much every tribal culture in the world relates to their ancestors. You can't -- everybody I've -- you know people, Larry, who said I've lost somebody dear to me and I had a dream last night and I felt like they came to me, or I had something happen. I don't think -- I think this is common sense 101. I think James' gift is very rare. But the phenomenon I think is, you know, common sense.

KING: Can you give me one instance where -- I know it is personal, it's none of our business -- one instance that told you your father was communicating through James? I mean, the way you said, this has to be?

DANSON: No, I won't. Just because, you know, as soon as you step up and you say, here's my belief system, two countries and 300 people declare war on you. So I'm hesitant to do that because it was personal. But they were things that no one else could know. And the essence, the spirit of the message was just the essence of my father.

KING: Now, tell me what happens, James. You sit down with Ted. Give me the process. I mean, later we'll take phone calls and the like. We know how you operate. You're sitting down. Ted was with you, right?

VAN PRAAGH: Right. Ted was with me and what happens...

KING: You know he wants to hear from his father?

VAN PRAAGH: No, I don't know who he wants to hear from. I don't want to know who they want to hear from.

KING: You don't want to know anything?

VAN PRAAGH: No, I don't want to know anything because I don't want to prejudge something.

KING: So why is it Ted? Why isn't it the person sitting across the room? How do you know you're not communicating with the guy upstairs?

VAN PRAAGH: True. I don't know who I'm communicating with. I mean, whoever comes through, comes through. And they'll say, I'm with Ted or I'm with this person or that person.

Well, there was a room full of people. And what happens is I become very receptive and become open to impressions and feelings. And I hear thoughts pretty much in my head and I give them out. And many times, they'll be directed to one person. And then, once the contact is made, the link is made and established, the information comes through very, very quickly and very strongly. And if that person is very open to receiving it, they'll understand the information. It flows right through.

KING: So it's possible that you could have been with Ted and two others and Ted's father didn't communicate. Someone else maybe communicated.

VAN PRAAGH: Oh, sure. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) he might want to communicate with his father. But, you know what? A grandmother might come through or someone else might come through.

KING: We'll be right back with Ted Danson and James Van Praagh. He plays James in a CBS miniseries that airs in two parts starting Sunday night. Back with more. Don't go away.


DANSON: No, I am sort of in a new world here, dad. I'm starting to help people. Dad, I'm starting to feel important. I've never felt that way before.

Look, maybe if you saw me, you know, doing this, at work. I've started working with this man who has been helping people like this for a long time. Maybe -- he has sessions every Wednesday night. Maybe you could come to one.



(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "LIVING WITH THE DEAD") STEENBURGEN: The only thing we have to go on is the brace.

DANSON: The what?

STEENBURGEN: He was wearing a leg brace.

DANSON: Eddie.


DANSON: His name is Eddie. I talked to him when I was a child.

STEENBURGEN: You knew him?

DANSON: He was already dead.


KING: That's a scene from "Living With The Dead," which airs on CBS Sunday night and concludes on Tuesday night. Our guests are Ted Danson, who plays James Van Praagh and James Van Praagh. Ted, is it hard to play someone you know?

DANSON: I didn't even attempt that. This story when it was first written was -- it is based very loosely on James' life. But the events that took place when James was in his 20s. So, I'm 54. So it made no sense.

So they had to reconstruct the story a little bit to fit me and my age. So I really wasn't playing James. What we did was we -- I think we very successfully -- and I hope you agree, James -- put forth your message. I mean, yes, it was loosely based on you. But the message of all there is in life is love and forgiveness, which is, I believe, your message really comes across...

VAN PRAAGH: That's right.

DANSON: ... in the film.

VAN PRAAGH: That's right. I wouldn't have anything to do with it if that message didn't come through. And I wouldn't be sitting here right now if they didn't do that.

KING: Is it hard to work about your wife, Ted?

DANSON: You know her. It's a dream, man. It's a dream. Heaven on earth, are you kidding?

KING: She's a great girl. James, how come there are some who say -- and Ted might have a thought on this -- you never tell people bad things. In other words, you never say your uncle didn't like you and he still doesn't like you?

VAN PRAAGH: Things like that come through. They do come through. Many times they will come through. The personalities come through very, very strongly. And they are very clear. KING: And you relay them?

