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CNN LARRY KING LIVE

Encore Presentation: Interview With Linda Evans

Aired April 25, 2004 - 21:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, Linda Evans, the classic beauty and Hollywood legend gives us the inside story about her famous "Dynasty" kiss with Rock Hudson before she and the world knew that he had AIDs.

About how her nine-year romance with a younger man, music superstar Yanni made a tabloid target and more.

Linda Evans, a revealing hour about a life of loves and unscreened adventures on and off, next on LARRY KING LIVE.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KING: It's only been 14 years since she's been on this show. Time flies. Great pleasure to welcome Linda Evans, a return trip to LARRY KING LIVE.

So nice to see you again. Looking -- you look great, as always.

LINDA EVANS, ACTRESS: Thank you.

KING: Why so long between visits?

EVANS: You didn't invite me.

KING: No.

EVANS: I went away, too. I went away. I moved up North.

KING: North, meaning...?

EVANS: The Pacific Northwest. Washington State.

KING: Why?

EVANS: Because after "Dynasty," I wanted a reality check. I wanted to get in touch with real life, you know? That kind of world is kind of outrageous.

KING: So Los Angeles is not real life?

EVANS: The business, show business.

KING: You left the business?

EVANS: I left the business. Well, I semi left the business. Actually, I wanted some answers to some things that I couldn't find. I -- I've seen on your show a few people lately, like Mel Gibson who said he was at the height of his career, and he just was miserable in himself. That he was lost in some ways.

And I can honestly say that I felt really very fortunate that I was able to have the career that I had and the fame, the success, the love of people all around the world.

But there was an emptiness in it. And there was some -- a longing for something that I couldn't find. And I knew that it wasn't going to be something outside of me, because I had everything you can have that people think would make you happy.

KING: So you sent -- you knew this while you were enjoying the success?

EVANS: Yes.

KING: You felt daily that something's missing?

EVANS: Yes. Yes.

KING: While at the same time enjoying it all?

EVANS: Yes.

KING: Was that kind of living in conflict?

EVANS: Yes. Didn't you recently see Princess Diana, her tapes. She was in front of the world, and she was walking around smiling. Everybody said, "But this is a happy woman."

Well, there are moments where you can express yourself and you can be in joy and you can have fun. But when you're alone and you're sitting by yourself and you get real and you take off the beaded gown and you put the award down and the fans are all gone and you're sitting by yourself. And you see something's wrong.

And I knew that there were answers to things that I wanted to find. And thanks to Aaron Spelling, who I adore forever and ever and ever, because he made it possible for me to take 14 years and go away and just do whatever I want to do.

KING: And he let you out of the contract?

EVANS: Yes. And because he helped me to get rich. So when somebody...

KING: You were able to afford to do that?

EVANS: Yes. To be able, as a woman, to retire at that age.

KING: We also think, as a society, that beautiful people have it better. Isn't -- what troubles could you have? I mean, you've got talent and you had beauty. What could be the big problem? EVANS: But you know what's very interesting is it's what you think. And what I found for myself is that I was always looking outside to see whether things were working out all right. It was never Linda, you know?

I did the impossible. I went up to the Pacific Northwest. I went into an ancient school of wisdom, and I spent years going inwards, meditating and, you know, finding God within me.

KING: How did your life change?

EVANS: Well, firstly, my life has changed because I'm happy. I've completely found the peace that I was always looking for, either in a husband or friends or some kind of expression. I have personal peace, and that's what I suppose is working the best for me.

KING: And does that mean you're going to do more career again? Or not?

EVANS: I'm actually thinking about it, because it's so preposterous. And it's so...

KING: Why?

EVANS: Because I'm 61. And when you leave town for, you know, 14 years and you go do something else, it's not exactly the simplest thing to come back. But I sort of love the challenge of it, to tell you the truth.

KING: Well, first, you don't look 61. And second, aren't there roles for people who are not kids any more?

EVANS: Yes, there are roles for people who aren't kids any more. But usually these are people who are current and working and doing things. I mean, I'm not concerned about that. All my life I kind of had the strangest career because whenever I fell in love, I stopped working. And so, I mean, this is not unusual for me.

KING: Do you still live in Washington?

EVANS: Yes, I do.

KING: All right. You said -- you are quoted in the "Toronto Sun" many years ago as saying, "I've given myself freely and willingly to relationships, marriage as the primary joy of my life, always depending on how those turned out as to whether I was happy."

