Hello and thank you for being a DL contributor. We are changing the login scheme for contributors for simpler login and to better support using multiple devices. Please click here to update your account with a username and password.

Hello. Some features on this site require registration. Please click here to register for free.

Hello and thank you for registering. Please complete the process by verifying your email address. If you can't find the email you can resend it here.

Hello. Some features on this site require a subscription. Please click here to get full access and no ads for $1.99 or less per month.

Madeline Kahn

Born into a Jewish family in New York, she was shipped off boarding school to "build character." While trying to decide between being a soprano or an actress, she sang while she waited tables before being hired to sing, first for Leonard Bernstein and later for Broadway.

Then, in 1972 she made her film debut as the frumpy Eunice in What's Up Doc?. It has been well debated she stole the film. She then appeared as an hourly companion in Paper Moon and as a Marlene Dietrich-type in Blazing Saddles, both of which earned her Academy Award nominations. Following the Oscar buzz, she became a household name, appearing everywhere: Young Frankenstein, High Anxiety, The Carol Burnett Show, The Cheap Detective, Saturday Night Live, The Dick Cavett Show, The Muppet Movie, Oh Madeline, Clue, An American Tail, Nixon, A Bug's Life, Cosby, and Judy Berlin.

Then, tragedy stuck when she lost her battle with ovarian cancer at only 57.

She is the great American comedienne, singer, and tragic actress Madeline Kahn.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 187June 15, 2024 3:02 PM


by Anonymousreply 1September 8, 2023 10:16 PM

Most annoying voice in the history of cinema.

by Anonymousreply 2September 8, 2023 10:16 PM

Madeline Kahn and Betty White singing

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 3September 8, 2023 10:17 PM

Love her. Stole every scene she was in.

by Anonymousreply 4September 8, 2023 10:19 PM

She is GENIUS in Paper Moon.

by Anonymousreply 5September 8, 2023 10:20 PM

R4 I was molested!

by Anonymousreply 6September 8, 2023 10:23 PM

Miss Trixie Delight.

"Why don't you let Miss Trixie and her big ole titties sit in front?"

by Anonymousreply 7September 8, 2023 10:24 PM

I love her academy.

by Anonymousreply 8September 8, 2023 10:24 PM

Of course you can't forget this

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 9September 8, 2023 10:25 PM

I LOVE her as Martha Mitchell in Nixon. he only appears in 2-3 scenes in the 3.5 hour movie, but damn you remember her:

In the 1962 New York City Christmas Party scene, she is laughing hysterically and making Nixon (Anthony Hopkins) very uncomfortable. Shell yells at John Mitchell (E.G. Marshall), interrupts Kissinger (Paul Sorvino), and is heard laughing loudly while the others in a different room.

The second is her ranting to reporters about Watergate, the coverup, killing her and her family, how she's terrified of her safety. It is hilarious but extremely sad.

by Anonymousreply 10September 8, 2023 10:30 PM

She and the great Charles Ludlam went to Hofstra University together. Ludlam would eventually appear on her short-lived sitcom (in drag).

by Anonymousreply 11September 8, 2023 10:31 PM

Getting Married Today from Company

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 12September 8, 2023 10:32 PM

She was FABULOUS as Marwena Deutshwand.

by Anonymousreply 13September 8, 2023 10:33 PM

I had clue she died so young and so long ago.

She was great in everything she was in and had a lot of screen charisma

by Anonymousreply 14September 8, 2023 10:34 PM

I've loved her in all the films I've seen her in, especially "What's Up Doc."

by Anonymousreply 15September 8, 2023 10:34 PM

"Born into a Jewish family." LOL. Who the fuck writes like that anymore?

by Anonymousreply 16September 8, 2023 10:34 PM

She stole the movie in What's' Up Doc?

and everyone in that movie was great.

by Anonymousreply 17September 8, 2023 10:36 PM

R16 I'm from the American Middle West.

by Anonymousreply 18September 8, 2023 10:38 PM

On The Dick Cavett Show

by Anonymousreply 19September 8, 2023 10:39 PM

On the Dick Cavett Show

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 20September 8, 2023 10:39 PM


Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 21September 8, 2023 10:41 PM


by Anonymousreply 22September 8, 2023 10:41 PM

Charlie Rose,

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 23September 8, 2023 10:41 PM

[quote] "Born into a Jewish family." LOL. Who the fuck writes like that anymore?


by Anonymousreply 24September 8, 2023 10:56 PM

I’m tired!

by Anonymousreply 25September 8, 2023 11:05 PM

[quote]Love her. Stole every scene she was in.

