Talk about girl power: During six seasons of the cult women-on-the-beat show Cagney & Lacey (whose first season was released on DVD on May 8), Sharon Gless and Tyne Daly battled crime on the streets of New York City — in those trademark tailored clothes, natch. But police work was nothing compared to the challenge they faced after the series wrapped in 1988 — staying friends. In recent years, Daly laments, ”We haven’t been able to see each other as much.” Still, as evidenced by the jovial rapport between the two during a recent EW.com interview, their partnership is as arresting as ever.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: We hear so much about bickering co-stars. Did you guys actually enjoy each other’s company?
SHARON GLESS: No, can’t bear her. [Laughter] Sometimes it was the two of us…against the world. We were cancelled three times!
TYNE DALY: I think we liked each other from the start. I think we grew to like each other better. We’re good pals.
Sharon, what’s your favorite thing about Tyne?
GLESS: Her generosity. I was the third [actress hired to play] Cagney, as you probably know. My very first day on the set, when I had a scene that Tyne was not in, people would say, ”Where’s Tyne? She’s not on the set. She’s not there supporting Sharon.” And Tyne told me, ”I deliberately stayed in my room, because it’s your show too, and I wanted you to know that set is yours.” And she deliberately did not come and check me out. It is a memory I hold.
And Tyne, your favorite thing about Sharon?
DALY: Her sense of humor.
All right, Sharon, that statement begs for an anecdote.
GLESS: I do Rosie O’Donnell’s R Family Summer Adventure Cruise [a vacation trip for gay families] every year. And the first year I was on we showed scenes from Queer as Folk, because Rosie was in it. Then the next year I said, ”Well, now what do I do?” And she said, ”Let’s show a Cagney and Lacey!” And there’s one that was a comedic [episode] called To Serve With Love. It was hysterically funny.
So we know Sharon’s watched an episode or two over the years. Tyne, how about you?
DALY: Have I sat down and watched all of my 25-year-old work? No, I have not. I don’t have a television set. I’m interested in seeing them again. But it’s not healthy for actors to watch themselves, and it’s especially not healthy for actors to watch themselves [in episodes filmed] 185 years ago!
Do either of you watch current cop shows like Law and Order?
GLESS: I’ve gotten hooked on series that are long dead, that I discovered at three in the morning.
DALY: I fell out of the habit of watching television when I started to make it on a regular basis. There’s literally no time to do it. By the time you get home from your day’s work, you’re into the late news. And when you leave in the morning, you’ve got the farm report.
Would you ever work together again?
DALY: Sharon did come and play as a pinch hitter on Judging Amy a couple seasons ago. And there was talk about something for us to do on Queer as Folk, which never manifested. But if we could find a vehicle, absolutely.
Sharon, I hear a certain family member loves Cagney and Lacey.
GLESS: My granddaughter was visiting at Easter. She’s 12 years old. And she had an hour before she was supposed to go to bed. Grandpa said, ”Would you like to see an episode of Cagney and Lacey?” He put it in, and this child was absolutely hooked. And she stayed up for many more hours, ”Grandpa, show me more, show me more.” We were amazed by it.