Burn Notice reunites Cagney & Lacey stars Tyne Daly & Sharon Gless
by Allison Waldman, posted Jan 20th 2010 10:00AM
Back in 2008, I was lucky enough to get to visit the set of Burn Notice and interview Sharon Gless. At that time, Sharon said that she was trying to get her co-star from Cagney & Lacey -- and good friend -- Tyne Daly to guest on Burn Notice, but Tyne was only interested if she could play her part sans words. "Tyne said, 'I'll do it, but I want to play her as a mute.' Only Tyne Daly! And believe me, she'll steal the show. Matt said he wants to use her -- but not as a mute!"
Tomorrow night, Tyne Daly and Sharon Gless will be reunited on TV in an episode of Burn Notice called "The Dark Road." Tyne Daly will not be playing a mute. In fact, according to Sharon, "It's very, very unusual the situations that they put me in with Tyne. They had me go undercover." It sounds like a fun way to kick off the second half of season three. And hopefully, Tyne Daly will get to watch it. You see, in a recent conference call with the two stars, Ms. Daly and Ms. Gless talked about working together again and more.
Q: What was it like working together again?
SG: We've been doing it a long time. You know, we developed something on Cagney & Lacey. And I find it very easy and wonderful working with Tyne.
TD: It's kind of like bicycle riding. You know, with Sharon we just fall into a rhythm and it was nice and easy. It was really fun. We had only what three or four scenes but it felt like a very great tennis match.
Q: Did Burn Notice contact you or was it Sharon?
TD: Sharon said there was a part. She said it wasn't big enough. She said come anyway, and I said yeah.
Q: What was the reaction around you two when you showed up for work?
SG: People got so -- when we were in the makeup trailer we're sitting just chatting and laughing before we begin, and that isn't sort of the tone of our makeup trailer, so everybody was going, 'Boy I wish that we did that more.'
TD: Yeah, yeah, Sharon is safe and sound, they love her there. They admire her there. And, you know, I threatened everybody if they weren't treating her right that I would lean on them, you know. But it seems to be a good working place.
Q: What did you two learn by working together on Cagney & Lacey?
SG: When I first started the show, I learned generosity towards another actor. I'd never seen anything like that. Tyne was so generous in welcoming me to the show. I was her third Cagney. She liked the last one she worked with. And made me feel like I was welcome and it was my home now. And she was just wonderful. And I try to do that when we have guests who are nervous, you know. I always remember how generous she was to me so.
TD: [I learned] that laughing, that laughing is important in a situation. When you're working really hard, laughing is important to do as much as humanly possible. We laughed -- I think we laughed everyday. And there were some tense days, too, but we laughed anyway. That's what I learned from Sharon.
Q: Tyne, would you be interested in coming back to full-time television work?
TD: When I finished Judging Amy I was ready to take some time to be in a kind of theater where you're in the same room as your audience. So, you know, musical theater, legitimate theater, cabaret all have to do with being with your audience at the same time and not being on film.
Q: Why do you think people still hold Cagney & Lacey in such high regard?
TD: Television serves very briefly in its own time, as far as I'm concerned. So we hit a very lucky time when we could reflect -- because I don't think television leads -- I think it reflects. We could reflect some of the influences that were happening in the society. Women come up to me and say how grateful they were that they spent time with their moms watching TV or that, you know, they were encouraged to be professionals because of the images that they saw on -- saw us do.
SG: I think Cagney & Lacey certainly had impact. And it's probably one of the reasons why there's so many good women's roles today. There were not at that time.
TD: We had the advantage of -- let's see, an opportunity to do something that hadn't been done on TV before. But I figure, you know, the two of us are continuing to do what we do. And if we do it with some kind of class, I'm grateful for that. I don't know that we'll ever replicate the kind of work we did in our primes.
Q: How is it that you have been able to remain close when you're always working on different projects?
TD: Staying busy is great. The drawback is you don't have a lot of leisure time. But I am always grateful to Cagney & Lacey because I got my friend Sharon out of it. You know, she's a real friend and a friend for life. And that doesn't always happen in our business. It's really pretty rare.
SG: And I still appreciate Tyne's talent and I appreciate her friendship.