Not in MY movie!

by Anonymousreply 26September 8, 2023 11:10 PM

OP conveniently left out her last TV series ... "Cosby."

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 27September 8, 2023 11:12 PM

[quote]Not in MY movie!

Dodged a bullet on that one.

by Anonymousreply 28September 8, 2023 11:15 PM

The definition of a supporting player. Brilliant as a back up, tiresome as the star.

by Anonymousreply 29September 8, 2023 11:21 PM

Madeline Kahn...a national treasure.

by Anonymousreply 30September 8, 2023 11:31 PM


Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 31September 8, 2023 11:36 PM

Was she a cunt?

by Anonymousreply 32September 8, 2023 11:41 PM

R20. Madeline's interview with Dick Cavett was brilliant. Thanks for posting.

by Anonymousreply 33September 8, 2023 11:45 PM

Left out her less-than-stalwart performance in ON THE TWENTIETH CENTURY, only to be outdone by up-and-coming Judy Kaye who stopped the show with her stellar performance of BABETTE.

by Anonymousreply 34September 8, 2023 11:52 PM

I always loved Madeline Kahn. She had such fantastic comedic timing.

by Anonymousreply 35September 8, 2023 11:53 PM

A big drunk, poor thing.

At times, anyway.

by Anonymousreply 36September 8, 2023 11:57 PM

Her scenes in What’s Up, Doc were all pretty masterful. In particular, a scene where Fritz the crooked hotelier tells her character Eunice that a pet snake is missing and may be in her hotel room, she panics with this freakishly perfect timing, then climbs onto the bed and rocks back and forth with her arms folded like a stressed out primate. It’s pretty amazing.

I also admired her phrasing of short, expressive lines, like her sharp and dismissive “Who IS this person?!”. Also, when she hears a female voice in her fiancé’s adjacent hotel room, she crescendos “I’m comING IN!”. My parents said the audience exploded with laughter when they saw the film at the cinema.

by Anonymousreply 37September 9, 2023 12:00 AM

R9, did Marlene Dietrich ever comment on this?

by Anonymousreply 38September 9, 2023 12:09 AM

I LOVE Madeline. Unfortunately, after the screwball comedy craze of the '70s was over, Hollywood didn't seem to know what to do with her. Molly Ringwald's mother in Betsy's Wedding? I mean REALLY.

by Anonymousreply 39September 9, 2023 12:11 AM

Madeline Kahn - Bob Costas Show 1993 Part 1 of 3

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 40September 9, 2023 12:12 AM

R38 Ooooh yeh, just not publicly

by Anonymousreply 41September 9, 2023 12:13 AM

She had terrible issues with her early fame because she wanted to be taken seriously as an actress and possibly even as an opera singer, but because of her brilliant comic timing and her knockout figure and big boobs, she kept on getting cast as ditzy bimbos. And finally her film debut as Eunice, in which she had to have all her prettiness masked in an ugly wig.

There's a wonderful bio of her with the terrible title: Madeline Kahn; Being the Music, A Life by William K. Madison that discusses all this, Lots of great interviews with her friends and colleagues.

The first time I saw her was in the late 60s Boston try out of the Richard Rodgers musical Two by Two starring Danny Kaye as Noah and Madeline as the blonde bimbo on his Ark.

IIRC in the bio it talks about Madeline taking the role on the Cosby show just to insure she'd have the money for medical treatments for the cancer that would soon kill her.

by Anonymousreply 42September 9, 2023 12:14 AM

Madeline Kahn - Bob Costas 1993 Part 2 of 3

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 43September 9, 2023 12:14 AM

Madeline Kahn - Bob Costas 1993 Part 3 of 3

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 44September 9, 2023 12:16 AM

Both Paper Moon, with Madeline Kahn, and Hitler: The Last Ten Days, with Eric Porter, were released on May 9th, 1973. Months

by Anonymousreply 45September 9, 2023 12:21 AM

Watching Madeline is like drinking Grand Marnier, a little goes a long way.

by Anonymousreply 46September 9, 2023 12:25 AM

Madeline Kahn - Rosie O'Donnell Show, 1996

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 47September 9, 2023 12:32 AM

Madeline Kahn wins the 1993 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 48September 9, 2023 12:37 AM

Have any of you ever seen this? Kahn singing an Irving Berlin ditty titled, "You'd be Surprised".

She's a delight. Period, end of subject.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 49September 9, 2023 12:40 AM

[quote] I had clue she died so young and so long ago.

I loved her work so much.