Does that mean you depended on Stan Herman or John Derek or your Patrick Curtis? They were responsible for your happiness?

EVANS: No, it wasn't that they were responsible for my happiness, but if we weren't happy together, then I certainly wasn't happy. Because, as you know, women sort of define themselves by their relationships. We grow up -- we don't even think, at least, my generation, of anything other than getting married and having children. That's the primary thought of someone's mind. And certainly, it is one of the most fulfilling things that you can experience in life.

KING: So it was -- obviously, you'd become Mrs. Someone Else, right? You were Mrs. Derek?

EVANS: And so you will then be happy until Mr. Derek finds Bo Derek.

KING: And when he finds Bo, you are then not happy.

EVANS: That's right. Bo is.

KING: On the Yanni story, which is a big part of the later years, right?

EVANS: Right.

KING: You and Yanni. Yanni's been on this program. He wrote about you in his book. He praises you, gives -- says you give off incredible energy. How did that happen, you and Yanni?

EVANS: Well...

KING: Because you were a big supporter of his, in addition to loving him, right? And you promoted him a lot?

EVANS: Well, firstly, I heard his music and I just fell in love with his music. I thought Yanni was Japanese. I didn't have any idea what a Yanni was. I just thought I was in love with a Japanese man who wrote beautiful music.

So when my friend, Jane (ph) said, "Call him on the phone. Why don't we tell him how much we love him."

I said, "Well, why am I going to call him? Why won't you guys call him?"

And they said, "Well, he won't even know who we are. Why don't you just see if you can tell him he's just a great guy."

So I called him, and we talked on the phone. And when I came back to L.A. once, he said, "Why don't we say hi?" And I said OK. And I thought so little of it that I was getting ready to catch a plane and go back up to Washington and my friend Bunky (ph) said, "That guy Yanni is coming over in a few minutes. Get packed, because you wanted to say hi to him."

And the doorbell rang, and she said, "I'll get it," and I said, "No, I'll get it." And I went over and opened the door. I took one look at him. Oh, my God! Just look at him. I just stood there and looked at him. I couldn't speak. I couldn't breathe. It was like something you hear about but you can't believe it's happening to you. It seemed like an hour before I closed my mouth and said, "Hi."

And Yanni -- I never would have called him if I'd ever looked at him. Because the minute I saw him, I loved him as if I'd known him forever. I wanted to slap him and say, "Where have you been?"

KING: So he was like your rabbi (ph) come true?

EVANS: My -- exactly.

KING: Let's take a break.

EVANS: As Stan would have said.

KING: It was a joke.

Linda Evans is our guest. Always great to have her with us. Good to see her again. Lots more to come. Don't go away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KING: We are concerned that we -- the proverbial we paid so much attention to that relationship with Linda Evans.

YANNI, SINGER: Actually, it hasn't been bad. The press has been very nice to us, very kind. Yes, there's been some funny stuff here and there but we haven't been hounded or...

KING: But you broke up, right?

YANNI: Yes.

KING: Has that been painful?

YANNI: Yes, very.

KING: Any chance of coming back?

YANNI: I don't think so. I don't think so but, you know, Linda was a great woman when I met her, she's terrific, she remained a great woman for the whole nine-year relationship and she was great the day we said we were going to separate. We will remain friends, I'm certain of that. We're very close and very connected.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're her sister.

EVANS: How are you feeling?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I remember you. (UNINTELLIGIBLE). How long ago?

EVANS: About eight hours. Are you hungry?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) how much.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: We're back. The scene you just saw was from "The Big Valley" which our guest Linda Evans costarred with Barbara Stanwyck, playing the Barkley family's beautiful daughter Audra.

Was that the big break for you?

EVANS: Absolutely. The other things that I did before, when I was under contract to MGM Studios, were pretty pathetic. And especially, I think, you won't count "Beach Blanket Bingo," which is probably one of the...

KING: We're going to show a scene in the next segment...

EVANS: ... most embarrassing.

KING: ... from "Beach Blanket Bingo." Just for laughs.

EVANS: OK.

KING: You won't have to look at it. OK?

EVANS: I don't care. It doesn't matter any more. I told you.

KING: How'd you get "The Big Valley" thing?

EVANS: I actually went out to read for a movie that Levy, Gardner and Laven were doing, who did "The Big Valley." And I went in, and I read for them and the director said, "That is the worst reading we've heard so far."

I said, "Oh, my God. OK, bye." And I went to leave.

And he said, "But you've got this quality that I really like. And we've got this television pilot we're going to do. Can I work with you on it? Can I show you the script?"

