The life of author and activist Maya Angelou, with comments from Oprah Winfrey, Common, Bill and Hillary Clinton and others.
In a 2008 interview, director Sidney Lumet talks about his life and career, which included 44 films in 50 years.
Cinematographer Eric Saarinen explores the work of his father, Eero Saarinen, the modernist architect behind such creations as the Gateway Arch in St. Louis.
Writer/producer Norman Lear's turbulent childhood, early success with sitcoms "All in the Family," "The Jeffersons," "Good Times" and "Maude," and social activism.
Interviews and vintage performances of The Highwaymen -- the country music group that featured Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash and Kris Kristofferson -- provide detail about life on the road and in the studio.
Rock singer Janis Joplin's life is explored through letters and previously unseen footage.
Singer-songwriter Loretta Lynn balances family and a music career that has spanned 50 years.
The New Orleans rhythm and blues of Fats Domino helped aid integration in the South.
Rare home movies, performances and photos help illustrate the life and career of singer-songwriter Carole King, from 1960s New York to Los Angeles in the 1970s to the present.
The challenging life and career of blues guitarist B.B. King; candid interviews feature Bono, Bonnie Raitt, Carlos Santana, Eric Clapton, John Mayer, and Ringo Starr.
The life and 50-year career of director Mike Nichols, one of only two people who have won Peabody, Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony awards.
The life and work of Mexican-American photographer Pedro E. Guerrero.
Althea Gibson becomes the first black person to play and win at Wimbledon and Forest Hills, a decade before Arthur Ashe.
Rehearsal footage, virtuoso performances and interviews with key figures of the American Ballet Theatre.
Itzhak Perlman, students, archival performances and home movies offer insight into the artistry of violin virtuoso Jascha Heifetz.
The legacy of American playwright August Wilson; actors relay their insights about bringing Wilson's voice to the stage.
The achievements of stage magician, author and actor Ricky Jay; narrator Dick Cavett.
Photographer Dorothea Lange had the ability to capture the human condition, most notably through her photo of the Migrant Mother, which continues to stand as a haunting symbol of the Great Depression.
Ballerina Tanaquil Le Clercq inspires George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins before being stricken with polio in 1954.
The life of journalist George Plimpton, co-founder of The Paris Review.
An exploration of the environmental movement spans 50 years of grassroots and global activism; narrated by Robert Redford, Ashley Judd, Van Jones, Isabel Allende and Meryl Streep.
The life of writer-activist Alice Walker, the first black woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for literature.
As a prodigy accepted into the Juilliard School at age 6, composer Marvin Hamlisch is only one of two people to win all five of these prizes: a Grammy, an Emmy, an Oscar, a Tony and a Pulitzer.
A profile of tennis champion Billie Jean King commemorates the 40th anniversaries of the match between King and Bobby Riggs as well as the launch of the Women's Tennis Assoc.
Author Philip Roth discusses his unliterary upbringing in Newark, N.J., his writing process and the inspiration behind his work.
The life, career and influence of gospel singer and guitarist Sister Rosetta Tharpe.
The struggles and triumphs of the Joffrey Ballet from 1956 to the present, including the breakthroughs of choreographers Twyla Tharp, Laura Dean and Margo Sappington, and excerpts from signature works "Astarte," "Trinity" and "Billboards."
Chronicling the achievements of record executive and film producer David Geffen.
The life and work of poet and novelist Carl Sandburg, a three-time Pulitzer Prize winner.
The life of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Harper Lee ("To Kill a Mockingbird," "Go Set a Watchman").
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Margaret Mitchell endured depression and illness until her death in 1949.
Singer, dancer and band leader Cab Calloway led one of the most-popular black big bands during the 1930s and '40s.
The life of activist and singer-songwriter Phil Ochs.
Designers Charles and Ray Eames influenced major events and movements in America, from modernism to the rise of the computer age.
