Making 'House' a home

By Lisa Schwarzbaum
February 17, 1995 at 05:00 AM EST

Women of the House

type
  • TV Show

In an ideal universe, Teri Garr would have her own TV show. The title would be something with a mono-moniker, along the lines of Roseanne or Ellen or Cybill. And the show would be funny, spiky, kind of wry — kind of like Teri Garr, who, despite a long movie career (including Tootsie, Mr. Mom, and, most recently, Ready to Wear), is still best known to TV viewers as herself, David Letterman’s game and gamine chat guest. ”Jack Nicholson once said you shouldn’t go on these talk shows because it reveals who you are and you can no longer be an actor,” says Garr, 45, sitting in her bright L.A. living room decorated with a mix of pretty pottery and pretty baby toys for year-old Molly, the daughter she adopted with contractor husband John O’Neil. ”But it’s a lot harder for a woman to establish herself in this or any business, so I’ll try every trick in the book.”

The trick these days is to play not-reformed-enough alcoholic Sissy Emerson, press secretary to Delta Burke’s Suzanne Sugarbaker in CBS’ Women of the House. ”I’m proud to be in this one — it’s politically acerbic and witty. So if it goes down in flames I don’t care. I get to make Newt Gingrich jokes!” she says with a laugh, having survived the crash-and-burn of sitcoms Good and Evil (1991), a made-for-her 1993 pilot called Death and Taxes (”Sounds cheerful, doesn’t it?”), and last season’s disastrous Good Advice, with Shelley Long. Is TV too constricting for Garr’s pinwheeling persona? ”They always want me to play on the angst of a single woman, never married. Which means if you’re smart and funny, you don’t get a husband. Why perpetuate that idea, anyway?” she says, rising to show off a new photo of Molly and John. ”So I’m happy to play a drunk and let Delta carry the weight of a show on her shoulders. I’ll sit and watch and see if I can figure this TV thing out.”

Women of the House

type
  • TV Show
Status
  • In Season
Performers
Complete Coverage
  • Women of the House
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