I was at work when I learned she'd died....it was at the end of a break and it took every bit of strength for me not to cry about it.

by Anonymousreply 50September 9, 2023 12:44 AM

I saw Madeline and John Callum in "On the 20th Century" when it played the Colonial Theatre in Boston. That same night, I met the two of them walking through Boston Common heading back to Ritz Hotel then located on the corner of Arlington and Newbury Streets in Back Bay (across from Boston's Public Garden). We chatted for a bit, talked about the show, and they both signed my Playbill.

Both Kahn and Callum were utterly delightful. Always remember that the night I got to meet the great Madeline Kahn.

by Anonymousreply 51September 9, 2023 12:58 AM

Cullum not Callum. But otherwise, lovely post.

by Anonymousreply 52September 9, 2023 1:02 AM

Kahn was nominated for a Tony for Best Actress for David Rabe's In The Boom Boom Room. Rabe was involved with Jill Clayburgh at the time and she said that losing the role was her motivation for going to Hollywood and trying to become a name. The play also had Julie Newmar in it and she was fired before they previewed and was replaced by Mary Woronov.

by Anonymousreply 53September 9, 2023 1:05 AM

Madeline Kahn in 𝐃𝐞 𝐃𝐮̈𝐯𝐚 (1968):

"Phalliken zymbol?"

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 54September 9, 2023 1:20 AM

[quote] IIRC in the bio it talks about Madeline taking the role on the Cosby show just to insure she'd have the money for medical treatments for the cancer that would soon kill her.

You may have slightly misread or misunderstood because she joined Cosby when it launched in 1995; she apparently did not receive a diagnosis of cancer until 1998 and died relatively soon after the diagnosis. I do remember her looking quite terrible in her last season (and if *I* remember right the show did not continue for long after her passing).

by Anonymousreply 55September 9, 2023 1:25 AM

[quote] She WAS the great American comedienne, singer, and tragic actress Madeline Kahn.

by Anonymousreply 56September 9, 2023 1:27 AM

[quote]IIRC in the bio it talks about Madeline taking the role on the Cosby show just to insure she'd have the money for medical treatments for the cancer that would soon kill her.

You remember incorrectly. Cosby started in 1996. Madeline was diagnosed with advanced, aggressive cancer in summer 1998 and died in December 1999.

This article mentions why she took the role. (Also, it was a Carsey-Werner production, and they wanted to do her a solid after producing her flop sitcom Oh Madeline.)

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 57September 9, 2023 1:31 AM

R57 aside from the year Cosby started, I was otherwise correct. I know when she died and it was a little more than a year after diagnosis.

That still DOES NOT match with R42's previous statement that she took the Cosby role - a role she would have signed up for in mid 1996 or sho - to have insurance for a cancer she didn't receive a diagnosis for until two years later.

by Anonymousreply 58September 9, 2023 1:38 AM

Just need to correct two immortal quotes, mentioned earlier:

From What's Up, Doc? Eunice: They tried to molest me. Judge: That's ... unbelievable.

From Paper Moon Trixie: So, how 'bout it, honey? Just for a little while, let ol' Trixie sit up front with her big tits.

by Anonymousreply 59September 9, 2023 1:39 AM

Oops ignore my post at R58, r57! You were arguing the same point. Sorry.

by Anonymousreply 60September 9, 2023 1:39 AM

Loved her. She married only a few years before her death. She and her husband were a perfect match and at least they had some time together.

by Anonymousreply 61September 9, 2023 1:47 AM

Sorry, I did misremember about Madeline's history with The Cosby Show, which I never watched, though I was a long time fan of Madeline. I thought she didn't join the show until it was on for several seasons, lining up with the last year or two before she died.

In any case, that bio I mentioned is a great read and very accurate (which I was not, lol).

by Anonymousreply 62September 9, 2023 2:04 AM

Jane Alexander on working with Kahn in "The Sisters Rosenweig": "I don't think I've ever enjoyed being with anybody on stage as much as with Madeine."

by Anonymousreply 63September 9, 2023 2:11 AM

Madeline Kahn was not born into a Jewish family in New York, she's from Massachusetts. The wiki says Boston, but I heard Madeline herself say she was born on Revere Beach Boulevard in Revere, Mass.

by Anonymousreply 64September 9, 2023 2:23 AM

Revere is a suburb of Boston, R64.

by Anonymousreply 65September 9, 2023 2:29 AM

Funny. My problem with her is that she is ice cold onscreen, and seems oblivious to her fellow actors.

by Anonymousreply 66September 9, 2023 2:35 AM

[quote]Loved her. She married only a few years before her death. She and her husband were a perfect match and at least they had some time together.