VAN PRAAGH: Oh, yes. I have to. My agreement with my work with the spirit world is if they give it to me, I have to give it out. I can't censor it because that's right. I'm the vessel.

KING: So what do you believe happens when someone dies? What happens?

VAN PRAAGH: Well, I think it's a very natural transition. I think we do it every night. When we go to sleep, we leave our bodies. I think our spirit, which is encased in the physical body, leaves this physical body and goes, if you will, into another dimension, which is all around us. We're in a three-dimensional world. But there are many dimensions around us, inter-dimensional. And I believe that we go there in a spirit form. And in a way, it is like going home. There's more of an openness of consciousness.

KING: And that spirit form is with you for as long as you walk the earth?


KING: And then when you die, you become that form?

VAN PRAAGH: Well, you are that form now. You're a spirit encased in a physical body. That's really what you are. So at the time of physical death, the physical body is over but the spirit leaves. So you shed that physical body.

KING: Ted, why do you think if James Van Praagh can do this and you and I can't?

DANSON: It's not fair, Larry.

KING: You're damn right.

DANSON: You know, I just want to add one thing. People who don't -- who are skeptical or it doesn't fit into their belief system or it angers them or whatever, you know, it almost feels to me like -- I mean, it's very healing and wonderful. But there's also a so what involved. I think that the work that you have to do in life on yourself, that journey is incredibly hard. And it's what we're all supposed to be doing. This does not contradict any of the major religions. This -- what James is doing is a very sweet, healing message. The work that one needs to do in life remains the same. Do you agree, James?

VAN PRAAGH: Very much so. I think that we're here to indeed work upon ourselves. And I think, if anything, what this work does is it empowers oneself to really take responsibility for one's own life and not give responsibility to a figure or figurehead.

KING: Also, why wouldn't everyone, Ted, want James to be right? Why wouldn't everyone want to know that you go on? Why laugh at it? Why not encourage it? DANSON: I don't know. I guess you'd have to ask them. Because to me this all makes perfect sense. But I guess it's scary. I guess...

KING: Scary to know that we don't die? That's kind of joyous.

DANSON: Well, you know, I think you end up having to take more responsibility. What happens -- I don't know the answer to your question. But for me, one of the things that happened after being around James was that if, if, you know, you continue, your spirit continues and the work that we're supposed to do on ourselves is something that continues with you, you don't just graduate when you die, then what am I waiting for? You know, the work will have to be done some time, whether I'm alive or dead. So I better get to work on it. You know, I think it encourages you to start telling the truth about who you are and that kind of work.

VAN PRAAGH: And also, Larry, it brings -- when you do this work -- it brings a sense, as what Ted is saying, a sense of mindfulness, a sense of awareness that each day you pay attention to every single choice that you make. And you make that choice with a sense of responsibility. You don't go through life just walking through life, but you're a part of life. And that's really what this work is all about.

KING: Are you hurt, James, by the scam artists?

VAN PRAAGH: Yes. I feel sorry for those people. Unfortunately, they're put into the same bundle as myself and other people in this field. And, you know, I think that there are crooks in every single field. I don't think that clairvoyants or psychics are the only field. There are many of them. But you know what? They have to answer one day. They'll have to answer for what they do.

KING: Ted, is this a gift you would want? Would you want to have what James Van Praagh has?

DANSON: No. I'm all right. I'm all right that James has it and I don't.

KING: Yes, me, too. I would think it's a burden, James.

VAN PRAAGH: It's a burden. It's a big responsibility. It's a very big responsibility. And I never wanted this. I never sought this out. It's many times a burden. And you have a lot of people's lives in your hands. It's a big responsibility. No, it's not an easy thing to do. But I feel that it's my calling. I feel I came back on this earth to help people in this manner. And it would be like slapping God in the face not to do this work.

KING: How old were you when you first discovered this?

VAN PRAAGH: As in the movie, it portrays it very, very well in the beginning, seven years old, six years old, I'd see spirits all around, lights all around people. So as a kid. KING: We're going to take a break and come back and go to your phone calls. Our guests are Ted Danson, who plays James Van Praagh in "Living With the Dead," a CBS miniseries, and James Van Praagh himself, the spiritual medium who will have his own syndicated TV show this fall, appropriately titled "Beyond." We'll be right back.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What else did he say?