I said, "OK."

So he went over some of the scenes with me and had me read it, and he said, "I'd like you to test for it."

So there were three women that they tested and three men for Heath, the major part. And Lee and I tested together. And I remember, we were just so nervous about it, but Lee said, "I'm working now in the parks." And he says, "I'm not going to quit my job. I may take a leave of absence if we get this." He says, "I hope we do. Let's see what happens."

And they chose the two of us.

KING: Working in the parks?

EVANS: He was working in, you know, in the parks, with kids.

KING: Recreational. EVANS: He actually kept that job for the first year and a half of the show, because he didn't want to give up his other job.

KING: What was it like to work with Ms. Stanwyck?

EVANS: What a -- what a great lady. And I was so nervous, as you can imagine, going to meet her. And on the screen, she's just bigger than life. And I went in and I saw her and said hi. And first of all, she's short. And that just surprised me.

KING: She was short.

EVANS: So little. And I said, "Hi." And she stands like this. But all of that is just a front for the softest heart and the sweetest, most tender person in there.

KING: And she played toughies.

EVANS: But she wasn't. And I think she did it just to make sure you didn't find out what a softie she was.

And my mom died while we were doing the show, and she came up one day and she said, "Audra, I could never replace your mom. But I'm your mom now, and I'll take care of you for as long as you want me to." And she was there for me for everything until she died.

KING: Were you friends till she died?

EVANS: Yes, yes. Yes.

KING: Where are you from?

EVANS: I was born in Connecticut. But my parents brought my sister and I to L.A. when -- Hollywood, actually, when we were 6 months old.

KING: Was your sister also destined for the business or not?

EVANS: My sister was destined to be an accountant for movies.

KING: That's what she did?

EVANS: Yes. Yes.

KING: You -- were you kind of a beautiful little girl that wanted to be in movies?

EVANS: No. I was a shy little girl that used to hide behind my sister. And I was so shy that in -- in junior high school I wouldn't give a book report. So the teacher said -- the English teacher said she would flunk me if I didn't take drama, because she thought I had to overcome my shyness.

So every time I had to get up in school and do a scene, I would throw up. I just thought it was the worst thing in the world. But then when I was 15, my dad died. And we didn't have much money, and my mother was on Social Security. And I went with a girlfriend from Hollywood High School to an audition. She was up for a commercial.

So I went with her and there were, like, 200 girls. Then at the end, hours later, there were five of us left. And the director came out, and he said, "I'll see you." And he pointed to me, and I said, "No, I'm not here.

KING: I'm the girlfriend.

EVANS: Yes, and she went in and came out. And he said, "I want to see you."

And I said -- and she said, "Go on in." So I went in, and I said, "I can't do this."

He said, "Why?"

I said I wouldn't know how to do it.

He said, "Can you sit on a merry-go-round and drink Canada Dry ginger ale with a boy standing next to you?"

I said, "Yes, but my best girlfriend would kill me if I take her part away from her."

And he said, "I promise you, if you do this, I'll give her a part in another project that I do."

And I went out and she gave me her agent. And my career began.

KING: Whatever happened to your girlfriend?

EVANS: Her name was Carole Wells (ph), and she's done lots of things. He did actually give her...

KING: He really came through?

EVANS: He actually came -- Joe Schnitzer (ph) was his name.

KING: No Hollywood baloney?

EVANS: He did do it. And he gave me another couple of commercials that I did with him.

And my girlfriend, Carole, gave me her agent, and her agent said, "Do you think you could act, like walk and talk and say lines?"

And I said, "I don't know. I did that in drama school, but I don't know how good I am at it."

But he sent me out for my first speaking part. And my first speaking part was -- was to read for John Forsythe for "Bachelor Father." KING: Wow. Did you get a shot on his show?

EVANS: I was the lead, opposite him. It was called "Crush on Bentley," and I had a crush on him. And I tried to seduce him. I was his niece's friend...

KING: Was that in the script or for real?

EVANS: No. Well, I was a little too young then to know about those things.

But I didn't see John from that show until the day he walked on the set of "Dynasty."

KING: We'll be right back, and when we come back, despite her denials of ever having appeared in it, we will show you a scene from "Beach Blanket Bingo."

Don't go away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just think of me as your father.

(CHEERING)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now I think we're ready.

Now that's what I call a healthy girl. Sugar Kane doing her first freefall in honor of her album of sky songs, "Come Fall With Me."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're a sister.

