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Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, Brittney Spears ? divas? Nah. Maria Callas ? now she was a diva! In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, two great ladies with leather lungs ? Maria Callas and Judy Garland ? their triumphs and tragedies from Onassis to Oz. And other artists whose lives gave rise to legends ? writer John Cheever and the painter Caravaggio.
Actress Angela Ianonne tells Anne Strainchamps about her identification with Maria Callas, whom she plays in Terence McNally's play, "Masterclass," and explains what she thinks made Callas such a great artist. Also, Nicholas Gage, author of "Greek Fire," tells Jim Fleming about the long love affair between Maria Callas and Aristotle Onassis. He says Onassis pursued Callas, fathered a short-lived child with her, and never entirely gave her up, even after he spurned her for Jackie Kennedy. And we hear lots of Callas' singing.SEGMENT 2:
Peter Robb is the author of "M: The Man Who Became Caravaggio." Robb tells Steve Paulson that Caravaggio was a violent man with an extensive criminal record, but not a psychopath; and that he re-invented painting by depicting subjects - even religious subjects - realistically. Also, novelist Ben Cheever, son of John Cheever, talks with Jim Fleming about the price of fame and remembers the way people treated him because of his famous father.SEGMENT 3:
Gerald Clarke is the author of "Get Happy: The Life of Judy Garland." He tells Steve Paulson that Judy's mother introduced her to drugs; that she was exploited by the studio system; and that she had an amazing ability to pull herself together and perform while her personal life was falling apart. And we hear clips from several of Garland's best songs.Cassette copies are available at 1-800-747-7444. Ask for program number 01-02-25-B.
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