DANSON: He said that he was sorry that he didn't come back with your medicine and that he loves you very much.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why couldn't he have stayed? Why did he have to go now?

DANSON: It wasn't his choice.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you mean?

DANSON: Somebody killed him.




STEENBURGEN: I found my father's pipe in my purse the other night. As far as I know it was in my desk drawer. I don't think I put it in my bag. I don't remember putting it in my bag. I don't understand it. And I don't like it. But that's what happened. I believe in you, James. You've shown me things I've never would have thought possible.


KING: That's from "Living With The Dead" Ted Danson portraying James Van Praagh, based on James' best selling book, "Heaven On Earth, Making The Psychic Connection." Since the calls will all be for James and do some readings, we'll spend some time with Ted before we let him go. Are you surprised by the success of "Becker?"

DANSON: Can I just qualify one thing, Larry? We're showing you the -- all the sensitive kind of stuff because James is on the air here with you. We've got car chases, murders, dead bodies. Is it very very fast and edgy film.

KING: A lot of sex, too.

DANSON: No, no, no.

KING: No, no sex. "Becker" are you surprised?

DANSON: Delighted. It is such good writing. I love the actors I'm working with. We have fun every day. I'm more delighted than surprised.

KING: "Cheers" reunion coming?

DANSON: I think we'll wait till we're in our 70s.

KING: Do you miss that show or are you so engrossed in "Becker" it is yesterday?

DANSON: I miss how easy it was compared to "Becker." Playing somebody grumpy takes a hell of a lot of energy. I'm exhausted by the end of the day.

KING: Did you enjoy playing James?

DANSON: Yes, I did. Playing James is kind of like, you know -- I can't remember what English actor said, you don't play a king. The people around you treat you like a king. You know, it was Steven Guillenhal (ph) and what he did and the other actors that made it easy to play James.

KING: Looking forward to seeing it. Thanks for joining us. Best to Mary. We look forward to watching the series.

Thanks. Good luck, James.

VAN PRAAGH: Thanks, Ted. You too. Talk to you later.

KING: You'll see it Sunday night April 28 and it concludes Tuesday night April 30. We'll remain with James Van Praagh and we'll take your calls. We go to Ontario. Hello.

CALLER: Good evening, Larry. Mr. Van Praagh. My mother's passed away now. It has been four years. I was wondering if you might be able to tell me perhaps maybe if she's trying to get in touch with me some way?

VAN PRAAGH: I will tell you something. I want to ask you, on your wall is there a picture that fell off the wall? Or that's loose and came down? That you remember, a frame that you picked up off the floor?

CALLER: In the living room?

VAN PRAAGH: Or a frame that fell down on a shelf or living room that came down on the floor. Because I'm being shown -- I don't know why I'm being shown this on a wall with a lot of pictures. You understand? And a lot of family photos, too. I'm seeing them altogether. One of them came down or fell off.

CALLER: Well, there's a table where they fall off sometimes.

VAN PRAAGH: I want to ask you, did you pick up the frame or picture that fell over? That's what I'm being told that she was there pushing some picture over that fell down. That's what I'm being told.

KING: The mother was? VAN PRAAGH: Uh-huh. I want to ask you was there a facility you had to put her in or take care of her?

CALLER: No. She was just in the hospital.

VAN PRAAGH: The hospital. I don't know -- well, a facility is a hospital. I'm also being told that also I feel like two days before she passes over, she's completely out of it.

CALLER: Yes, she was, yes.

VAN PRAAGH: Completely out of it and didn't know where she was. But this picture thing is coming like pushing a picture down or picking up a frame. I want to tell you there's a small dog there with her. I don't know what this means.

CALLER: There's a dog that my daughters walk every day. He's down the street a couple of doors down.

VAN PRAAGH: I don't like that. It's a dog that's passed over. It's not a dog here, it is a dog that passed over that greets her when she comes into spirit.

KING: All right. Thank you. To Clearwater, Florida. With James Van Praagh. Hello.

CALLER: Yes. Larry? For your guest, James.

VAN PRAAGH: Yes, ma'am. How are you.

CALLER: I'm very good. Thank you. Good to talk with you. We lost our father about 19 months ago. Of course we're all very sad but we'd like to know if there's any unfinished business he'd want us to do? He was just that kind of person. And how he is.

