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James Hibberd

Sills Still Sings

July 27, 2006 3:25 PM

Opera legend Beverly Sills is not at all happy with the current state of television talk shows. Sills, who is the subject of an upcoming PBS “Great Performances” profile, bemoaned the state of young men on TV talk.

Speaking to TV critics via satellite Wednesday, she complained that none of the talkers are “clean shaven.”

But the female guests are a real sore point.

Talk shows book “women with absolutely nothing to say, and when they do say something, you regret it,” she said to laughter from critics.

Sills knows a few things about talk shows. A long time friend of Johnny Carson, she was a frequent guest and guest host on NBC’s “Tonight Show.”

“It was very unusual for an opera singer to have that opportunity,” she said, noting that her appearances helped bring her profession down to earth for the American public.
The documentary, which profiles Sills’ extensive career, features footage from her performances on stage and on television.

Although it is “not a pivotal moment” in her life, Sills said she was “tickled pink” about the retrospective of her career. A self-described “nice Jewish girl from Brooklyn” who is called Bubbles by friends and family, Sills had done everything from run Lincoln Center to perform with the Muppets.

“I’m really at the point where I’m quite content how my life turned out,” she said. “There were tremendous valleys, but there were tremendous starry moments.”


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