Conductor James Levine celebrates 40 years at the Metropolitan Opera.
Founder of the Sierra Club, John Muir preserved the Yosemite Valley of California and was the force behind the creation of the National Park Service.
Musicians launched careers during the 1960s at the Troubadour in Los Angeles, including Carole King, James Taylor, Randy Newman, and Jackson Browne.
The life and career of Academy Award-winning actor Jeff Bridges.
Classical pianist Glenn Gould was renowned as an intrepreter of the works of Johann Sebastian Bach.
John Lennon's life with his family in New York.
Director Elia Kazan was praised for films such as "On the Waterfront," but his merit was sometimes overshadowed by his cooperation with the House Committee on Un-American Activities.
Afro-Cuban bassist Israel "Cachao" López helped make mambo music popular in the U.S.; narrator Andy Garcia.
Life on the road and at home with musician Merle Haggard.
The history of the Doors includes original footage shot between the group's formation in 1965 and singer Jim Morrison's death in 1971; narrator Johnny Depp.
Architect I.M. Pei designs a modern museum to house the antiquities of Suzhou, China, where he grew up.
Singer Sam Cooke brings the spirit of the black church to popular music, becoming the first black artist to reach number one on the R&B and pop charts.
Louisa May Alcott, author of "Little Women," leads a literary double life, writing under the pseudonym A.M. Barnard, an identity that remains until the 1940s.
Joan Baez begins singing and writing songs as a teenager playing in Cambridge, Mass., coffeehouses and becomes a conscience of a generation.
Screenwriter Dalton Trumbo was convicted and jailed for refusing to testify before the House Committee on Un-American Activities.
Behind-the-scenes of the radio show "A Prairie Home Companion," created by humorist and commentator Garrison Keillor.
Neil Young traces his musical journey from the 1960s to the present and his success with Buffalo Springfield, Crazy Horse and Crosby, Stills & Nash.
Actors, writers and directors discuss how Chinese people have been portrayed in film over the past 90 years.
A year in the career and life of composer Philip Glass includes his annual ride on the Coney Island "Cyclone" and the world premiere of his new opera in Germany.
Director and choreographer Jerome Robbins transformed Broadway with shows such as "West Side Story" and "Fiddler on the Roof"; narrator Ron Rifkin.
Box office smashes "Superman," "Batman" and "The Matrix" all become franchises; the Harry Potter series captivates the world.
A family biography of the four Warner brothers who founded and ran the Warner Bros. studio during its first decades.
"Woodstock" signals a new era; new talent includes Clint Eastwood, Martin Scorsese and Stanley Kubrick; pivotal hits include "Dog Day Afternoon."
When television arrives, Warner Bros. introduces new technology and new stars; showdown between Harry and Jack Warner.
Warner Bros. becomes home to Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart, Errol Flynn and others; after World War II films reflect off-screen anxiety of blacklists.
Four brothers incorporate their motion picture company on April 4, 1923; James Cagney and Edward G. Robinson dominate the gangster genre.
Four brothers incorporate their new motion picture company on April 4, 1923; after World War II, films reflect the off-screen anxiety of blacklists.
Singer Marvin Gaye combined gospel, rhythm and blues, soul and jazz, challenging the face of popular music.
Author Zora Neale Hurston was one of the most celebrated figures of the Harlem Renaissance.
Artists from Bob Dylan to the Dixie Chicks relay stories of the folk singer/activist, often misunderstood because of his views on peace, civil rights and ecology.
Despite a difficult childhood, Carol Burnett becomes the star of a TV variety show that entertains America for over a decade.
The Peanuts characters represent facets of cartoonist Charles Schulz's personality as well as his perspectives on the 20th century.
Muralist José Clemente Orozco, a leader of the Mexican Renaissance, inspires President Franklin Roosevelt to hire painters to work on public walls during the Great Depression.
Tony Bennett, born in New York's Little Italy, enjoys an international career, selling 50 million records and winning 15 Grammy Awards.
