The Rosie O'Donnell Show
September  6, 1996
Transcript courtesy of  Saffron. 
Many thanks for letting me "borrow"  it. 
Visit  her "A Kate Mulgrew Page"
where you'll find more screen captures from this interview. 
Rosie's remarks during the show's opening dialogue 
Rosie: I can hardly contain my excitement, ladies and gentlemen, Kate Mulgrew is in the house.

[audience whoops, hollers and applauds]

Rosie: I don't know if I can adequately express the thrill it is to finally meet her. I did meet her, I might add, in...1977? maybe '78, at the Smith-Haven Mall in Long Island. She went there to sign 8x10s for Ryan's Hope and she autographed them. And I remember I said to her, "Why did they get rid of Frank Ryan?", who played her brother, and she went "He couldn't remember his lines."

John: Good reason.

Rosie: But you know, we didn't even get 8x10s, we got a Xerox copy of the 8 x 10, but you know what? I didn't care because I have loved Mary Ryan [Kate] since she was Mary Ryan and then she was Mrs. Columbo then, she was on Manions of America and now, for course, she's on Star Trek and I gotta tell ya…I don't know if I've ever been this excited before to have a guest on the show. I don't even know what I'm gonna say…my legs are a little shaky…..lemme just breathe [inhales & exhales].

Kate Interview

Rosie: Well, she's the reason I cut outta school many a day back before they invented VCRs. You remember her, as do I, as Mary Ryan on my all-time favorite soap opera, Ryan's Hope. She is now the commander of the Voyager of the Star Trek series. Watch this clip...

[clip plays]

Kathryn Janeway: Mr. Kim, is this ship capable of sustained flight?

Harry Kim: All propulsion and navigational systems are functioning within normal parameters, Captain.

Kathryn Janeway: Good. Take us away from our new home and set a course for the old one, Mr. Paris. Warp 8.

[clip ends]

Rosie: Kate Mulgrew!

[Kate enters]

[audience applauds & cheers]

[Rosie & Kate greet & hug]

Rosie: I've been a fan of yours forever. Sit down.

Kate: [to audience] Thank you!

Rosie: Kate Mulgrew! I'm not worthy! I'm not worthy!

Kate: [notices 6" Janeway action figure on desk] Oh, you've got me. Stop! I am sitting in the back, cracking up. You are a scream…about the Huggies and the Luvs and the…

Rosie: Yeah, Pampers Premium.

Kate: The kids. Believe me, I remember.

Rosie: They're a new product.

Kate: The kids?

Rosie: No. [laughs]

Kate: I have one of my products with me in the audience.

Rosie: You do?

Kate: Yes, but my sons are older now so they travel with me.

Rosie: Is that him?

Kate: There's that very handsome creature up there, my youngest son, Alexander James.

Rosie: Hello Alexander, you rock dude! [Shows Alexander on camera, he covers his face]

Rosie: He just went like this [puts hands over face in imitation]. Does he watch you on Voyager?

Kate: Occasionally.

Rosie: Yeah.

Kate: They're not major Trekkers,

Rosie: They're not?

Kate: ...and I don't push it.

Rosie: No?

Kate: No.

Rosie: Tell us when you got the part, 'cause wasn't there someone else cast and then they called you…

Kate: You know that story?

Rosie: I heard about it.

Kate: Genevieve Bujold had the part.  Now I have nothing but the greatest respect for this woman. She's a great French-Canadian actress, she's a subjective actress, she's a movie actress, right? And she took a gander at it, she looked at it for two days and she said it's not gonna be my cup of tea. I've got a 14-year-old boy, I'm not used to this schedule, it's far too arduous for me…and she passed…which I thought was the essence of great wisdom and grace. She passed to let... [laughs] ...the other person come through the door. Right.

Rosie: Which would be you...

Kate: So, I had given an appalling audition here on tape.

Rosie: Oh, really?

Kate: Absolutely the quintessence of mediocrity, right?

Rosie: Really, did you know it when you did it?

