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Tribute: Lauren Bacall

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The acclaimed actress died Tuesday at the age of 89. When she spoke with Leonard Lopate in 2006, she brought her dog Sophie to the studio. She reminisced about her career, her friendship with Katharine Hepburn, idolizing Bette Davis and being "Bogey's wife."

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Tribute: Steve Post

Monday, August 04, 2014

Former WNYC host and world-class curmudgeon Steve Post died Sunday, August 3, at age 70. His program "Morning Music” ran for two decades. He left the station in 2001, but returned to host a weekly program called “The No Show.” Post was known for his pointed asides on everything from politics to station management. Leonard spoke with Steve Post on the Leonard Lopate Show in 2008 and in 1995.

Steve Post and John Schaefer talk with Leonard Lopate about their time at WNYC in March 2008

  

Steve Post and Leonard Lopate Talk about a New York Times article about Post in August 1995

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Tribute: Robert Drew

Friday, August 01, 2014

The pioneer of cinema verite died this week. Listen to him speak with Leonard about his work making documentary films.

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Tribute: Margot Adler

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Reporter Margot Adler’s mellifluous voice has been heard on National Public Radio for 35 years, where she covered everything from budget cuts in education to the arts to Occupy Wall Street. She died yesterday at the age of 68, after battling cancer for three-and-a-half years.In addition to being ...

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Tribute: Lorin Maazel

Monday, July 14, 2014

The internationally renowned Lorin Maazel started at the podium quite young: he had been invited by Arturo Toscanini to conduct the NBC Symphony at the age of seven, and by 15, was leading several of the most important American orchestras. During his career, he conducted over 150 orchestras (including the New York Philharmonic and the Cleveland Orchestra), and at least 5,000 opera and concert performances. He died at the age of 84 in Virginia, where he had been rehearsing the annual Castleton Festival, which he had founded. You can hear his interview with Leonard from 2009 about his rich, musical career.

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Tribute: Charlie Haden

Monday, July 14, 2014

Time magazine described Charlie Haden as "one of the most restless, gifted and intrepid players in all of jazz." The multiple Grammy-winning bassist was a member of the revolutionary Ornette Coleman Quartet, and he continued to push the boundaries of jazz for over 5 decades. He contracted polio at the age of 15, and in 2010 developed post-polio syndrome. He was on the Leonard Lopate Show in 2004, when his album “Land of the Sun” had been released. 

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Tribute: Nadine Gordimer

Monday, July 14, 2014

Nadine Gordimer would say, “I am not a political person by nature. I don’t suppose if I had lived elsewhere, my writing would have reflected politics much, if at all.” But the South African novelist could not ignore the fabric of apartheid in her fiction. And the daughter of a watchmaker would come to win a Nobel Prize, in honor of her work. She died at the age of 90 in Johannesburg. And you can hear her interview with Leonard from 2002.

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Tribute: Paul Mazursky

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

 

Paul Mazursky wrote and directed big-hearted, funny films, including “Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice,” “An Unmarried Woman,” “Harry and Tonto,” “Enemies: A Love Story,” and “Down and Out in Beverly Hills.” The five-time Oscar nominee received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame late last year. He died June 30, 2014, at the age of 84. He was on the Lopate Show in 2007, talking about his first retrospective at the Film Society of Lincoln Center.

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Tributes: Eli Wallach

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

On screen, the Brooklyn native played everything from a Mexican bandit in "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly," to a French general. But he really loved the theater - he won a Tony Award for his role in Tennessee Williams's "The Rose Tattoo." He died Wednesday at 98.

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Tributes: Don Zimmer

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Don Zimmer was a big man, physically, but he had a huge presence in the world of baseball for over 60 years, as a player, manager, coach, and adviser.  He was married on a baseball diamond in 1951, and, some would say, he never left the field – between playing infield with the Brooklyn Dodgers, and the Mets (where he was an original member), and then as Yankee manager Joe Torre’s right-hand man and bench coach on four World Series championship teams.  He died recently at the age of 83.  And you can hear his conversation with Leonard Lopate from April 2001. 

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Tributes: Arthur Gelb

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Arthur Gelb was one of those quintessential success stories: he rose from being a copy boy in 1944 to managing editor of The New York Times.  In the many years before he retired in 1989, Gelb was a passionate presence at the paper – writing for the culture pages, developing daily stand-alone sections like Sports-Monday, Science Times, Dining, Home, and Weekend.  He admitted, at one point, that “I’m not sure I would have wanted to work for me when I was an editor.  I was well aware that not every reporter was eager to chase down the countless (if sometimes dubious) leads I proposed – and some eyed me as though I were some kind of madman.”  He died at the age of 90.  But you can still hear Leonard’s conversation with Gelb in 2003.