John James Audubon realized his dream of publishing "The Birds of America," a collection of 435 life-size prints.
David Hockney's inventive stage designs have transformed opera into an exciting thing to watch as well as hear.
Guitarist Les Paul, inventor of overdubbing and multitrack recording, still performs at New York's Iridium Jazz Club at the age of 92.
Ahmet Ertegun created a new genre of music that combined the African-American music of 1940s Washington, D.C., with the European sensibility.
Contemporary scholars and novelists provide perspectives on some of the great American written works of the 20th century.
Photographer Annie Leibovitz talks about her influences and work ethic, and maintaining a balance between her career and motherhood.
Architect Frank Gehry's designs blur the line between art and architecture, evident at the Guggenheim Museum and the Experience Music Project; director Sydney Pollack.
Andy Warhol moves into directing films, then produces hundreds of portraits of living superstars during his Post-Pop period.
One of the founders of Pop Art in the 1950s, Andy Warhol exhibits an obsession with youth, culture and consumerism, prompting his fame as an enigmatic artist.
Although he stepped down as CBS anchor in 1981, Walter Cronkite's legacy continues today.
Photographers Richard Avedon, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Inge Morath and painter Andy Warhol create images of Marilyn Monroe.
Woody Guthrie's prolific and uniquely patriotic music gives a voice to millions of downtrodden citizens; narrator Peter Coyote.
Archival performances, home movies and interviews illustrate singer Nat King Cole's achievements during a 30-year music and television career.
Director John Ford wins six Academy Awards and transforms actor John Wayne into a national icon.
Martin Scorsese's film biography of Bob Dylan includes archival footage of the singer's childhood and life on the road.
Ernest Hemingway remains one of the most widely read and widely written about American authors.
"O Pioneers!" author Willa Cather destroyed much of her personal correspondence and kept her life a mystery.
Actor Bob Newhart began his career doing local radio sketches and stand-up comedy before television sitcoms.
George Stevens Jr. pays tribute to his father's career as a film director and producer.
The female ensemble Sweet Honey in the Rock fuses African songs with gospel, blues, jazz and hip-hop.
The film personae of actor James Dean echo some of his own life experiences and contribute to his legacy.
Chef Julia Child changes the way people cook, eat and think about food.
Musicians, musicologists and family members discuss the life of singer Hank Williams.
Photographs, news footage, readings from essays and first-hand accounts describe the life and career of Time co-founder Henry Luce.
Actress Judy Garland tells her own story through recordings she made while preparing to write her autobiography.
Audio and video clips spotlight George Balanchine, the transplanted Russian dancer, choreographer and co-founder of the Ballet Society, which became the New York City Ballet.
Bristol-born Cary Grant performs in an English vaudeville troupe, which takes him to New York in 1920, then he takes various jobs before achieving Hollywood success.
Performance clips and interviews with Little Richard, Al Sharpton, Dan Aykroyd depict the life and career of singer James Brown.
The relationship between director Elia Kazan and playwright Arthur Miller ruptures after Kazan appears before the House of Un-American Activities Committee in 1952.
Archival footage, movie clips and interviews with author George Plimpton and historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr. depict the life and career of writer Gore Vidal.
A profile of Robert Capa, who photographed five conflicts on three different continents, including Omaha Beach on D-Day.
Muddy Waters took his emotional music to Chicago and became "King of the Blues," later inspiring such artists as Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and Eric Clapton.
A profile of Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell, and how her music evolved from personal folk into pop, jazz and avant-garde.
Chef Alice Waters creates Chez Panisse restaurant and rocks the international culinary world with her ideas on nutrition and environment.
Prestigious performing arts school Juilliard permits a full year of filming within, which reveals the creative process and the essence of discipline and dedication required to achieve excellence.
Leonidas F. Chaney, Hollywood's first leading character actor, began his career in vaudeville before establishing himself as an actor, director, screenwriter, and "master of horror.".