VAN PRAAGH: Are there three in the family by the way?

CALLER: Yes, there are.

VAN PRAAGH: Three of you get together. Two females and a male, that's what I'm looking at. This man shows me a lot of military.


VAN PRAAGH: That was a big deal to him. He's having a reunion, reunited with people that were in the military with him. I like the water with this man, I like seeing the water, being around the water with him. I don't know if it was the oceanfront, but I see water with him. I'm going to tell you I feel it was a heart condition also. So now why he has a heart problem?


VAN PRAAGH: Who has a heart, chest condition.

CALLER: No, he didn't. VAN PRAAGH: Hold on. Was there someone in the family that went for a cardiogram.


VAN PRAAGH: Who was that, please? A brother or something?

CALLER: A sister.

VAN PRAAGH: Would you tell her it's going to be OK? I feel she is worried about the heart and this cardiogram didn't -- it looks like she has to go back for another one.

KING: That has nothing to do with the dead person, right? That's picking up something else, right?

CALLER: He is worried about that?

VAN PRAAGH: Yes, he's concerned about her. And he's telling me to let you know that she'll be OK. But it feels like it is not finished yet. But the heart thing, do you understand that? She has to go back in and finish it.

CALLER: How about my mother? Anything for her?

VAN PRAAGH: I'm going to tell you something very much. I don't know if your mother has headaches, but there's something about her head that he's talking to me about with your mother. The head area he's talking about with headaches.

CALLER: Head area. OK.

VAN PRAAGH: I just want to tell you that this man comes to your mother a lot. He comes behind her. I don't know what that means...

KING: When you say like headaches, what are you hearing in your head to say headaches?

VAN PRAAGH: I'm getting a thought of headaches. And I'm seeing this lady and behind her head.

KING: Do you see the man?

VAN PRAAGH: No, not in that situation.

KING: Sometimes you do?

VAN PRAAGH: Sometimes I very clearly do.

KING: Even though it is a spirit.

VAN PRAAGH: They're very real, solid people.

KING: Rochester, New York. Hello? New Hampshire, I'm sorry, go ahead. CALLER: I lost my husband in March of '99. I'd like to know if you could tell me something about him. Thank you for the privilege to be able to talk to you. Like a prayer being answered. Thank you, Larry and James.

VAN PRAAGH: What is your first name?

CALLER: Janet.

VAN PRAAGH: When I tune into your voice, I'm going to tell you I have to give what I'm getting. I want to tell you it feels like there's some medical problems going on here recently with you.

CALLER: With me?

VAN PRAAGH: Yes. Do you understand that?


VAN PRAAGH: Because I want to tell you that there's concern about you with medical problems and seeing two different doctors. You understand that?


VAN PRAAGH: I want to tell you that there's a specialist that you just recently saw, do you understand that?


VAN PRAAGH: This man that is your husband, I believe he is, I am just telling there is two men behind you. He's helping you with this situation. I don't know why I'm going to your knees or legs. Did he have problem with the knees or legs?

CALLER: Lately I have.

VAN PRAAGH: There's some problem with leg or knee, which needs to be looked at again, but that is one thing. The other medical thing is something different. You know that. But be careful of the knee area.

CALLER: All right.

VAN PRAAGH: I'm going to tell you something, there's two men there. One must be your father. Because there's two men coming in strongly. I also see a Jim or Jimmy person also. I'm going to tell you something to do with -- it sounds strange. Who collects rocks?

CALLER: Who collects rocks?

VAN PRAAGH: Boulders or rocks. I don't know what that means. If your husband had a rock in the house or rocks or collected something with rock collection. Geology.

KING: Thank you, ma'am. We're back with James Van Praagh and don't forget the story of his book, "Heaven And Earth" will be on CBS Sunday and Tuesday night. Tomorrow night on this program, King Constantine, the king of Greece in exile in Great Britain. Don't go away.


KING: James Van Praagh reminds me that this movie is based on his first book, "Talking to Heaven," and how it all started on this program, right? You came on this show.

VAN PRAAGH: That's right, December of '97. We had 6,000 printed initially, because they didn't believe in the book. The publisher said nobody will buy a book about talking to dead people. I said, it will be a number one best seller. I'm a psychic. I know these things. Listen to me. And after your show, thank you, God, Larry, it went to 600,000 within three months. And now it's, gosh, 30 different languages around the world, millions of copies.


