Linda Bloodworth Thomason’s essay about her experiences with Les Moonves has people talking, with many wondering about a mystery actress she is referring to in the piece when detailing sexual misconduct allegations against the ousted CBS chief.
In a damning op-ed for The Hollywood Reporter, Bloodworth Thomason, the longtime CBS hitmaker who in 1992 scored the largest writing and producing contract in the history of the network, wrote about a famous actress whom Moonves allegedly once invited to a private lunch in the CBS dining room.
“Coming off the cancellation of her iconic detective show, the star began pitching a new one. He informed her that she was too old to be on his network. She began to cry and stood up to go. He stood up too, taking her by the shoulders and telling her, ‘I can’t let you leave like this.’ She reacted, suddenly touched. Then he shoved his tongue down her throat. I know this happened because the star is the person who told me.”
Readers of Bloodworth Thomason’s powerful THR piece began buzzing, with many assuming the woman referenced in the story was Angela Lansbury, the longtime star of CBS’ detective series, Murder She Wrote, as previously reported by the Inquisitr.
The Les Moonves stories keep getting worse and worse. https://t.co/QHiQ6tIYnS— TV Insider (@TVInsider) September 13, 2018
But Bloodworth Thomason’s husband and writing partner, Harry Thomason, has now confirmed on Twitter that Lansbury is not the unnamed woman in the essay.
“For all of you who are asking if the great Angela Lansbury was the mystery actress mentioned by my wife, Linda Bloodworth in her THR op-ed about CBS’s Moonves- it was someone great but not Angela.”
With Lansbury now scratched off the short list of “older” CBS detectives (the 18-time Emmy nominee was 71-years-old when her CBS drama series ended its 12-season run), many TV fans are wondering of Sharon Gless could be the woman Bloodworth Thomason is referring to.
Gless co-starred with Tyne Daly on the CBS hit Cagney & Lacey, which aired from 1982 to 1988. In 1994, shortly after Moonves took over as president of CBS, Gless reprised her role as Christine Cagney in a quartet of 1994-96 reunion TV movies, revivals that had been greenlit before Moonves took over as network chief, per Closer Weekly.
Gless later revealed that it was Moonves who put the kibosh on additional installments of the Cagney & Lacey franchise.
“He admitted that he never really liked Cagney & Lacey. He didn’t help us do anything to promote them, but they still got high numbers. All four of them. So he sort of killed the franchise. He liked them younger.”
In two bombshell pieces for The New Yorker, writer Ronan Farrow detailed a dozen sexual misconduct allegations against Moonves, including one about “a prominent actress who played a police officer on a long-running CBS program.”
According to Farrow, when CBS informed the actress that her series deal was being terminated, she called Moonves, who in turn requested a lunch meeting in his private dining room at the office. The anonymous actress told Farrow she went to the lunch thinking she would be making a deal to keep her contract with CBS, but at the lunch, Moonves told her that he intended to focus on younger talent and that she was too old for his network.
Still, Moonves allegedly told the CBS star that he had “always been so attracted” to her before reportedly shoving his tongue down her throat.
“He had approached me to go to bed with him twice, but he did it politely. But this time he just stuck his tongue down my throat.”
Farrow revealed that the star broke down in tears after the encounter, telling him in an interview for The New Yorker exposé, “No one had ever done that to me before. I found it sickening.”
The actress said that she never worked for CBS again.