Kate: Oh, I absolutely knew, it was soaking rain, it was 5:00 rush hour here, I couldn't get a taxi, I'm schlepping, I'm muddy, and wumph, I go about Mrs. Columbo, I was Columbo on that audition. For the Captain, it didn't work. So I get back, she defects, I call my new agent and I said "You're my new agent, get me in that room."

Rosie: Yeah.

Kate: He got me in. I said "They gotta see me face to face."

Rosie: Ya know, they should have sent a tape from Mary Ryan and you woulda had it without them even auditioning you.

Kate: [laughs] You love Ryan's hope, don't you?

Rosie: I can't even talk about it, I promised 'em I wouldn't talk till the second segment.

Kate: But you must have been so young, Rosie, because I'm 41 years old and I was 18 when I played her.

Rosie: Ok, I'm 34 years old. I'll be 35 years old on March 21st. I think it came out when I was in 7th grade, I was about to go in 7th grade that summer and ya know what, I watched it from the day it went on the air 'til the day it went off the air.

Kate: And your mother was complicit in all of this?

Rosie: Well, my mom died when I was little kid...that's OK, don't feel bad. Ya didn't know. 'Cause I said to Tony Danza...we had Tony Danza on as a guest and I said, "How's ya parents feel about the success," and he said "Oh, my parents died." and I felt like "Oh, what a dweeb I am". But, my dad didn't know that I used t'cut out of school. Do you remember when Michael Levin, Jack Fenelli...I know all the names of the original actors [Kate laughing]...when he said...he said "Mary Ryan, will you marry me?" on a Friday, OK...

Kate: He did?

Rosie: Yeah.

Kate: She knows a great deal more than I.

Rosie: I cut out of school the Friday 'cause they promo'd it and guess what?

Kate: What?

Rosie: You didn't answer until the next Friday. I had to pretend I had mono….I was absent the entire week because it was my favorite show. You have no idea. You know who I saw? John Gabriel, Seneca...

Kate: Yeah.

Rosie: You know where I saw him?

Kate: Where?

Rosie: He now works on the Charles Grodin Show.

Kate: He does?

Rosie: Yeah, he's like a coordinating producer.

Kate: What's everybody else doing?

Rosie: Well, I'll tell ya...

[Kate & audience laughs]

Rosie: Ilene Kristen? Remember her, she played Delia.

Kate: Yeah, yeah...

Rosie: She's doing a play, I mentioned her on the air.

Kate: She is?

Rosie: Justin Deas, Bucky?

Kate: Uh-huh...

Rosie: He's on another show. Malcolm Groome, what happened to him?

Kate: ...What happened to him? He left the business...

Rosie: He did.

Kate: I know what happened to him, he's into Zen or something. We'll find out about it.

Rosie: He is. He's a Zen guy. I bet he watches Star Trek:Voyager [pulls out 6" Janeway action figure]

Kate: I don't know... [Kate picks up action figure]

Rosie: Do you think he has the book? [ pulls out "Mosaic" hardback novel] Star Trek:Voyager, the book?

Kate: "Mosaic"...

Rosie: Think he saw you on the cover of TV Guide Star Trek Voyager? [pulls out TV Guide Star Trek 30th anniversary issue]...think perhaps he has the trading card? [pulls out Janeway trading card]

Kate: [laughing] I can't stand it.

Rosie: ...or maybe he has the starship Voyager Star Trek toy [pulls out box containing Voyager starship toy] I do, hmm?

Kate: Rosie!...

Rosie: I'm into it! I don't miss anything you do.

Kate: You're not a Trekker.

Rosie: I am a Trekkie.

Kate: I don't believe it.

Rosie: I love Star Trek.

Kate: Do you really?

Rosie: Yes, I do and my favorite show, which sort of is Star Trek oriented, Rescue 911 with William Shatner.

Kate: Doesn't it  make a lotta sense that you would love Ryan's Hope and love Voyager because what do they have in common?

Rosie: You! and that's enough for me, Dammit!

Kate: All right.

Rosie: No, it's a great show.

Kate: You wanna her a funny story about this action figure?

Rosie: Yes, please.

Kate: Now it's pretty overwhelming, right, group, to get an action figure? Look at this...strange little creature, right? So, in order to overcome it, 'cause it's a very daunting thing... It's me. It's me, with that little steel bun, right?

