The seven-time Emmy winner gives us one small mea culpa

By Lynette Rice
Updated July 15, 2011 at 04:00 AM EDT

Watch This: Royal Pains (July 20, 9 p.m., USA)
I play a very rich grandfather, and Henry Winkler is my son. We are alienated from each other because he was going to marry somebody who was out for my money. I didn’t want him to marry her, so he eloped, and I have not seen him for 40 years. He’s jailed, so he asks me to be a sponsor because he’s trying to get out on parole. I find it worthwhile to make up for the past. This isn’t the first time I’ve worked with Henry. He was on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Mary was cooking for this special congresswoman, [and Rhoda] brought Henry. He took this stinkin’ five-line role and stretched it into something really funny.

Sorry About That: The Doomsday Flight (TV Movie, 1966)
I played an airport manager in this TV movie written by Rod Serling. Jack Lord was an FBI guy, and Edmond O’Brien was a mad bomber who put an anaerobic bomb on a plane that was set to go off as soon as the plane dipped below 5,000 feet. I did all my scenes with Jack, and I just thought I was cookin’ with methane. I was really hot. I was going to walk away with the movie. I finally saw it on TV and thought, ”Good Christ, every scene was like the preceding one.” I didn’t learn how to vary my performance, so I stunk. But I was still so good, people probably wouldn’t agree with me.