At a time when many older actresses are looking in vain for meaty parts to play, Burn Notice‘s Sharon Gless keeps adding to her résumé. Gless talks about three of her favorite former roles.
Cagney & Lacey
”I worried about Jeffrey [Donovan] at first because he is in every scene. Then I remembered: Tyne Daly and I were in every scene in Cagney & Lacey, and we did okay, didn’t we? I’ve been telling Matt [Nix] that he has to write Tyne into the show for a guest spot as my chain-smoking sister. Don’t you think that’d be great? It would be just like the sisters on The Simpsons. I know Tyne would be up for it.”
Queer as Folk
Gless had a ball as Hal Sparks’ overbearing mom from 2000 to 2005. ”Someone at Queer as Folk sent me the script and I called up my agent and said, ‘I want that part.’ I was told that [Showtime prez] Jerry Offsay said, ‘Hey, great — Sharon Gless will add some class to that project.’ I said, ‘You tell Jerry Offsay that class is not what I have in mind; I want to have some good, risqué fun!”’
As a talent agent who stuffs teddy bears and people, Gless had ”a wild ride on that one. [Creator] Ryan Murphy called me up and wanted me to come back for the new season to do a few episodes. I told him I was at a spa, losing a little weight. He freaked out: ‘No, you have to look the same as you did!’ I said, ‘Honey, the only way I am going to look the same is if I spend another week at this spa!”’