Rosie: Yeah.

Kate: I'm driving down Sunset Boulevard one night. It's 5:00, rush hour, pull up next to a really cute guy...three-piece blue suit, looked like a lawyer but good-looking, right?

Rosie: Yeah, yeah.

Kate: He's rockin' out...and he's got me...hanging...from his rear view mirror

Rosie: Oh my God...

Kate: I thought, "Oh hell, I'll give 'em a thrill."

Rosie: Right!...

Kate: {imitates power window} Bzzzzzt... [gestures to 'guy'] 'Hi'... [imitates 'guy'] 'Yeah, hi.' I said 'Hi...' [gestures to action figure then to herself]...He said 'What the hell's your problem?'....ZOOM!

[Rosie & audience laughs]

Kate: I was so depressed...

Rosie: That bum, he probably didn't recognize you.

Kate: No, he didn't.

Rosie: You know, I have got one hangin' in my car and if you ever pulled up next to me. I'd go "Kate Mulgrew, Manions of American, Mrs. Columbo, I love you!" The show, of course, is on Wednesday nights at 9 p.m.

Kate: Yes.

Rosie: It's doing incredibly well, needless to say...

Kate: We did great numbers the other night.

Rosie: I heard...

Kate: Great numbers. I'm very excited.

Rosie: And UPN generally doesn't get such high numbers. It's [Voyager] their biggest rated show.

Kate: Yeah.

Rosie: It is...and it's really wonderful. I absolutely love it. When you come back, we have to talk about Ryan's Hope. More with Kate Mulgrew after this...

[commercial break]

[clip of Ryan's Hope]

Mary Ryan: Frank Ryan doesn't make deals.

Jack Fenelli: Then what's he doing in Politics?

Mary Ryan: I don't think I can talk to you.

Jack Fenelli: Why not? You're doin' fine.

Mary Ryan: Because you're cynical and sarcastic and I get the feeling that you're trying to set me up for something.

Jack Fenelli: Well, you're hostile and suspicious...and don't you know nobody gets elected to anything by abusing a member of the press?

Mary Ryan: OK, Fenelli...

[clips ends]

Rosie: Remember that?

[audience applauds]

Kate: [groans] Uhhhh...

Rosie: That was the first week of Ryan's Hope.

Kate: It's hard to... Look at that woman, who is she? It can't be the same. It's hard to look at that.

Rosie: You were 18 years old.

Kate: 18.

Rosie: And how'd you get the part?

Kate: I had been scrambling in New York.

Rosie: Yeah.

Kate: Um...I had finished with Stella Adler. I was waiting tables and tending bar. And, uh, I had begged, borrowed, and stolen to get an agent. I really lied to get in. Got him, he put me out for two weeks and I remember my Grandfather came in from Upper Montclair New Jersey to take me to lunch at the Russian Tea Room.  We had a wonderful lunch, (I was fed for the first time that year) and I raced up the stairs to the place next door and there was Claire Labine sitting there. I was all in my black coat, that was all I owned...little pair of black shoes. And I told her all about my lunch, told her all my life about being an Irish Catholic, one of 8 children...I never read the copy, I never auditioned. She gave me the part.

Rosie: Y'see that...'cause she knew you were Mary Ryan.

Kate: She knew she had to find Mary.

Rosie: You are, and people like me who were devastated when the show went of the air. Can I tell you something? I never watched Loving because I blamed Loving, because Loving took your spot...remember it was Ryan's Hope, All My Children, One Life to Live, General Hospital. It was a great line-up then Loving had to stick their nose in it.

[audience laughs]

Kate: But they replaced Mary Ryan, didn't they?

Rosie: Well no, remember, you died...

Kate: I died?

Rosie: ...on the show...then you came back as a ghost...[Kate starts to laugh]...when your daughter got married, whose name was Ryan Fenelli, who was on our show, who's Yasmine Bleeth, who's now on Baywatch.

[Kate still laughing]

Rosie: And then they had another actress play Mary Ryan, and guess what happened?

