MADELINE KAHN REMEMBERED IN AUDIO DOCUMENTARY: DOWNLOADABLE PROGRAM FEATURES MEL BROOKS, ROBERT KLEIN
Actress Madeline Kahn would have turned 75 on September 29, and to commemorate her jubilee year, award-winning interviewer Valerie Smaldone has produced Madeline Kahn: Her Life Explored. The 30-minute program features an extended interview with Kahn’s biographer, William V. Madison (Madeline Kahn: Being the Music, A Life), as well as excerpts from his interviews with directors Mel Brooks and Lee Roy Reams, and with Kahn’s most frequent co-star, Robert Klein. Kahn herself is heard in performance, in an archival recording made at the start of her career.
Especially in such films as Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, Paper Moon, and Clue, Madeline Kahn (1942–99) became one of the best-loved actresses of her time, winning two Oscar nominations, as well as Tony nominations for Boom Boom Room (1973), On the Twentieth Century (1978), Born Yesterday (1989), and The Sisters Rosensweig (winning the award for Best Actress in 1993). In person, Kahn was reserved, retiring, the opposite of the bawdy characters she often played. As Valerie Smaldone discovers in Her Life Explored, Kahn experienced a difficult childhood and persisted despite the disruptions created by her unstable mother — but even after her successes, she never fully overcame her insecurities. Kahn died of ovarian cancer in December 1999.
“Madeline Kahn led an exciting career and a fascinating life,” Smaldone says. “For people who want to know more about her, this audio documentary is a perfect holiday gift — and it won’t clutter up your apartment.”
Valerie Smaldone is a 5-time Billboard Magazine Award winner and is well known for her unprecedented success holding the #1 on-air position in the New York radio market. An accomplished interviewer, she is also an actress and in-demand voiceover artist who hosts and reports on live events on television. William V. Madison is a former producer for Dan Rather at CBS News and a former associate editor of Opera News.