“Will & Grace” was an amazing show. I loved it, but I’m not about the show anymore. I was tired of it. It was like if I saw the same thing over and over again. That show had its time.
“Brady Bunch” was a long-running hit, and the show had such a long run it was probably the last, and all the stories were written by the same writer for a period of about 12 years. And then he left. After that they turned that around in the middle and did a lot of anthology movies.
Now I’m just a little on the sidelines trying to create a little drama for myself. I did “The Moth Diaries” for Lifetime. I did “The Moth” in New York and with various actors like Leslie Bibb and it was all set in a dorm room and it was funny and dark and weird. And we filmed a lot of that in Forest Park in St. Louis, so I got to work with those actors who were so great. They had a lot of fun, and we’re proud of it.
I’m involved with a lot of charities, and a lot of places in the St. Louis area. To me the charity I’m more passionate about than anything else is Habitat for Humanity, because in 30 or 40 years of getting involved with Broadway shows and “The Brady Bunch” and getting into charity I couldn’t ever find a place to build a house and renovate a house for someone I knew personally. But people in St. Louis know how to build a house and they are constantly doing it, whether it’s St. Louis Community College or the Salvation Army or even the (Merriam) Bible College.
People need houses. Everybody needs a home. We had so many good crews on the show, from the help that was needed just to build sets to the crews on set, like Buster Price and Pepper. They weren’t secretaries, but they worked hard and they really cared about what we were doing. And I can’t complain about that.
Since I’m retired from acting, I’m getting back to my roots and bringing theater to Forest Park. I’m the chairman of the board of the Forest Park Amphitheater and this is going to be my new passion. We’re going to try to bring as many national companies to Forest Park as we can. Broadway companies and choreographers and the dance community.
It’s going to be up for bids through the spring, and we’re going to work on it until that time, and when the bids come in we’re going to look at it and decide, “Hey, this is the right one.” This year we’re working on shows to fill in the space we have available, but next year I’m hoping to pull in a lot of Broadway performers and artists from all over the country to St. Louis.
I love St. Louis. I love every part of it. And I love the Paramount Theatre (in nearby Chesterfield). When I was in Washington doing my shows in the area, I just went to see their production of “The Phantom of the Opera” and I couldn’t believe it.
All those years I was doing the show in New York, it seemed like every week there was a different show in St. Louis, so that was my favorite part of the show, going up and watching a different one every night.
This interview has been edited and condensed.