Kate: Alexander, can you believe this, sweetie?

Rosie: Alexander...I'm a stalker.

[audience & Kate laugh]

Rosie: If you see me outside your house, honey, call 911...

Kate: [still laughing] I can't stand it...

Rosie: ...and the Star Trek man will show up and save you... No, the thing is, and they had another Mary Ryan, and people like me were so irate they wrote in, that they got rid of her, because nobody could take it.

Kate: That's right.

Rosie: What was the best thing about doing Ryan's Hope for you?

Kate: You know what the best thing about life is?

Rosie: What?

Kate: Friendship.

Rosie: You still friends with those people?

Kate: I have two passionate friendships of all, from that experience. One with Claire Labine, who wrote it and produced it...

Rosie: Right.

Kate: ... is still a very dear friend of mine and I don't know if you remember who played Jillian Coleridge...

Rosie: Yes, Nancy Addison.

Kate: My dearest, my fastest, my firmest...

Rosie: You know what?

Kate: I have a funny feeling...

Rosie: What?

Kate: She may be here.

Rosie: Oh, don't you dare.

Kate: Nancy?

Rosie: Don't you dare!

Kate: Are you here?

[Nancy Addison enters]

Rosie: Oh my God!! Jillian Coleridge is here!!

[Nancy & Rosie greet & hug]

Rosie: Oh my God, I can't believe it! Jillian Coleridge! You know what? Sit down. You wanna know what? I can't believe this. You know, I got my ear double pierced because of you!

Nancy: Oh, now you gotta do a triple. Now you gotta go triple...

Rosie: They were willing to show you had it double pierced when I was in 8th grade, and I got it double pierced.

Nancy: And they always tried to get rid of it. "Nancy, you gotta take that earring off."

Kate: [laughing] [to Nancy] She knows everything. Have you been listening?

Rosie: Oh, my heart is beating so fast, you have no idea...I think I might have a heart attack!

Nancy: Rosie, I have to tell you, we have the same birthday.

Rosie: March 21st?

Nancy: That's it.

Kate: Do you?

Rosie: First day of Spring, sister-friend. There you go. What are you doing now, are you working?

Nancy: Um, well I'm doing a little bit of this and a little bit of that.

Kate: She's working with her heart.

Rosie: Working with her heart?

Kate: Pediatric AIDS...

Nancy: ..which I want to thank you...

Kate: Washington Heights...

Nancy: You've been sending me...ICC, Incarnation Children's Center...

Kate: I went up there yesterday, Rosie.

Rosie: Yeah.

Kate: It is really something to behold.

Rosie: Well, ya know. That's an incredible thing that you're doing. You were so great on the show, that's even more important, what you are doing.

Nancy: I loved what you said about Loving. You know I did that for 2 and half years.

Rosie: Yes I did and I was a little angry at you "Jillian Coleridge".

Nancy: I know, I'm a traitor, what can I tell you?

Rosie: I was a little angry at Jillian Coleridge and same with Justin Deas, ya know, he's getting Emmys on the other show? Sorry, won't watch it. He's Bucky to me. That's how it is.

Rosie: You guys gave all the audience the Wizard of Oz tape?

Kate: Last night.

Rosie: What was this from?

Kate: At Planet Hollywood, 'cause I'm on the board of Starlight Foundation.

Rosie: ...which is a great organization...

Kate: Yeah, you know, for chronically and terminally ill kids.

[audience applauds]

Rosie: ...and they had a special...

Kate: MGM/UA was showing the classic Wizard of Oz and they gave us $10,000 last night.

Rosie: Oh, and look, we gave out the classic Wizard of Oz to everyone in the audience...

[audience holds up Wizard of Oz tapes]

Kate: Excellent!

Rosie: ...and good for you, the Starlight Foundation, of course, Pediatric AIDS, Nancy Addison, Kate Mulgrew, can I tell you that you have made my life complete. I don't know how much happier I could be.

Kate: You are so marvelous.

Rosie: Look for Star Trek Voyager on UPN Wednesday night... Listen, Kate Mulgrew, Nancy, Thank you! We'll be back with Kermit & Gonzo.