EVANS: How are you feeling?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, I remember you. You brought me in. How long ago?

EVANS: About eight hours. Are you hungry?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: We're back. That scene you just saw was from "The Big Valley," in which our guest, Linda Evans, co-starred with Barbara Stanwyck, playing the Barkley family's beautiful daughter, Audra.

Was that the big break for you? EVANS: Absolutely. The other things that I did before, when I was under contract to MGM Studios, were pretty pathetic things. And especially, I think, you won't count "Beach Blanket Bingo," which is probably one of the...

KING: We're going to show a scene in the next segment...

EVANS: ... most embarrassing.

KING: ... from "Beach Blanket Bingo." Just for laughs.

EVANS: OK.

KING: You won't have to look at it. OK?

EVANS: I don't care. It doesn't matter any more. I told you.

KING: How'd you get "The Big Valley" thing?

EVANS: I actually went out to read for a movie that Levy, Gardner and Laven were doing, who did "The Big Valley." And I went in, and I read for them, and the director said, "That is the worst reading we've heard so far."

I said, "Oh, my God. OK, bye. Thanks." And I went to leave.

And he said, "But you've got this quality that I really like. And we've got this television pilot we're going to do. Can I work with you on it? Can I show you the script?"

I said, "OK."

So he went over some of the scenes with me and had me read it, and he said, "I'd like you to test for it."

So there were three women that they tested and three men for Heath, the Lee Majors (ph) part. And Lee and I tested together. And I remember, we were just so nervous about it, that Lee said, "I'm working now in the parks." And he says, "I'm not going to quit my job. I may take a leave of absence if we get this." He says, "I hope we do. Let's see what happens."

And they chose the two of us.

KING: Working in the parks?

EVANS: He was working in, you know, in the parks. With kids, and...

KING: Yes.

EVANS: Yes.

KING: Recreational?

EVANS: He actually kept that job for the first year and a half of the show, because he wanted to make sure he had a job.

KING: What was it like to work with Ms. Stanwyck?

EVANS: What a -- what a great lady. And I was so nervous, as you can imagine, going to meet her. And on the screen, she's just bigger than life. And I went in and I saw her, and I said hi. And first of all, she's short. And that just surprised me.

KING: She was short.

EVANS: Because she was so little. And I said, "Hi." And she stands like this. But all of that is just a front for the softest heart and the sweetest, most tender person in there.

KING: And she played toughies.

EVANS: But she wasn't. And I think she did it just to make sure you didn't find out what a softie she was.

And my mom died while we were doing the show, and she came up one day and she said, "Audra, I could never replace your mom. But I'm your mom now, and I'll take care of you for as long as you want me to." And she was there for me for everything until she died.

KING: Were you friends until she died?

EVANS: Yes, yes. Yes.

KING: Where are you from?

EVANS: I was born in Connecticut. But my parents brought my sister and I to L.A. when -- Hollywood, actually, when we were six months old.

KING: Was your sister also destined for the business or not?

EVANS: My sister was destined to be an accountant for movies.

KING: So that's what she did?

EVANS: Yes. Yes.

KING: You -- were you kind of a beautiful little girl that wanted to be in movies?

EVANS: No. I was a shy little girl that used to hide behind my sister. And I was so shy that in -- in junior high school I wouldn't give a book report. So the teacher said -- the English teacher said she would flunk me if I didn't take drama, because she thought I had to overcome my shyness.

So every time I had to get up in school and do a scene, I would throw up. I just thought it was the worst thing in the world.

But then when I was 15, my dad died. And we didn't have much money, and my mother was on Social Security. And I went with a girlfriend from Hollywood High School to an audition. She was up for a commercial.

So I went with her and there were, like, 200 girls. Then at the end, like hours later, there were five of us left. And the director came out, and he said, "I'll see you." And he pointed to me, and I said, "No, I'm not here.

KING: I'm the girlfriend.

EVANS: Yes, and she went in and came out. And he said, "I want to see you."

And I said -- and she said, "Go on in." So I went in, and I said, "I can't do this."

He said, "Why?"

I said I didn't know how to do it.

He said, "Can you sit on a merry-go-round and drink Canada Dry ginger ale with a boy standing next to you?"

I said, "Yes, but my best girlfriend would kill me if I take her part away from her."

And he said, "I promise you, if you do this, I'll give her a part in another project that I do."

And I went out and she gave me her agent. And my career began.

KING: Whatever happened to your girlfriend?

EVANS: Her name was Carole Wells (ph), and she's done lots of things. He did actually give her...