R61. Actually, she married in the summer of 1999--and then died in December 1999.

From Wiki:

Kahn was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 1998. She underwent treatment, continued to work on Cosby, and married John Hansbury in summer 1999. However, the disease spread rapidly, and she died on December 3, 1999, at age 57.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 67September 9, 2023 2:37 AM

I was standing next to her in line for a movie on the upper east side circa 1980. during cold weather. everyone in coats, hats, etxc.

She was alone, very quiet , barely noticeable .

I always remember how petite she was,

She was 5′ 3″

by Anonymousreply 68September 9, 2023 2:49 AM

"Nixon, A Bug's Life, Cosby, and Judy Berlin."


by Anonymousreply 69September 9, 2023 2:53 AM

She wanted to die a Sadie.

by Anonymousreply 70September 9, 2023 3:07 AM

[quote] which I was not, lol

LoL! :)

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 71September 9, 2023 3:09 AM

Madeline Kahn - Johnny Carson The Tonight Show

Madeline does not like balls coming toward her...

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 72September 9, 2023 3:18 AM

Correcto, R64 and R65. Revere's a suburban city just north of Boston. I think actually her family then moved to New York shortly after? Anyway, agree with so many about loving her perfect comic timing and iconic, scene-stealing supportive roles brilliance.

by Anonymousreply 73September 9, 2023 3:19 AM

*Below the Belt* with Lily and Dixie

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 74September 9, 2023 3:23 AM

R42- You saw her in the late 60's?

How old are you?


by Anonymousreply 75September 9, 2023 3:25 AM

Opera Quiz With Madeline Kahn, Charles Nelson Reilly and Kitty Carlisle Hart PART 1

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 76September 9, 2023 3:27 AM

R59- For you

When I was your age I had NO bone structa

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 77September 9, 2023 3:27 AM

Opera Quiz With Madeline Kahn, Charles Nelson Reilly, and Kitty Carlisle Hart PART 2

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 78September 9, 2023 3:28 AM

[quote]Revere is a suburb of Boston...

Yes, I know. I'm from Lynn the next town north. It still isn't New York City, or Boston, is it?

by Anonymousreply 79September 9, 2023 3:29 AM

Madeline Kahn - What's Up Doc

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 80September 9, 2023 3:36 AM

I am from Boston. Yes, within the city proper., born and reared Let's just say Madeline is from Boston as Wkipedia states, and let's not talk about the "suburbs" Revere or Lynn.

by Anonymousreply 81September 9, 2023 3:38 AM

I love watching her on the Carol Burnett Show.

by Anonymousreply 82September 9, 2023 3:52 AM

Did she grow up in New York City or Boston?

by Anonymousreply 83September 9, 2023 4:03 AM

She was born in Boston. When she was two, her mother divorced and moved her to New York City. She went to a boarding school in Pennsylvania for some time but graduated from high school and college in NYC and nearby—high school in Queens, and college was Hofstra on Long Island.

by Anonymousreply 84September 9, 2023 4:09 AM

Betty White and Madeline Kahn duet...

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 85September 9, 2023 4:19 AM

R85, are you also R3?

by Anonymousreply 86September 9, 2023 4:20 AM

But was it Boston Boston?

by Anonymousreply 87September 9, 2023 4:22 AM

No. Didn't know Betty and Madeline had been posted.

by Anonymousreply 88September 9, 2023 4:22 AM

I love her so much.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 89September 9, 2023 4:24 AM

Madeline Kahn 3-29-86 "I'm Tired" live concert version

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 90September 9, 2023 4:29 AM

[quote]I had clue she died so young

Sucks, but at least she didn't see 9/11. Or worse, experience it by being in one of the towers at the time, or even on one of the planes.

by Anonymousreply 91September 9, 2023 9:57 AM

[quote]Sorry, I did misremember about Madeline's history with The Cosby Show, which I never watched, though I was a long time fan of Madeline. I thought she didn't join the show until it was on for several seasons, lining up with the last year or two before she died.

She was not on "The Cosby Show," she was on "Cosby."

by Anonymousreply 92September 9, 2023 10:43 AM

So much Kahn-related confusion on DL. And you dare to call yourselves gay? Fucking shameful.

I was going to type out her career highlights, but fuck it, here's the link to her IMDB page. Be taught!