KING: I know when you were first booked, I thought what the heck is this?

VAN PRAAGH: What the heck is this.

KING: Winterhaven, Florida, with James Van Praagh. Hello.

CALLER: Hi. How are you tonight?


VAN PRAAGH: Good. How are you?


VAN PRAAGH: How can I help you?

CALLER: I lost a daughter in 1987, and I'd like to hear from her.

KING: How old was she?

CALLER: She was 15.

VAN PRAAGH: Was this cancer condition at all?


VAN PRAAGH: Was it blood related?


VAN PRAAGH: How was she killed?

CALLER: Hit by a car.

VAN PRAAGH: What's her first name?

CALLER: Christy. Her first name or mine?

VAN PRAAGH: No, her first name.

CALLER: It was Christy.

VAN PRAAGH: Let me ask you something, because I don't -- you know, I just get what I get and I can only give you something that I get. Was there a baby born after she passed over, in the family?


VAN PRAAGH: Because this might sound very strange to you, but she wants me to tell you that she's a guide for this baby. I don't know if it's a brother's baby.

CALLER: There's been three.

VAN PRAAGH: OK. Does the brother have a baby?

CALLER: Let me see -- there's been four girls born since her.

VAN PRAAGH: OK. Well, there's a baby there that the brother has that she's a guide to also. I'm going to tell you that someone in the family is a teacher, OK, or wanted to go into teaching. All right? I'm going to tell you that this girl -- she forgives the person that did this to her, very much so. And I'm telling you she's telling me she came to your dreams just recently?

CALLER: I very seldom remember my dreams.

VAN PRAAGH: Well, she said she's been in your dreams. And I also see a kitten. And I don't know why I'm being shown a cat or kitten. But I don't know if she had a kitten or a cat?

CALLER: I called her cat. Those were her initials.

VAN PRAAGH: OK. Well, maybe why she's showing me this. But that's what I'm being given you. I'll tell you right now, she's there at night a lot around you in your dream state.

I'm going ask you also, did you have a little vegetable garden when she was alive?

CALLER: Her grandmother did.

VAN PRAAGH: OK. And is her grandmother in the spirit now?


VAN PRAAGH: OK. She's talking about helping her with that garden. Do you remember her helping with the vegetable garden?


VAN PRAAGH: You remember that?


VAN PRAAGH: With tomatoes and carrots, and she's talking about helping grandma doing this. She's with this grandmother, which must be your mother or something.


VAN PRAAGH: She's connected with her with you.


VAN PRAAGH: OK? I'm going to tell you something also. I don't know if there's a watch of hers you have and also a locket of some sort, but she's talking about that. I also want to tell you one more thing. Is there a footstool in your house?


VAN PRAAGH: Well, who puts their feet up? She helps someone put their feet up with a pillow underneath their feet. I don't know if she's helping grandma, but she's showing me putting a pillow underneath someone's feet.

CALLER: May have been my mother.

VAN PRAAGH: I think -- would you check that out?

KING: OK. I thank you. Boy. Brownsville, Texas, hello.

CALLER: Good evening.


CALLER: Hi. I had a cousin who passed away five years ago. She was taken away very quickly. And I was just wondering if she had anything to say to me or my sister who took it very hard.

VAN PRAAGH: Well, you know, just because you want to contact someone doesn't mean that person is going to show up. So I got to tell you that first of all. And what I do is just tune into -- the way it works is I tune into your voice and whatever happens happens.

I'm going to tell you something which I pick up around you, too. This might sound very strange. But I feel there's a man who committed suicide. And I don't know if your association with this person is through the school days, like a classmate of yours. And I want to go back a little bit, but I feel there's a man here who committed suicide. And I'm seeing it done with pills. OK?

CALLER: With pills?

VAN PRAAGH: Yeah. Now, do you have a younger brother at all?

CALLER: Yes, I do. VAN PRAAGH: Would you please ask him if that's an association he has with suicides. Because he's talking about a younger brother of yours and a connection with him. And there's a suicide here. I'm sorry, but I have to tell you that. The message is to give his mother -- and I get the name Michael.