KING: He really came through?

EVANS: He actually came -- Joe Schnitzer (ph) was his name.

KING: No Hollywood baloney?

EVANS: He did do it. And he gave me another couple of commercials that I did with him.

And my girlfriend, Carole, gave me her agent, and her agent said, "Do you think you could act, like walk and talk and say lines?"

And I said, "I don't know. I did that in drama school, but I don't know how good I am at it."

But he sent me out for my first speaking part. And my first speaking part was to read for John Forsythe for "Bachelor Father."

KING: Wow. Did you get a shot on his show?

EVANS: I was the lead, opposite him. It was called "Crush on Bentley," and I had a crush on him. And I tried to seduce him. I was his niece's friend...

KING: Was that in the script or for real?

EVANS: No. Well, I was a little too young then to know about those things.

But I didn't see John from that show until the day he walked on the set of "Dynasty."

KING: We'll be right back, and when we come back, despite her denials of ever having appeared in it, we will show you a scene from "Beach Blanket Bingo."

Don't go away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now just think of me as your father. Now I think we're ready.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now, that's what I call a healthy girl. Sugar Cane, doing her first free fall in honor of her album of sky songs, "Come Fall With Me."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi, sugar.

EVANS: Hi. You're romantic (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's like we were brought together by some (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know it was stupid.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: We're back with Linda Evans. How did you get the "Beach Blanket Bingo" thing?

EVANS: Well, just really lucky. I found a really cool thing. Went out for the part and the thing that is just the biggest nightmare is I don't sing at all. Every film I've ever been in that anyone's seen me singing, I'm not singing. I just can't carry a tune.

So they had to, of course, lip-sync somebody else. And all of that. And it just...

KING: All right, the obvious? How did you get "Dynasty"?

EVANS: OK. "Dynasty." Well, I was looking very much for a career. My second marriage to Stan Herman (ph) had ended, and I wanted very much to be independent, not take alimony from him, be on my own, do the right thing.

And of course, my agent, who's always dealing with me leaving and then struggling to come back -- I did a movie with Steve McQueen called "Tom Horn," which I thought was just a great movie. But it kind of came and left. And nothing really happened much in my career.

And Aaron Spelling called me in. And I met with him, and from the moment that I met with him, he kind of said it was mine.

KING: Really?

EVANS: Yes.

KING: Didn't Angie Dickinson turn down a role?

EVANS: She told me later. Nobody ever told me that.

KING: She turned down your role?

EVANS: Yes. Thank God. Love her for it.

KING: Yes.

EVANS: Yes.

KING: I think she regards it as a mistake.

EVANS: Well, I'm sorry, Angie. I really needed that job.

KING: Did you know "Dynasty" would be a hit?

EVANS: Yes.

KING: Why?

EVANS: I loved the characters. I mean, I read the script, and I just thought it was a gift from God. I was so excited, because the people were so intriguing to me and they were so interesting.

And you know, the original "Dynasty" pilot we shot with George Peppard. He was Blake Carrington.

KING: In the Forsythe role?

EVANS: Yes. And then George and the network decided that he wasn't going to do it. And that's when John Forsythe stepped in, which was just really, was the best thing that ever could have happened to that show.

KING: And why did Forsythe make that thing go?

EVANS: Because firstly, he's an amazing actor. And he got involved not only in his character but in making sure his character -- and I got involved in making sure my character -- set a certain path of not fooling around, cheating, being, you know -- we just, we stuck together on the show and demanded that we were the love lasting forever and we were the one thing on the show that was pure.

And even though they kept trying to have me go off, you know, with different people and have him seduced by somebody, we said, "Couldn't America have one couple that just sticks together?"

KING: That never happened? You never...?

EVANS: No, we never cheated on -- that's what the Rock Hudson character was about. They brought in Ali McGraw and Rock Hudson because they wanted us both to have affairs. They built it up to where -- it was, like, year five or something. And they were running out of things for us to do.

So they were going to introduce these people. We were going to have these affairs. And we both agreed we wouldn't do it.

So then they had to write that we would just have these moments that would look like we were going to have an affair. That's why they had the big moment with the kiss with Rock, where I fell of the horse and I'm so vulnerable, and he comes down and, you know, "Is she going to?"

And we just said, "No, we're not."

KING: How'd you like working with him?

EVANS: With Rock?

KING: Yes.

EVANS: I had worked with him before on "McMillan and Wife."

KING: Oh, you guest shot?