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 93September 9, 2023 11:03 AM

She's giving flashes of Little Edie at R20—Little Edie as played by Elaine May.

by Anonymousreply 94September 9, 2023 11:08 AM

Don't forget me, R93!

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 95September 9, 2023 11:25 AM

I don't care what "family she was born into." Where she was born, when she was on "Cosby" and when she was diagnosed with (whispers) "the cancer". Some of you bitches really do get nit-picky about stupid stuff

She was a fucking hoot! I LOVED her in "Paper Moon". In fact, I LOVE the entire movie.

by Anonymousreply 96September 9, 2023 11:52 AM

I like her. A lot. But she is the same thing in just about everything she does. Plus I would have liked to have bought her for what she was worth and sold her for what she thought she was worth.

by Anonymousreply 97September 9, 2023 12:04 PM

Except she wasn't. Her Eunice Burns, Trixie Delight, Lili von Shtupp, Dr. Cynthia Mallory, Martha Mitchell, Alice Gold, Chrissy, and Gorgeous Teitelbaum are far from the same.

And you'd lose money.

by Anonymousreply 98September 9, 2023 12:16 PM

Her big break was being plucked from obscurity to sing "Glitter and be Gay" from Candide at Leonard Bernstein's 50th birthday celebration at Avery Fisher Hall.

There's no video, but her comic skills are so apparent that you don't feel like you're missing anything.

Not to mention, she hits all the notes.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 99September 9, 2023 12:20 PM

Yeah R97 is all wet. Madeline was multi-talented and her characters were not all the same. Compare Trixie to Mrs. White! And her self-esteem was not high. In fact, she thought she was unattractive, which is why it was upsetting to her that she made her film debut as Eunice Burns - it exacerbated her feelings about not being good enough. Regardless of that, she knocked it out of the park.

I'm sure there are valid criticism one could make about Madeline, but R97 said none of them.

by Anonymousreply 100September 9, 2023 12:23 PM

I know John Cameron Mitchell wanted her as the agent in the film version of Hedwig & the Angry Inch. They made the offer, she was too sick to accept, and it went to Andrea Martin.

If Madeline had lived, she could have done a number of parts Andrea got (and better, frankly) — Berthe in the Pippin revival, Julie Klausner's mother in Difficult People. I'm sure Tina Fey would rather have had Madeline play her mom on 30 Rock than Anita Gillette.

by Anonymousreply 101September 9, 2023 12:38 PM

Hey r75, I'm 74 and saw Madeline in the musical Two by Two when I was in college in Boston. Thanks for asking.

And Cosby? The Cosby Show? Whatever, r92. I loved Madeline, that is all.

by Anonymousreply 102September 9, 2023 1:05 PM

Kahn bluntly said “Sign him, lose me. In a million years, I would never work with Danny.” That's because she did in late 1970 and most of 1971 when Kaye starred in Two by Two and Kahn had a small role...

by Anonymousreply 103September 9, 2023 1:17 PM

Please stop besmirching this lighthearted woman's legacy with your nasty fan-olympics bullshit.

by Anonymousreply 104September 9, 2023 1:23 PM

I loved just about everything she did.

I do think she was best as the garnish, so to speak, and not as the main dish. Or in quirkier character roles.

by Anonymousreply 105September 9, 2023 1:23 PM

Did anyone happen to see Madeline with Ed Asner in the 1989 Broadway revival of BORN YESTERDAY? I missed it but would have thought that casting was perfect but it didn't last long.

by Anonymousreply 106September 9, 2023 1:41 PM

I didn't see Born Yesterday because they BOTH seemed a little long in the tooth for those roles.

by Anonymousreply 107September 9, 2023 1:47 PM

review of bio mentioned upthread

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 108September 9, 2023 2:02 PM

When someone says "they don't make them like they used to", I see Madeline Kahn in my mind's eye. Can't give a higher compliment than that.

by Anonymousreply 109September 9, 2023 2:05 PM

If she'd lived she would be 81. She probably would have shown up on Grace & Frankie as a quirky visitor.

by Anonymousreply 110September 9, 2023 2:09 PM

Don't forget the ultra high maintenance Elizabeth in Young Frankenstein

by Anonymousreply 111September 9, 2023 2:15 PM

"Taffeta, Darling..."

by Anonymousreply 112September 9, 2023 2:26 PM

I don't know her.

by Anonymousreply 113September 9, 2023 2:26 PM

[quote] It has been well debated she stole the film.


by Anonymousreply 114September 9, 2023 2:29 PM

Kahn in At Long Last Love the 3rd time she worked with Bogdanovich.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 115September 9, 2023 2:47 PM

R115 was an excellent showcase for Mildred Natwick, who next portrayed a dying grandmother on Family.

by Anonymousreply 116September 9, 2023 2:53 PM

Cybill looks so stupid in that turban.

by Anonymousreply 117September 9, 2023 3:20 PM

r117=Celeste Talbert

by Anonymousreply 118September 9, 2023 3:22 PM

[Quote] Cybill looks so stupid in that turban.