On the road with country singer Willie Nelson, including performance footage and interviews with other performers from Waylon Jennings to Dave Matthews.
A profile of performer-choreographer-director Gene Kelly, who incorporated an athletic, American style into his dance routines.
The life and work of author Ralph Ellison, whose novel "Invisible Man" won him many awards and honors.
Choreographer Merce Cunningham, who opened his dance studio in 1953, is still working at the age of 80.
Entrepreneur Sam Phillips creates Sun Records, giving Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and others their start.
The life and career of composer, arranger and producer Quincy Jones and his contributions to the entertainment business over the past 50 years.
Composer Richard Rodgers' musicals include "Oklahoma," "The King and I" and "The Sound of Music."
F. Scott Fitzgerald's friends discuss the author's life, personality and the original versions of some of his best-known works.
Dustin Hoffman acts as narrator for this in-depth look at domineering studio head Samuel Goldwyn and his contribution to the golden age of Hollywood.
Photographer Edward S. Curtis' pictorial history records the traditional lives of American Indian tribes.
Photographer Alfred Stieglitz demonstrates the expressive power of pictures and modernism in America.
The Academy Award-winning actor, best known for his roles in "To Kill a Mockingbird" and "The Yearling," performs his one-man show.
Home movies, performance footage and interviews help highlight the personal and public personas of reggae musician Bob Marley.
Carol Burnett, Fran Drescher, other comedic actresses, relatives and filmmaker Pamela Mason Wagner chronicle Lucille Ball's talent, business acumen and ascent into legend.
Robert Trachtenberg chronicles fellow filmmaker George Cukor's career through archival movie clips and interviews with the director's friends and colleagues.
The career of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Norman Mailer extends to activist, critic and exponent of American existentialism.
Filmmaker Bruce Ricker chronicles the career of Clint Eastwood from early B-movie cameos to major feature films.
The artistic expression of the counter-culture movement.
The life of violinist and renowned humanitarian Isaac Stern. Featuring interviews with violinist Pinchas Zukerman, cellist Yo-Yo Ma and others.
Lee Grant narrates a profile of Oscar-winning actor Sidney Poitier.
Dancer Paul Taylor travels with his company to India, works on Broadway and creates a dance.
Performance clips and interviews profile musician Ella Fitzgerald; narrator Tony Bennett.
Steven Spielberg, authors, photographers and models offer personal perspectives on the artist Norman Rockwell's life and career.
Gene Hackman narrates an examination of the filmmaking partnership of Alfred Hitchcock and David O. Selznick.
The relatively unknown female composers, including Kay Swift, Dana Suesse and Ann Ronell, who wrote some of the best-known songs of the 1920s, '30s and '40s.
The semiautobiographical work of Dashiell Hammett, the former San Francisco private detective who penned "The Maltese Falcon" and other classics of the genre.
Playwright Lillian Hellman's life and career.
Artist Robert Rauschenberg utilizes technology, vibrant colors and interactive pieces.
Singer Paul Robeson affirms political beliefs and fights for social justice.
Filmmaker Susan W. Dryfoos profiles caricaturist Al Hirschfeld of The New York Times.
The life of composer Leonard Bernstein, shaped by his Jewish heritage, his morality and his playful sense of humor.
Playwright Arthur Miller, architect I.M. Pei and artist Ellsworth Kelly paint a picture of the life of inventive sculptor Alexander Calder.
Newsman Don Hewitt creates the television news magazine.
Clips and interviews chronicle singer Lou Reed's career with the Velvet Underground and as a solo artist.
Filmmaker Billy Wilder writes, directs and produces more than 50 movies and wins six Academy Awards; narrator Walter Matthau.
Stage shows dominate four decades of American popular culture.
The poetry of the noted "beat generation" poet and the values reflected within his works.
A portrait of sculptor Isamu Noguchi, whose work celebrates, and is shaped by, his American and Japanese heritage.