EVANS: I did a guest shot years and years before, and a kind of interesting thing with Rock that I felt was he's a prankster, and when the director was coming in to do the scene, we were in a box car. We were in a train.

And he said, "Let's play a joke on him. When he comes in, let's be in a passionate kiss."

I said, "OK."

So the director walked in, and he threw me down on the couch and he gave me this passionate kiss. And the director laughed, and everybody was laughing about -- about the joke.

And so when we did "Dynasty" and they asked him to have this big romantic moment with me and be passionate, and he kissed me, he just kissed me like this. And I thought, "That's funny. I mean, last time I kissed him, he was just this passionate kind of Rock Hudson guy." And I thought, "OK."

They saw the dailies, and they came back a couple weeks later, and they said, "We'd like to do that scene over, and we'd like you to be more passionate."

I said, "I can't be more passionate, because I'm the one who's just laying there on the ground. He has to be."

They explained it to him. We do it again. He does the same thing. He did it because he knew he had AIDS. And because over the years we were such good friends. And I'd -- you know, whenever I'd be at a party or anything, I'd sit and we'd talk together and everything. He was trying to protect me in his own way.

And people were just so upset, they said, "Why? Aren't you mad at him for doing that to you?" And I knew he was trying to protect me.

KING: What a story. Did the scene run?

EVANS: Yes, the scene ran. But they never felt it was what they wanted from it.

KING: You knew he was gay?

EVANS: Yes. Sure. Sure. No, I knew he was gay. I just didn't know he had AIDS.

KING: You ever talk to him about it?

EVANS: Gay?

KING: Yes. Did he ever talk about it?

EVANS: No. Because the thing about Rock was so great is when he was with you, he always made you feel like he was just a man that could flirt with you and be with you. He didn't -- he was just this kind of a man-woman thing, that he would do.

KING: Was he popular on the set?

EVANS: Very popular. Yes.

KING: Were there a lot of conflicts on that set? There were always stories. People not getting along with other -- in the tabloids.

EVANS: OK. No.

KING: Ms. Collins?

EVANS: Joan is Joan. Joan is Joan.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

EVANS: You think I care about those things? All I care about is my family.

JOAN COLLINS, ACTRESS: Oh, come off it, Crystal. You were just as addicted to all the trappings as I was.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

EVANS: But we actually got along really well together. Really well. As a matter of fact, I knew Joan before "Dynasty." She used to come over to Malibu when I was married to Stan. And she used to come to my house.

And we were both rather excited for each other that we were two older women that somebody gave, you know, a good shot. You know, and that we could be glamorous and do what we were doing.

KING: That show ran how long?

EVANS: Nine years.

KING: And it worked because, in retrospect?

EVANS: Well, that's something the public has to say, not me.

KING: I want to know why you think it worked.

EVANS: I think it worked because the people identified with the characters and wanted to know what happened to them every week. They cared about everybody. They were intrigued. I think they definitely loved the beauty and the glamour and the clothes and the sets.

I mean, Aaron Spelling went, you know, further than anyone has ever gone for television, and just let us have every fantasy we ever wanted.

So you know, I hear people to this day coming up and saying, "God, I loved your clothes. I love this. And I loved watching you, and I loved hearing about this, and about Alexis and their plight." So they cared about the people somehow.

KING: Yes. We'll talk about when it went off, how it went, what that was like. Linda Evans is our guest. Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

EVANS: You were sleeping so sound I didn't want to wake you.

What's the matter?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You look so wonderful to me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: We're back with Linda Evans. Always great to see you. Not so long in between next time. When -- When "Dynasty" went off, how did you learn that? How did they tell you?

EVANS: Actually, I left "Dynasty" before it was over. I asked them to be released from the show.

KING: Because?

EVANS: And then Aaron let me go, which was very sweet.

KING: Was this to be with Yanni?

EVANS: No, I didn't know Yanni then.

KING: So...

EVANS: I didn't even know -- I...

KING: Why'd you leave?

EVANS: I -- I told you I wanted to know some things. I wanted -- I wanted to go to school in the Pacific Northwest. There was a school up there.

KING: What kind of school?

EVANS: An ancient school of wisdom. Ramtha's Ancient School of Wisdom.

KING: Eastern?

EVANS: Yes. And I had gone for a few years, back and forth, on my time off. And I wanted to study. I wanted to have time to just be in that environment and to find the peace of mind that I wanted. And I didn't know how long the show would go on.