Many women I'm sure wish they could look that stupid.

by Anonymousreply 119September 9, 2023 4:45 PM

That entire costume on Cybill is stupid.

by Anonymousreply 120September 9, 2023 5:44 PM

I'm sure it would be simply stunning on you Polly

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 121September 9, 2023 6:35 PM

R115 Wow that clip is pretty awful. As a singer, Shepherd really is 100% certifiably talent-free. I listened to the TCM Podcast on Peter Bogdanovich. It sounds like that film was a huge flop. I didn’t know Madeline Kahn was in it.

by Anonymousreply 122September 9, 2023 6:50 PM

Even Madeline and Eileen Brennan are subpar in that film.

by Anonymousreply 123September 9, 2023 7:01 PM

R123 Both excellent character actors but that film looks like a real shit show. Unwatchable. I wonder if it was some sort of coked out passion project.

by Anonymousreply 124September 9, 2023 7:04 PM

Oh yeah, r124, it certainly wasn't their fault. Bogdanovich got all gimmicky with it. Because early filmed musicals filmed the musical numbers live, that's what he did. As if the soundtrack doesn't suffer enough.

by Anonymousreply 125September 9, 2023 7:35 PM

I never miss a Burt Reynolds musical.

by Anonymousreply 126September 9, 2023 7:42 PM

His way with a song might have gotten him by, r126, but Burt was totally devoid of sophistication as was Cybill.

by Anonymousreply 127September 9, 2023 7:45 PM

Madeline is a Queens girl. Went to public school in Jackson Heights and graduated from Martin Van Buren High School in Bayside.

by Anonymousreply 128September 9, 2023 7:47 PM

[quote]Many women I'm sure wish they could look that stupid.

With that hairstyle, they would.

by Anonymousreply 129September 9, 2023 7:51 PM

Miss Trixie, tell ‘‘em bout that time you almost got thowed in jail.

by Anonymousreply 130September 9, 2023 7:59 PM

I tried to push her out a window in Little Rock.

by Anonymousreply 131September 9, 2023 8:00 PM

Madeline was a good ol' broad.

by Anonymousreply 132September 9, 2023 8:20 PM

I don't think she was, r132. She had a fragility about her.

by Anonymousreply 133September 9, 2023 8:21 PM

Cullum on Kahn

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 134September 9, 2023 8:22 PM

I'm really old and I remember Eunice Burns. I remember her look, sound, walk, everything. I even remember some of her lines. Kahn was PERFECT as Eunice Burns and that performance will live on for a long, long time (it already has). Babs and O'Neal were both fucking great in that film as were the rest of the cast but Madeline Kahn STOLE every scene she was in and, ultimately, the entire film.

Fabulous, brilliant actress.

by Anonymousreply 135September 9, 2023 9:30 PM

Madeline's biggest fear/issue was that often people took her for a "good old broad" and yet she was not that kind of woman at all. Much more fragile, as r133 wisely posted.

by Anonymousreply 136September 9, 2023 10:09 PM

She was elegant and classy, but could get down and have fun. She was known as "fun Madeline" and not "real Madeline."

That was what upset her.

by Anonymousreply 137September 9, 2023 11:19 PM

She played up the wacky Madeline on The Carson Show and Carson loved her. She was considerably more subdued on other talk shows like Dinah. I still remember when she was on with Elizabeth Ashley and someone in the audience asked about her leaving On The Twentieth Century and she said something like it was either leave or permanently lose her voice. It was uncomfortable because everyone knew that wasn't true. The real Madeline, sadly, was not very interesting as a guest.

by Anonymousreply 138September 10, 2023 12:05 AM

Okay, R138, I'll bite. What was the "real reason" why Madeline left On the Twentieth Century?

by Anonymousreply 139September 10, 2023 12:09 AM

Madeline had trapped herself in a bigger vocal role than she was prepared for and her performances could be inconsistent.