Broadcast pioneer Jack Paar's career includes being host of an early version of "The Tonight Show."
Emmanuel Rudnitsky's talents include photography, painting, collage, film, poetry, philosophy.
Interviews and film clips characterize the career of actor Danny Kaye.
Ossie Davis, Alan King and others talk about singer Lena Horne's path to stardom.
Television highlights and interviews profile the comedy team of Mike Nichols and Elaine May.
Buckminster Fuller, creator of the geodesic dome, is an architect, engineer, inventor and philosopher.
Interviews, audio recordings and photographs profile photographer Richard Avedon.
Interviews and excerpts spotlight Pulitzer Prize winner William Styron's ideas and scope.
Interviews with colleagues, friends and family show writer Rod Serling's creativity and ambition.
Interviews, archival materials and dramatized vignettes depict Edgar Allan Poe, with Treat Williams, John Heard, Rene Auberjonois.
The rise of one of the world's most accomplished tenors and his great performances.
The plays of a master of portraying human relations.
Narrator Edwin Newman chronicles Will Rogers' contributions with newsreel footage, radio broadcasts, photographs, home movies.
Martha Graham's career as dancer, choreographer, teacher and ballet-company director spans many decades.
The life of the clarinetist and band leader known as the "King of Swing."
A look at the innovator of primary motion-picture techniques and the controversy surrounding his beliefs.
The thinking and techniques used by one of America's most-celebrated movie makers.
The career and collaborations of Simon's 30 years in music.
Peter Coyote narrates a profile of screenwriter Waldo Salt, whose credits include "Midnight Cowboy" and "Serpico.".
A portrait of singer-songwriter Ray Charles' career including the obstacles he has faced and overcome.
Robert Motherwell helps shift modern art from Paris to New York in the '40s.
Interviews, footage and photos profile violinist Yehudi Menuhin as prodigy, musician, husband, father and teacher.
Gregory Peck narrates a portrait of 19th-century Western artist Frederic Remington.
A profile of Sarah Vaughan from childhood shows her accomplishments in jazz and popular music.
A portrait of Albert Einstein, focusing on the physicist as a humanitarian and philosopher. Interviewees include Linus Pauling.
A portrait of the Actors Studio features Paul Newman, James Dean and many more.
Jason Robards narrates a profile of Helen Hayes, with interviews and film clips.
Composer John Cage combines silence and unique sounds.
Sanford Meisner, a founder of the Group Theatre, trains actors, writers and directors.
Record producer John Hammond's career influences five decades of U.S. music.
A profile of newsman Edward R. Murrow recalls his live radio broadcasts and his TV programs ("See It Now," "Person to Person," "CBS Reports").
Interviews and film clips recall the musical legacy of Cole Porter ("I Get a Kick Out of You," "Be a Clown").
Martin Scorsese ("Taxi Driver," "Raging Bull") works on a production. Includes interviews with associates.
Actors in John Cassavetes movies ("Husbands," "A Woman Under the Influence") discuss the filmmaker's legacy.
Film clips and interviews recall the legacy of director/writer Preston Sturges.
Czechoslovakian-born Milos Forman directs "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," "Hair" and "Amadeus."
British director Lindsay Anderson narrates a portrait of silent funnyman Harold Lloyd's later career.
Peter Riegert portrays photographer W. Eugene Smith in a dramatized documentary with archival footage and interviews.
Political satirist Mort Sahl's career spans presidential administrations from Dwight D. Eisenhower to George W. Bush.
Friends and critics of artist Jasper Johns comment on his work and its impact on U.S. art.
Saxophonist Charlie Parker excels, but destructive habits cause his untimely death.
Author James Baldwin, as revealed in his written and spoken words and in interviews with friends and colleagues, including William Styron, Maya Angelou and Bobby Short.
A profile of Louis Armstrong examines the roles of culture and personality in the creative process as well as barriers facing black artists.