I also wanted to be in love. And I knew that with the life that I had and the way that I was working and what I was doing, there was no time for it. There was just -- I was busy, you know? You work on weekends. You work -- you have photo shoots. You're doing wardrobe. You're doing special guest shots.

I was rich enough. I knew that fame didn't matter to me so much. I just wanted to find some inner peace.

KING: So it wasn't hard to leave?

EVANS: No.

KING: Did Aaron try to keep you?

EVANS: No.

KING: He understood?

EVANS: He understood. KING: How did they write you out?

EVANS: Oh, God. They said I had brain problems. They wrote me out so that I could come back. They wrote me out thinking that if I went up there and I decided I missed being on the show that...

KING: What did the script say?

EVANS: Well, I had this very unique...

KING: Sickness.

EVANS: Yes. And I had to go to Switzerland for this very special operation. So they weren't stuff with the big problem of having me die and having to bring me back.

KING: How much longer did the show last?

EVANS: Just that season it went off the air.

KING: When you went up north and took these -- went to this school, did you miss anything about what you were doing?

EVANS: Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

KING: What, then, was so enticing about where you went?

EVANS: Because I learned -- I learned about myself. I understood what I see most people, a lot of people in show business -- you can take Elvis. You can take Marilyn Monroe. You can take a lot of the different people.

Success and fame will not be the answer if something inside of you is bothering you, if things in your mind aren't going right. If there's no inner peace, people can't give it to you. The husband can't give it to you. Your children can't give it to you. You have to give it to you.

I had to go find for myself who I was, really who I was. I had to find out if I liked myself. I had to find out why I was insecure. What about me was afraid? Why was I afraid?

And I -- I found all those answers to those things. And more. And more than I even could have believed.

I mean, my favorite thing to do right now in my life is speaking to women about overcoming their fears and their insecurities and their doubts. Because I've been on the other side of it. I've been someone that they've looked at and said, "Wow, you know, she has everything." And I knew I had nothing. I was more insecure than they were, looking at me.

And I want to tell them what it means that nobody's got it made. That nobody, no matter what they look like.

KING: So you go around speaking? EVANS: I go around speaking. As a matter of fact, I have a fear of public speaking which I learned in school to overcome so that I could do this.

KING: What's the name of the school?

EVANS: Ramtha's School of Enlightenment. RSE.

KING: Is it religious?

EVANS: It's spiritual. It's spiritual.

It has to deal with the gods within each person, no matter race, gender, color, creed. And to know that, not to believe it because someone says it, but to find it. That's why there's so much inward journey. You find for yourself truth in here, no one can take it away from you outside of you. It doesn't matter what they think. It doesn't matter what they say, because you know.

Once you know for you, what does it matter?

KING: Your perceptions, reality.

EVANS: Exactly.

KING: Back with our remaining moments with Linda Evans. Don't go away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

EVANS: Aren't you the one that once said to me that if it all went away and you had to start over again, that it would fine with you, that you'd like the challenge.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I did say that didn't. All this is, OK, with you? Is it?

EVANS: More than, OK, as long as you don't do it with anyone else.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Touching some other bases with Linda Evans. What -- are you writing a book?

EVANS: Yes. I'm just starting.

KING: Biography?

EVANS: No. No. I'm not old enough to do that.

KING: Is it about this enlightenment, this... EVANS: It's about -- It's about potential for women, that really they don't understand. You know, we're living to be 80, 90, 100 years of age. And women have their children and their grandchildren mostly by the time they're 50.

There's another 30, 40 years left for women to do amazing things. But then they don't put their minds to that. They're so used to thinking in ways of families.

In the world, this is the first time in the entire world that women have the freedom to do the things that we can do. And still, you know, in the Middle East and a lot of parts of the world, women aren't free yet. Really.

We're able to do things that we've never been able to do. But it's not -- in a way, we don't even think that way. The young people are growing up now and beginning to, but a lot of women my age just figured that the kids, the grand kids and their life. And they don't understand that they have something great that they can do. And I want to talk to them about it.

KING: You're open about your age. You're open about cosmetic surgery.

EVANS: Yes.

KING: You had work done?

EVANS: Yes. I have had work done. I think it's a great time where you can do things like this, where, you know -- I love Dolly Parton. She's one of my favorite people of all time. And she's so completely honest.

It sort of saddens me when I see somebody on television saying, "Oh, I just live in nature that I look this way." And you think, they're the only ones that gravity has never had their way with. I don't understand that.

KING: Do you have any fear of it, though?

EVANS: Well...