by Anonymousreply 140September 10, 2023 12:11 AM

OTTC director Hal Prince used to say he hired Kahn because he got her mixed-up with Bernadette Peters. Ouch! At any rate, they started off on the wrong foot because Prince wanted Danny Kaye and Kahn refused to work with him because of past incidents. Because she was the bigger name, she stayed, Kaye didn't and John Cullum came in. Prince said that the one time he was really happy with her performance was on opening night and after he congratulated her, she said something to the effect, "you don't think I'm going to do that every night, do you?" She began missing performances and she would want to know how Judy Kaye was. Cullum would say things like "she wasn't you", until a few performances in, something clicked and she was brilliant. When Kahn asked again how Kaye was, Cullum simply told her she shouldn't miss any more performances.

by Anonymousreply 141September 10, 2023 12:26 AM

In what universe was Madeline Kahn a bigger name than Danny Kaye?

by Anonymousreply 142September 10, 2023 12:29 AM

She was a current Academy Award nominated movie star, r142 and Kaye's star was descending. I worked several times with the costume designer on Two By Two. I wish I had asked about it because apparently he had LOTS of stories.

by Anonymousreply 143September 10, 2023 12:38 AM

Hello Dolly!

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 144September 10, 2023 12:48 AM

Madeline was hilarious and heartbreaking as Dr. Gorgeous Teitelbaum in "The Sisters Rosenzweig" and made the show a very hot ticket. Her role wasn't even the lead but a large supporting role, but she was billed above the title, therefore a "Leading Actress in a Play", winning the Tony in a stroll, I imagine.

by Anonymousreply 145September 10, 2023 12:50 AM


Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 146September 10, 2023 1:31 AM

[quote]Prince said that the one time he was really happy with her performance was on opening night and after he congratulated her, she said something to the effect, "you don't think I'm going to do that every night, do you?"


by Anonymousreply 147September 10, 2023 2:04 AM

So, some other Eldergay can correct me... regarding OTTC, I was told that Kahn's inconsistency, especially during the rehearsal and out of town tryout period was due to her cocaine use.

Hal Prince did indeed push her for a certain performance and yes, there's the backstage tale that on opening night in NYC, when all of the critics were in the house, Prince told Kahn that her performance was what he was looking for; she told him she hit that level, that evening, because critics were present and that she could not do it every night moving forward.

Has Kevin Kline ever commented on working with Kahn during OTTC? Did he confirm or deny the tales of what went on between Kahn and Prince?

by Anonymousreply 148September 10, 2023 9:40 AM

Oh yeah! I think I remember her.

by Anonymousreply 149September 10, 2023 10:37 AM

r148 - The cocaine rumors have been around forever, but I've never read anything that substantiates it.

by Anonymousreply 150September 10, 2023 3:26 PM

I saw her in Born Yesterday. She was fabulous but the production felt very 'Kenley Players.'. Imagine if Lucy hadn't had her fired? What a Gooch she would have been!

by Anonymousreply 151September 10, 2023 3:42 PM

Kline said he didn't think Kahn was erratic in OTTC: "I would say fun, spontaneous, in the moment. All the things I love about actors. She seemed consummately professional." He did say both he and Kahn found Cy Coleman's score a challenge: Kahn described it as "so rangy," while Kline said, "It's fucking impossible." The show's conductor Paul Gemignani compared Kahn to a jazz musician, saying, "Improv was her comfort zone." Maris Clement, who sang in the ensemble, said Kahn "listened to a line from another actor and interpreted it differently all the time. That's why she was so brilliant, so incredibly funny."

by Anonymousreply 152September 10, 2023 4:17 PM

I always tend to take Madeline Kahn's side in the OTTC story. Hal Prince was an ingenious director and he could cast actors brilliantly but then left them to their own devices and didn't support them.

by Anonymousreply 153September 10, 2023 4:44 PM

With rare exception, critics stopped coming to opening nights on Broadway in the 1960s. They started attending the last few previews before opening in order to have more time to process their reviews. I've never understood the story about Madeline Kahn finally delivering the performance Hal Prince had wanted on opening night. Something about it doesn't entirely make sense.

by Anonymousreply 154September 10, 2023 5:54 PM

The '70s, r154...

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 155September 10, 2023 6:05 PM

Chicago Song

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 156September 10, 2023 6:22 PM

Perhaps this tangent belongs on the Theatre thread but I thought plays/musicals have to "lock in" a performance. We understand Madeline struggled to do so in OTTC, but was she able to do so in a straight play like The Sisters Rosensweig?

by Anonymousreply 157September 10, 2023 7:10 PM

[quote] The '70s, [R154]...