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Tributes: Malik Bendjelloul

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The musician from Detroit known as Rodriguez had produced only 2 albums in the early 1970s before he vanished from the music scene. Many assumed he was dead. But meanwhile his music went on to inspire many in South Africa, where he became something of a superstar. On a trip to Cape Town in 2006 the Swedish filmmaker Malik Bendjelloul uncovered Rodriguez’ story, and eventually, he found Rodriguez – and the result was what would become the Oscar-winning documentary, "Searching for Sugarman." Malik Bendjelloul was recently found dead in Stockholm.  He was 36.  You can hear his 2012 conversation with Leonard and Rodriguez.

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Tributes: Paul Robeson, Jr.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Paul Robeson, Jr. had the deeply resonant voice of his father, as well as the tall build of the former actor, singer, and civil rights activist.  And he spent a lifetime working to preserve that legacy.  He not only wrote two books about his father, but created an archive of his writings and films at Howard University, and accepted a Grammy on his behalf in 1998.  Paul Robeson, Jr. died at the age of 86. Leonard last spoke with him in August of 2001. 

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Tributes: Alistair MacLeod

Friday, April 25, 2014

The Herald of Glasgow called Alistair MacLeod was “one of the greatest living writers in English.”  That’s despite the fact that the Canadian’s output was relatively small.  He only published one novel, No Great Mischief, (which he wrote over the course of 13 years), and fewer than two dozen short stories (which were all collected in the volume, Island). Rugged Cape Breton was his emotional heartland, and where he set most of his fiction.  A perfectionist, he explained, “I take a lot of time thinking about what I’m writing.”  He died recently at the age of 77.  And you can hear Leonard’s interview with him from January, 2001.

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Tributes: Rubin (Hurricane) Carter

Monday, April 21, 2014

Rubin Carter, otherwise known as Hurricane, had a powerful left hook and a ferocious, mesmerizing presence in and out of the ring. But his promise as a star prizefighter was cut short after he was wrongly convicted of murder, twice. He was imprisoned for 19 years before the charges were finally dismissed. His life became the subject of the 1999 movie “The Hurricane,” starring Denzel Washington. Carter told The New York Times shortly after his second conviction in 1977, “They can incarcerate my body but never my mind.” Carter died Sunday, April 20, of prostate cancer. He and his biographer James Hirsch spoke with Leonard on January 11, 2000.

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Tributes: Mickey Rooney

Monday, April 07, 2014

Mickey Rooney got his first laugh on stage when he was just 18 months old, launching him to a long career in show business. He became a major box office draw in the late 1930 and early 1940's, and was best-known for the nine films he made with Judy Garland. He died recently at the age of 93. He was on the Leonard Lopate Show in 2004 with his wife Jan - his 8th - to talk about their off-Broadway show "Let's Put on a Show," which looked back at Rooney's long and varied career. 

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Tributes: Jonathan Schell

Friday, March 28, 2014

Jonathan Schell spent a lifetime exploring war in all its various incarnations.  His 1982 book, The Fate of the Earth – in which he called for complete nuclear disarmament -- was called “the new Bible of our time, the White Paper of our age,” by Helen Caldicott, president of Physicians for Social Responsibility.  He had been a lead writer at The New Yorker till 1987, a columnist for Newsday and New York Newsday, and, most recently, a correspondent for The Nation.  He died recently at the age of 70. You can hear his interview with Leonard from May 2003, when he spoke about the greatest non-violent moments in modern history, from his book The Unconquerable World.

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Tributes: David Brenner

Monday, March 17, 2014

Unlike most comedians who went on The Tonight Show and headed straight to the couch, David Brenner performed first.  The reason was, as Johnny Carson would explain, "I like to sit back, smoke a cigarette and laugh for six minutes."  The lanky, toothsome Philadelphia native started out as a writer and director of television documentaries, before deciding to try comedy, relatively late, in the 1970s.  He would appear on The Tonight Show over 150 times, as both a guest and a substitute host.  He died recently at the age of 78.  You can hear his conversation with Leonard from October 2003, about his book, I Think There’s a Terrorist in My Soup, about staging a comedy tour in the wake of the September 11th attacks.

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Tributes: Joe McGinniss

Monday, March 17, 2014

Joe McGinniss had a nose for news, and was tireless in pursuing, and immersing himself in stories, be it then-presidential candidate Richard Nixon (The Selling of the President 1968) or 2008 vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin (The Rogue).  Along with Joan Didion and Tom Wolfe, he was known as one of the writers of New Journalism.  He died recently at the age of 71.  He spoke to Leonard in April 2009 for his story about the deal that Palin struck to build a $40 billion pipeline, which had little chance of being built. 

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Tributes: Mavis Gallant

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

It’s a common fantasy for many aspiring writers to move to Paris, in hopes of becoming famous.  Mavis Gallant is one of the few who did; plus she succeeded where so many others fail, in only a matter of years.  The Montreal native became known as a “writer’s writer” in the course of 10 collections of short stories, which originally appeared in the New Yorker.  She died recently in Paris, the city where she worked for most of her life, at the age of 91.  We were lucky to have had the chance to speak with her back in 2006 when she reflected on a career that had already spanned half a century. 

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