CALLER: Yes, that's my brother.

VAN PRAAGH: I'll tell you, he's telling me to tell Michael about a suicide. He'll know who he is, this man is, because he went to school with him. Now it's all coming in.

CALLER: He said to tell my brother?



VAN PRAAGH: And would you tell Michael to tell this guy's mom that he's all right.




VAN PRAAGH: And a message for the mother, too, from him. As proof, validation, would you please -- he's telling me that the mother just recently bought a new brush for her hair. It might sound strange to you. But if you please give that information, she'll know that's from her son. That little bit of information. Do you understand? The new brush. Tell Michael. Thank you.

KING: We'll be back with James Van Praagh and more calls after this.


KING: James Van Praagh, Ted Danson with us earlier. The film, "Living With The Dead" will air Sunday night, and conclude on Tuesday night on CBS.

Tomorrow night, King Constantine of Greece.

The next caller is Brunswick, Maine. Hello.



CALLER: I had a brother who was shot in 1994. And in the beginning they said that it was suicide, but when my family -- we all went down to Texas, and then they said that it was -- they didn't know if it was murder or suicide and he was also robbed. Can you tell me if -- VAN PRAAGH: I feel there were two people involved here, and I feel there's a name Robert which is involved here. I don't know what that means.


VAN PRAAGH: No, do you know the murderer who murdered him?

CALLER: Well, the kid was like 23.

VAN PRAAGH: Do you know his name.

CALLER: It was Sean.

VAN PRAAGH: Who is the Robert involved?

CALLER: I don't know.

VAN PRAAGH: There's a Robert involved in this also.

CALLER: Really?

KING: Was he murdered?

VAN PRAAGH: I feel he was murdered. I also feel there was money involved here. And I feel some drugs involved here, I really do. You know, your brother -- God bless him, but I don't think he wasn't telling you honestly...

CALLER: My brother was a contractor in Dallas, Texas. And when our family all got down there, he was robbed of jewelry in a strong box. He was a major contractor and he made a lot of money building.

VAN PRAAGH: Yes, I think that he had another lifestyle, also. I don't think he -- but it seems when he portrays --

KING: Is he telling you this?

VAN PRAAGH: I'm feeling this, on an intuitive level.

CALLER: Really?

VAN PRAAGH: I'm not feeling him here. I'm not picking him up at all. I'm just telling her what I am feeling psychic intuitively. But I'm not feeling him. But I'm telling you that I know that this man led two different lives. And I really feel this way.

And was he married once for a brief period?


VAN PRAAGH: A very short period. Because there's something about this, I don't know why.

CALLER: Yes. KING: Now I am amazed. Thank you, ma'am. When you pick that up, from where? Like you picked up that he was married for a brief period. From where?

VAN PRAAGH: Well, it's energy.

KING: Did he say to you that he was married for a brief period? Did a voice come into your head? Explain it to me.

VAN PRAAGH: Well, you know, many times when I do this. I'll have spirits next to me or in front of me, and they'll talk to me, I'll get it very strongly. Or other times I'll just tune into on a psychic level, an intuitive level, which means this energy. I tune into her voice and I pick up these things. With him, I did not feel him next to me, saying this to me. It was something I was picking up.

KING: Infeld (ph), Connecticut. Hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry. I love your show. Hey James.

VAN PRAAGH: Hey, how are you? You have great energy.

CALLER: Thank you.

VAN PRAAGH: A lot of movement around you soon, but it feels like a move soon very much with you.

CALLER: Really?

VAN PRAAGH: Yes, geographically. I don't know feels like it.

KING: What's your question.

CALLER: My question is I lost my mom last year, and my daughter about ten years ago. And I was wondering if they're together. And I also wonder if it was my fault that I lost my baby?

KING: How old was your daughter?

CALLER: She was stillborn.

VAN PRAAGH: Yes. You know, it was not your fault that you lost your daughter because that was a divine plan for her. She had to go through that. That was not your fault whatsoever, so you should not do that to yourself. Anybody who has had that experience, that situation, really should realize that it is not your fault. There's a bigger plan here OK?

I want to tell you that I feel a mother around you and your sister, but there is also another lady there. And a man there. I really have to tell you that. I think there's a twin somewhere in the family, as well. OK?

CALLER: A twin that has passed or...

