The iconic TV series L.A. Law taught America what a life in the law could look like—both professionally and personally. Actually, the lawyer’s life never looked as cool as it did on the show.
This Conversation featured cast members Jill Eikenberry and Michael Tucker, speaking on their roles as Ann Kelsey and Stuart Markowitz, as well as the show’s place in American culture.
Jill Eikenberry has a long list of theater, film and television credits. She is perhaps best known for her portrayal of Ann Kelsey on NBC’s long-running hit series L.A. Law, which earned Jill four Emmy nominations, two Golden Globe nominations and a Golden Globe Award. She reprised her role on L.A. Law – The Movie on NBC. After Barnard College in New York and Yale Drama School in New Haven, Jill began an extensive theater career on and off Broadway, starring in Michael Weller’s Moonchildren; The Beggars Opera; All Over Towndirected by Dustin Hoffman; Save Grand Central by famed cartoonist William Hamilton; Summer Brave with Alexis Smith; Wendy Wasserstein’s Uncommon Women and Others, in which she also appeared opposite Meryl Streep in the PBS-TV version; Tennessee Williams’s The Eccentricities of a Nightingale; Watch on the Rhine; and the Broadway musical Onward Victoria. For her performances in Lanford Wilson’s Lemon Sky and Richard Greenberg’s Life Under Water she was recognized with an Obie Award. She was most recently seen Off-Broadway in Manhattan Theater Club’s production of A Picasso.
Jill has appeared opposite her husband, Michael Tucker on stage in A.R. Gurney’s Love Letters, on television in Hill Street Blues, A Family Again, Assault and Matrimony, A Town Torn Apart, Gone in a Heartbeat, and Archie’s Wife, which also featured their daughter Alison.
Jill co-produced a one-hour documentary for NBC entitled Destined to Live, which dealt with the emotional aspects of breast cancer, from diagnosis to recovery. Jill battled the disease in 1986 and was aware of the importance of letting other women know that they were not alone and could recover and lead full and normal lives. Jill and Michael tell their story with humor and hope. Jill says, “Our experience with breast cancer forced us to face the fact that we are going to die one day. The question became, ‘How do we want to live?’” Destined to Live was honored with a Humanitas Award.
A veteran stage, film and television actor, Michael Tucker is perhaps best known for his role as Stuart Markowitz in the hit series L.A. Law. His eight-year stint on the popular NBC-TV drama brought him three Emmy nominations and two Golden Globe nominations. He reprised his role in LA Law–The Movie, seen on NBC.
“The Tuckerberrys” have also appeared together on stage in A.R. Gurney’s Love Letters, on TV in Hill Street Blues and such TV movies as A Family Again, Gone in a Heartbeat, Assault and Matrimony, A Town Torn Apart and Archie’ s Wife, which also featured their daughter Alison.
Jill and Michael have recently put together a two-person show that they are performing around the country. Directed by Richard Jay Alexander, the show tells the story of their 35-year relationship with the help of a dozen songs, video clips from TV and films and even a cooking segment where Michael passes out tasty morsels to the audience.
Michael Tucker’s first book, I Never Forget a Meal: An Indulgent Reminiscence, is part memoir, part cookbook. In this witty autobiography, he captures his passion for living, loving, learning, and acting and his lifelong love affair with food. His second book, Living in a Foreign Language, will be published in July by Grove/Atlantic. This book chronicles the Tuckerberrys’ newest chapter as homeowners in the Italian countryside.