Stella Adler, champion of method acting, discusses years teaching and performing.
Clurman introduces method acting to the United States and helps form the Group Theatre.
Joanne Woodward interviews former members of the 1930s Group Theatre, with archival footage of actors and teachers.
Neil Simon's evolution as a playwright is portrayed in interviews with Sid Caesar, Carl Reiner, Watler Matthau and others.
A dramatized portrait of sculptor Augustus Saint Gaudens, re-creating his life and career through reminiscences.
The subjects of Mexican artist Diego Rivera's San Francisco, Detroit and New York murals spark controversy.
Detroit gospel singer Aretha Franklin becomes the first woman inducted to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
A profile of the photographer examines his renowned work, including the "Distortions" series.
Chronicles Edward Kennedy Ellington's career between the 1920s and early 1950s, told through interviews.
Film clips and the actress's personal recollections recall her career, including the years as one of D.W. Griffith's leading ladies.
The comedian starts in vaudeville at age four, achieves subsequent fame as a silent screen star, then loses a lucrative job because of alcoholism, marital troubles and problems with studio executives. In the late 1940s, Keaton re-emerges as a star.
A ritual meeting of 1920s wits impacts strongly on American humor.
A retrospective portrait of Truman Capote (1924-1984), author of "In Cold Blood" and "Breakfast at Tiffany's.".
Performance footage and interviews with founders and alumni highlight a look at the Negro Ensemble Company's 20-year history.
This profile of children's book illustrator Maurice Sendak explores how Mozart influenced his creativity.
Profile of the life and musical career of the composer explores the two sides of his career as a popular "tunesmith" and a classical composer.
A retrospective on the lives, work and 35-year friendship of choreographers Murray Louis and Alwin Nikolais.
Music, film clips, home movies and interviews profile pianist Arthur Rubinstein.
A profile of the director features interviews with Bette Davis, Barbra Streisand and Laurence Olivier.
Judd Hirsch narrates a 1986 Oscar-nominated portrait featuring dramatized scenes from "A Day in Coney Island.".
A profile of the Pulitzer Prize-winning dramatist includes Jason Robards, Zoe Caldwell, Blythe Danner and Tony Lo Bianco enacting excerpts from O'Neill's most famous plays.
An interview with painter Georgia O'Keeffe contains her home-movie footage and photos of her life with photographer Alfred Stieglitz.
Profile of the painter features archival interviews with models, his works and re-enacted scenes of his life.
A film biography with performances, interviews, and documentary material celebrates the composer's 85th birthday.
The artistic director of the Metropolitan Opera is seen rehearsing, coaching and conducting.
Film and television appearances of jazz singer Billie Holiday illustrate her career from the 1930s to the late '50s.
The life and sensibilities of silent film superstar Charlie Chaplin.
Outtakes from Charlie Chaplin's early career illustrate this look at the comedian's work. James Mason narrates.
The effect of Katherine Anne Porter's childhood on her later writings is examined through interviews and dramatized excerpts.
Noted American architect Philip Johnson discusses his career with close friend, writer Rosamund Bernier.
The filming of "Death of a Salesman" features author Arthur Miller, Dustin Hoffman and John Malkovich.
Film shows violinist Yehudi Menuhin in rehearsal and concert, from age 11 to 72.
Keaton re-emerges as a star in the late 1940s after several lean years.
Keaton struggles with alcoholism, a failed first marriage and other problems.
The comedian starts in vaudeville, moves to films and becomes a silent screen star.
Movies that Chaplin made for fun or abandoned are mixed with scenes from "City Lights" and "Modern Times."
Jackie Coogan, Lita Grey, Georgia Hale and Virginia Cherril recall Chaplin's early directorial efforts.
The career of actor, writer, director and producer Mel Brooks spans 60 years and has earned him Emmy, Grammy, Motion Picture Academy and Tony awards.