VAN PRAAGH: I don't know. I'm being told about twins in the family.

CALLER: My sister has twin daughters.

VAN PRAAGH: OK. There are twins in the family. And these people are around the twins.

CALLER: Oh, good. I'm so glad.

VAN PRAAGH: All right. Like guides of some sort to them. There is artwork. Someone is starting to do artwork.

CALLER: I'm going to enroll my son and my niece in art. And my brother is a graphic designer.

VAN PRAAGH: Well, that's art. They're talking to me about doing these things. I want to tell you that you're a wonderful person. You have a very good heart, a very big heart. And you're a healer. Also, I want to tell you that if you started playing the piano you should go back to it.

CALLER: I want to learn to play.

VAN PRAAGH: Well, I'm being told by your mom that you need to go with that piano, because she's been pressing you to do the piano. Do you understand that?


VAN PRAAGH: And just a couple days ago you did something with a piano music or looking at a piano. And you thought about either playing it or calling someone about that.

CALLER: Yes. With my little boy.

VAN PRAAGH: Do you understand that? Just recently that happened. That is what she telling me here.

KING: Good luck, dear. That was great.

Now, Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Hello.

CALLER: Hi, Mr. Van Praagh.


CALLER: Nice talking with you. I lost my mom in December '97, my dad in January 2000. I was wondering if you...

VAN PRAAGH: I'm going to tell you there's somebody here with a cancer condition. Was it your dad?


VAN PRAAGH: Because I feel cancer. And I feel lungs, also. I feel with him also, it could be emphysema at one point, too or trouble with his lungs breathing. CALLER: The lungs it was my mother.

VAN PRAAGH: Well, I am getting lungs and trouble breathing here. I also want to tell you that these two are very connected. I don't know. Did you say they passed very closely in time?

CALLER: Two years apart.

VAN PRAAGH: One of them had a brother over there who met them when they passed over. Hadn't seen this brother for a very long time, OK.

CALLER: Yes. That would be my father, he had a couple brothers.

VAN PRAAGH: Well, there was a brother there for a long time. He hadn't seen him. He was very impressed -- he was very happy to see this guy. Your father, by your way, didn't believe in this sort of thing. Very skeptical of this sort of thing. But he is a true believer now. A name Joseph comes in also or Joe. And that's interesting, very strong in front of me.

CALLER: I don't know who that is.

VAN PRAAGH: Did you have to give your mother medications?

CALLER: Did I have to give her?

VAN PRAAGH: Who gave her the medications. She's telling me that there were medications that she had to receive.

CALLER: She did have a lot of medications, nothing I gave her directly.

VAN PRAAGH: But there was a schedule of medications she had to get. Every hour. She had to receive medications. I also want to ask you is there a box of hers you have, a jewelry box?


VAN PRAAGH: Who has a box of hers, like a jewelry box of some sort?

CALLER: Oh, god, I don't -- I don't know.

KING: We are running out of time.

VAN PRAAGH: Well, I'm being shown it, and it has flowers on it.

KING: Do you like this power you have?

VAN PRAAGH: No -- yes and no. I like it when...

KING: Brought you fame?

VAN PRAAGH: That's nothing. That comes along with bringing the word out to people. The healing I can bring to thousands and thousands of people, and help to remind them who they really are as a spiritual being. That's the greatest part. The negative part of it is, you know, it is hard to be this responsible.

KING: James, as always.

VAN PRAAGH: Thanks Larry.

KING: He started here. James Van Praagh, the famous spiritual medium, best selling author. The new book is "Heaven and Earth: Making the Psychic Connection," written after September 11th.

And he starts his own syndicated show this fall. And the story about him with Ted Danson airs Sunday night and then Tuesday night on CBS. We'll tell you about tomorrow night and the weekend after these words.


KING: Tomorrow night, King Constantine of Greece, in exile in London. He will be our guest. Saturday night a major program on multiple sclerosis. You don't want to miss it. Sunday night on "LARRY KING WEEKEND," three major authors: Bo Derek and Bob Knight of formerly of Indiana, now of Texas Tech; and Rich Cohen a brilliant book on boyhood. Monday night Dr. Phil is back.

Right now -- speaking of being back -- Aaron Brown is off tonight, one of my favorite folk, Judy Woodruff.




Back to the top