He's wrong. It change started with Stanley Kauffman when he was the theatre critic for the NY Times in 1966.

by Anonymousreply 158September 10, 2023 7:17 PM

And *everybody* followed suit in 1966, r158?

by Anonymousreply 159September 10, 2023 7:20 PM

That is when the process began to change, yes. Before that point, shows used to play just one or two previews and open. Even major musicals. But the mid 1960s is when the preview period started to extend and when critics, following Kauffman's lead, started to come to one of the final previews.

by Anonymousreply 160September 10, 2023 7:32 PM

So in 1978, r160, there were *no* critics there on opening night?

by Anonymousreply 161September 10, 2023 7:34 PM

Some producers still tried to force critics to come to opening. David Merrick did so on 42nd Street, and in recent years, Rudin did it once or twice on his shows. But largely it has not been the case for a very long time.

by Anonymousreply 162September 10, 2023 7:43 PM

As a kid, I remember her on Saturday Night Live, singing the Frogman’s “Ain’t Got No Home”. It was pretty amazing. She appeared in a recurring skit called “Leg Up” as an eccentric Russian ballerina, and in another where she was captured by a huge bird of prey. I remember she was very attractive and funny. She seemed like a hot shit.

by Anonymousreply 163September 10, 2023 8:22 PM

One of SNL's finest musical moments...

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 164September 10, 2023 8:25 PM


by Anonymousreply 165September 10, 2023 8:45 PM

Madeline as "an amphibious creature"...

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 166September 10, 2023 8:57 PM

When she sang that on her second SNL episode it was, as the kids would say, LIT as FUCK.

by Anonymousreply 167September 10, 2023 9:46 PM

I used to love this, I still do.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 168September 11, 2023 2:30 AM

Yes...he will.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 169September 11, 2023 2:35 AM

r153 Tell me about it!

by Anonymousreply 170September 11, 2023 4:57 PM

R37, a teacher once told me comedy is ALL about the commitment; I knew the snake story was a lie (especially their mortal fear of tile) but I sure believed Eunice thought it was in the room.

by Anonymousreply 171September 18, 2023 4:16 AM


Yes! Her delivery was absolutely perfect.

by Anonymousreply 172September 18, 2023 5:32 AM

She was the best villain in Star Trek.

by Anonymousreply 173September 18, 2023 10:10 AM

She really brought the wrath, r173.

by Anonymousreply 174September 21, 2023 9:38 PM

R164 is one of the most beautiful things I've ever heard.

by Anonymousreply 175September 22, 2023 12:52 AM

Paper Moon could have had a sequel. The producers only used a little more than half of the book, Addie Pray from which PM was based. Like Delores Claiborne, it is "first person narrative".

by Anonymousreply 176September 22, 2023 9:00 AM

You're gonna ruin it, aren't you?

by Anonymousreply 177September 22, 2023 3:07 PM

She was so great in Clue

by Anonymousreply 178September 22, 2023 3:13 PM

"I am not 'a' Eunice Burns. I am THE Eunice Burns."

by Anonymousreply 179September 23, 2023 3:31 PM

That line cracks me up every time, R179.

by Anonymousreply 180September 23, 2023 4:04 PM

R180, she stole the movie and everyone from Higgins to Boss Hogg to Mother Stephens to Hugh/You were all fantastic.

I can watch this movie over and over and over again.

by Anonymousreply 181September 24, 2023 3:32 AM

Bumping this thread because I was thinking about her

by Anonymousreply 182June 13, 2024 3:53 PM

For years I swore she was in a Law and Order episode where she played a wealthy woman who killed her husband's mistress because the mistress was going to reveal the husband was half-black (he looked white though).

The actress sort of looks like Kahn, and Kahn would have been great at it.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 183June 13, 2024 4:23 PM

She was a complete reason for seeing any movie, play, show or TV gig she participated in. One of the greatest comic actors ever.

by Anonymousreply 184June 13, 2024 5:42 PM

R184 I agree with that

by Anonymousreply 185June 13, 2024 7:35 PM

The song at 164 is called "Lost in the Stars" not "Big Stars, Little Stars."

by Anonymousreply 186June 14, 2024 5:29 AM

She had Oscar noms for Blazing Saddles and Paper Moon, but she should have had the win for playing THE Eunice Burns in What's Up Doc

by Anonymousreply 187June 15, 2024 3:02 PM
Need more help? Click Here.

Yes indeed, we too use "cookies." Take a look at our privacy/terms or if you just want to see the damn site without all this bureaucratic nonsense, click ACCEPT. Otherwise, you'll just have to find some other site for your pointless bitchery needs.


Become a contributor - post when you want with no ads!