KING: Cutting the...

EVANS: All right. I'll tell you what. When you choose the very best people that exist, you don't have to have fear. Which is why I rarely talk about it in detail, because I don't want people running out and doing what I did with some local person that doesn't turn out right for them.

KING: And so in this area, you've got to get the top.

EVANS: I say it's a beautiful thing that exists today. Do we have to do it? Of course not. If you're happy with yourself, just love yourself and go on and on and on. I'm in an industry this is not exactly -- who loves to see people get older and older and older before their eyes.

And I've never been exactly a character actor, so it was no a choice that I made. But I think that people have to be very careful when they do it, who they choose. And to see pictures, and to know people that have had it done. And to see what it is.

KING: What has having a lot of money meant?

EVANS: Freedom. Freedom.

KING: Choices.

EVANS: Yes.

KING: Options.

EVANS: I mean...

KING: Don't need the (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

EVANS: It would be terrible right now if I had to go to work, you know, if I was desperate. It would be difficult. Because I've been desperate before, you know?

I never saved my money. Whenever I worked in the past, I would spend it on my family or my husbands. And so I would find myself in a situation, like some women, where you have nothing and you've got to go from there.

So money to me is just the biggest blessing in the world that allows me the freedom.

KING: Back to Yanni. How is it possible to be romantic and then not romantic?

What happened to those feelings?

EVANS: OK.

KING: To remain -- I can understand breaking up, you never see him again. But to be a friend of someone that you once were passionate with, and are no longer passionate with, how do you lose that?

EVANS: It's hard. It's hard. And it was hard with John. And it was hard with Yanni. Because love doesn't stop...

KING: Of course.

EVANS: ... because you're gone. But in a way, I've always, No. 1, never wanted anyone to be with me if they didn't want to be. And like (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

And to me, I wanted them to have happiness, too. I mean, if you really love somebody you want what's best for them. You want what makes them happy. And you have to just let go of that part of romantic. You have a choice. You have a choice. Because you can cut them out of your life.

KING: Right.

EVANS: But then you lose the beauty of that person in your life, that you love so much. I never wanted to...

KING: You have a little conflict, don't you, though? When you're sitting down with him, don't you want him to grab you?

EVANS: No. Because...

KING: That's gone?

EVANS: Over time, yes. That -- that stops, and your life, you think of them in a different kind of way. Which is why it wasn't a problem for me to be around Bo or Ursula or Pati, his first wife, you know?

It's -- you make choices. I think the greater choice is to keep the quality of the person that you love so much in your life. And keep that going. Then to think, I want you, maybe don't look at him that way. Don't do this. I mean there's...

KING: Would you do a series again if the right role came along?

EVANS: I might.

KING: Why not? You're at peace with yourself.

EVANS: I might.

KING: You did enjoy acting, right?

EVANS: It was fun. It was fun. It's a great way to make a living.

KING: How do you entertain -- that could happen, couldn't it?

EVANS: Yes.

KING: All kinds of parts, all kinds of groups, all kinds of -- you certainly haven't lost it. The camera still loves you.

EVANS: You're very sweet. Well, I'm -- we're talking to people about things.

KING: Tell me.

EVANS: I'm not telling you, we're talking.

KING: About the possibility of coming back?

EVANS: Yes.

KING: Feature or television? Only...

EVANS: Television.

KING: You like that grind, by the way?

EVANS: What's really great is when you're in a television series with a bunch of people. I would not do a show where I was...

KING: In every scene?

EVANS: No. No, no. That will never happen. I'm too rich to have that happen. I don't have to have that happen.

But I would -- it could be fun to be in an ensemble again, a group of people. That could be nice.

KING: Where were you on 9/11?

EVANS: Washington state. Washington state. Like the rest of the world, just stunned, and knowing that our life would never be the same again.

KING: And your new insight helps you cope better?

EVANS: Totally. See I don't run off of fear anymore.

KING: You're quite a lady. A pleasure knowing you. Thanks, Linda.

EVANS: Thanks. Nice to see you again.

KING: I'll never forget it, when I had my heart attack in 1987, I think the first or second person to contact the hospital was Linda Evans. I had just met her once, and she contacted me. And I was under a fantasy that she was in love with me.

But you do this when Jewish guys get heart attacks, they fantasize about everything.

Thank you, darling.

I'll be back in a couple minutes to tell you about tomorrow. Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Thanks for joining us for on LARRY KING LIVE. Stay tuned for more news on your most trusted name in news, CNN. Good night.

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