Backstage with the cast of “Roots”

They came back here and I had to know, what did they think of this year’s crop of nominees in the miniseries category?
Ben Vereen turned the question around and said to me: “What do YOU think?”
I didn’t say. Thankfully, they had taken the mic away from me by then.
They paid tribute to Alex Haley who wrote “Roots” based on his own family history.
This is what I found sad: while Mischa Barton works in film after film, the great Cicely Tyson told us: “I’m looking for a job! I feel like Bette Davis who put an ad in the newspaper…do you remember that? I’m presently unemployed – for most of my career I’ve been unemployed.”
She laughed when she said that. But this great actress, an Emmy winner and former Oscar nominee, still looks great and has that incredible voice.
Somebody hire this woman!

Funny moment: Tyson emphatically proclaimed that “Roots” was the first mini-series – ever. Burton tried to correct her by mentioning 1975′s “Rich Man, Poor Man,” but she would not budge. She was Miss Jane Pittman after all. But, I think she was wrong on this count.
Uggams seemed to sum it all best: “Alex Haley’s writing, i have yet to see anything that tops it.”

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